“Comms made easy” – how Pexip enabled secure digital customer contact in finance
As a globally operating financial expert with Swiss roots, Vontobel specializes in wealth management, active asset management and investment solutions. All employees are empowered to take ownership of their work and bring opportunities to life. Because Vontobel is convinced that successful investing starts with assuming personal responsibility.
The financial experts rely on the latest technologies and innovations. The achieved is relentlessly questioned, striving to exceed the goals and expectations of their clients. Vontobel operates internationally and within Switzerland at 26 locations.
Pexip services in use
At Vontobel, secure video communication is not only part of internal meetings, but also plays an important role in digital customer contact. As an integrated platform solution, Pexip links the existing platforms and video endpoints and enables simplified and secure communication via video and uniform user experience. The data is hosted at Vontobel Bank itself.
- The need for existing video collaboration tools such as Skype for Business and video conferencing endpoints in meeting rooms to be connected and integrated into a unified workflow. The goal: a convenient, future-proof solution with high usability.
- The crucial need for virtual customer consultations to be simple and secure, regardless of whether a web browser, Skype for Business, cell phone, or other device is being used.
- The new solution must comply with Vontobel's strict security requirements and guarantee full control and protection of customer data.
- Installation of Pexip Infinity as an integrated platform solution and a gateway.
- Vontobel chose Pexip's self-hosted option, which gives full control over protection of customer data.
- Pexip has made hybrid virtual meetings possible between participants both inside and outside a conference room.
- Better customer experience in customer service via video
- Individual meeting room links and the “Join” button make it very simple for customers and employees to participate in virtual meetings.
- The platform is hosted at Vontobel itself, meaning sensitive customer data is subject to the company's own security regulations and always safeguarded.
Vontobel is committed to helping their customers advance as best as possible, and to create new opportunities using top solutions. This applies to their portfolio of services, which reaches much further than the standard range of services offered by a bank, including asset management as well as investment solutions. However, this commitment also stretches to employees across the company – including those in IT Service Management.
In addition to handling the entire end-user service, this department, led by Micha Begert, is also responsible for digital events, which are becoming increasingly important for communication and collaboration. In order to remain up to date at all times in this area, modern video conferencing solutions were already installed a few years ago.
Since then, solutions such as Skype for Business and the existing video endpoints in meeting rooms have allowed virtual video conferencing to be used for internal communication. However, these solutions have only rarely been used for virtual meetings with customers, due to the various steps required by each application to enter such a room. For the IT Service Management team it was clear that this area was in need of improvement.
“Our aim was to offer our employees and customers a simple and convenient solution that we could also operate and control internally,” says Micha Begert, Head of IT Service Management at Vontobel.
They wanted to keep using the existing video endpoints and platforms, as they were up-to-date and the team was satisfied with the features they offered. “We were therefore looking for a way in which to bring together our various existing standalone solutions on one video platform,” Begert explains.
This meant that high usability and compatibility with existing solutions were decisive factors. Another was data security, the aspect on which the Swiss investment bank places such importance. Security standards in the financial sector in general are already very high, and requirements concerning the use and storage of data are even stricter in Switzerland. Storing and processing Swiss customer data abroad is only possible with a great deal of effort, which is one reason why many choose to use their own systems. After all, the solution must be secure, future-proof, and allow for flexible deployment.
Image: © Vontobel
So, under the working title “Comms made easy,” work on the project began. Through their own research and further recommendations, the IT team at Vontobel came across the Norwegian provider Pexip. With its interoperability, high security standards, and flexible hosting options, this solution seemed to meet all their requirements. While plans for a new, integrated platform solution began to take shape at Vontobel, half a world away in Wuhan, the Covid pandemic emerged. When the first wave of the pandemic also reached Switzerland in March 2020, everything had to happen very quickly.
“The pressure to find a solution for remote working gave our project even more momentum,” says Micha Begert. The proof of concept for the Pexip solution started that same spring, and shortly thereafter the integration tests had been completed successfully: the new solution lived up to its promise.
The IT Service Management team at Vontobel is extremely satisfied with the support offered by the provider and the local Pexip partner Actvisual, who accompanied them along the way. The team was there right from the start to help with the integration, the solutions architects provided support when difficult questions arose, even helping with those concerning design, and were there right up until the final check – and beyond.
“The Pexip advisors checked in with us even after implementation and helped us solve questions about licensing and operation. This was something we hadn't often experienced on previous projects,” says Marco Fabio, IT Service Manager.
“Video in particular creates a great opportunity to add a personal touch to virtual customer service and through this, to provide optimal quality of consultation digitally, and to establish long-term customer relationships.”Micha Begert, Head of IT Service Management at Vontobel
In conference rooms, Pexip has now replaced the previous video conferencing bridges and works as the company's gateway between video communication systems. Even external participants can easily join a meeting via a web browser, mobile, app, or Skype for Business, for example. This allows for hybrid collaboration at any time with colleagues at other locations or when working from home.
“Pexip's web solution is a decisive point for us and is something that we will also use increasingly in future,” says Micha Begert.
This aspect is also particularly important for virtual customer consultations. Here, Pexip now allows for a user-friendly process. The customer receives a personal meeting room link via email from their account manager and can then use the link to simply enter the meeting via a web browser – with no prior installations necessary.
“Integration via Pexip is perfect for us. From the outside, it gives the impression of being a homogeneous system. Pexip basically translates one technology into the other in the background, which results in a seamless user experience for clients and employees,” Micha Begert explains. Accordingly, the feedback provided by the account managers is also positive.
In order to adhere to the security requirements of the Swiss investment bank, the fact that Pexip can be hosted at the company itself is a key benefit, as this means that the company's own security mechanisms apply. The individual video nodes can be distributed dynamically and can be clearly split up according to internet usage and internal department. The discussions themselves are also secure.
Although virtual meetings will never fully replace in-person customer consultations, they have maintained their role as a key component of communication even after the pandemic and are a means of contact that customers are increasingly coming to expect.
At Vontobel, video communication not only allows the company to bring its own services directly to its customers' homes with just a few clicks, but it also makes internal collaboration within the modern workplace more pleasant and convenient. Micha Begert is certain that there will be fewer business trips in the future as well, especially as the possibilities offered by technology are continually improving.
“Video in particular creates a great opportunity to add a personal touch to virtual customer service and through this, to provide optimal quality of consultation digitally as well, and to establish long-term customer relationships,” concludes Micha Begert.
Learn more about Pexip's secure, user-friendly video solutions for the financial sector.