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Microsoft Unified Communications Technologies

Microsoft Unified Communications Technologies






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    Microsoft Unified Communications Technologies Microsoft Unified Communications Technologies Document Transcript

    • Microsoft Unified Communications Technologies For the Financial Services Industry Fact Sheet October 2007 Unified communications makes it easy and efficient for employees at financial services companies to reach the people they need from the devices and applications they know and use. In today’s financial services environment, strategic business needs drive IT requirements. IT departments are constantly being asked to deliver more to increase business capabilities while spending less money and using fewer resources to do it. Financial services organizations in banking, insurance, capital markets and securities require the ability to collaborate on demand, anywhere and at any time. For the customer, lack of integration can mean frustrating delays, inconsistent data across channels, and a less than satisfactory experience. In fact, banks lose more than 10 percent of their customers each year.1 Arguably, it is most critical for advisors, agents, brokers, asset managers, traders and specialists across the industry to be able to make those connections with co-workers, customers, and suppliers or intermediaries if they are to successfully serve their clients and the needs of their business. These financial professionals need the flexibility to communicate and access information in the way they want, and when and where they need it the most. They want to provide consistent and effective customer service, develop and maintain advisory relationships with their clients, and stay on top of and respond to rapid changes in the market. To accomplish this, financial services professionals need collaboration tools to help them communicate appropriately and efficiently from within the business applications and along with the business systems they already use every day. Microsoft Corp.’s approach to unified communications puts people at the center of communications through a single identity across all modes, from PCs to telephones to PDAs. Microsoft® unified communications technologies combine rich, intuitive and seamless communications with e-mail, instant messaging (IM), voice, data, video and conferencing. Microsoft offers financial services companies a complete software platform that unifies communications with their business applications and processes, streamlining the way employees reach one another and communicate. The unified communications technologies comprise the following: • Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 • Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 • Microsoft Office Communicator • Microsoft Office Live Meeting • Microsoft RoundTable™ - more -
    • Microsoft Unified Communications Technologies for the Financial Services Industry Page 2 Improve Customer Service and Sales Retail banks are focused on quality of service in providing not only traditional banking products and services, but a full range of financial services to meet a customer’s financial needs. So it is important that banks make sure their sales and services staff is well-trained on all that they can provide. By using Microsoft unified communications technologies, banks can extend their training programs and make it easier to have recurring and updated training for everyone from the tellers and in-branch specialists to the front-line managers and call center staff. In addition, banks must identify ways in which the in-branch staff can help increase branch profitability. For example, the role of a teller is expanding beyond the simple handling of receipts and balances. Tellers are now being asked to identify opportunities to deliver the right messages to the right customers, turning those customers into the next and best sales leads that they can pass to in-branch advisors and specialists. Also, when financial services companies have a complete view of their clients’ relationships and offer them advice on the complete portfolio, not only do they gain more business, but their clients also see greater value in their relationship with the company. Wholesale and corporate banks have a similar challenge: They must provide their corporate clients with excellent customer service at any time and on any topic. Providing a collaborative environment that allows representatives to bring to bear the strengths of the entire organization on any client query, issue or task leads to more successful and stable relationships. When it comes to the financial advisor — whether in the branch, brokerage or insurance firm — all financial services firms would like to give their advisors a complete view of the client’s holdings. This allows advisors to give their clients advice on the complete portfolio, leading to not only more business, but also a lifelong, trusted advisory relationship. This can be achieved by providing the advisors with a collaborative environment that allows them to reach out to specialists within the organization to more quickly and effectively respond to any questions their clients may have on a full range of products, services and issues. Such an environment would include the following technologies: • Office Live Meeting is a webconferencing service that helps users more effectively collaborate on or deliver interactive presentations with anyone, virtually anywhere, using just a PC and an Internet connection. With Office Live Meeting, tellers and branch staff members can be quickly and effectively trained on the details of a new product or campaign, including ways they can sell or promote it and any related terms and conditions. Trainees can interact with the trainer virtually, in real time, without requiring either party to travel. Training also can occur more often and be more easily rolled out to support specific sales and marketing programs. This training helps staff improve overall customer service and, as a result, branch profitability. • Office Communicator, a unified communications client, when coupled with Office Communications Server 2007 gives customer service representatives the convenience of one identity to view a person’s presence information (a display of the availability for a person or device to communicate) and determine the best means of communication. When a customer has a question, the employee is able to initiate a conversation with a specialist or expert, regardless of location, and quickly gather information to help answer customer questions promptly. With this communication model, customer service representatives have access to tax experts, insurance advisors, product specialists and others with high-value expertise, right at their fingertips. This increases customer service at the point of interaction and helps companies sell more products and services. • Office Live Meeting provides a collaborative webconference for advisors to give advice to clients. It is a rich, interactive channel for communicating with valuable customers unable to travel to a branch office. Using Office Live Meeting, the advisor can present customers with a clear view of where they - more -
    • Microsoft Unified Communications Technologies for the Financial Services Industry Page 3 stand in all their holdings, and what they might consider adding or changing. The foundation for Office Live An Overview of the Microsoft Unified Meeting interactivity is its ability to broadcast visuals of any type, including presentations, commonly used The Microsoft unified communications document types such as Microsoft Office Word and Office Excel®, applications, or Web pages to remote participants in real time. Because presenters can choose to share either a portion of their desktop or the entire screen, management of meeting content is simple and Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 is the flexible. Presenters can also choose whether meeting participants can edit those documents in real time. • Customer satisfaction can be further enhanced through effective after-sales service and support enabled by Office Communicator and Exchange Server 2007. Federation capabilities of Office Communicator allow advisors to exchange instant messages directly with customers using security-enhanced consumer IM services such as MSN®, AOL or Yahoo! In addition, Microsoft Office Communications Server Exchange Server 2007 facilitates mobile access to e-mail for employees, so that they can respond to customer questions about their accounts in a timely manner, even while traveling. Enable and Empower the Insurance Industry Value Microsoft Office Communicator is a unified Chain The insurance industry is a value chain, stretching from agent or broker to carrier, underwriter and reinsurance firm. The value chain must work in concert and work efficiently to provide the expected level of customer service while supporting business goals. With Microsoft unified communications technologies, agents Microsoft Office Live Meeting is a and brokers can communicate quickly and effectively with carriers and other partners through e-mail, IM, mobile and voice over Internet protocol (VoIP), telephony, audio- and videoconferencing, and webconferencing. Claims agents can rapidly and effectively respond to customer needs. Carriers Microsoft RoundTable is a communications can quickly communicate with the network of agents and brokers, providing rapid service and promoting the use of their insurance products over competing products that also are available to the independent agents or brokers. • Office Communicator eliminates the need to keep track of multiple phone numbers, e-mail addresses and IM addresses for a single contact. Office Communicator also More information on Microsoft’s unified recognizes presence information for remote team members, partners and customers over a broad range of devices, applications and networks. It is designed to give users greater control of the telephony experience from - more -
    • Microsoft Unified Communications Technologies for the Financial Services Industry Page 4 their PC regardless of the back-end infrastructure involved, and will expose telephony capabilities through an identity-based, person-centric interface that focuses on the individual’s needs rather than on device-specific requirements. The collaborative environment with IM, presence and integrated telephony allows agents to more quickly and effectively find the right information on the terms and conditions of any policy that the client might have questions about. • Office Live Meeting can enable more effective collaboration with insurance carriers and other parties to answer questions, consider variables, provide illustrations and ultimately give clients the best insurance policy for their needs and budget, all while sharing the same Microsoft Office system documents in real time. A large area for viewing shared documents within Office Live Meeting helps keep people focused on the content. Participants see only the toolbars that are relevant to their individual permissions and the shared content. • If insurance carriers wish to enhance a webconference to make the experience more personal for their network of agents or brokers, they can initiate a videoconference. The RoundTable device coupled with Office Communications Server 2007 provides meeting participants, including those in remote locations, with a panoramic view of everyone in the conference room and close-ups of individual participants, triggered by the voice of the active speaker. • Microsoft unified communications technologies such as Exchange Server 2007 and Office Communications Server 2007 can improve the insurance claims process by speeding collaboration, communication and workflow among the agent, the claims adjuster, the claims department, the body shop and the investigation unit. Streamlining communications helps companies speed the claim process, ultimately helping to reduce costs and improve the customer experience. This is critical in insurance because the quality of the claims experience often determines the length and quality of the customer relationship. Boost the Ability to Address Compliance and Risk Requirements Regulatory changes related to statutory reporting and disclosure continue to place pressure on financial services companies. Growing awareness of the imbalanced access to information, coupled with public pressure for transparency and accountability in the wake of accounting scandals, has led to this increased pressure. There is a strong need to reduce the exposure of financial market participants to systemic vulnerabilities such as the development of intrusion protection plans. Microsoft unified communications technologies help the financial services industry respond to the pressure for corporate accountability and business transparency. Companies can leverage the increased collaboration and communication from these technologies to support risk management, anti-money- laundering procedures, document management and records retention: • Features such as the logging and archiving of IM and e-mail communications allow Exchange Server 2007 and Office Communications Server 2007 to help financial organizations meet regulatory requirements. Financial services employees can have a record of all interactions with customers, partners, advisors and colleagues and can quickly gather past communications for audits or any other needs related to proving compliance. • An employee’s user identity and authentication can be controlled across companies and networks with Office Communications Server 2007 and Exchange Server 2007; an IT administrator can grant specific access rights and permissions to people, computers and resources such as rooms and videoconference equipment. This information is tied to a specific user, regardless of whether he or she is logging in from the company desktop, via a mobile device or remotely via the Internet. Also, - more -
    • Microsoft Unified Communications Technologies for the Financial Services Industry Page 5 the two technologies contain rights management and group policy tools that allow exceptional attention to security, compliance and privacy at every step. - more -
    • Microsoft Unified Communications Technologies for the Financial Services Industry Page 6 • Employees who download consumer-grade IM solutions may expose financial services companies to risks because their IT managers cannot monitor those IM systems. The systems often bypass corporate anti-virus and e-mail scanners, potentially breaching the company’s firewall. Office Communicator, running on Office Communications Server 2007, provides financial services companies with a highly robust and security-enhanced enterprise-IM solution. ######### 1 Data extracted from http://www.microsoft.com/industry/financialservices/banking/businessvalue/siarticle.mspx. 2 Anywhere access requires Internet connectivity. Outlook® Voice Access requires phone connectivity. For more information, press only: Rapid Response Team, Waggener Edstrom Worldwide, (503) 443-7070, rrt@waggeneredstrom.com