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citizens Bsnk
Video conferencing and technology enables cultural change within Citizens Bank
  • 191 years old.
  • 1,100 branches and 2,900 ATMs across 11 states.
  • 24th largest bank in the United States.
  • 400,000 collaboration meetings/year.
  • 75 million minutes of meetings/year.
  • $162.7 billion in total assets.*

In numbers, this is Citizens Bank. But there is much more to their story.

Customer-centric approach

Citizens Bank is one of the nation’s oldest and largest financial institutions. Their goal? To help the people they serve reach their full potential. With a customer-centric approach, they bring a wealth of knowledge to banking, insurance, and investment services.

In 2018, Citizens Bank saw a growth opportunity for their company. One that could position them as a technologically progressive bank and allow them to compete with even larger banks in their industry.

This opportunity took the form of a digital transformation project.

New collaboration experience

Eric Johnson, Head of Workplace technology of Citizens Bank, was interviewed about the plan. The objective was to select a new, consolidated and integrated collaboration experience for everyone in the company. They wanted the technology they were using, to work together. And they wanted to enable employees to work from anywhere, on any device. Things that used to be manual, like picking up the phone to have a meeting, would now be streamlined. He explained that to do this [transformation project], “they looked at the market to see who had a world-class reputation.” After evaluating vendors, they chose Cisco and migrated the entire company onto the Cisco Collaboration experience. From mobile devices, to the contact center, to desk phones. It sparked a huge cultural shift.

The meeting experience was important for Citizens Bank. It was essential that all colleagues experienced the same thing, whether sitting at a desk, a conference room, at their house, or in their car. Johnson states, “from a cultural standpoint, we ripped the Band-Aid off.” Meaning that they hit the ground running with the Webex deployment, with readily available video conferencing software and conference rooms set up so people could begin collaborating in this new way– all integrated from end-to-end, with top-notch video and audio quality.

Every meeting at Citizens Bank is now video enabled, which has created a more flexible work style and progressed the cultural shift. In addition, Webex technology has made a huge impact on how and where employees work not only with each other, but also with their clients.

Benefits and beyond

The benefits to this project have been numerous. Teams would often have to wait to make a decision until someone came into the office so they could discuss it. But now they make decisions immediately by having a video call, or sharing a file through Webex Meetings and Webex Teams. In addition, technology adoption scores are exceeding growth predications and have improved by 25% in the past quarter alone. And on top of that, hiring at Citizens Bank is no longer limited to applicants in a certain location. They can now hire the best talent for each new opening.

Going forward, Johnson says that Citizens Bank is looking forward to an even tighter integration of the collaboration experience from the branch to the contact center, and from colleagues to customers. They are looking forward to AI capabilities which will continue to streamline meeting workflows, and enable things like automatic note-taking in meetings, which can all be done in the background.

Citizens Bank is leading the way by technologically changing how they work and how they meet.

Learn more about their story and check out their video here:


*Numbers as of June 30, 2019

Try Cisco Webex video conferencing today. Check out the free offer, here.

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Team collaboration for Small Business
How to pick the best video conferencing software for your small business

Why do you schedule meetings in the first place? Most of the time, you’re probably aiming to review strategy with a specific team, facilitate training for a product/campaign, or connect with new prospects or colleagues in other offices. Too often, though, meetings don’t really deliver and instead only waste a lot of everyone’s time.

These unproductive meetings are especially costly now that teams are increasingly remote and mobile. Much of their time spent together is in collaboration software, instead of in person. That raises the stakes for finding just the right video conferencing solution, one that keeps everyone in sync with as few distractions, technical hiccups, and barriers to participation as possible.

Can video conferencing enable better meetings?

Why do so many meetings underdeliver? Start with a practice that is often regarded as a virtue but can be a real vice during a meeting: multitasking.

According to a Microsoft Workplace Analytics study, the typical manager spends more than a quarter of their weekly meeting time multitasking. Since so many meetings now occur via phone or audio conferencing tools, there are more opportunities than ever to do almost anything other than focus on the call at hand.

When someone sends an email during a meeting or can be heard busily typing while someone else is talking, it’s both a distraction and a signal that it’s OK for all meeting participants to do the same. Everyone’s productivity suffers.

Fortunately, there’s a proven solution: video conferencing software. Video conferencing tools such as Cisco Webex allow meeting rooms to be hosted and joined from anywhere with lifelike quality and fewer distractions. The results speak for themselves: Almost 90% of Webex Meetings users report shorter and more effective meetings.

That’s not to say that other modes of collaboration, including instant messaging and desktop sharing, are insufficient – only that they’re best paired with a video conferencing service that keeps participants engaged.

Plus, video conferencing tools have utility beyond internal meetups. They’re also a great way to differentiate your small- or medium-sized business (SMB) by personalizing your customer service operations, with the same benefits for focus, context, and clarity that video brings to your own meetings.

5 features to prioritize to find the best video conferencing software

When shopping for the best video conferencing software for your SMB, focus on the breadth and depth of features it offers, how they fit together, and what they can do to engage mobile and remote workers, not to mention their overall usability.

Let’s go into more detail on where a standout solution will distinguish itself:

1. Video and audio quality

Video conferencing should provide quality far beyond that of a regular phone call, but many potential issues can still mess it up. Background noise, choppy video, and various hardware-software complications are all common stumbling blocks.

You’ve probably been in a meeting or two where some participants joined in an on-site conference rooms and others connected remotely via their laptops or dialed in from their phones while in transit. The quality of these different connections and the ensuing interactions are often highly inconsistent.

To address this problem, Webex is built to deliver unparalleled video quality from anywhere. Customizing the meeting layout is easy and you can join from a wide variety of desktop and mobile devices, plus any standards-based video conferencing system.

2.  Ease of joining and participating

The common experience of an in-person meeting that takes too long to start has, unfortunately, made a seamless transition to the video conferencing world. Thanks to features such as complicated PINs, as well as the rigamarole of needing to download dedicated apps, plugins, and more, it’s not unusual for 10+ minutes to be wasted right away.

Simply joining from the device of your choice shouldn’t be the most difficult part of the meeting – and it doesn’t have to be. The best conferencing software—like Webex—puts you in the driver’s seat with options like:

  • Joining from any web browser, with no download or configuration required.
  • Having the meeting join you, with a convenient Call Me feature.
  • Scheduling, starting, and joining from your toolbar with Productivity Tools.

3. Remote technical support

If your SMB maintains several remote offices or provides online customer service, video conferencing paired with features such as Voice over IP (aka VoIP) calling provides a powerful alternative to costly on-site visits and protracted back-and-forths over email.

Video in particular offers unique opportunities for personalized and hands-on support. A representative could walk someone through a fix with the help of visual aids after getting a live look at the issue in question. Other in-session features such as desktop sharing and application access make it easier to get to the heart of the problem without any expensive travel.

Keeping internal users happy helps with morale and engagement, especially if they’re remote and perhaps concerned about receiving adequate assistance from IT.

Meanwhile, the rich real-time customer support possible through Webex leads to more of them coming back. A study published in Harvard Business Review found that customers with the best experiences spent 140% more than ones with the least satisfying interactions.

4. Use case flexibility

Video conferencing is a versatile medium. It can work equally well as a way for a small group to trade ideas and as a forum for literally thousands of meeting participants to listen to a keynote broadcast – as long as the right technology is in place, at least.

You shouldn’t have to second-guess your video conferencing platform (for example, “Will it send a correct invite to everyone’s calendar?”) when you go to schedule a meeting. To make your life easier, the best video conferencing software seamlessly integrates with the most commonly used productivity and collaboration tools. Combined with the platform’s reliable infrastructure, this broad compatibility lets you hold meetings on your terms.

Whether you’re hosting a big conference for 10,000 invitees or huddling up with a remote team, a platform like Webex lets you get everyone together as painlessly as possible. Integrations with all major calendar software in addition to tools like Salesforce make the journey even smoother.

5. Cost-effective collaboration

By itself, a high-quality video conference is a reliable way to ensure more focused meetings. When you add in additional collaboration features such as screen sharing, call recording, and social media sharing, you provide even more of the context and interactivity that make video so useful for today’s teams.

As a small business person, being able to conduct a quick presentation within video chat lets you hold productive, cost-effective meetings from virtually anywhere.  No need to herd cats (and invest a lot of your time/money) just to get everyone in one physical location – it’s all in crystal-clear detail on the screen.

Plus, features like call recording preserve and extend the value of the meeting. If someone missed out and needs to catch up, they can easily refer back to the Webex recording.

Ready to chart a new course with your video conferencing software?

Video conferencing can yield powerful strategic advantages to your SMB, and getting started is easy. With just your email address, you can try out Cisco Webex for free today with a 30-day trial. Visit this page for more details!

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