MULTISITE COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEMS ROLLOUT:
Major Provider of Check Cashing & Related Services
From a customer service perspective, the financial services industry has much in common with the retail sector. Individual branch locations operate like retail stores and are often situated in shopping centers. As in retail, effective communication between customer-facing staff and management is essential to the delivery of a high-quality customer experience. Because branch locations typically lack IT staff, they need a communications system that is consistent, highly reliable and easy to use.
A major provider of check cashing and related services needed to roll out Zoom phones to approximately 1,400 locations nationwide, some in rural locations. Because of the scope of the initiative, the company decided to conduct a series of pilot projects to test the capabilities of four installation service providers. Each was given 100 sites to complete.
SirviS quickly emerged as a leader in the effort. The project required rigorous project planning and management and strong communication — skills SirviS is known for. SirviS completed the work at its assigned sites accurately and efficiently, and was selected as one of two providers to complete the rollout.
Level 2 technicians with expertise in voice communication technologies were deployed to each site to install three to seven Zoom phones and a network switch. The existing network cabling was often messy, and the techs had to spend time tracing, organizing and labeling the cables. Once the new equipment was installed and configured, the technicians had to call the customer’s Network Operations Center (NOC) to complete the implementation process.
SirviS completed six or seven sites per week to meet the customer’s scheduling objectives. Going forward, the project will be broken into additional phases of about 100 sites each. The customer opted to use two providers in order to complete the entire initiative in 18 months.
SirviS was tasked with integrating millions of dollars of advanced technology, some of which had not been operated outside of a lab environment and was still undergoing evaluations and certification. What’s more, SirviS was asked to take over from another provider, and had not been involved in the early decision-making. In some instances, SirviS engineers had to completely rearchitect the solution to meet project requirements. Their deep expertise in networking technologies helped to ensure the success of the initiative.
All of the equipment was brought into the SirviS Global Integration Center to be inventoried, tested for basic functionality, and prepared for configuration. The SirviS team then “racked and stacked” the equipment, performed pre-configuration, and ran the equipment through burn-in testing and validation. Once the fully populated racks were shipped to the customer’s sites, it was simply a matter of plugging in the equipment and connecting it to the network.
When awarded the initial project, SirviS immediately lined up technicians with the expertise needed to complete the work. The project management team opted to use the same technicians in certain regions, even if some travel was involved. This allowed the techs to become familiar with the customer’s environment, and helped to ensure consistency across the locations.
It proved to be an astute move on the part of the project managers. The customer provided an installation guide, but it didn’t always reflect what the technicians were finding in the field. There was a lot of trial and error. But the technicians felt empowered to provide feedback as to the challenges and suggest smarter ways of handling the implementation. The customer is very open to communication and has continued to revise the installation guide based upon the recommendations of the SirviS project managers and field personnel.
The customer provides a list of sites to be scheduled according to priority, indicating days when work may or may not be performed. The SirviS project management team pulled together all the information and scheduled the field technicians to ensure the highest levels of efficiency and least impact on the customer’s operations.