Executive Summary: The financial services industry is seeing a seismic shift as employees move to remote or hybrid work models, and firms turn to unified communications (UC) to adapt. But new technology brings new challenges – like how to provision users without wasting loads of time and money. Here’s how to solve it.

Having the right UC solutions in place is key to the future success of financial services companies. Customers expect flexibility in your offerings, and your workforce expects flexibility in your work location requirements. A critical and overlooked component to aid in both the transition to hybrid work and the digitization of collaboration processes is automated provisioning for unified communications applications.

In this post, we break down the current landscape in the financial services industry to show how an automated provisioning solution can help you streamline the management of your UC platform with digital transformation of manual tasks.

The Situation – Hybrid & Remote Work Are Here to Stay

The financial services industry is rapidly changing. New start-ups are popping up every day, while established institutions seek to digitize and modernize their processes through either internal workflow improvements or deployment of automation initiatives.

As we move past the pandemic, hybrid and remote work models have become preferred by most of the workforce. In fact, a December 2020 PwC remote work survey of financial services executives and employees found that only 20% of employees want to be in the office three days or more a week.

This shift in preferences has led to financial services institutions across the globe working to perfect their hybrid work environments while still adhering to strict security and compliance regulations beyond the four walls of the office.

However, with these changes, there is plenty of new opportunities for financial institutions. More customers prefer digital services, and these new remote work models give your employees the flexibility and power to address customer requests anywhere at any time.

The only catch is you need the right technology in place to provide those digital services in a remote work environment.

The Challenge for UC Engineers in Financial Services – Manual, error-prone, inconsistent workflows

Provisioning users with a diverse array of UC applications, across many locations, creates numerous challenges for your IT and UC teams.

Financial institutions use complex UC tech stacks with thousands of users. That means a high volume of move, add, change, and delete (MAC-D) tickets to handle each day. This work is time-consuming. It also distracts from higher-priority projects and initiatives that can impact security and the overall efficiency of the business, as more and more processes need to be digitized.

Done manually, provisioning can lead to mistakes. In addition, if you have a large team of UC or IT professionals handling these provisioning tasks, each person could be setting up your UC applications differently, leading to inconsistencies.

While these side effects may seem minor, they can have major impacts on your UC environment and other critical connected applications. Collaboration between teams and sites will suffer. They can also cause outages and service disruptions for your employees and customer-facing banking apps and communication systems.

Solution – Automated UC Provisioning for the Financial Services Industry

Despite these challenges, solutions exist that can help you reduce, avoid, and even eliminate them from your provisioning workflow.

An automated provisioning solution – like Akkadian Provisioning Manager – can help get rid of those costly provisioning errors and inconsistencies while reducing provisioning times from hours to just seconds.

This software enables your UC team to work from a single pane of glass. That means your team doesn’t have to jump from program to program to provision a user. They can do it all from one program with full visibility into the jobs and data they need.

Akkadian Provision Manager also helps turn provisioning into a job virtually anyone can do, allowing engineers to spend their time on more strategic projects rather than on repetitive manual work. On top of that, thanks to role-based access features in Akkadian Provision Manager, those simple, automated provisioning tasks can be securely off-loaded to a HelpDesk.

Other helpful features of Akkadian Provisioning Manager include:

  • Full-cycle, zero touch automation via integrations with Active Directory and ServiceNow
  • Real-time directory number management
  • API Triggers to extend provisioning actions outside of supported UC platforms (Cisco Collaboration, Webex and Microsoft Teams).
  • Bulk provisioning
  • Role-based access to securely off-load provisioning tasks to a HelpDesk
  • Remote phone control to access Cisco IP phones to test, place calls, and change settings
  • High availability for automated roll-over to maximize uptime
  • Multi-cluster support across all your CUCM clusters
  • Detailed reporting using SQL database queries to generate reports from CUCM

Expected Outcomes

Financial institutions that use an automated provisioning solution will ultimately create new process efficiencies and cost savings.

It takes only hours to go from implementing Akkadian Provisioning Manager to achieving zero-touch, full-cycle provisioning. Once your solution is up and running, your teams can focus on strategic projects that will have greater impact on the business, like security and compliance improvements.

Your UC teams and engineers will be happier, too, doing less tedious provisioning work. You can even offload provisioning tasks, no matter how complex, to a HelpDesk while maintaining a secure environment.

Your UC system will also experience less downtime from errors, meaning your entire organization can communicate with customers and onboard new clients without delay. In addition, your employees can maintain a flexible remote or hybrid work schedule that will keep them happy and be attractive to new recruits.

All these improvements will result in a seamless collaboration between teams, which in turn will lead to better service delivery and a smoother customer experience.

Conclusion – Don’t Overlook UC Provisioning Automation

Financial services institutions are going through a lot of change with shifts to digital services and hybrid work happening in parallel. It can be easy to overlook the importance of something like the provisioning of a UC environment.

However, automated provisioning solutions, like the solutions offered by Akkadian Labs, can be critical to the overall success of these transitions. As your company institutes new tech solutions and practices, make sure that automated provisioning is included. The time-savings and scalability will ensure the transition to a digital environment is as smooth and secure as it can be.

Looking to securely streamline the provisioning of the UC applications used in your financial services company? Talk to Akkadian Labs to schedule a demo today.