The bank's roots in Ireland have been principally as a commercial bank with the legacy ICC business, but the last few years have seen dramatic changes, as staff members have mushroomed from 350 to around 1200, and the bank has expanded into the retail sector. From home loans and savings to credit cards and mortgages, Bank of Scotland (Ireland) is now a strong contender in the competitive retail banking arena, and it needs to ensure that its information infrastructure supports its drive to deliver superior customer service.
SoftCo had provided scanning and archiving services to the bank since 1994, and Bank of Scotland (Ireland) was keen to expand use of SoftCo technology to other business areas and divisions. The SoftCo solution presented the ideal means of rollout across the enterprise thanks to its key features, including universal direct access from the web browser, session timeouts which ensure the system is always available to users who really need it, seamless integration with workflow, and outstanding resiliency.
The SoftCo release let the bank roll out the benefits of SoftCo technology across the organisation at an opportune time. In preparation for relocation to new premises on Stephen's Green in Dublin, the bank was able to quickly train dozens of new users to scan and archive a massive amount of paper documentation, eliminating the need to physically move the paper to the new offices.
The sophisticated, multi-tiered permissions of the SoftCo solution means that highly sensitive human resources documents can securely reside in the bank's single unified archive, accessible only to authorised users. And convenient mobile scanning stations, attached to laptops, allow the bank to bring scanning right into HR, so sensitive documents never need to leave their location.
The SoftCo system also provides much greater peace of mind for the bank in terms of its disaster recovery and resiliency. With the SoftCo system all of the bank's servers are protected, both via clustering and via real-time backups to an off-site disaster recovery operation.
Server clustering ensures high availability for the bank's key applications, including its back-end database and its user front end applications, even if essential hardware, network resources or the operating system should fail. The entire cluster, including all essential applications, is replicated in real time to a secure facility off-site. This means that the bank can gain rapid access to all its key applications, even in the event that its primary infrastructure is destroyed or experiences complete failure. As the bank actively grows its customer base in line with its expansion into the retail market, such resiliency is essential to ensure uninterrupted, high-quality service for its clients.
And of course, the SoftCo solution also ensures that the bank's call centre staff and other customer-facing personnel have fast and up-to-date access to customer information they need, when they need it. Whether customers are seeking to check the progress of their loan application or have a simple account query, the SoftCo system lets bank staff see both the customer information and the supporting documentation they might require.
"The SoftCo people are very professional, I have to say - - they know their Business inside out, and they are very supportive," said Collette Kilty, Senior Manager in the Banking Services Division at Bank of Scotland (Ireland). "When we went live with the system, there were people here from SoftCo on the floor, ready to help anyone who had a question. They're very technically competent and keep us up to date, too. They hold regular sessions for us about what's coming down the track."
Bank of Scotland (Ireland), a long-time client of SoftCo, has ensured that its information infrastructure meets its business needs by upgrading to the latest release:
Bank of Scotland (Ireland)