Newcastle Building Society (NBS) has adopted a new voice and data system to improve customer service and branch network profitability.
The building society has installed an IP virtual private network (VPN) from BT across its 49 branches, head office and call centre to reallocate work more effectively across the organisation.
It is also being used alongside Citrix's thin client tools to distribute new applications to branches from a central point.
The new VoIP system allows NBS to make cheaper telephone calls over the same network it uses to transfer data.
"One of the big issues facing banks and building societies is how to keep the branch network profitable," said Colin Greaves, general manager at NBS.
"Branches are affected by peaks and troughs in customer demand. Through the virtualisation project we can channel work around the company electronically and ensure that branches remain cost effective."
By increasing bandwidth the VPN allows the building society to reallocate tasks, such as transaction processing, to less busy branches.
NBS is also using the system to improve customer service by switching phone enquiries from the call centre over to branches at peak times.
"It allows us to answer a higher volume of customer calls more quickly and therefore offer an even better service to our customers," said Greaves.
NBS also said it was hoping to use the workload reallocation technology to generate additional revenues by taking on third-party processing work from other financial institutions.
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