Teachers Mutual Bank has deployed the Dell Boomi cloud based integration platform to help it achieve its goal of delivering an omnichannel customer experience, where customer service operators have a completely integrated view of all information relating to a customer.
This would, for example, enable a customer mid-way through an online loan application to pick up the phone and for the operator to know immediately who they were and where they were at with their application.
The move is part of a multimillion dollar, multi-year strategy of Teachers Mutual Bank, which has $6b in assets and 186,000 members, to become more competitive with the Big Four banks and adapt to the digital fintech era.
A 2016 report Unlocking the future of customer experience: trends, challenges and opportunities in Australian & NZ customer experience based on a survey of customer experience professionals said 2016 would see customer experience leaders “prioritise the importance of creating a true omnichannel model, where newly gained insights from customer data can be used to deliver consistent and seamless customer experiences across all contact channels and digital touch points.”
However, according to Dave Chapman, CIO of Teachers Mutual Bank, true omnichannel customer service is an enormous challenge that very few organisations have achieved, but which he is confident his bank will be able to realise thanks to Dell Boomi.
“Omnichannel is a large initiative that Dell Boomi will support that we are looking at right now,” he said. “Dell Boomi will be the orchestrator for the whole system, and we can see how Dell Boomi will support that. We can see how we will achieve it and I did not think I would be able to say that for a few years. I am hoping in a year I will have something out there that covers all the bases.”
He told Computerworld: “I think omnichannel is a brilliant consulting buzzword, it is an enviable destination but you cannot get there unless your data is clean and all in one place and unless you have the orchestration capability to connect everything together and the front end platform and the business processes. And all that is really hard to do.
“I don't know any company where I could go on their web site and get half way through a loan application and call the call centre where they would reliably know who I was where I had got to and what my issue was,” he added.
The bank has been using Dell Boomi for a little over a year and Chapman said it was the last piece of a long-term strategy to enable the bank to get an integrated view of the customer and deliver an omnichannel service.
“We have a program of seven major projects that we think will cost us about $800K and deliver a return of about $3.5m over three years, and that is just the stuff we know.”
Underpinning the bank’s move to omnichannel is a prior initiative to integrate disparate sources of customer information to give it a single view of the customer. Chapman said that project had been completed over several years, and deployment of Boomi represented the next phase of the program.
“We knew that having developed the data warehouse it needed to be aligned with an agile front end of data sharing and connected applications and a holistic view of the customer from the customer’s view.”
The fintech challenge
Adding impetus to the bank’s plan, he said, was the growing importance of agile fintech startups exploiting customer demand for mobile financial services applications.
“It is unbelievable the pace at which mobile apps are coming out. We don’t have a year to design something and get it working, we have about a month. So we needed a flexible cloud-based integration layer that can easily plug things into and unplug them very quickly.”
Providing services to mobiles, he said was particularly important for the bank following its merger with Perth-based credit union Unicredit that was focused on universities. Unicredit has now been rebranded as Unibank and Teachers Mutual intends to take it national targeting university students. “There is no way we can go to a university and not have the latest mobile apps,” Chapman said.
He said the bank had looked at a few tools before opting for Dell Boomi and had been very impressed with Dell support. “Sometimes you go to an RFI and have vendors crawling all over you and saying they will do everything for you and once you have the product they disappear and move on to the next. Dell did not do that at all, they have been with us all the way.”
He added that the bank had been very impressed with the ease and speed with which it is able to integrate disparate systems with Boomi: “It connects everything together really easily so every time we look at a project we don't look at how we will build a link to something, we talk about how we plug Boomi in so it is automated secure and fast. It is changing the conversation.”
Chapman said: “We have connected to Google Analytics and to LinkedIn. We are not pulling in any member data, but we are very interested in what the analytics can do for us. That was a two-week project. We used to contemplate a six to 12 month project for that kind of thing, but a relatively inexperienced person can do it in two weeks.”