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Collaboration: No Office Needed

by | Sep 29, 2020

Six months into the pandemic-forced remote working environment, and our clients have proven that collaboration with their clients continues effortlessly – with the right tools.  

No stuffy, crowded commute. No missed deliveries. No more guilt about leaving the dog on its own. Working from home certainly has its perks. And when it was a choice, it made an occasional and pleasant change from the office.

Researchers have noted that working from home can be just as productive as working in the office – or more so. A trial at a Chinese travel firm showed that working from home during a nine-month period resulted in a 13% increase in performance (equivalent to almost an extra day’s work per week).

But that was before COVID. For countless financial services professionals around the globe, working from home, often in difficult circumstances, is now the daily reality, and the boundaries between work and home are fuzzier than ever. This is rapidly reshaping corporate culture for the good in some ways, but there are serious concerns that the lack of in-person interaction will weaken team cohesion.

While it might be unrealistic to expect improvements on the scale of the Chinese study, with the right tools and technology it is possible to maintain and even strengthen collaboration and productivity. So, six months into these new working arrangements, with the distractions of home (good and bad) ever present, how have these been impacted?

Following the rapid shift en masse to remote environments and initial mad scramble to plug the most glaring gaps in their technology infrastructure, banking and capital markets businesses have started looking at longer-term, more permanent solutions to ensure their client-facing teams can continue to collaborate and provide a seamless service, regardless of location.

CRM has long been the cornerstone of a financial institution’s data aggregation and collaboration efforts and mobile platforms have been crucial to the success of sales teams during this period, with adoption increasing sharply. Employees previously spent much of their time at their office desks, so interest in mobile was relatively low – and applications often failed to meet the needs of their users. But as demand has soared, investment in cloud and mobile infrastructure has risen, which is driving a new wave of innovation in the space.

We have seen mobile CRM become a key part of employees’ ability to collaborate and share information in real-time while working from home. Call report usage for most of our clients, for example, is up by over 200%, with some reporting increases of up to 500% over the past six months!

Mobile can also help with network capacity, which may seem counterintuitive. In March, with the COVID crisis in full swing, one of our clients had tens of thousands of employees all hitting their VPN simultaneously. Tier1’s mobile application helped alleviate the burden, as traffic directed from employees’ mobile devices rather than laptops was routed directly to the cloud, bypassing the VPN and reducing network load.

VPN aside, mobile users expect the same level of efficiency and overall experience as their desktop provides – including account and contact lists, pipeline management – along with the security, connectivity and workflows that capital markets and investment banking professionals require when not in the office.

A customizable mobile app configured to users’ desktop workflows delivers a consistent view across operating systems, eliminating the need to view disparate workstreams. IT administrators must also have the ability to control and manage the distribution of the mobile app to end-users, while optimizing the functionality and security of mobile devices across the enterprise.  Not only does this increase collaboration and transparency, but also mitigates business risk.

As some bank employees start taking their first tentative steps back into the office, it is clear that there will be no large-scale return any time soon. This further solidifies the key role of mobile CRM in strengthening collaboration and driving results – and crucially, will minimize the impact of working remotely.

To learn more about Tier1’s global relationship management and workflow solutions for capital markets and investment banking, or to request a Tier1 Mobile demo, contact us.

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