Companies today face significant environmental and social challenges that threaten their potential for sustainable growth. At the same time, the regulatory landscape is evolving, new technologies are emerging faster than ever before, and customer behaviour is changing.

In light of the need for improved business and operational processes and sustainability, financial businesses can’t afford to fall behind. Data sharing and collaboration across all internal channels, as well as the management of the remote workforce, make important modernization poles in all banking and insurance companies.

Especially in 2020, when the trends in the financial industry clearly show a tendency of all activities migrating towards a digital infrastructure, financial businesses must find ways to improve their data-sharing processes and achieve a sustainable business model in order to remain competitive in the market.

Sustainable business models start with data

Data is the main change catalyst in a client-facing business. Customer information, behaviour, as well as sensitive data about platform users are at the disposal of financial organizations. These can leverage data and ensure trend predictability.

By properly gathering and analyzing metrics, financial businesses can obtain insights that will show them what they need to change in terms of operations. It might be an internal approval flow that is hindering efficiency or loads of manual work which keeps the company from smoothly running the business processes. In any scenario, ageing infrastructure and paper-based processes must be addressed and fixed. Moreover, collaboration flows and data-sharing processes need to be kept in line with modern requirements and changing customer demands.

Creating a collaboration app for enhanced internal cooperation

One of our clients in the financial industry found themself in a challenging situation in which their internal cooperation and data-sharing processes were lagging. To gain agility and improve efficiency, the company needed a personalized solution to improve sharing and collaboration company-wide.

Discovery and Challenges

Before the creation of this custom application, the company's managers and their assistants had no easy way of sharing information gathered during internal or external meetings. Some assistants kept all information in physical printed folders, while others were filing everything in digital mailing versions. There was no centralized solution valid throughout the company. Such a way of working meant wasted time, sensitive data being spread around various tools and a lack of informational coherence.

The solution our teams provided was to create an iPad Pro App for the managers and a web-based interface for the assistants. This allowed both parties to easily collaborate before, during and after all meetings. A Windows App for all employees was also created as part of this project.

Design and Development

We began the collaboration with a 2-day workshop during which we were able to identify the needs of the targeted personas. This further enabled us to provide solutions for smooth user experience. During the workshop, we discovered two key personas:

  • Assistants - they needed to gather & organize documents for selected meetings. All the documents created during or for a meeting needed to be uploaded in the meeting folder and categorized. Also, in case of modifications and changes, they needed to be notified on time.
  • Managers - their requirements were more connected to visibility issues. They needed to see what meetings they had in a specific timeframe, what documents they need to be aware of before and during the meetings. Besides that, they needed to take notes and immediately upload them in designated folders for the assistant to retrieve them and act accordingly.

During the workshop, our specialists assessed the existing solutions in terms of costs and specifications and came up with a solution that would benefit the company. As key features identified during the workshop, the app would allow its users to:

  • Collaborate on meeting folders
  • Add files of different extensions and formats in a single folder (Doc, Excel, PPT, video, photos, links)
  • Take handwritten notes on existing files and transform them into typed text
  • Create and manage internal tasks (To do, Resubmission, Reminders) as meeting follow-up
  • Share meeting folders or parts thereof with relevant stakeholders
  • Sign important documents

Working as an autonomous product team, our specialists ensured full product ownership, from the UX design phase to development and operational support. Our team was in charge of clarifying business requirements, clearly stating the business cases, refining high-level functional and non-functional requirements, technology stack, establish the methodology and processes, as well as the operational and further improvement workshops.

Delivery and Results

This collaboration application enabled improved sharing between managers and their personal assistants, especially for the meeting preparation and the minutes. As an immediate consequence, it allowed the company to save time and offer an increased sense of transparency. The app enables rapid exchange of information, thus decreasing the time needed for sharing or changing sensitive data.

The company also became "greener", as the app had a great role in supporting the goal of being a paper-free company. 

Conclusion

Given the need to improve business and operational processes and sustainability, financial institutions cannot afford to fall behind. Data sharing and collaboration in all internal channels and staff management in remote locations are important modernization areas in all banking and insurance companies.

A custom application as a personalized solution for specific personas in the internal operational environment can enable improved business operations and ensure the minimization of manual work, offer transparency and help companies become greener.

Other insights

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