Ferrari electronic: See the big picture:unified communications
Founded in 1946 and owned by commercial banks based in Austria, OeKB is the country's main financial and information services for the export economy and capital markets. When it needed a new unified communication, it turned to Ferrari electronic.
OeKB (Oesterreichische Kontrollbank) believes that modern communication and information technology is an essential requirement to being able to fulfil tasks to the highest possible quality. Therefore, the institute had its PBX converted in 2014 after an extensive pilot phase on internet protocol (IP) and integrated access control, based on the Microsoft Lync environment. The result was a world premiere: the first Lync-compatible video intercom, which provides access with a simple click. With a professional telephone recording solution, the unified communications (UC) system was expanded further this year.
Beautiful can hardly begin to describe the company's headquarters in the heart of Vienna near Burgtheater, surrounded by historic palaces and churches, from which the specialised institution OeKB offers a variety of services for business, banking and government organisations. Those active in these sensitive areas of business need to be able to rely on a functioning and trouble-free technical infrastructure. The services of OeKB include:
- federal export guarantees and refinancing of exports and foreign investment
- capital market services for exchange, issuers, financial institutions and investors
- energy market services for the electricity and gas sectors research services for decision-makers
- services on behalf and for the account of the Republic of Austria.
The IT department that handles the information and communication technology of this international institution, which has 70 employees, is headed by Maria Stadler and Lech Ledóchowski.
"We are not only here for the ongoing maintenance of telecommunications systems, or for installation and configuration," says Ledóchowski. "Our tasks also mean that we are dealing with new technologies and opportunities, and we explore it and how to ensure that the quality can improve our customer service." This was the case in the search for a new PBX.
A strong team
OeKB was supported in this search by Solvion information management, a long-standing partner of UC specialist Ferrari electronic. Klaus Schwaberger, chief operations officer at Solvion, supervised OeKB and often cooperated with the Berlin-based UC provider, Ferrari electronic.
"I know that I can count on the expertise and commitment of Ferrari electronic for any matter," he confessed.
Working together closely, Schwaberger, Ledóchowski and their team examined the conversion of traditional ISDN telecommunications systems to IP. A solution based on Microsoft Exchange and Lync was installed during a pilot phase in two departments of OeKB. Today, all companies of OeKB Group communicate throughout Austria with Lync and Ferrari electronic's OfficeMaster Gate, and the experiences have been positive.
"The system runs reliably and smoothly. The communication of the employees of the group has been greatly improved, as can be seen through the conscious presence control. And there is even more internal and external Lync videoconferencing held than we had anticipated," says Ledóchowski.
Standard solution: none
OeKB also had requirements for the new system. After all, potential calls could affect banking. It was desired that the access control be easily operated from individual's desks, as the 'manual' solution was no longer practical: the pressing of a button controlled by the department assistant. Were this not the case, then another employee had to leave their desk to allow access to colleagues or visitors. This was a very uncomfortable solution; firstly, because the workflow has been interrupted and, secondly, because an immediate response was not guaranteed. These requests and system automations could be fulfilled by a UC specialist.
The search for a suitable IP-based video intercom that was Lync-compatible proved difficult. Those responsible quickly discovered that no such solution was available on the market. For Schwaberger, the matter was clear.
"By this time, almost the entire product portfolio of Ferrari electronic was in use at OeKB - OfficeMaster Gate allowed fax, voicemail and SMS to be integrated - so it was natural to consider, together with the Berlin UC specialists, how the request could be realised via a Lync-based access control," he says.
For Johann Deutinger, CSO at Ferrari electronic, this request was no surprise, "IP PBXs offer many features that classical systems do not, to which users have now become accustomed, such as the integration of alarm systems, door openers and franking machines. The integration of video-intercom systems for the door is one of them," he says. "But, for Ferrari electronic, such requirements fit precisely with its preferred projects, as at the end of the day, the customer is always getting what they had in mind."
OfficeMaster EntryControl: unique video door intercom
Together with its partners, Berlin UC experts developed a solution that can be configured as needed. From the idea, to the common prototype to finished product took only three months. This flexibility and the Ferrari electronic licensing model convinced OeKB.
The new solution works like a conventional door-opening system: as soon as a visitor rings, the software transfers the call to the Lync server and provides it to the intercom in the Lync client. The employees within the relevant departments at OeKB simultaneously see a corresponding video image. Anyone can then establish the voice connection, and permit access from the desktop by clicking on the door-opener button. Once an employee takes care of these visitors and the intercom is activated, this will also be visible for all other colleagues.
Telephone recording with OfficeMaster EyeSDN: full transparency in telephone banking transactions
Another goal, which was reached with the decision for a new telecommunications solution, also had to be realised - the recording of telephone conversations. This can be useful in some situations; particularly in the financial sector where the telephone recording can be legally binding. When bank transactions are conducted by phone, such as securities or stock transactions, then they must be verifiable via recordings.
With OfficeMaster EyeSDN, OeKB has, since the first quarter 2015, been using a professional and reliable solution to record corresponding phone calls. Additional functions could easily be integrated into the existing phone solution. The hardware and software components make it possible to be easily and legally compliant when capturing calls to the OeKB premises and to store them in an audit-proof way. Password protection and encrypted storage of the recordings provide the necessary level of security.
Ferrari electronic accommodated several requirements in a unified communications solution for OeKB. Telephone recording and access control are central components of the communication system. Thus, OeKB not only meets the legal requirements in telephone banking, but is also able to communicate within the group effectively.