FNZ partners with major financial institutions to enable them to provide wealth-management services to their clients across direct, intermediated, and workplace channels. FNZ is based in Edinburgh, UK, and has over 2,500 staff worldwide. For a firm of this stature, failsafe communications are paramount.
An organisation like FNZ, which is not only global in reach but also in wealth management and investment operations technology, simply cannot afford for its voice-led communications to be anything less than exemplary. The effectiveness of their communications technology needed to stand as a reflection of the performance of the company itself.
FNZ needed to know that whether they were communicating internally, liaising with partners or receiving/making calls to clients, that they could rely on their systems, and also achieve internal efficiencies through all communications being streamlined on one platform.
We could not afford for our voice-led communications to be anything less than exemplary.
Nick Dunford, Head of Workplace Technology, FNZ
“FNZ provides a unique combination of wealth management technology, IT infrastructure and industrial scale back office investment operations, which are seamlessly integrated as a service operating model. We develop long-term partnerships with our customers to enable them to get to market quickly with a market-leading digital proposition. It means they can provide multi-channel, multi device wealth management services that span the entire wealth management value chain.
This being the case, if our communications are below par, it affects both the functioning and the reputation of our organisation – and prior to changing our systems to Conversant, this was the case.”
Conversant consulted with FNZ over the next six months, understanding their existing IT infrastructure, capturing requirements, developing a scope of works, pilot testing and making site visits to all UK locations consulting with key members of staff.
The impact of COVID-19 further highlighted significant shortfalls in the capabilities of the existing systems, as overnight, additional needs such as compliant working from home, hybrid working and location-agnostic Contact Centre services, with uninterrupted customer service, became top priority.
Because the initial consultations had already taken place, it meant that when Conversant was formally appointed, we were ready to help springboard FNZ’s solutions into action when Covid hit in early 2020. Conversant became FNZ’ technology partner for all their unified communications needs, using MS Teams as the focal point and umbrella which held all the other elements together, connecting staff working from home, and ensuring call quality as well as information sharing.
Implementing Teams was recognised as crucial to our continued success and growth.
“We knew by the time Covid hit that Teams was the way to go, because of the cohesion and holistic approach it provides,” said Nick. “We could use it for all internal and external calls, chats, file storage, sharing, video conferencing, archiving and more, saving considerable time moving from platform to platform, and also insuring us against downtime and service failures. It also future-proofed us, with a system that guarantees the latest technical updates and provides upgrades in terms of numbers of user licences on an on-demand basis. This, bearing in mind our rapid growth through acquisition, was crucial.”
In early 2020,Conversant delivered a holistic hybrid working and unified communications platform, using Teams, for over 1,500 users across the UK and Europe. This included:
PSTN Calling for Teams with Domestic and International Call Packages
Compliant MiFID II Call Recording – vital for the financial sector
Contact Centre solution – to enable full inbound and outbound call management, custom workflows, skill-based call routing and caller options, with full real-time reporting and analytics for agents, supervisors and managers
Managed support service
Teams certified devices – Wireless Headsets and IP handsets
Optimised licence management, tailored for growth
All services were provided from Conversant’s proprietary platform, and from our 24/7 support locations based in Bristol and Cwmbran (Wales).
The first phase of the deployment was therefore completed against a backdrop of national and international lockdowns, which forced FNZ to go completely virtual in the very early phases of migrating to the new system.
“It was a real challenge, there were 3 separate contact centre locations that needed migrating simultaneously to avoid any downtime.
But the phone system service was not disrupted, and outsourced contracts were maintained at 100% uptime. As all FNZ offices closed, Conversant deployed all solutions in MS Teams, providing a single interface for all staff, internal and external communications. Avaya, SfB, and Zoom were all retired. This involved porting all phone numbers, migrating services, and customer routing.
In Phase 2, Compliant Call Recording, Analytics, Business Intelligence, and Reporting were then rolled out to selected users to provide management with full sight of all company communications, creating an environment that was compliant strict financial sector rules.
In the final phase, as locations came back online during 2021, a hybrid working environment was created to ensure all users could access Conversant solutions and services regardless of the location. Conversant successfully managed the provision of remote devices to home workers, ensuring complete safety for users, in tandem with the FNZ project team. Meanwhile, all FNZ’ acquisition companies have been fully assimilated into the Conversant platform with zero downtime.
Connected over 1,500 global users to a single, integrated Microsoft Teams-based system
Enabled FNZ to implement a functioning remote and hybrid Unified Communication solution across continents with a fully managed support service
Future-proofed the communications needs of the organisation
Provided contact centre and financial compliance recording solutions that seamlessly integrate with MS Teams
It has been an unmitigated success. Conversant’s centralised platform has significantly reduced the time it takes to incorporate new users, regardless of location.