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National Australia Bank cut expenses using video conferencing

Making the use of video conferencing and collaborative technology a central part of their business practises has helped The Bank of Australia cut travel expenses by 40%, says the firm’s chief technology officer.

Last month Thor Essman told delegates at Tandberg’s Visual Communications summit – a conference discussing the benefits of video conferencing to business – how the bank had changed its strategy over the past two years. Previously, Essman says that the bank’s ability to communicate between its 1,808 branches and service centres worldwide was fairly basic, describing it as “black text on a white page.”

Over the past two and a half years Essman has upgraded the bank’s systems to include powerful communication’s servers, allowing the firm to incorporate video conferencing services and live meeting applications. According to CIO Australia, within three months of making the changes there was a 15% reduction in e-mail due to a corresponding adoption of video conferencing.

Essman says that though the amount of data moving across the bank’s networks has dramatically increased, it has seen huge savings of nearly half of their annual travel expenses as well as creating a more environmentally friendly workplace.

In a subsequent interview with CIO Australia, National Australia Bank’s data centre manager, Glenn Allen, said that video conferencing was a central part of his company’s ‘Green IT’ strategy.

“We’re looking at OCS [office communications server] video conferencing to reduce our footprint in flights and we’re getting really good feedback” said Allen. He says that branches in rural locations will be able to cut travel time in half by making use of video conferencing services.