Abbey Banks on Open Text to Consolidate Information Systems

Abbey was faced with years of files that comprised more than 100,000 hard copy documents, when it made the decision to move from a paper-based office culture to an environment where all its product and procedural data is available on a single, web-based consolidated network. Open Text Livelink Web Content Management (WCM) server helped Abbey achieve its goal in just three months. The new automated system enhanced Abbey staff’s online experience and significantly increased customer satisfaction.

A leading financial organisation

Abbey is one of the UK’s leading financial services companies, offering a full range of services to more than 18 million customers in Britain and abroad. Its services include mortgages and loans, savings, personal and business accounts, credit cards, long-term investments including pensions and unit trusts, and household insurance. Abbey was one of the first banks to harness the potential of the Web – both externally for its customers and internally for staff.

Historical legacy

The day-to-day running of Abbey depends heavily on a vast database of technical manuals that include detailed information on product policies and procedures, historical background on customers, the financial advice that has been given to each customer and the status of their accounts. Historically, this database took the form of paper files running to more than 100,000 documents.

A decision was made to move away from a paper-based culture to an online environment and to convert the technical manuals – or the "Bookstore," as it is known internally – to electronic files. The conversion coincided with the consolidation of Abbey’s eight existing Intranets into one single repository. This web-based network would become home to all Abbey’s product and procedural data.

Providing a solution

Abbey wanted to ensure that the new Intranet not only met the staff’s needs, but that it actually exceeded them. Its goal was to give its employees the most positive online experience possible, which would in turn translate directly to increased customer satisfaction. The Open Text Livelink WCM Server was utilised to consolidate the networks, simplify content management and enable in-house content authoring.

Livelink WCM Server was chosen for its ease-of-use, flexibility and open architecture, which enables simple integration with other products and technologies. The software infrastructure components of Livelink WCM Server are based on an object-oriented approach and a relational database structure as opposed to a standard file system. This innovative approach delivers significant usability, speed and storage capabilities to Abbey.

The migration of the Bookstore’s complex paper documents was achieved in three months, coinciding with the consolidation of the various disparate departmental intranets into one centralised system.

The business benefits

Abbey’s 25,000 employees now have instant access to the Bookstore via the Intranet, increasing the efficiency of the day-to-day running of the company while also ensuring it adheres to regulatory compliance. This is particularly important to Abbey as corporate governance codes specify that it cannot sell financial products, such as mortgages, unless the very latest information about the products is made available to the customer. The automated system includes an audit trail facility that allows Abbey staff to access product specifications from as far back as five years ago. Staff can instantly check and verify the exact details of a policy or mortgage on the date it was purchased.

Peter Greenfield, Online Channels Manager, Abbey, stated: "Livelink WCM Server has delivered a very strong, intuitive content management system to enable us to migrate more than 100,000 pages of text online. We can now instantly update mission critical information, giving staff the most positive online experience possible and directly have a direct impact on increased customer satisfaction."

Open Text’s Livelink WCM Server is easy-to-use and intuitive, allowing staff to manage policy and procedures by recording the lifecycle of every piece of information that is raised. Additionally, the Intranet has the same look and feel of the corporate and customer-facing Internet pages – that makes navigating the system feel as natural as surfing the Net. Open Text has enabled Abbey to have a single, coherent information system that serves both as a communications tool and real-time reference library, underscoring the bank’s status as a leading innovator in the financial industry.

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