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First financial services firm to roll out TelePresence in Asia: CIMB

AvantiKumar | July 27, 2010
CIMB Group chooses Cisco TP solution to help power regional growth plans.
KUALA LUMPUR, 27 JULY 2010 Malaysian-headquartered CIMB Group is the first financial services in Asia to roll out Cisco's TelePresence [TP] solution, said networking solutions provider Cisco.

CIMB Group head, information and operations, Iswaraan Suppiah said integration and efficiency enhancements provided by Cisco's TP solution would help it achieve its aims of regional growth. The deployment of Cisco TP suites across the group's offices in Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, and Singapore would harness the power of video and virtual meetings and would help to transform the organisation by allowing effective collaboration internally across geographically disparate locations.

[It] has definitely helped us connect faster to our associates in the region, shorten decision-making processes and effectively respond to business opportunities in real-time, said Suppiah. TP allows a new way of working, where everyone, everywhere, can be more productive through virtual meetings that take place in multiple offices around the region at the same time.

Using high-definition video and spatial audio to create the experience of face-to-face collaboration, Cisco TelePresence creates a unique experience where participants feel as though they're sitting in the same room, he said. The overall benefits of using TP includes the reduction of  meeting fatigue and stress,' which were often experienced by using more traditional methods of video and tele-conferencing, as well as the dramatic reduction of the rising costs of travel and wasted time.

In addition, the technology has provided us with flexible meeting options, and helped us save operational cost and time as it reduces the need to travel, said Suppiah. The deciding factor for us to deploy Cisco TelePresence was how much more powerful Cisco TelePresence is versus video conferencing in simulating in-person meetings. The experience for participants' conferencing via Cisco TelePresence across different countries parallels, and in some ways, even surpasses sitting around the same table.

In terms of adoption, our staff embraced Cisco TelePresence to the extent that facilities have to be booked well in advance and are often used late after office hours, he said. 

 Collaboration at a moment's notice

To thrive in today's economy, you have to collaborate with colleagues, partners and customers around the globe at a moment's notice, said Cisco Malaysia managing director, Anne Abraham. At the same time, you want to conduct your business in a way that enhances the quality of your relationships.

Abraham said CIMB Group was Cisco's first financial services institution (FSI) customer in the region and added that she expected more to take up the solution. At this time, the FSI sector is seeing continued consolidation and the drive to become more agile, efficient as well as more productive would see other FSIs take up solutions such as TelePresence.

Cisco Gold Certified partner CSC Malaysia managing director Dennis Koh said CSC installed the five Cisco TP suites for associate meetings and training sessions, including one for business meetings with up to six participants per room, as well as personal meeting suites across CIMB's offices in Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, and Singapore.

Koh said CIMB's existing network was used for the TP implementation. The group can now set up virtual meetings quickly and effortlessly through the e-mail calendar function. Users can also record and share high-quality meeting videos for playback.

 Strong ROIs expected 

CIMB Group's Suppiah said the bank expected to save significantly over the next two to three years through reduced business travel across the region. So far, TP has allowed us to speed up decision-making, bring together resources, talent and decision-makers across different geographies and organisational areas.

While it is still too early to quantify the significant hard and soft ROIs [returns on investment], which is about US$2.82 million [RM9 million] over two years, the system already now allows about 600 hours of TP meetings [from 150 hours last year] per month, as well as reducing the need and expense of travel, said Suppiah. Many other advantages and ROIs are confidently expected from this investment. In addition, we hope our group CEO is soon able to interact at the same instance with all the branch managers of 1,150 branches across four countries with the increased presence that the system allows.