To stay ahead in the constantly evolving financial sector, Sparda-Bank Munich knew it needed to make the most of its employees’ strengths—but how could it help them to work together effectively?
Working with IBM Business Partners edcom and TIMETOACT, the bank implemented a digital hub based on IBM® Connections™ Engagement Center—enabling seamless, security-rich collaboration.
Boostscollaboration, helping employees share their knowledge
Enablesstaff to find information faster, saving time
Helpsimprove customer service, making the bank more competitive
Business challenge story
Staying ahead of the competition
With nimble, born-on-the-web competitors entering the retail banking space, Sparda-Bank Munich knew it needed to react decisively to stay in the game. The bank has long recognized that its most valuable assets are its people and their knowledge—and it wanted a way to connect employees so they could work collaboratively at the highest possible standard. Gabi Bauer, Change Management Team at Sparda-Bank Munich, comments: “Every employee has unique knowledge, ideas, and input to offer, and we encourage them to share their insights for the benefit of the company. To offer even higher-quality services, we felt it was crucial to bring more openness and transparency into the business. This meant involving our employees in more meaningful ways, and sharing relevant, up-to-date company news and information with our personnel.” Sparda-Bank Munich wanted to become a connected, future-ready bank, but faced issues with its existing intranet. The platform lacked a single point of entry or a company-wide search function, which meant information was stored in multiple different places and difficult to find. Although the bank could publish company news through its intranet, there was no reliable way to sort stories by topic or importance—making it easy for important updates to get lost in the shuffle. And because employees were unable to publish their own content to the platform, communication was primarily one-sided, top-down and without much room for meaningful exchanges between employees from different parts of the business.
Moving to a new digital hub
To solve the challenge, Sparda-Bank Munich engaged IBM Platinum Business Partner TIMETOACT and IBM Silver Business Partner edcom—part of the TIMETOACT GROUP—to deploy IBM Connections and IBM Connections Engagement Center. By combining enterprise social tools such as communities, forums and wikis in IBM Connections with a digital workplace hub based on IBM Connections Engagement Center, the bank created a centralized hub for collaboration and information named SpardaNet. Each employee can access an IBM Connections Engagement Center homepage tailored to their specific role and preferences. These pages provide easy access to the information employees need to excel in their roles, such as news and links to resources. IBM Connections Engagement Center also enables the bank to create custom IBM Connections apps—for example, to display third-party web content on employee homepages. Sparda-Bank Munich understood that cultural change was as important to SpardaNet’s success. To unlock the full potential of the IBM solutions, the bank knew that it had to encourage its employees to start sharing their knowledge on the platform. By appointing SpardaNet champions across the business, the project team successfully communicated the value of the platform to the business, and engaged employees with the goals of the project. For several weeks after SpardaNet’s launch, the project team went into every office branch and department, took questions, noted concerns, and provided training sessions—enabling a smooth transition to the new digital hub.
Fostering a culture of collaboration
Sparda-Bank Munich’s digital workplace is nurturing a culture of collaboration, empowering all employees to work to their individual strengths for the good of the business. For example, the bank worked with TIMETOACT to launch a workload planning app based on IBM Forms Experience Builder, creating opportunities to distribute tasks more evenly across departments. In addition, office branches with similar issues or challenges can band together in communities, where they can benefit from sharing their experiences. The digital hub also makes it easier for employees to take part in the life of the company, rather than simply consuming updates published on the intranet. Today, everyone can contribute, discuss, and comment online. Employees can access information far more quickly and easily, improving efficiency and facilitating knowledge-transfer. Well-structured navigation, centralized forums, and a company-wide search function make it simple to share and find information. And by storing information in one place, Sparda-Bank Munich makes it easier to ensure a single version of the truth. The bank’s customers are also benefiting from the digital hub, which empowers employees to provide faster, more flexible and more efficient services—helping the bank stay a step ahead of its competitors. Looking to the future, the bank plans to enhance the capabilities of the hub by enabling employees to access the platform from their mobile devices. Gabi Bauer concludes: “Even in an ever-changing, competitive market, people and their knowledge are the keys to success. At Sparda-Bank Munich, our digital hub is helping us become the agile, powerful, service-oriented bank of the future.”
About Sparda-Bank Munich
Founded in 1930, Sparda-Bank Munich is Bavaria’s biggest credit union and one of the ten largest cooperative banks in Germany, counting 48 branch offices in Upper Bavaria. As of 2016, it had a balance sheet total of approximately EUR7.2 billion (USD8.6 billion) and more than 291,000 members.
- Connections-On Prem
- IBM Connections Engagement Center-On Prem
Take the next step
To learn more about IBM Collaboration Solutions, please contact your IBM representative or IBM Business Partner, or visit the following website: ibm.com/collaboration TIMETOACT Software & Consulting GmbH is one of the leading providers of professional services for IBM software in the German-speaking region. An IBM Platinum Business Partner, the company operates offices across Germany and Switzerland, and employs more than 280 people. To learn more about products, services and solutions from TIMETOACT, please visit: timetoact.de