Business challenge

ATB Financial aims to be Albertans’ first choice in every market it operates in. How could the company deliver fast, seamless services to attract new customers and nurture long-term relationships?


ATB Financial is replacing paper processes with cloud content management solutions from Box—enhancing collaboration, simplifying workflows and helping its people focus on what matters: the customer.



efficiency boost predicted for customer-facing processes, enabling faster services


experiences on every channel help deepen customer relationships


employee enablement and helps ATB Financial attract top talent

Business challenge story

Customer expectations are on the rise

Modern life moves fast. Whether it’s taking out a loan to buy a car, securing a mortgage for that dream home or something as simple as ordering a replacement credit card, consumers are increasingly willing to switch to banks that can keep pace with their needs.

Responsiveness is a key goal for ATB Financial, a leading financial institution serving the province of Alberta, Canada.

Wellington Holbrook, Chief Transformation Officer, says: “To truly deliver on our commitment to Albertans and create delightful experiences, delivering fast, high-quality services is more important than ever. These capabilities are vital to achieve our strategic goals, which include becoming the institution of choice across every market we operate in, becoming Canada’s most desirable employer, and attracting top talent.

“To achieve our goals, we need to re-imagine the value we deliver and place the customer at the center of our focus. This means looking at how we can transform our systems and processes to ensure that every customer has a fast, seamless journey within their opti-channel experience at ATB.”

In the past, ATB Financial relied heavily on manual, paper-based processes to drive its business—an approach that limited its ability to deliver responsive services and took its team members’ time away from customer relationship-building activities.

Tyler Yates, Senior ECM Specialist at ATB gives an example: “Previously, our mortgage applicants had to complete forms on paper at their local branch, which would be delivered via courier service to one of our offices for imaging. The scanned documents were then emailed back and forth between the relevant stakeholders—a process that could take up to 90 days to complete. Because we were so dependent on manual processes, there was always the risk of missing important deadlines because information got lost in the shuffle.

“Lending products are a large part of our business, and any delays can result in customers missing out on opportunities to make major purchases—damaging our reputation and increasing the risk of losing customers to a competitor. To solve the challenge, we wanted to build a more streamlined and efficient way of working.”

Our customers today expect their experiences to be customer-centric, frictionless and delightful. Our work with Box and IBM will help us nurture these relationships by enabling every team member to deliver upon those expectations.

Wellington Holbrook, Chief Transformation Officer, ATB Financial

Transformation story

Accelerating services in the cloud

As part of a far-reaching digital transformation, ATB Financial has embraced a security-rich cloud content management solution based on Box and Box Relay. With support for digital collaboration and business process automation, the new platform will enable the bank to standardize, simplify and accelerate its front-to-back workflows—helping it offer more responsive services to its customers.

Louise Hudak, Managing Director, ECM at ATB Financial, says: “We wanted to transition away from our siloed approach to content management, which was based on paper, email and files stored on shared drives—and Box offered us the capabilities we were looking for.

“One of the things we appreciate most about the Box solution is how easy it is to shape digital workflows that touch multiple applications. Box offers out-of-the-box integrations with our SAP ERP business systems, Google G Suite productivity apps and DocuSign digital signature technology, which enables us to design seamless processes for loan origination, mortgage renewals and account opening. And crucially, Box offers us the granular security, governance and compliance capabilities we need to keep sensitive customer data protected.”

Yates adds: “Like many leading financial institutions, our IT environment was previously based on an on-premises server architecture—and our goal is to transition to cloud services wherever possible. Thanks to Box, all our team members will be able to view content regardless of the applications they have installed locally on their device, which ensures the information they need will always be at their fingertips even after we start to decommission our on-premises applications.”

Working together with a team from Box, ATB Financial is shaping integrated processes that bring together its people, information and applications.

“We knew that we needed the business to be with us on every step of our transformation process, and from the outset we were clear that we wanted to take a gradual approach to our deployment,” recalls Yates. “Box delivered the expert resources we needed to design our new collaborative workflows and the information storage structures that support them, and we found the team’s guidance invaluable, particularly during the early phases of the project. The Box team’s approach to training and change management really helped us hit the ground running.”

In parallel with its Box deployment, ATB Financial is working with IBM to migrate more than 30 million documents from its legacy electronic content management (ECM) system into Box.

Hudak comments: “Many of our ERP applications depend on information in our ECM system, and we needed to adopt a careful approach to our migration to minimize the risk of disruption. Although we were able to migrate almost three million documents to Box in three months on our own, IBM is facilitating the next migration of more than 19 million documents at an enhanced speed and scale that will enable us to meet our objectives.”

Today, members of ATB Financial’s Business & Agriculture division are using Box to drive their day-to-day activities, and the company plans to continue its rollout in the months ahead.

“Moving from the mindset of working in a wide-area network environment with local applications to a cloud-based ecosystem is a big change, and we are supporting our team members through the change process,” says Yates. “While there are still some challenges to solve, we’ve already started to receive positive feedback.”

Results story

Boosting responsiveness to nurture loyalty

As it moves from manual, paper-based processes to digital workflows in the cloud, the organization is confident it will deliver more responsive customer services.

“Soon, manually shuffling information between different parts of the business will be a thing of the past,” says Yates. “When we go live with Box Relay, we will be able to drive processes such as mortgage renewals using a single source of customer data in Box. As well as eliminating the risk of losing important information, these automated workflows will help us cut processing times dramatically. For example, we believe we’ll be able to process mortgage renewals in as little a one working day.”

He continues: “We’re currently mapping out a new retail loan origination process that is 50 percent shorter than the one we’re using today. When we launch it, customers will have the option to complete their paperwork online—and once their forms are submitted into Box, we will be able to steer the entire process digitally from end to end.

"Whether customers choose to complete the forms digitally or on paper, all their information will reside in Box, which means authorized team members can access their files instantly from any connected device. In fact, we predict that our new way of working will make all our customer-facing processes at least 10 times more efficient, contributing to outstanding customer experiences across all the markets we serve.”

By using Box to democratize access to customer data, ATB Financial aims to make it easier for its team members to deliver consistent, personalized services on every channel.

“In the future, every customer-facing employee will have access to a 360-degree view of the customer via Box, including their banking preferences, in-process applications and past interactions with us,” says Hudak. “By putting this data at our people’s fingertips, we’ll be able to empower our team members to deliver consistent, customer-centric service, regardless of how the customer interacts with ATB.”

Yates adds: “When a customer interacts with a team member who knows their story as an individual, they have confidence in our commitment to placing them at the core of all of our efforts. It also improves the morale of the team member, because they’re excelling in their role. By empowering our people with the tools they need to thrive, we can drive toward our goal of becoming Canada’s most desirable place to work.”

Based on its success with Box, ATB Financial is already planning to enhance its content management platform.

“We run regular events called ‘reimagine labs’: workshops to help capture innovative ideas to improve the way we work,” adds Yates. “In a recent workshop, a member of our agriculture team suggested developing a dashboard showing the progress of all loan applications in progress, the team members assigned to each action and the estimated time to completion. It felt great to be able to tell them that we will be able to deliver all of those capabilities when we go live with Box Relay later this year.”

Holbrook concludes: “Our customers today expect their experiences to be customer-centric, frictionless and delightful. Our work with Box and IBM will help us nurture these relationships by enabling every team member to deliver upon those expectations.”

business logo

About ATB Financial

With assets of USD 50.7 billion, ATB Financial is Alberta’s largest home-grown financial institution. Established in 1938, ATB is a network of 175 branches, 142 agencies, a customer care center, three entrepreneur centers, along with mobile and online banking services. ATB’s more than 5,000 team members help more than 740,000 customers in 247 Alberta communities. To learn more about the bank’s transformation journey, please visit:

Solution components

Take the next step

To learn more about solutions from IBM and Box, please contact your IBM representative or IBM Business Partner, or visit the following website:

View more client stories or learn more about IBM Collaboration and Talent Solutions