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Optimizing the Mobile Workforce of the Future

Massachusetts-based Needham Bank is going paperless and mobilizing its workforce with secure content sharing across employee mobile devices.

Employee expectations are starting to look a lot like consumer expectations as mobile transforms lifestyles and workplaces, and employees start to demand better capabilities to help them work on the go. For Needham Bank (a Massachusetts-based commercial bank with $1.3 billion in assets) that wave of growing expectations led to action when its CEO saw a new commercial for the Samsung Galaxy Note, according to James Gordon, Needham’s SVP of operations and technology.

“Our CEO saw a commercial, one of those commercials where some people are having fun, doing all these different things with their mobile devices. then he came and asked me, ‘Why can’t I do all that [with my devices]?’” Gordon recalls.

So Gordon started looking for a solution that would enable greater collaboration for the bank’s employees and allow them to be more productive away from the office. “We wanted something that was more than just secure email and file-sharing. We wanted something that could handle all of our content and facilitate more collaboration,” he relates.

[For More On BYOD and the Mobile Workforce: Top 5 BYOD Pitfalls Your Bank Should Avoid]

Another driver for Needham was that many of its workers simply are more productive when they’re on the go, Gordon adds. “Loan officers need to be out in the field. If they’re tied to their office desk then they’re not being productive. Some staff have to be on the go,” he explains.

After about a year of searching, Needham settled on Accellion’s kiteworks suite of solutions for its mobile workforce and collaboration needs, which has helped the bank deliver secure access of employee content to any mobile device. The bank began by transitioning its product committee over to the kiteworks suite, and then added other committees and departments. The bank went fully live on kiteworks earlier this year.

Gordon says that Needham chose Accellion because of its experience in mobile workforce optimization and content-sharing, and the breadth of solutions in the kiteworks suite. “There are a lot vendors that have recently jumped into this space, and a lot of venture capital-backed startups. Accellion’s been in this space since 1999, and they have a lot of expertise across different industry verticals.”

The suite seems to have a solution that fits the needs of each of the various parts of the bank, Gordon adds. The commercial lending department has used Accellion’s secure online document sharing through its private cloud to collect hundreds of pages of tax documents for the bank’s customers. The business development officer is able to hook employees up to the bank’s entire directory of marketing materials from their smartphones and tablets through kitepoint. And when Needham’s CEO and president were at a conference earlier this month during a meeting of the bank’s senior management committee, they were able to read through all the content from the meeting on their mobile devices, Gordon says.

“Before our meeting organizers had to go through and manually organize all of the content for each of our committee meetings. With Accleion, the meeting organizer can organize all of the content for that meeting and for each one going forward in a digital file cabinet with the original files and proper annotations,” Gordon shares.

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Accellion has also partnered with Mobile Iron to provide strong authentication for employees logging in from their mobile devices, giving Needham some peace of mind, he notes. And Accellion recently also recently released a new version of kiteworks with a mobile-optimized user experience, with full functionality for any mobile device.

“I knew that that I was going to need a mobile workforce for the future… everyone has a smartphone and a tablet, and it was obvious that this wave of content-sharing was approaching as an issue… with the new iteration it combines the best of the old product with a new level of ease-of-use,” Gordon remarks.

Jonathan Camhi has been an associate editor with Bank Systems & Technology since 2012. He previously worked as a freelance journalist in New York City covering politics, health and immigration, and has a master's degree from the City University of New York's Graduate School ... View Full Bio

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