ING’s Henk Kolk on the Move to an Agile, Customer-First Call Center

Still tied to legacy communications systems? Hear how multinational financial services firm ING is shifting to an agile call center for better customer service.

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ING’s Henk Kolk on the Move to an Agile, Customer-First Call Center

As the financial needs of ING’s global banking customers have evolved, ING realized they needed to evolve, too. Customers increasingly use mobile apps as a primary means to communicate with businesses today, and banking is no different. To stay relevant and service the needs of their clients, ING decided to completely shift the way they communicate.

With 40,000 employees in 40 countries, and 17 disparate legacy call centers that were created by different vendors at different times, this shift meant restructuring ING’s entire organization. To get the job done, they turned to Twilio. ING is powering their next generation unified contact center with Twilio's building blocks, including Programmable Voice, IP Messaging, Programmable Video, and TaskRouter.

ING Bank’s Chief Architect Henk Kolk joined Twilio CEO Jeff Lawson at SIGNAL.London to talk about what it takes for a multinational organization in a regulated industry to make the move from legacy systems to API-based, agile communications.

Don’t have time to watch the whole video? Here are Henk’s key takeaways for companies who want to undergo an agile transformation:

  1. Change with the times. The world around us is changing rapidly and that change is driven by technology. Clients expect to contact businesses 24/7 and receive personal, relevant, top-notch service. This applies to all commercial enterprises, including banks. If large enterprises who depend on legacy systems for communication want to stay relevant and move quickly, they must make the shift to agile communications—not despite their size, but because of it.
  2. Value agility in all aspects of your business. For ING, being agile means having the flexibility to adapt quickly to the needs of their customers. When you value agility, you move fast and empower your teams to provision their own software solutions. There's only one way to do that: use building blocks. When you operate with such complexity as a global bank, agility doesn’t only apply to the IT department, but to the entire company.
  3. Empower your developers. When they restructured, ING formed 450 agile teams with access to integrate the APIs they need and build the software relevant to their business units. This raised individual initiative and decision-making power for smaller teams, while streamlining the approval process and number of meetings needed (previously 64 documents before anyone could write a line of code!).
  4. Create an engineering culture. When you recognize and value engineering talent in your organization, from your HR strategy to your company culture, you create an atmosphere of innovation. Create a safe place where your engineers can learn, build, and demonstrate the software your company needs. Take things that used to be complex processes and piles of paper and turn them into code and APIs. This includes regulations, controls, and policies specific to banking or any other regulated industry.

ING’s example shows how a global organization in a regulated industry can make the shift from monolithic, legacy-based systems to a flexible, API-powered organization.

Want to learn more about how APIs can transform your contact center, whether you’re building from scratch or just augmenting your legacy systems? Check out this handy interactive infographic.