How a large FI supported the increase in remote workers

Speed and stability were key to business continuity during the onset of COVID-19

by Scott Miller, Financial Services Lead, AT&T Business

Well before the COVID-19 pandemic, census data chronicled a steady increase in the number of people working remotely or from home. 3.3% of U.S. workers worked from home in 2000, followed by 5% in 2016, and then 5.2% in 2017. Of the 29 percent of Americans that the Bureau of Labor Statistics stated can work from home, the Federal Reserve said that the number of people actually doing it tripled in the past 15 years.

Then came March 2020.

Cisco Webex saw videoconferencing traffic in some parts of Europe jump 80%, as The New York Times reported, and “millions of people across the United States shift to working and learning from home.” Zoom Video usage skyrocketed from 10 million daily meeting participants to more than 200 million. Almost overnight, the financial services industry was faced with the immediate need to communicate with concerned clients, while at the same transitioning virtually every workstream to online channels, contact centers, and other collaboration tools to comply with “social distancing” guidelines.

For one large financial institution (FI), the astonishing number of employees and contractors needing remote access to network resources became a major test of business continuity. It was clear to leadership that a multi-faceted approach was needed to address bandwidth and capacity issues on corporate trunks and a potential increase in ATM transactions. Like many of their peers, this company was suddenly seeing an increased need for executive communication with strategic staff, suppliers, employees, and customers, on top of the need to collaborate more with remote colleagues, address increased volumes at critical support centers, and growing concern about cyber criminals attacking as the number and scale of connections grew.

Within 48 hours, solution architects from AT&T Business reviewed this FI’s unique requirements and recommended an increase in SIP trunking to improve 800-number conference bridge accessibility. Additional efficiencies were gained by load-balancing the conference bridge traffic over multiple trunks by changing the “enhanced features” design. 

Within the week, internet bandwidth was also increased to accommodate the additional remote workers, the need for pop-up locations in rural areas, and the expected increase in ATM transactions to help customers access their money more easily. As a result, business continuity was maintained, and the FI was able to respond to the dynamic needs of customers and employees, even in the face of an unexpected crisis.

To learn more about how AT&T Business is responding to COVID-19, visit our response page.

To learn more about our resources for remote workforce collaboration, visit Collaboration Solutions.