Ostsächsische Sparkasse Dresden | Case Study
Ostsächsische Sparkasse Dresden
Ostsächsische Sparkasse is one of the 376 savings banks of the Sparkassen Finanzgruppe. With a combined business volume of 2,980 billion euros, together with their alliance partners they form the largest financial services provider in Europe. The Sparkassen in Germany are where the people are. In the cities and in the countryside, with companies, associations and municipal institutions. They live closeness, dialog and commitment.
With 78 branches and 1,500 employees, Ostsächsische Sparkasse offers its private and corporate customers a close-knit network of options for conducting financial transactions. Since the Jitsi app from NETWAYS Web Services (NWS) is being used, advice and conversations now also take place in simple and secure video conferences. NWS Jitsi also facilitates both, external communication with customers as well as internal communication.
In 2020, when the second Corona wave was foreseeable, it was clear to the Ostsächsische Sparkasse Dresden that a video conferencing solution was needed in order to be able to advise and communicate with each other in the usual quality. “At the time, we were faced with the challenge of reengineering our processes so that they could be mapped as much as possible at 100% in the home office,” says Markus Petzold, Senior System Administrator for Organization\IT Operations. This included finding an appropriate replacement for meetings and short consultations. “Pure telephone conferences with several participants were very exhausting,” recalls Petzold.
However, Ostsächsische Sparkasse did not have the appropriate in-house infrastructure to self-host a video conferencing solution. “We were looking for a competent partner who could provide us with a video conferencing platform that meets our data protection requirements,” says Petzold. Data protection and hosting in Germany were top priorities in the search. The requirements, not the product name, were what counted.
In mid-2020, the collaboration with NETWAYS came to fruition. The Jitsi app from NWS is hosted in ISO-certified data centers in Nuremberg. Data security and data protection are a must for the systems engineers at NWS. “The software was apparently able to meet our requirements, and the NETWAYS sales team was the quickest to respond to our request,” says Petzold.
“With honest answers, even if we didn’t like them at times,” NETWAYS won the trust of the savings bank. For example, when there was no spontaneous approach to solving something and they had to go searching first. “This type of communication is much more effective than empty promises and stalling tactics,” Petzold says.
Before the NWS Jitsi app was actually in use, the Sparkasse Dresden IT team tested it with demo accesses free of charge. “Based on our tests and after a few phone calls, we specified our requirements, which were then implemented iteratively.”
“Jitsi enables us to conduct video conferences with internal and external participants,” says Petzold. In doing so, the system does not store any information about past meetings. Furthermore, all Jitsi connections are fully encrypted. “This privacy-friendly feature meets all the requirements of physical meeting rooms in the virtual world. Like that, important meetings, from departmental meetings to confidential conversations, can take place in the home office.“
Besides this consistent data protection, the advantages of NWS Jitsi for Ostsächsische Sparkasse are the software’s range of functions, user management and scalability. Also helpful is the simple, straightforward operation, for which no dedicated clients are required on the end devices.
Meetings can be created quickly and easily. No login or app is required to participate, as it works from any device via a link in the browser. “Every employee now has the option to start a video conference at any time and without pre-planning. This is an important building block for coping with the pandemic and enabling home office,” says Petzold. Since then, there have been fewer on-site meetings at Ostsächsische Sparkasse and customers also have the advantage that they no longer have to come to the subsidiary for certain appointments.
“We didn’t have a uniform video conferencing solution for the entire company before. We are now able to offer this solution to all 1500 colleagues,” says Petzold, pleased with the milestone. NWS hosting provides a suitable replacement for the lack of in-house infrastructure. The systems engineers at NWS continuously take care of the further development and operation of Jitsi.
Petzold finds the good cooperation and communication of the NETWAYS Web Services employees to be particularly successful in the implementation of the project: honest, friendly, competent. “I was always informed about the current implementation status without any queries of my own.” The same office hours of the core team, in contrast to providers from other time zones, were helpful. And so was the “committed team at NWS, which makes suggestions for improvement to us, but also accepts some from us,” says Petzold. “You are taken seriously as a small customer.”
For the future, Ostsächsische Sparkasse would like to see continuous development of the features of NWS Jitsi, and for the mode of cooperation: “Keep it up!”