Digital transformation is the cornerstone of success for businesses in today’s “always-on” world. To remain competitive, financial services institutions are in the midst of their transformation journeys to make internal processes simpler and provide the best experience possible to their customers.
Allied Bank, the first bank established in Pakistan, with over 1,700 branches and ATMs, is no exception. With their vision to provide integrated solutions in order to be the first-choice bank to customers, Allied Bank is leading the way in Pakistan for innovating financial solutions.
We sat down with Fauzyab Ahmed Chaudhry, Manager of Network Security at Allied Bank, to learn more about the company’s digital transformation initiative and how Cisco CX Cloud has supported his efforts.
Cisco: Fauzyab, we’re excited to learn your story. What is your role at Allied Bank?
Fauzyab: My primary area of responsibility is the security posture of the entire enterprise at Allied Bank, including network security, as well as campus and data center security.
Tell us about Allied Bank.
Fauzyab: Allied Bank is a leading financial institution in Pakistan. A key aspect of our success is our commitment to innovation and technology. At the highest levels, our executives prioritize adopting the latest technologies to enhance our internal processes and engage our customers in new ways.
For the last 5 years, there has been a drive from the central bank to move toward a digital framework, and Allied Bank has been quick to adopt that. We have around 5 million customers, of which 3 million regularly use our digital banking platform. Our customers expect an exceptional experience when engaging with us digitally, and we’ve maintained high traffic on our platform by continuously innovating to provide the best possible experience for our customers.
Can you share some of the challenges you were previously facing in your organization?
Fauzyab: Yes, first, we were in the midst of a complex brownfield DNAC deployment. When COVID hit our team, we were short-staffed and needed to find a way to accelerate the deployment. Also, it was time-consuming to find the relevant product information and documentation. Additionally, inventory management was a time-consuming and complicated task for us to manage because we had multiple contracts and assets spread across more than 1,400 branches.
What were the immediate benefits of leveraging CX Cloud for your DNAC deployment?
Fauzyab: Our Cisco account team introduced CX Cloud to us to help provide a self-service model that would allow our team to quickly upskill by accessing learning resources that helped accelerate our DNAC deployment. We were able to access product documentation organized by the exact use case we had, quickly providing us with relevant content and access to experts.
We leveraged the Ask-the-Experts functionality to baseline our knowledge. The account team also connected us with Cisco experts from the customer success team who delivered focused Accelerator and knowledge-sharing sessions to answer our questions and address our specific migration and operational challenges. The collective help we received from Cisco helped us improve our knowledge prior to engaging in complex migration activities to switch from legacy campus network architecture to SDA architecture. CX Cloud played an important role in connecting us to the right resources and right experts at the right time. The combination of accelerated learning, easy access to documentation, and customer success support saved us almost three months in the deployment of our DNAC.
Can you share how Cisco CX Cloud has enhanced the process for managing TAC cases?
Fauzyab: Opening TAC cases in CX Cloud is much faster than the traditional Support Case Manager. CX Cloud removes the need to recall serial numbers and other details. We can quickly locate the device and open a case with all of the required device information attached, with only a few clicks. The team can also follow the ticket via CX Cloud. This has helped reduce Mean Time to Resolution (MTTR), saving us both time and money.
How have forecasting and inventory management improved as a result of using Cisco CX Cloud?
Fauzyab: When we managed network refreshes and looked at where we needed to replace assets, our previous process required multiple people dedicated to this analysis, taking upwards of 6 weeks. As you can imagine, the opportunity cost lost spending cycles on this effort was tremendous and reduced the ability for those resources to focus on more innovative, strategic initiatives.
With only the click of a button, CX Cloud provides us visibility into which assets are covered and which assets are coming up for LDOS and for renewal, in minutes. As a company focused on innovation, it is important to leverage our talent for those key initiatives that benefit our most important assets, our customers.
What would you say is the single biggest benefit of using Cisco CX Cloud?
Fauzyab: The single biggest benefit of using Cisco CX Cloud is the time savings across multiple aspects of the platform. This includes connecting us to the right resources, providing insight to allow us to accelerate forecasting and inventory management, and streamlining the ability to track and manage TAC cases. The net result is that CX Cloud enables us to be more proactive in how we manage our network, helps reduce human error, and reduces administrative burden on our very talented teams so they can focus on more strategic efforts.
What are your next steps with Cisco CX Cloud? And what do you think about the future?
Fauzyab: We know that next year, we will better understand the replacements, updates, and refreshes we need, resulting in better financial reporting and less risk. As we continue to grow as a business, our new hires will be able to easily and quickly get up to speed with the resources provided by CX Cloud. In the future, as we continue to learn and grow, we look forward to expanding our CX Cloud coverage to other architectures, such as ACI. We are excited to continue to collaborate with Cisco to deliver great services to our customers.
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