Byblos Bank in Lebanon wants to maintain its position as the third leading bank in the country, as well as become more flexible, more mobile, and more dynamic in the way it delivers services to customers.
“Wherever Lebanese businessmen are doing business in the region, we want to provide commercial services,” says Assistant General Manager (AGM) Raffoul Raffoul.
In addition, the bank is looking to transform its 80+strong branch network. It wants to enable customers to self-serve many operations and allow expert staff to work across multiple branches.
“The future will be more agile, flexible, modern branches,” says Raffoul.
To accomplish all this, the bank needed to digitise the business, automate processes, and strengthen its online and mobile channels.
As part of this drive toward a more flexible, agile bank, Raffoul wanted to overhaul the desktop estate.
“We needed to standardise the desktops across all branches and enable remote management,” he says. “It is vital that we deliver the latest features in the shortest time possible. Also, we wanted to simplify the management and maintenance of desktops.
“Ultimately, we wanted all users on the same version, the same image, and to be able to edit that image when required.”
Today, 1,000 users, from bank tellers to branch managers, across the bank’s 87 branches work on thin clients with Citrix virtual desktops.
As a result, Raffoul says, the bank is now more efficient, more secure, and more agile.
“We can have staff up and running in any branch within a few clicks,” he says. “Support costs have been slashed, and updates are in place within minutes. We’re also more secure.”
Marwan Nicolas, Project Manager at Byblos Bank, cites the outcome of a recent ransomware attack as evidence of the solution’s efficiency. Though the bank remained unscathed, it still needed to install the latest Microsoft patch. All branches were updated within hours, a job that would have taken weeks previously.
“The head office, where we have multiple hardware and software, took weeks to sort,” he says. “With Citrix, if we ever have a problem, we just need to roll back to the last, best version.”
While the country’s bandwidth issues continue to cause problems for all businesses, Nicolas says that calls into the helpdesk are down by 90 percent. “We have the standardisation and consistency we wanted,” he says.
With desktop access no longer a barrier to mobility, staff are able to move between branches. This will allow the bank to deploy mortgage, savings, or pension specialists, branch by branch, or enable regional managers to operate from any branch. Now that all branches are successfully using the Citrix solution, the next step is to review expanding it to the Byblos Bank head office to create further efficiencies. Longer term, the aim is to be even more “deskless”.
“The plan is to look at a Citrix mobility solution,” Raffoul says. “Ideally, we’d like managers to be able to access and approve a transaction from their mobile phone, using a secure Citrix connection. We want our staff to be flexible enough to meet our customers’ needs, wherever and whenever.”