Wells River Savings
Category : Case Studies
The Wells River Savings Bank is dedicated to serving its customers and communities as a locally owned mutual savings bank. With 6 locations and 65 associates serving in the Upper Connecticut River Valley, quality of service is enhanced by offering full suites of Personal and Commercial Banking services. In service for over 120 years, Wells River Savings continues to play a role in the successes in the Upper Valley.
Situation and Challenge
In 2004, Wells River Savings Bank upgraded their legacy telephone system with a combination of new and old technologies. They set up a VoIP network (Cisco) for internal communication between locations, but also maintained traditional POTS lines for each location to accommodate in‐bound calls to individual branches. While this generated efficiencies and savings in long‐distance charges, it was not enough. Each location had their own telephone system, hardware and equipment in addition to their frame relay data circuit contracts. Maintaining 6 small offices meant that Wells River Savings could still not completely consolidate telecom services, or benefit from any economies of scale. Wells River Savings needed a solution that would link all locations into one network, consolidate management requirements, allow for the implementation of a call center and minimize costs and increase capabilities and functionality. The reality is that legacy phone systems are more costly to own and maintain, while offering a fraction of the functionality and capabilities of a managed Unified Communication (UC) system.
Provide a phased‐in migration to a Unified Communications Solution over time as requirements and technologies become available in rural locations. The first step was to integrate a Call Center into their network and add functionality to their internal messaging capabilities. This was to be followed by the elimination of the need for external POTS lines at branch locations.
In 2008, Wells River Savings worked with IPNetVoice (IPNV) to upgrade their servers in order to accommodate the launch of their Call Center and completely integrate Branch operations into one network. Wells River Savings elected to go with a “Managed” solution, while maintaining ownership of equipment. Now all inbound calls passed through their Call Center, and only those requiring additional services were routed to individual branches. Additionally, Jabber (Cisco Messaging) was deployed providing employee status information and internal instant messaging capabilities. While this was an improvement, it was not enough: There was still a minimal duality of providers‐both VoIP and POTS for some more remote branches. In 2011, Wells River consolidated their communications network by integrating MPLS (Multi-protocol Label Switching) and SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) into their network. The addition of MPPS and SIP to the communications network allowed Wells River Bank to benefit from greatly improved efficiency, lowered administrative costs, greater bandwidth and significant savings in long distance charges. Since the initiation of the UC Solution in 2008, Wells River Savings has gone through two upgrades to their network. When asked about the service provided by IPNetVoice, Judy Lavely, Chief Operating Officer, said, “Our expectations have been exceeded.”