Raiffeisen Bank Romania


Raiffeisen Bank has initiated its digital transformation in reaction to the changing needs of its clients.

To provide them a considerably better service, Raiffeisen Bank decided to improve the way the bank’s employees collaborate and communicate. The first step on this mission was to move the bank’s social network, its document storage and sharing, and also its email services to G Suite, and also improve the network access for mobiles using Android at work.

Raiffeisen is now the very first Romanian bank going Google.

G Suite Bring Great Results

Real time collaboration, sharing the best practices, more efficientcommunication. Those are the key victories Raiffeisen gained with their implementation of G Suite. The employees working better together has indeed the desired impact on the quality of customer service - tasks that require the involvement of a number of departments can now be resolved more quickly and efficiently. Also, a great improvement can be observed in those cases where the IT department was needed in the past, such as in the creation of internal sites or surveys. After the transition, tasks can now be performed directly by business users, freeing IT resources for potentially more important issues.

The fact that G Suite are easily accessible from mobile devices is naturally very convenient for the users. People love using their Hangouts! This way, they save money otherwise spent on travelling and related costs. Hangouts are especially used by the retail bank sales team to replace a number of face-to-face meetings, as well as by the HR department while interviewing candidates. Also, The Google+ social platform has been identified as a useful tool for internal communication. During the rollout, a Google+ community called “Simply Coll@borate” was created to which employees were invited to share advice and tips on using Google. It quickly became the fastest and the most useful channel for seeking guidance on the new tools.

The transformation of whole the company to the new way of working was done in three months – only thanks to the collaboration with Netmail, the only Google Cloud Premier Partner in Central and Eastern Europe, a very experienced implementation specialist with an excellent track record in moving financial institutions to modern collaboration and cloud solutions.

Reasons for the Change

As we all know, the situation on the banking market has changed rapidly over the past few years. Nowadays, clients expect their banking products to be much more flexible and their accounts to be readily accessible. Where they once walked into one of the branches to deposit or withdraw money and check on their balances, they now use their laptops and mobile devices, from anywhere at any time of the day.

Carl Rossey, Raiffeisen Bank’s Romania COO says:

“We were eager to build our digital strategy to set out the direction the bank aimed to move. However, we knew that in order to change the way the bank cares for its clients, we first needed to change the way we work within the company.”

In 2014, Raiffeisen Bank introduced its new values internally: two of them were “Simplicity” and “Collaboration”. Staff and managers feel a strong need to share knowledge, learn from each other, and truly collaborate. G Suite were chosen as the ideal tool to help people work more efficiently, collaborate in real time, and communicate better. Improving internal processes inevitably changes the client service, too, as the employees have more time to focus on topics that really matter.

The Transformation Process

The whole transition to G Suite was not exclusively an IT project. It was a fundamental cultural change: it was all about the employees and for the employees. Going Google brings new tools that help people to share, collaborate, and communicate openly. One of the indirect impacts of G Suite is the flattening of organisational structure and “democratising” of the information flow. Therefore, Raiffeisen Bank was able to make the transition to G Suite within only three months.

The Netmail and Google approach towards the transition was based on the following two focus areas:

  • Technical - with a good understanding of current systems, processes and interdependencies, the transition to the new system was smooth.

  • “Changing the attitude of the management” - people are the key to all success. Therefore, we focused on the development of every employee’s knowledge and capabilities. People who understand why this change is happening, what it means for them, and how they should react to the new situation tend to accept it more easily.

During the implementation, the joint Raiffeisen-Netmail-Google team focused fully on both areas.

“I believe that our collaboration throughout the G Suite implementation was extremely useful for the entire Raiffeisen project team. As of Day One, we were part of a new way of working, a true online collaboration. It was challenging for us, but then it was so much easier for us to transfer our own experience to our colleagues,” said Rossey.

As banking is a regulated market segment and moving services to the cloud is quite an innovative approach, it was also essential to ensure that the transition to G Suite was in line with financial regulations and data protection laws.

According to Google and Netmail best experience, the whole process as such was split into three phases. The first phase focused on IT topics and involved primarily the IT staff. In the Early Adopters phase, 20 % of employees from across the organisation horizontally and vertically were involved, including all Board members and most managers. More than 600 Google Guides, covering all departments and nearly all branches, were the change ambassadors of the project. Then, Google Guides were created as a group of engaged and motivated employees who could be helpful not only in the G Suite implementation, but also during the future changes or transformations. The business user feedback that was collected during this period was crucial for Global Go Live. On the Go Live day, all the employees went Google.

By the end of this period, all of the nearly 6,000 Raiffeisen employees had started using Google. Netmail, Google Cloud Premier Partner, supported Raiffeisen all the way during the deployment of the solutions, using its wide experience from similar implementations.

Specific implementation cases:

After only one month after Global Go Live, some interesting use cases were implemented. The Project Management Office was the first department to shift all its work to Google. It now creates and shares Google Docs and Google Sheets in Google Drive, and builds monthly project reports using Google Slides.

Prior to Go Live, the Human Resources Department had gathered feedback on training and hiring by using paper forms or sending out emails that had generated only few responses. Now they use Google Forms to make data collection easier and more organized – like gathering suggestions for improving the quality of HR services. They are also replacing phone interviews with interviews via Google Hangouts, as meeting the candidates over video helps the hiring managers get more accurate first impressions. The retail bank sales team also uses Hangouts for sales meetings, saving travel time and related costs.