A productive, collaborative working environment for keeping Barclays’ global systems running 24x7
Radbroke Hall, Cheshire, England
Banking is a 24-hour business. Millions of customers now live their financial lives online and, with billions of transactions flowing, keeping connections open is critical — visibility and control really matter 24/7. Barclays, a leading player in world banking and financial services, wanted to ensure service stability to its customers and partners through control of its systems and services. Teams were previously dispersed throughout a campus with counterparts in Pune and Lithuania. Communication was challenging and teams experienced difficulties tracking faults and managing fault resolution. The IT team recognized that group-wide collaboration, proactiveness and world-class service recovery management would be essential for consistent rapid response to customer issues. The team also wanted to utilize service data to improve planning, forecasting and incident response as a basis for continuously improving service availability.
Barclays decided to bring disparate service teams together in a single, purpose-built location to enhance collaboration and speed up resolution of incidents. The Global Command Center, which features audiovisual systems designed, built and supported by Electrosonic, is based at Barclays’ Technology Center in the North of England. The Command Center is designed for ease of use and 24/7 operation and has been described as ‘a large NASA-like room’ where service teams monitor the bank’s operations on large video walls and 50 individual screens. The teams of Service Recovery and Control Managers work different shift patterns to provide 24-hour event management, monitoring and alerting across various systems and services. The UK team can collaborate with global colleagues to create a single virtualised team operating standard processes.
Barclays wanted to create an improved working environment for teams working long hours under stressful conditions. Sightlines, viewing distances and extended viewing periods are essential in a command centre space. Barclays recognized that cutting-edge audiovisual and collaboration technology would be essential for making and sharing critical decisions based on real-time data. The aim was to make better collaborative decisions to improve response times and the quality of customer experience. Scalability and flexibility were also essential so that the Center had the agility to adapt to changing customer needs.
The audiovisual systems had to be easy to use so that team members can make critical decisions quickly and easily. Barclays wanted to incorporate three large video walls so that teams could collaborate easily, with the ability to view, share and control all essential operational information in a single place instead of switching between workstations. However, the team also wanted complete flexibility so that any data source could be sent to any screen across the array. And, the solution had to be easy to maintain for 24x7 availability.
Collaboration, productivity, responsiveness, agility and quality customer service are the keynotes of this custom-designed command center.
The Command Centre was designed as a holistic, integrated solution with human factors a priority. Video walls were designed for operational flexibility and the highest levels of functionality. Audiovisual systems were designed for ease of use and reliable 24x7 operation to maximize productivity. Support was an integral element of the design, build, support solution so the team could concentrate on serving customers with minimal risk of downtime.
Bringing all technology partners into one Command Centre space not only solved the logistical problems Barclays faced but improved the resolution time for major incidents enormously. The Center also has the flexibility to expand or adapt as Barclays roll out new services to customers. The enhanced environment enables team members to improve customer experience – a key factor in the highly competitive financial services market.
"Selecting Electrosonic as part of the design team brought enormous benefit to all disciplines. Their experience in delivering projects of this nature meant that they not only achieved a high level of technological audio visual ‘finish’ but also a measure of finesse to the project overall." - Chris Catlow, Head of Solutions Delivery, Collaboration Services Barclays