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TECH IN 10: Westpac’s branch phones go digital

07:00am September 16 2021

Paul McKenna, Westpac’s head of workplace technology, says a new mobile first digital solution has replaced legacy telephones in the bank’s branches. (Supplied) 

Westpac has taken another step in modernising its branch infrastructure, replacing its legacy telephone systems with a “mobile first” digital solution using the Microsoft Teams communication platform.  

“The solution provides a level of flexibility that hasn't been there before,” says the bank’s head of workplace technology Paul McKenna in Westpac Wire’s latest “Tech in 10” podcast. 

He says calls to branches will come into team members via the Microsoft Teams app on their mobile phones – the bank having issued more than 5800 new iPhones to front line staff – meaning branch staff can answer from anywhere, an important capability as employees in some COVID hotspots are working remotely.

Listen to Paul McKenna in Westpac Wire’s latest Tech in 10 podcast

Transcript of Tech in 10 with Paul McKenna 

McKenna says the solution was made possible by the bank’s Software Defined Wide Area Network rollout last year, significantly improving the speed of internet and technology capabilities in branches, along with the bank’s rapid take up of Microsoft Teams. 

“The use of Teams within the bank has just exploded over the last 18 months,” he says. 

“We're actually the largest and most comprehensive user of Teams within Australia. So when we looked at the solution of having a mobile phone with a Teams application on it, which takes calls and uses the branch Wi-Fi, it all came together.”

Emma Foster is a freelance writer. Previously, she led Westpac Wire and was a key contributor until December 2022. Prior to joining Westpac in 2013, she spent almost 20 years in corporate affairs and investor relations, primarily in large financial services and consultancy firms, in Australia, UK and Europe. She is also a photographer and podcaster.

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