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Belfast Telegraph - Business Telegraph - - Front Page - Paulcon­very, Head­of­bt­busi­ness in north­ern ire­land For fur­ther news and in­sights, join our BT Busi­ness & Pub­lic Sector Net­work in North­ern Ire­land Linkedin group.

Louis em ca lo on says ex­pe­ri­ence of ex-assembly mem­ber phil flana­gan high­lights the im­por­tance of a merit-based re­cruit­ment process

You’re out for a brisk walk. It’s sunny and warm and you’re gasp­ing for water or a soft drink. But you’ve left your wal­let or purse at home. No mat­ter. Just visit a shop and use your fit­ness tracker to pay for your re­fresh­ment.

It’s not an imag­ined fu­ture. It’s re­al­ity right now. Banks are en­abling cus­tomers to ac­cess their money through an in­creas­ing range of dig­i­tal de­vices and Danske Bank is at the fore­front of that rev­o­lu­tion lo­cally. It was the first lender in the UK to al­low pur­chases through Garmin Pay. It also offers pay­ments via Fit­bits, Ap­ple Watches, Sam­sung wear­ables and of course with smart­phones too.

This dig­i­tal­i­sa­tion of fi­nan­cial ser­vices is not just driven by banks. Cus­tomers, used to the slick op­er­a­tions of tech giants and so­cial me­dia providers, are de­mand­ing the same seam­less dig­i­tal ser­vice from all of their dig­i­tal so­lu­tions.

Danske Bank’s Chief Dig­i­tal Of­fi­cer, Søren Rode An­dreasen, has a big am­bi­tion. He isn’t just aiming to be ahead of his mar­ket ri­vals: “I see us be­com­ing the most for­ward-think­ing busi­ness in North­ern Ire­land when it comes to dig­i­tal”.

The Dan­ish born ex­ec­u­tive, who now lives in Belfast, recog­nises that many cus­tomers will still want the op­tion to do their bank­ing in a branch. While the lender re­mains com­mit­ted to con­tin­u­ing its tra­di­tional ser­vice, Mr. An­dreasen points out, hav­ing en­dured our win­ter weather, that a visit to the bank here of­ten ne­ces­si­tates an un­com­fort­able ex­cur­sion out into the wind and rain. For the sake of com­fort and sim­ply con­ve­nience, many now- adays pre­fer to do their bank­ing from the desk or sofa. The so­lu­tion he says is to of­fer the “per­fect bal­ance” be­tween face-to-face trans­ac­tions and a dig­i­tal self-ser­vice of­fer­ing.

Danske’s en­gage­ment with its cus­tomers, whether through the medium of clicks or mor­tar, heav­ily de­pends on an in­fra­struc­ture pro­vided by BT Busi­ness in North­ern Ire­land. BT han­dles all of the bank’s voice and mo­bile com­mu­ni­ca­tion as well as data con­nec­tiv­ity be­tween the bank’s branches and ATMS. This is all wrapped up in a sin­gle man­aged ser­vice from BT, which keeps things sim­ple for the bank. The re­la­tion­ship is hugely sig­nif­i­cant for both busi­nesses. Søren Rode An­dreasen says “it’s su­per im­por­tant to have a trusted part­ner like BT in the dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion of Danske Bank”.

Part of that trans­for­ma­tion has involved Danske equip­ping frontline and head of­fice staff with iphone 8s. It’s the sort of in­vest­ment nor­mally re­served for ex­ec­u­tives, but the com­pany be­lieves that it is an ef­fec­tive way to spread a dig­i­tal mind­set through­out the busi­ness.

Hu­man Re­sources Di­rec­tor, Caro­line van der Feltz, says that the re­ac­tion from em­ploy­ees to the iphones has been “hugely pos­i­tive”. Once again, BT has worked in part­ner­ship with the bank to struc­ture the con­tract in such a way that en­cour­ages staff to use the phones, to im­merse them­selves in the dig­i­tal world with­out im­ped­i­ments.

Cus­tomers of the bank will be fa­mil­iar with the bank’s highly re­garded mo­bile and tablet apps, but in­side the or­gan­i­sa­tion the new Danske Life app helps em­ploy­ees to con­nect and col­lab­o­rate with each other. Dig­i­tal tech­nol­ogy also cre­ates new pos­si­bil­i­ties. Caro­line said: “Be­ing able to work at a time and place that is con­ve­nient to you is very em­pow­er­ing – dig­i­tal tech­nol­ogy dig­i­tal tech­nol­ogy helps fa­cil­i­tate this.” On a prac­ti­cal level, this flex­i­bil­ity helps the bank re­tain staff and at­tract new tal­ent from other or­gan­i­sa­tions and uni­ver­si­ties.

It turns out the bank’s rep­u­ta­tion in the dig­i­tal space very much en­hances the com­pany’s appeal for prospec­tive re­cruits.

In all of this, the part­ner­ship be­tween the bank and BT Busi­ness in North­ern Ire­land gen­er­ates re­as­sur­ance for ev­ery­one. Caro­line re­flected: “Here in North­ern Ire­land there is un­doubt­edly a lot of trust in the Danske brand and there’s a lot of trust in the BT brand.” It’s clearly a re­la­tion­ship where both sides are win­ners.

Pic­tured from left is Mark Pur­due, Bt­busi­ness in North­ern Ire­land, Danske Bank Chief Dig­i­tal Of­fi­cer Søren Rode An­dreasen and Danske Bank Hu­man Re­sources Di­rec­tor Caro­line van der Feltz

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