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First National Bank Case Study

Greater savings and control with IP communications solution


The First National Bank of Hutchinson has deep roots in Kansas. But the fact that it serves a small community is no excuse to scrimp on service. To keep pace with customer expectations, management re-examined the bank’s technology infrastructure.

“Our Plexar phone system was aging and our provider wasn’t supporting it well,” says Greg Binns, the bank’s Executive VP and CFO. “The big problem was that we knew there was better technology out there that could improve customer service and save money – and we wanted it.” With 156 older phones, a switchboard that could not be easily repaired or expanded, and technology that was over the hill, the old system had to go.

Binns explains that the bank needed a solution that would provide greater control over communications than possible with a PBX system. “It had to work with our e-mail, be easy-to-use, and let us move phones around without waiting weeks to get them in place.”

After researching available solutions and comparing ROI’s, he decided on IP Communications solution was the best approach. However, he needed a partner who had the expertise to design and deliver it. He called West Professional Services, the leading provider of professional services for cloud–based unified communications.


Why Professional Services? “I worked with the sales rep before and knew she would deliver on her promises,” explains Binns. “Plus, they have plenty of experience with IP Communications and they’re the best people to help us transition to a new system.” His decision was made even easier after a short trip to the training room where he witnessed firsthand how the proposed solution would perform in action.

West designed a solution that integrated voice mail and e-mail systems across locations using Cisco Unity Unified Messaging system. The easy-to-use system enables employees to better prioritize, manage, and respond to critical messages. So now, when a customer concern is handed off to the appropriate bank employee with an e-mail, he or she also has the customer’s original voice mail along with it, which enables the bank staff to respond more effectively to customers.

The new solution also features Cisco CallManager and PC Attendant for faster and less expensive Moves, Adds, and Changes (MACs). All MACs are handled internally so there’s no need to wait for a technician. “Changes that might drag out over weeks can now be made in minutes, so it improves productivity and saves money.” he says.

The implemented IP Communications solution consists of

  • Integration of GroupWise and Unity voice mail applications
  • Cisco CallManager
  • Cisco IP Phones and PC Attendant
  • Cisco IP Switches and Routers


Employee surveys prove that the new solution is performing as promised. “Change is always threatening, but our staff has universally accepted the IPC approach. People love how simple it is to use,” says Binns.

Now employees are automatically notified when they have new voice mails, they can instantly see who as called, andthen download the *.wav file and listen to it from their mobile device without having to call in to the central voice mailsystem. Plus, employees can save the fi les for future reference. “We’ve just started using it, we can’t quantify ROI yet, but it’s already faster and easier to deal with voice mail through e-mail instead of phones.”

This bank is realizing the dividends of an advanced IPC system. “We’re still growing with it. But when the time comes for future technology needs, we won’t hesitate to contact them.”

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