NAB builds tech for activity-based working

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NAB builds tech for activity-based working

Replaces end-of-life desktops with Windows 7 laptops.

The National Australia Bank is replacing a number of end-of-life desktops with Windows 7 laptops as it moves to support more flexible working practices.

The multi-year Workplace Transformation Project will see NAB replace two Windows XP operating environments first developed in 2000.

NAB chief technology officer Denis McGee said the bank would roll out a “Windows 7-based service” that included Microsoft’s SCCM, AppV, Office 2010 and Lync, Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop.

McGee said the number of laptops in NAB’s fleet would be “increased significantly to support flexible working” but did not disclose figures.

The bank also planned to support executives’ BYO devices as well as company-supplied thin clients, tablets and “smaller form factor laptops” such as netbooks and ultrabooks.

“The transformation will include physical laptop and desktops as well as our AccessNAB Web Desktop [virtual desktop] fleet which is used by partners and staff,” he told iTnews.

“The deployment across physical and virtual desktops will also include some thin client devices.”

Earlier this year, NAB head of network services Graham Cronin said the bank hoped to trial work-from-home call centres after having rolled out a VoIP-based 'virtual contact centre' platform.

McGee also highlighted ‘activity-based working’ – which has also been adopted by the likes of CBA, Macquarie Group and Yarra Valley Water – as part of NAB’s flexible working plans.

Under the Commonwealth Bank’s activity-based working model, staff have no assigned desks and may choose to work in meeting rooms, cafe-style booths, or along benches in an open-plan office.

McGee said NAB was still in the early stages of the workplace transformation project, focused on bedding down tools and processes for applications teams and the business to test.

He said the Workplace Transformation Program was part of NAB’s total environment transformation.

Both were flagged in the bank’s annual results announcement last month and supported by a dedicated change management team.

“Technology is key to supporting NAB's flexible working initiatives including ‘activity-based working’,” McGee said.

“The majority of NAB’s head office sites have been enabled for flexible working and we will continue to adopt enabling technologies that further support this.

“Our new building at 700 Bourke Street will see the introduction of additional technology tools and systems to further embed flexible working practices.

“The Workplace technology transformation is based on NAB’s total environment transformation and its strategies of reducing risk, increasing currency and building flexibility.”

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