Westpac is scaling up an end-to-end knowledge support platform for its frontline bankers that was built using tools already in the broader group’s IT environment.
Continuous improvement team lead Daniel Sweeney told a Panviva webinar that the platform had been intended as a “little pilot” but had far exceeded expectations and was now delivering a “seven-figure business benefit” for the group.
“At the moment [my team is] deep within a proof-of-concept around an end-to-end knowledge support platform, [which is] actually going quite well,” Sweeney said.
“The program leverages capabilities from four key streams - knowledge management, virtual support, conversational automation and continuous improvement - together in an Agile or Scrum sense.
“Ultimately, at the face of it is the Panviva application, but it encompasses banker knowledge support, automated chatbot support and also human support for escalations, so it’s end-to-end knowledge management and support for our frontline bankers.
“It was intended just to be a little pilot but it was so successful that within the first six months it’s been rolled out to our entire contact centre across the nation for the Westpac Group, with plans to roll out into the retail network now as well.”
Sweeney’s team comprises around 30 specialists working across the four key streams he lists.
While he did not go into great detail on how the platform is impacting frontline service, Sweeney did indicate the proof-of-concept was pursued with “zero cost”, connecting tools already licensed by the Westpac Group.
Panviva, a cloud-based knowledge support platform and bot maker, cites Westpac as an existing customer, though it is not clear how the tool was used up to this point inside the bank.
Sweeney said the pilot version of the knowledge support platform was stitched together with Panviva APIs that Westpac did not use, and some code by Westpac’s own teams.
“We had no idea that Panviva had all of this API connectivity that we weren’t currently leveraging,” he said.
“[After some] quick chats with our Panviva contacts, we actually uncovered a really good opportunity to make some excellent efficiency savings in our business utilising that technology that we just didn’t know existed.”
Sweeney said it also paid to understand the capabilities of all tools licensed on a groupwide basis, since these capabilities could be quickly brought into other projects.
All told, Sweeney teams had “created value within the knowledge support platform” with minimum expense.
“Now we can say if we want to invest in that and make it better, we can see the actual value of that improvement,” he said.
"We’ve demonstrated that value before we asked for money.”
He added that the bank also has a “fully functional banker support” chatbot that it had built up over the past six-to-12 months.