A llied Irish Bank (AIB) is putting digital innovations at the heart of its strategy to become a more customer centric and digitally oriented bank. Mark Culleton, Head of Channel Adoption at AIB, says: “Our customers are telling us that they want choice. They now expect to be able to start, execute, and complete a transaction in any channel.”

“Cisco was keen to embrace our vision, and the Cisco Services team was critical to us. One of the most important things for us was its ability to deliver an enterprise-wide solution that was both scalable and secure.”

Fergal Coburn, Head of Channel Development and Strategy (Direct Channels) Allied Irish Bank


AIB has Cisco equipment installed in its wide area network and wired and wireless local area networks, including Cisco IP telephony. The bank is also deploying a growing number of videoconferencing end points and uses Cisco Contact Center Enterprise to support 1000 agents in two contact centers near Dublin.

While many banks have made progress in the digital space, AIB wanted to go a step further. The aim was not to design a branch-of-the-future, but rather, a welcoming space for piloting new technologies as well as a source of valuable customer feedback. Known as The Lab (Learn about banking).

A key part of The Lab customer experience was the bank’s desire to test a proposed relationship management model, offering remote access to contact center-based specialists as part of a more flexible mix in its 200 branches. It required a fully immersive experience with a strong sense of customer intimacy.

After considering technologies from a number of vendors, the bank chose Remote Expert, a Cisco Smart Solution for Retail Banking, which enables virtual face-to-face meetings between customers and remote bank staff over high-definition video. “Cisco Remote Expert delivers an engaging experience for our customers at a time that suits them” says Fergal Coburn, Head of Channel Development and Strategy (Direct Channels), at AIB.

Wall-mounted Cisco EX-90 TelePresence® screens with Elo touchscreens initiate calls to the contact center for current account, wealth, or mortgage inquiries, while overhead high-res scanners capture documents on the desktop. Customers can add digital signatures, and the bank’s remote expert is able to bring up relevant AIB website pages on the screen or share other documents remotely, with built-in printers for remote activation by the agent.

Cisco Remote Expert forms the centerpiece of an exciting environment staffed by young, enthusiastic people. Within The Lab, visitors can explore other zones to learn about and use self-service banking, mobile and online banking, or emerging technologies. The Lab also boasts an area dedicated to small businesses and, in addition to store staff, a digital avatar that can help customers navigate the experience.

With a very tight timescale, Cisco Services played a key role in bringing The Lab to life in just six months. Cisco Services developed the high-level and low-level designs, and handled the technical integration to link The Lab smoothly with the contact centers. The Cisco Services project manager and architect and engineers worked as an integral part of the bank’s team. Along with Cisco partner, Eircom, they were key in helping migrate to the contact center infrastructure.

“Cisco Services played a critical role in ensuring that the Cisco Remote Expert solution within The Lab was developed and implemented on time” says Cathal Warfield, Head of Digital Relationship Development at AIB.


By enabling visitors to walk into The LAB and discuss a mortgage application with an advisor at eight o’clock at night or first thing on a Saturday morning, Cisco Remote Expert is helping AIB project itself as a company that is investing on behalf of customers and opening up new channels to its services at times that suit their lifestyle.

“Cisco Remote Expert has a future role to play at AIB. The innovative nature of the technology on display has given both internal staff and customers a wow factor.”

Cathal Warfield, Head of Digital Relationship Development Allied Irish Bank

AIB has been pleasantly surprised by the spread of people coming in to try things out. “We’re seeing people who wouldn’t traditionally choose to use this type of technology,” says Fergal Coburn.

The Lab, incorporating the Cisco Remote Expert solution has sent a strong message to the bank’s customers and to the marketplace in terms of AIB ambitions for the future.

Fast Facts

Customer Name: Allied Irish Bank
Industry: Financial services
Location: Ireland
Number of Employees: 13,000

Business Challenge

Expand customer access to banking services through digital innovation
Create test bed for new technology and capture customer feedback
Reposition brand to restore confidence following recent challenges

Network Solution

Cisco Remote Expert with overhead document cameras and EX90 video endpoints
Digital Signage
Cisco Design and Integration Services

Business Results

Delivers an engaging experience for customers
Expanded accessibility to experts
Simplified use for both customers and expert

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