The Cantonal Bank of Fribourg (BCF) has outsourced its entire workplace management to Swisscom. It did so to lower the total cost of ownership (TCO) and be able to adapt more quickly to changing information technology requirements.
To any bank today, highperformance information technology is essential. But IT not only has to work, it also has to do so at an acceptable cost. As Christian Meixenberger, director and head of the Service Center Division at BCF, puts it: “The share of our expenditure for IT was 30% of total expenditures. The goal was to lower that to around 20%.” In July 2002 the bank decided to concentrate entirely on its core competencies and to outsource the decentralised IT areas to an external service provider.
Swisscom emerged from the ensuing evaluation as the clear winner. François Briguet, authorised signatory and Project Manager at BCF: “Swisscom responded to our requests from the very beginning.
For example, we had suggested defining a detailed catalogue of requirements per workplace; which enabled us to limit the frequency of our hardware updates, rather than systematically replacing all equipment every set of months. In addition, we had already worked for a long time with Swisscom and had had positive experiences. Most important, was that we felt understood and were able to develop and implement a new cost model together. This permits us to define a variable unit price for the workplaces.”
Complete outsourcing of workplace management is not very common yet in the banking sector. Consequently, parts of the plan were called into question. Christian Meixenberger: “Because we expected criticism, we consistently integrated all affected parties into the process. For instance, by clearly communicating at all times the progress that the project was making and coordinating and agreeing on things with Swisscom on a regular basis.”
The division of tasks within the project also proved successful. BCF merely gave Swisscom the objectives; how those objectives were to be achieved was left up to the specialists. François Briguet: “We had defined, for example, that a printer with a print capacity of 4 pages per minute had to be within 20 meters of every employee. Instead of the 300 printers we previously had, there are now only 200, and a total of 15 models was reduced to three. That makes handling simpler, which is advantageous for both parties.”
The original plans called for a calculation based on services rendered. In the end, however, the decision was made to calculate a fixed price per year and workplace. François Briguet: “We calculated on the basis of five different computer workplaces; each one of these workplaces was assigned a hardware composition, a service level agreement and various software packages. Today the price per workplace is fixed, and the service as well: We are profiting from IT on demand.”
The objection that the price of hardware is always falling and that the client pays too much for the selected outsourcing model is not justified. While it is true that hardware performance doubles every couple of months, prices more or less remain constant.
In addition, it was agreed that necessary upgrades would be included: For instance, the bank will soon be migrating to a new operating system; any resulting hardware changes are also covered by the annual fee. Christian Meixenberger: “Thanks to complete outsourcing we were not only relieved of unpleasant secondary tasks, but also of unnecessary costs. We plan to lower financial outlay for workplace management on the whole to 17.5%. In the first year we already achieved savings in excess of 8%. Today we no longer see Swisscom simply as a supplier but also as a strategic partner.”
The BCF has outsourced all of its workplace management services to Swisscom:
The BCF benefits from the applied complete outsourcing model in various ways: