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Symphony’s Omnichannel Experience

The Pandemic triggered an explosion of new communication channels. At Symphony, we're connecting them so users have the luxury of choice without the cost of context switching.

When COVID-19 forced employees to work from their home offices and kitchen tables, flexible and efficient communication became more crucial than ever. Financial markets professionals – dependent on real time information flow and accustomed to the physical proximity of a trading desk – faced the new challenge of remote communication.

Symphony’s core collaboration capabilities and its Cloud9 voice platform offer a robust suite of tools, purpose-built for the financial markets. With the move to remote communication channels, our market-specific capabilities became an enabler of this sudden shift.

The pandemic was an unexpected wrench in the carefully-laid disaster recovery plans of many financial markets firms. These plans called for spare office space with duplicate infrastructure, assuming that work forces could reassemble at alternate sites. Instead, the pandemic drove companies to hastily adopt a variety of new cloud-native communication tools to support distributed work forces in their homes. Very quickly, firms were deploying a growing array of new platforms like Zoom and Cloud9, but also managing the increased use of non-compliant platforms like WeChat, WhatsApp and others.

For example, Cloud9 helped hundreds of firms quickly set up thousands of work-from-home employees who were originally earmarked for disaster recovery sites. Enabling personnel to log in from anywhere and access all their voice connections, such as speed-dials, hoots, direct lines, TV audio and intercom made it possible to continue business with minimal interruption and increased flexibility.

Due to Cloud9’s API-first approach and high-quality audio, customers were also able to deploy speech-recognition technology to transcribe all those conversations, enabling the sharing of real-time intelligence despite geographic distance. Cloud9’s capabilities met the needs of our customers during a stretch when no one knew what to expect – and accelerated their digital transformation in the process.

As Financial Service professionals utilize more communication methods, we facilitate them through our platform. By enabling clients to leverage such a wide variety of avenues, we are creating an “omnichannel” experience.

Omnichannel

Omnichannel means that through Symphony, you can communicate seamlessly with your colleagues, clients, and counterparties – through their preferred channels! Gone are the days of forcing customers onto a new platform that they don’t currently have on their desktop or device.

As the office becomes only one component of the actual work environment, professionals will need additional freedom to move from home, to the office, on the road, all while staying connected to their clients and counterparties. The ability to reach them all equally and quickly will become increasingly important. This is why Omnichannel will become more and more critical.

Text-Message Acceleration​

It’s clear that the pandemic accelerated the move of a huge portion of business communication to mobile phones and tablets, worldwide. For good reason. When it comes to fast and efficient communication, text message is still king.

Texts enable you to reach recipients immediately, via their most convenient and preferred channel: their phone. Text is also a more natural, conversational method which helps facilitate personal rapport. This is why it’s so powerful in building relationships with clients.

Reduced Communication Risk​

However, text messaging also poses significant risks for financial institutions.

SEC and FINRA rules obligate recordkeeping for all business-related conversations. The geographic distribution of employees and increased use of new communication apps accelerated by the pandemic has created a growing record-keeping challenge for many companies.

Regulatory Solution​​

In parallel, there is a renewed push from industry regulators to ensure no business communication circumvents the monitored channels. As a result, every company must now ensure it has a proper strategy to manage their responsibility.

Symphony offers a simple solution.

Our platform enables financial institutions to seamlessly maintain all surveillance and recordkeeping requirements, over multiple channels. Even when using external systems such as SMS, WhatsApp or WeChat, we enable clients to meet their regulatory obligations. We do this by allowing your users to use the Symphony experience already familiar to them to connect and communicate with their client’s preferred communication method. You’re on Symphony, your client stays on WhatsApp. And critically, we do this using Symphony’s existing compliance connectivity – minimizing the headaches of on-boarding yet another channel.

Zoom Integration​​

The growing shift toward and acceptance of hybrid work policies means that virtual meetings are here to stay.

This is why Symphony is designed to facilitate remote collaboration between internal teams and external counterparties. Our Zoom integration enables you to launch a Zoom meeting directly from Symphony with the click of a button, while keeping your chat context and workflows at your fingertips throughout the meeting.

You can also continue to use Symphony chat and file sharing throughout the Zoom session, reducing the need to context-switch between different platforms before or during a meeting. When users can continue to chat and file share within a secure, uniform environment, such as during a Zoom meeting, it fosters more effective collaboration among attendees.

Conclusion

As our CEO Brad Levy said in a recent post, “the world is experiencing more volatility events at a greater velocity, with a greater variability of outcomes.” As this happens, it is becoming increasingly critical for users to manage their communication with as little context switching as possible. Whether they’re sitting on the same trading desk or working from distant cities, Cloud9 plus our SMS, WhatsApp, WeChat and Zoom integrations seamlessly extend Symphony to the channels that colleagues, clients, and counterparties are already using. This omnichannel experience makes collaboration easier, workflows more efficient and error-proof, and compliance simpler to manage in a period of increasing uncertainty. It’s also why Omnichannel is the future of communication in Financial Services.

To learn more, visit Symphony.com/federated

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