At a glance
Lifesize Customer Since: 2018
Conference Room Systems: 20
Starling Bank has had a dizzying rise in the UK over the past few years. It was formed in 2014 as a mobile-only bank into a traditional banking market that was ripe for disruption.
Since then, Starling has become one of the preeminent entrants into the market. A winner of Best British Bank for three years running, it has proved itself to be highly responsive to the new demands placed on banks with a willingness to satisfy the needs of customers. It’s grown rapidly in a challenging marketplace and there are no expectations of quelling that exponential growth and reputation anytime soon.
As a bank without any physical branches, Starling depends exclusively on its technology. Video conferencing has played a major part in this: The company does have three offices, so there is still a lot of intracompany communication.
But as Starling’s Head of Workplace Technology, Joe Steele, explains, video communication had been a bit of hit-and-miss at the company in the past. There had been situations where shadow IT purchasing reared its ugly head and Starling therefore needed a single, unified video conferencing supplier.
Steele set the backdrop for that selection process: “We were a fairly new company when I joined two and a half years ago and at the time, the IT team hadn’t really chosen a direction with our video conferencing systems. We had Zoom, Hangouts, Webex, Skype, all being used in one way or another.” Steele knew that it was essential to cut back on all these options, as they were creating an IT management headache.
Steele began the process of choosing the right partner. “I decided we needed a single product which we could stick with long-term that integrated with our other systems, was easy to deploy into meeting rooms, and had a consistent user experience regardless of device.”
He looked at a number of providers, but Lifesize stood out for several reasons: price, usability, scalability, integration with Starling’s existing software, and customer support. In particular, Steele believed the fact that Lifesize produced its own hardware was a significant plus and differentiator. All of this added up to an exceptional user experience, whatever size of room or device was being used. “The virtual meeting rooms (VMRs) are great and most of the teams here use them. They’re really useful to just jump in and out of for ad hoc meetings or daily stand-ups without having to create a new meeting every time,” says Steele.
The technology really came into its own during the COVID-19 crisis. “It has massively changed the way we operate,” says Steele. “We have company-wide livestreams three times a week via Lifesize, and our overall usage has gone up nearly 14 times compared to six months ago.”
The effects of the pandemic have meant radical changes in the way that Starling handles its business processes. “Without a tool like Lifesize, it would be impossible for us to continue operating and communicating on the level we need to continue thriving in what is a very difficult time for businesses,” adds Steele.
During such a period, Lifesize’s ease of use has been a bonus. “The menus have been well thought-out and it’s customisable by the admins to put the most important features front and centre on the meeting room system touchscreens,” Steele continues.
Starling is growing fast and it was important that the company chose a solution that was easily scalable. Steele points out that the bank grew from 100 to 1000 employees in the 30 months since he joined the company, and it’s expected to continue growing.
He’s excited about future plans for Lifesize, including tighter integrations with other enterprise collaboration and productivity tools. The company already uses Lifesize’s integration with Slack, but is set to add further support for Gmail.
Steele also welcomes additional security features, but most of all he’s looking forward to continuing to support the bank’s growth, something he is confident will happen with Lifesize