Jyske Bank Uses AV to Change the Way People Think About Banks

Recently, Denmark's second largest independent bank underwent a major change. In just three months Jyske - pronounced Yeeska - Bank transformed all 125 of its branches - both physically, and from a business model perspective as well. Their goal: To make Jyske Bank Denmark's most customer-oriented bank by introducing "Jyske Bank Generation Two," a bold attempt to enhance customers' experience and encourage them to change the way they think about banking. As part of this goal, they worked to make the bank less of an office for the employees and more of a comfortable, inviting, and informative environment for the customers. One way they succeed with the "comfortable and inviting" goal is by hosting some of the most popular coffee bars in town. Since unveiling the newly designed branches to its 470,000 customers in September, they have served more than six tons of coffee. Each branch proudly displays its coffee bar near the front window, inviting passers by to pop in instead of rushing past. But even though the free coffee draws much attention, Jyske Bank's new profile is about more than just a good cup of java. It's about meaningful and helpful communication with customers as well as employees and management. This is where the 'informative' part of the goal comes into play – aided greatly by an extensive use of AV.

At Jyske Bank information is vital to success. With this in mind, multiple, large displays deliver videos and interactive presentations to customers as well as employees, improving information flow and enhancing the atmosphere in each branch. The AV starts with 1,000 digital signage displays placed throughout the banks' lobbies, and 500 interactive plasma displays in conference rooms. Steen Mertz, Jyske Bank's AV Technology Manager, was in charge of choosing the AV equipment and supervising design and integration for this large-scale project. For the past three years, Steen has specified all AV equipment for Jyske Bank, and has created a short list of trusted suppliers, which he provides to all integrators. We are happy to say that Extron is on this list for all interfaces, cables, standard switchers, and all non-touch screen controllers. This list also helps keep support costs down. "Over the last three years, we've had to create many custom installations using standard components from the best suppliers. This list makes it easy for us to maintain and support products, and saves us time when talking to the integrators," Steen says, then comments on how Extron "made the cut." "We wanted to use only the best suppliers that we know for excellent products and support. We also wanted to keep the number of suppliers to a minimum. Here, Extron is a strong partner – able to supply many of the products we needed, and provide their support which is second to none in the AV business."

All conference room AV content is controlled via Extron MLC 104 IP MediaLink Controllers with IP Link (now replaced by the MLC 104 IP Plus ). Thomas Olsen, Product Manager for Calamus, one of the two integrators on this project, comments on Steen's choice of the MLC 104 IP. "We agreed with Steen's choice for the MLC 104 IP as the main controller for Plasma displays – 42", 50", and 65", LCD displays – 42", and projectors. The MLC 104 IP provides a standardized, user- friendly control interface in all conference rooms. All 500 of the MediaLink controllers are connected to the network and programmed for automatic scheduling." With so many branches, each with numerous AV systems in conference rooms, this automatic scheduling ensures systems are powered on and off at appropriate times which fits well with the energy-saving goals of the bank. Extron cables are also used exclusively throughout each installation; even replacing those that came bundled with the monitors.

A Sound Investment

Steen also chose the Extron MPA 122 Two Channel Integrated Mini Power Amplifiers (now replaced by the MPA 152 ), and MPA 181T 70 Volt, Mono Integrated Mini Power Amplifiers (now replaced by the MPA 401). The MPA 122 amplifiers amplify the audio in all conference rooms. Their compact design and economical price point made them the perfect match for this application. "The MPA 181T is used whenever possible because they are reliable and easy to install." Says Steen, "Primarily, we use these for the mood-setting sound in front of our meeting rooms, and also in our restrooms." Steen chose the Extron MIX 301, Three Channel Line Level Mixer for two applications. The MIX 301 combines up to three line level mono audio sources into a single line level mono output. "We use focused sound in the Café area," Steen says, "For these types of speakers to work right the sound level is critical. The MIX 301 allows for easy volume adjustment and it fit well within our budget." The other area in which these compact mixers are used is between the set top boxes, which play music throughout each branch, and the previously installed sound system. "We wanted to reuse the existing system somehow," says Steen, "and the MIX 301 is perfect for interfacing and level control between the different equipment we have in place."

Digital Signage

Digital signage plays an important part in every Jyske Bank branch. Interactive LCD displays placed on the "TestBars" provide bank service information in the form of entertaining presentations. Each bank service (loans, saving accounts, etc.) is represented by a colorful box roughly the size of a cereal box. To watch a presentation, customers simply choose a service of interest, and scan the box's bar code on the scanner located next to the display. Here, clever AV use has allowed lively presentations to take the place of pamphlets. Behind the Money Bar or till, 42" LCD displays are used during business hours to advertise special offers and important information, and after hours for staff or customer meetings. The LCD displays and associated audio content are switched by the Extron MLS 102 two-input VGA switcher.

Challenges

The biggest challenge for the bank was the short time frame within which all the changes had to be made. "We have 120 branches that are all very different," says Steen, "We needed to create an AV design which could be scaled up and down depending on the floor plan and size of each branch. For instance, some branches have one conference room, others have 10 or more. We signed with the integrators, Calamus and AV Center, only 45 days before installation started; and the whole project was completed on time, in three months." Steen's list of trusted suppliers helped by shortening the product decisionmaking portion of the project, but there was another challenge. In addition to the time constraints, there was the pressure of this being a top secret project. Over the past two years, a carefully selected group of trusted employees worked on the project which was not revealed to management until March of 2006 and the rest of the employees on May 20th. Remodeling began two days later. Thomas reflects on the well-executed public launch, "After each branch was finished, the displays were covered to keep them hidden from the public. In September, all 120 branches were proudly presented to all customers at the same time."

Demand and Delivery

Steen, Thomas, and Henrik Jorgensen, a Sales Manager with AV Center, needed suppliers who had available inventory, competitive prices, and could reliably fulfill urgent orders. "Steen chose all the products for this installation," says Henrik. "He wanted Extron products everywhere they could possibly be used." In addition to favorable supply and delivery expectations from Extron, there was the issue of quality. "We have worked with Steen and Jyske Bank for the past one and a half years - even before this project, and agreed with him that Extron would be the best choice to provide quality products for this project." Henrik also added, "In general, AV Center uses a lot of Extron products for several reasons. The quality of the products is the best, and this is an important issue when we speak of solutions with our customers. We also know that if problems occur, Extron will deal with them ASAP. If units need repair, RMAs are received within a very short time, and products will be returned very fast."

Communication is Key

Steen comments on how AV has helped strengthen the bank's communication with the public. "Better communication requires loads of technology, and integrating this technology has enabled Jyske Bank to communicate to our customers in video as easily as we had previously done in print or on the Web." The plan seems to be working. The Bank's new, casual atmosphere and dozens of bright displays certainly communicates a welcoming beacon to passersby. And perhaps the good coffee plays a part as well. Either way, Steen is pleased. "It's very exciting to be part of Jyske Bank Generation Two." Steen says, "We worked very hard to make this a success. The AV played a crucial role, and with so many tight deadlines, I came to rely heavily on our suppliers. Extron proved once again why they are at the top of my list for so many products."

For additional information:

Jyske Bank — http://www.jyskebank.info/

Jyske Bank

Many Jyske Bank branches, like this one, use multiple, large displays to inform and welcome passers by.

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