Impero Connect

Case Study: First Interstate Bank

First Interstate Bank Logo

Impero Connect helps First Interstate Bank lower support costs and reallocate resources

The Challenge Facing First Interstate Bank

The technical staff at First Interstate Bank had grown accustomed to traveling. To support branches, handle day-to-day maintenance, help end users and troubleshoot issues, they moved from one location to another.

When your region straddles the Bighorn Range of the Rocky Mountains, however, getting from branch to branch takes more than simply driving up the street. The trip from Billings to Eureka alone is nine hours. Consequently, the bank was spending considerable resources on branch support: gas and vehicle expenses, per diem allowances, occasional overnight lodging and the salaries of several full-time staff members.

“One of our service representatives incurred more than $25,000 in travel costs in a single year,” said Systems Engineer Laura Kolterman.

More costly, though, was the undeniable inefficiency in the bank’s ability to resolve support requests. A long commute means an equally long response lag. Difficult delays were the result and precious time was lost every day.

The Solution

First Interstate responds to challenges by looking for ways to innovate. The company’s strategies to improve its bottom line are organized around adding value, improving service or cutting costs. With Impero Connect, it found it could achieve all three.

A pioneer in remote access and control technologies, Impero helped First Interstate reduce its IT travel budget and shorten response times drastically.

“We’re all about providing better customer service and resolving issues as quickly as possible. The last thing we want our support staff doing these days is to have to physically visit a branch,” Kolterman said.

The bank initially used Impero Connect to consolidate its technical operations – including its traveling support staff – to a central office. With nearly 2,500 employees and over 2,000 Microsoft workstations to support, the IT department receives up to 150 requests per day—50 percent of which are now handled remotely using Impero Connect. If an issue can’t be resolved at the first tier, Impero Connect lets staff escalate it to a level where it can be addressed.

Like most financial institutions, First Interstate Bank handles sensitive customer data and must comply with a variety of strict regulations. Using Impero Connect, IT administrators can set granular permissions, restricting staff to security parameters appropriate to their role. Meanwhile, all remote sessions are centrally logged and audit-ready.

“I can tell you who accessed which machine, on what date, at what time, for the past several years,” said Kolterman.

The Results

Since adopting Impero Connect, First Interstate Bank has saved tens of thousands of dollars per year by reducing IT travel. Two full-time equivalent positions were freed up to focus on other work. Faster call resolution times represent additional value gained. And call volume has dropped, as the help desk can now address four or five issues in one request.

In fact, the solution has proven more valuable than expected. Originally purchased to provide remote support, Impero Connect is now used by other groups within the bank for onboarding and training as well. Tech support uses it to bring new employees online faster, by helping with the setup of their desktop, applications, printer and so on. Payroll uses Impero to teach new staff how to use the specialized software they rely on.

“There are a number of specialized applications that bankers use to originate mortgages, consumer and auto loans. Impero has proven invaluable in helping application experts get staff up to speed on the specific nuances of these proprietary applications,” said Kolterman.

By turning to Impero Connect, First Interstate Bank has cut costs, redistributed resources and gained the freedom to focus on bigger priorities.

“It’s hard to believe that one tool can consolidate resources, help us train staff and support such a vast array of devices. We couldn’t be happier with the solution,” noted Kolterman.

About First Interstate Bank

First Interstate Bank is a $7.3 billion organization headquartered in Billings, Montana, which evolved from a single location in 1968 to an institution now operating 76 branches and hundreds of ATMs across Montana, Wyoming and South Dakota.