About Lloyds Banking Group

Lloyds Banking Group is a financial services group focused on retail and commercial customers – with over 30 million customers in the UK. The Bank’s operational headquarters are in London with other offices in Scotland and Wales.


The Project – Branch Upgrade

As part of the UK-wide technology infrastructure upgrade programme, there was a requirement to replace business-critical hardware from the majority of Lloyds Banking Group branches, across 3 of its major brands (Bank of Scotland, Halifax and Lloyds Bank). Part of this programme was the replacement of network switches. The Branch Switch Replacement project was a physical upgrade of end-of-life network branch switches across the UK. The switches support both voice and data for each of the affected branches. Exception provided a Managed Service to coordinate the implementation of the new IT infrastructure in 1,859 branches, assisting with coordinating third party suppliers and Bank stakeholders to complete the change out.


Why Exception?

Exception were chosen for this intricate project due to our flexible delivery approach; our previous track record of successful managed service projects; and for our extensive experience of working on large-scale IT roll-out projects.


What did we do?

Exception managed the project, coordinating multiple Bank and external stakeholders to complete the physical upgrade to all end-of-life Cisco network switches with the new market-leading replacement model. The project comprised of 1,859 branches requiring upgrades across the UK. The need varied considerably from each location. The new switches are the size of a DVD player, with 48 network connector points. These connector points are required for all business-critical devices, such as: Bank Tellers’ Desktops, CCTV hardware and alarms to connect to the internet. Some of the larger branches required up to 6 switches to be installed (288 connection points). To complete all the required replacements within the extremely tight timescales, Exception consultants needed to liaise closely with the Bank’s Retail Change Group, the external Network Service Provider – BT, & 3rd Party Engineers – Co-View. The Exception consultants were in communication with all stakeholders daily, managing expectations with the customer and handling 3rd party queries and concerns. As the upgrades have a large operational impact on each branch, all engagements were carried out in the evening. A number of challenges were encountered during the project including; physical obstructions and unforeseen scheduling conflicts at particular sites. Also, the operational needs across Bank of Scotland, Halifax and Lloyds Bank all differed, adding a layer of complexity. Despite this the Exception team produced a deployment success rate of over 98%.


Results

The project was completed successfully overseeing 1,859 branches updated, equating to 2,731 switch replacements over a 15-month period. One individual day saw the completion of 48 branch updates with 105 switches. The deployment success rate was 98% and the team met their target time for all installs to be made before 10pm, on 99% of occasions.