To accelerate a merger of equals, Umpqua Bank equips more than 8,000 staff with a new global portal to provide a new employee experience and enable consistent service.

Umpqua Bank, a subsidiary of Umpqua Holdings Corporation, is an Oregon-based community bank recognized for its entrepreneurial approach, innovative use of technology, and distinctive banking solutions. It has locations across Idaho, Washington, Oregon, California, and Northern Nevada.

Creating a positive employee and customer experience from the outset

In February 2014, Umpqua Holdings Corporation and Sterling Financial Corporation received shareholder approval for their proposed merger of equals. The banks moved forward aggressively to meet a planned closing date in the following quarter.

Consistent with its focus on customer service, Umpqua Bank wanted to ensure a positive experience for both banks’ customers from “legal day one.” To enable this, the bank sought to introduce a well-structured intranet platform that was in place and accessible to employees of both organizations upon closing. Initially, the intranet platform would include news and procedural documentation necessary to help its combined workforce guide customers during the integration period, until the banks’ systems were combined.

Importantly, Umpqua Bank wanted the platform to convey the combined organization’s new branding and promote a culture of equals as the two banks began integrating operations.

Ultimately, Umpqua Bank planned to migrate both banks’ content repositories to this platform. 

Experience, backed by a distinctive customer experience approach

For assistance with building the new intranet using a SharePoint platform, Umpqua Bank turned to West Monroe Partners, which offered:

  • A distinctive approach to focusing on customer experience
  • Deep banking industry expertise
  • Extensive SharePoint experience
  • Infrastructure capabilities for aligning the portal with both banks’ networks

Delivering service and cultural benefits

West Monroe Partners mobilized a team to meet Umpqua Bank’s time line, providing the skills and experience necessary to:

  • Define business requirements and the functionality necessary for day one
  • Build the unified intranet on a SharePoint 2013 platform—using an agile methodology that allowed bank content owners to provide feedback during development
  • Collaborate with the bank’s content owners—including corporate communications, compliance, reporting, and other teams—to ensure they were prepared to publish content
  • Perform user acceptance and system testing for day-one deployment across both bank networks
“The best of the new Umpqua”

With the support of West Monroe Partners, Umpqua Bank met its goal of equipping more than 8,000 employees with a new intranet site dedicated to helping them deliver consistent, quality service to the combined institution’s customers—a site one executive said exemplified “the best of the new Umpqua.” Beyond providing customer service benefits, introduction of the site also played a key role in helping accelerate cultural integration from day one. 

Following the introduction, West Monroe Partners provided additional assistance to Umpqua Bank, including:

  • Migrating content from both banks’ content repositories
  • Conducting user research to develop recommendations for optimizing the new platform, which the bank’s team is now beginning to pursue
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