‘Citi’ of Irving: Firm Professionals Advance Digital Platforms, Stave Off Cyberthreats, Log 35K Volunteer Hours

Financial services company Citi is Irving's largest single employer. The employees at the Regent and Las Colinas campuses perform over 40 different functions in technology, cards, commercial, operations and global functions. It's the "second-largest site in the world for Citi."

When customers order a pizza, they can track its progress from dough to the door.

So, why not the same experience when replacing a credit or debit card?

And, for that matter, why track a replacement card when a new card can appear via smartphone app in a matter of seconds?

Solutions to both questions have been developed by teams at Citi’s Las Colinas campus, on a floor formerly used as a 1,900-seat call center.

Roughly three miles northwest of Dallas, Citi crews monitor the internet for cyberattacks on Citi data centers and customers, thwart the attacks, and monitor threats to global stability.

“We have 4,200 technology people locally, which is more than anywhere else in the world, at Citi.”
Rodney V. Phelps

Together, the Regent and Las Colinas campuses constitute a small city of professionals: population 7,500. Select members of that team are employed to stop cyberattacks on Citi customers and Citi assets, and develop data tools and strategies to advance Citi’s business mission. Citi is Irving’s largest single employer. These workers perform more than 40 different functions and businesses, including technology, cards, commercial, operations and global functions.

Citi recently opened the doors at its Las Colinas campus and its Regent site to a small delegation to increase awareness of the work being done on behalf of Citi in the region, and the transition of their Irving Citi campuses. The financial firm also wanted to draw attention to its relationship with the community—Citi workers logged more than 35,000 volunteer hours annually in the Dallas region.

“We’re the second-largest site in the world for Citi,” said Rodney V. Phelps, Citi’s local site president, who is also responsible for global consumer operations and resource and location strategy. “We have 4,200 technology people locally, which is more than anywhere else in the world, at Citi. We developed the digital application that’s hopefully on your phone.”

The Citi Mobile app—which Citi developers at the Las Colinas campus have equipped with the function to track the status of card replacements—has nearly 6 million downloads to Android and Apple devices.

According to Phelps, over the last four years, the Citi workforce in Irving has shifted from 60 percent nonprofessional/nonexempt workers and 40 percent professional, to 82 percent professional and 18 percent non-exempt workers.

“We’re transforming our campus from a standard, traditional ‘cubicle world,’ to a more open, collaborative environment.”
Rodney V. Phelps

“We’re transforming our campus from a standard, traditional ‘cubicle world,’ to a more open, collaborative environment,” he said.

Along those lines, Citi has plans to remodel its second floor in its Las Colinas building to clear out roughly 1,900 cubicles and create a new space that fits the way Citi teams are innovating, said Mike Naggar, Managing Director, Global Head of Product Management-Technology at Citi.

“It will be an offshoot of Citi’s new workplace strategy, with a focus on agile development,” Naggar said. This new workplace concept, which is being implemented in Citi offices around the world, is designed to significantly improve the way individuals and teams work and collaborate, he said. This concept was recently introduced on another floor of the Las Colinas Campus. That space houses Citi Technology Infrastructure teams.

Where Citi employed five digital agile teams in 2015, it employs more than 100 today.

Recently, Citi added numerous talent-friendly conveniences to its Las Colinas building: a Starbucks, a game room, and a medical clinic. A convenience store and fitness center have been part of the campus for years.

Another tool Citi is using to recruit talent is promoting the company’s growing diversity.

More than 2,500 Citi workers in the Dallas region are active in the company’s employee network program, which encourages company workers and managers to embrace a more inclusive and tolerant workforce, according to Citi Public Affairs Officer Kristen Worthington. The programs create opportunities for both personal and professional growth, she said. Locally, Citi’s eight employee network affinity groups include Asian Pacific Heritage, Citi Salutes (military), Generations, Pride, Women’s, Black Heritage, Hispanic/Latino Heritage and Parents networks.

Stopping hackers/monitoring potential disasters

While Citi’s Las Colinas facility advances consumer technology and devises digital solutions to advance company operations, some Citi team members at the Regent campus are monitoring internet traffic for attacks on Citi assets and customers, and for global conditions that might disrupt business.

Citi’s Security Operations Center in Citi’s Regent campus is a movie-theater-sized room, with a wall covered by computer and video monitors. Two of the larger screens render cyberattacks as though they were comets, streaking across the digital maps from their cities of origins, toward their targets. Specialists in the center keep watch for suspicious activity and identify cyber incidents.

Citi also has a team dedicated to monitoring potential fraud on individual Citi bank and card-related transactions.

The Regent campus hosts Citi’s Global Command Center, which is similar in size and layout to the Security Operations Center, but its team monitors more varied activities around the globe—from political unrest, to extreme weather events—that might destabilize financial markets. Citi’s second Security Operations Center is in Singapore.

Citi has teams that work closely with government agencies and law enforcement, sharing relevant information, when necessary.

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