USAA speeds up outcomes for customers

Sharing content across a diversified financial enterprise

Military mom hugging daughter
USAA logo

Financial Services






Digital client exchange
Field operations management
Product and project planning


Box AI
Box Consulting
Box Governance
Box Platform
Box Sign
Box for Microsoft 365

4 icon problem 2
  • Having to get past a VPN when working remotely hindered productivity and frustrated employees
  • Workflows were clunky, often involving things like tape recorders and multi-step file transfers
  • Strict regulations tend to hinder what financial services companies can do with customer data
4 icon solution 0
  • With the Content Cloud, employees access what they need from any device, even while talking to a customer at their home
  • Box Mobile and the tools USAA has built on Box Platform have dramatically decreased the number of steps it takes to complete a lot of everyday tasks 
  • Because Box supports full compliance across various industries, USAA’s developers build apps with far less risk

A platform for diversified productivity

It’s 1922 and you think it might be a good idea to insure your shiny, state-of-the-art Ford Model T. Of course, car insurance is not yet mandatory in 1922, or even common, so you and your friends have an innovative idea. You pool your money to self-insure each other.


This is exactly how USAA was formed over a century ago by 25 army officers. After 100 years in business, USAA now has 13 million members. The company has come a long way from peer-funded car insurance. Today, USAA offers automobile insurance, property and casualty insurance, banking and life insurance, and an extended portfolio of financial services. It takes a 70,000-person workforce to support all those diversified products and members. It also takes the right technology choices.


Shane Enstad is AVP, IT Product Engineering at USAA, his employer of three decades. Today, he works within the Workforce Digital Services division, overseeing the litany of digital tools employees use to support collaboration, productivity, communications, service desk requests, and field work. Enstad says, “The entire breadth of user segments of USAA leverage Box throughout their entire day. As a result, they have fast access to data, the ability to share information more effectively, and the ability to collaborate together on documents and get to a final product quicker.”

uploaded secure files


Streamlined workflows that benefit employees and customers

Here’s what that can look like.


When a customer files an insurance claim — say, for a house fire — an investigator may be dispersed to their home to gather facts. In the past, they’d take a statement with a tape recorder, bring the tape back to headquarters, convert the audio to a file, save it to their computer, and transfer it to another system so it could be applied to the claim.


It was a clunky system with a lot of steps, but now, investigators can take advantage of a recording feature on the Box mobile app. They hit “record” on their phone, and when they’re done, the file automatically uploads to the right place. Later, it’s easy to find the audio file in order to attach it to a record or other pieces of paperwork. The process is drastically streamlined, saving insurance investigators a lot of time.


As Mark McGee, Product Manager, confirms, “Box has really become the de facto for mobility. Previously, USAA people were always carrying around big, bulky laptops to access the VPN, and we had to troubleshoot with them remotely. They would often have problems accessing the VPN to get their data, but that just doesn't happen with how it’s configured with Box on the iPads and mobile devices. It’s a lot easier.”


This is just one example of why McGee looks to Box as a partner in innovation. “There is a lot more opportunity for integration with the internal products and tools, and Box helps us solve those challenges.”


One unlimited place to hold all unstructured data

At first, USAA used Box as a simple tool to facilitate document sharing. Over time, the technology team recognized a lot more potential for the Content Cloud. Enstad was instrumental in renegotiating the original contract to expand the use case for Box as an organization-wide enterprise content management tool to enable collaboration. Over time, organic adoption led Box to replace traditional network sharing and on-prem storage devices.


This rollout coincided nicely with the company’s move to more flexible work arrangements. “Even before COVID,” says McGee, “our workforce was a bit spread out. We were looking for a better way to collaborate on a lot of files, but we didn't have anything like that. We didn't have a way to do real- time collaboration where everybody could be in the same Word document, for example, at the same time.”


Because USAA has a contract with Box for unlimited storage, there’s no cap on the amount of unstructured data people can upload. McGee says, “Box has really paid off in that regard. The unlimited storage is one less thing we have to think about and find funding for. We can just move the data in there, configure the security permissions, and let people go to town.”


From weeks to hours with Box Platform

Over the years, the company’s technology leadership began to think of Box less as a file sharing tool and more as a collaborative tool that now has the built-in advantage of enabling AI. With the help of Box Consulting, the IT team at USAA has designed a network environment that better supports overall business needs. Now, for instance, bank applications teams can tie their apps into the Box platform API, involving content from various sources. This comes in handy in various areas of the business: 

  • In the credit card dispute process, where a customer service representative needs to have full access to someone's credit report in order to resolve the dispute
  • When an automobile insurance customer needs to file a claim for an accident, they can take photos of their vehicle on the scene and upload them via the app in order for adjusters to create a virtual estimate on the spot
  • Coming soon, a payment card industry (PIC) compliance app allowing secure storage of members’ credit card information and tying member documents together in a quick and easy reference format for use by agents


Box has enabled seamless access to content of different kinds, and it has also cut time from processes that used to involve a lot of tricky content sharing. “Instead of taking weeks, now we can have it in hours, or days at the most,” says Enstad. “Box has improved our efficiency, reduced our cost, and improved our members’ experience by issuing them a check in a much shorter time than we were able to do in the past.”

security detection


Security and compliance built into the platform

At the same time as it’s enabled innovation, Box has ensured security of unstructured data. As McGee describes, “We eventually began to build in all the Box security and compliance controls that we really needed, enabling features like retention policies, Shield policies, and security controls with Active Directory groups. These additional checks and balances allowed us to really expand the use of Box and get it into the hands of everybody across the enterprise.”


Box provides the right level of compliance for a company whose industry automatically demands it. Using Box Governance, USAA can ensure that, through all of these multifaceted technology efforts and across lines of business, rules are always followed to the letter. This is critical, because the company has to be able to provide trackable evidence to regulators and auditors during periodic reviews. Because Box logs every content transaction, McGee jokes, “You could sneeze, and it would log that you sneezed. It’s amazing!”


Any future audits will be easy, because the team can trace all data back to its origins, with automated retention schedules and customized Box Shield policies in place. “Those have really come in handy,” McGee confirms, “allowing us to take advantage and automate a lot of things that we had to do manually in the past.”


He continues, “We look to Box as an expert when it comes to document storage, document transportation, data storage, and the regulatory requirements for PCI, HIPAA, and other requirements. This helps us stay above board without having to become as deeply expert as we might need to be otherwise.”


Committed to solving challenges and saving customers money

“Now Box is our de facto storage platform,” says McGee. “Anytime anyone needs to store anything, we say go to Box first and do all of your work there. We want to focus on further deepening the relationship and value we’re getting from Box within our business units.”


Enstad backs this up: “We are committed to Box for the long term.” Enstad’s team stays closely in tune with new Box products and features — Box Canvas and Box AI being two recent solutions they’re excited about.


Box has brought advantages in both innovation and abiding with regulation, and there’s another very important advantage to add to that: cost savings. Enstad says, “With Box, we are able to send back significant money to the enterprise — and save our members money. Every dollar we save is a dollar we don't have to charge our members by increasing insurance premiums or rates.”


The team has big plans for the future of the Content Cloud: 

  • Replacing their current expensive e-signature platform with Box Sign
  • Leveraging Box APIs and Box Relay to reduce cycle time for transaction
  • Ultimately, getting members protected, paid, and in their homes quicker


Enstad sums up USAA’s relationship with Box: “There are really important aspects of Box as a partner and a creative vendor, especially when it comes to challenges we're facing. Box helps us solve those challenges.”


The top three things USAA loves about Box, according to Enstad:

  1. Box Platform: “The number one thing we value about Box is its platform. I think there's a lot of opportunity there.”
  2. Box AI: “We’re lucky to be involved in the initial offering of Box AI. From a kicking-the-tires perspective. It’s going to be a game changer.”
  3. Integrations: “Being able to leverage Box with Slack, Zoom, and other applications that we use — there's a lot of opportunity there.”



We are committed to Box for the long term. Every time we kick over a rock in the Box space, we find more opportunities.

— Shane Enstad is AVP, IT Product Engineering, USAA

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