Suncorp fast-tracks IT ‘building blocks' program

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Suncorp fast-tracks IT ‘building blocks' program

Financial services powerhouse Suncorp has fast-tracked parts of the ‘building blocks' IT transformation launched in a strategic overhaul of the business by the group's new chief late last year.

ASX-listed Suncorp is Australia's fifth largest bank and a major player in insurance - with brands such as GIO, AMP and Promina under its ownership.

Suncorp CEO Patrick Snowball said that two projects within its general insurance division - the move to Guidewire software for claims processing and the implementation of a new pricing engine - had been brought forward.

Suncorp chose Guidewire back in September 2006. Snowball said today the implementation program had been fast-tracked "to be completed in 2011."

It was due to be phased into the home insurance division in the latter part of the year and into the motor insurance division in June next year, he said.

"Moving to a single claims system not only has an efficiency upside but also [increases] transparency of the value of claims," Snowball said.

A new pricing engine for general insurance would also now be completely implemented "by the end of 2012."

"We see great economic value in these big restructure plans," Snowball said.

"We want to move from four separate insurance businesses to being one group with multiple brands at the front.

"We're on that journey and over the next three years we will see the benefit of the significant restructuring we're doing at the moment."

There were three other ‘building block' projects either completed or underway.

Snowball said the ‘Our People Space' project was completed at the start of the month. It integrated payroll and ‘people' data systems across all of Suncorp's companies, giving the group a single view of all employees across Australia.

Suncorp was also moving forward with its group customer data project, which aimed to integrate customer databases across the group.

"Phase one of the program has now been delivered, providing a single view of the Suncorp and GIO brands," Snowball said.

"Phase two [which will expand to other Suncorp brands] is planned to be completed before the end of the financial year."

Snowball also said the group was continuing efforts to consolidate and simplify group-wide financial processes and reporting.

The aim was to implement a single general-ledger system that would enable the group to produce "more timely financial information."

"The first phase of this project will be completed in July this year," Snowball said.

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