Suncorp completes technology phase of Promina integration

30 per cent reduction in IT costs result; business apps consolidation and new project delivery models to follow

Suncorp has reported that it has slashed its IT costs by 30 per cent following the wrap up of the technology component of its integration with Promina Group, which it acquired in 2007.

The integration has seen Suncorp roll out a standard desktop, directory and collaboration suite across the whole business and virtualised some 3000 Windows and Linux servers and IBM AIX mainframes down to 200 physical machines.

It has also rationalised and virtualised its data centre footprint consolidating seven data centres down to three based in Brisbane. Two of these will be consolidated to create the company’s disaster recovery data centre while the remaining one, which will move into Polaris’s new facility, will serve as its production data centre. The process is expected to be complete by December.

As part of the data centre consolidation process, Suncorp has just overhauled its storage strategy, ripping out product from EMC, Hitachi, HDS and IBM and replaced it with a NetApp Flexible Storage platform, which also includes some IBM product.

Read about the deployment of the Flexible Storage platform and its benefits here.

Suncorp has moved 70 per cent of its company-wide data to the new platform, with the remainder staying on a number of mainframe, AS400 and legacy components.

According to Paul Cameron, executive general manager for business technology infrastructure at Suncorp, the company is now focused on consolidation of its business application consolidation which has so far seen consolidation of multiple claim systems and policy administration systems.

Suncorp has rolled out collaboration – IM, videoconferencing and presence - throughout the business, largely relying on Microsoft Office Communicator, and is now 90 per cent of the business is IP-telephony based, Cameron said.

It has also consolidated multiple telephony and call centre platforms down to one based on Avaya and Nice technologies.

The company's Service-Based Operating Model - an overlaying service delivery model on its technology with the goal of delivering projects faster and more effectively and supporting and maintaining its business applications - was a major area of focus in the following six momths, Cameron said.

The model is due for delivery by March 2010 and will consolidate all of Suncorp’s technology and operations services down to a dozen end-to-end services.

“It’s all about accountability in the end-to-end delivery of complex technology solutions. It’s a very effective model based on LEAN manufacture and eliminating waste in the delivery process. We’re doing it in an Agile methodology and will immediately deliver a 50 per cent improvement in delivery times.”

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