NRMA outsources staff to gen-i

Insurance company NRMA's 14 IT staff will be transferred to systems integrator gen-i under a $40 million outsourcing contract negotiated between the two companies.

The five-year deal will see gen-i manage the IT infrastructure of NRMA, formerly State Insurance, a job previously done in-house with operational support from Fujitsu.

Gen-i will run NRMA's network, which comprises 1250 desktops and two Citrix server "farms", a nationwide ATM and frame relay network, and 90 infrastructure and application servers centralised at two high-security data centres.

The first phase in the transformation of NRMA's server and storage infrastructure will be the implementation of intrusion detection systems. These will be focuses around the network perimeter and disaster recovery systems and employ automated fail-over capability.

Phase two will involve the rationalisation of the company's LAN and email system, which will be followed by the introduction of shared storage across the LAN and application environment. NRMA's two storage area networks will be combined.

Gen-i will work with Cap Gemini Ernst & Young to deliver a new core insurance system called Endeavour.

NRMA general manager of strategy and technology Catherine Rusby says the contract represents a significant business and platform change.

"Risk management is our core business so we need to ensure our IT systems give us the power to move quickly. The gen-i solution will enable NRMA to fix and control our IT costs and technology changes over the next five years."

The companies will set up an "innovation council", which will combine gen-i technology people with NRMA business managers. New initiatives will be evaluated on their business case, and if approved will be implemented under a profit-sharing scheme.

NRMA went to market in January, issuing a closed tender to seven vendors and using an independent consulting firm to run a four-month tender process. From this process, gen-i and EDS were shortlisted. Following a month of negotiations with both vendors, gen-i was chosen and became the prime vendor in a consortium that includes Datacraft, RentWorks and Telecom.

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