NRMA takes first step in e-comm strategy

After committing $100 million to e-commerce projects last year, NSW road service and insurance giant NRMA has announced a major Web site redesign.

In August, NRMA CEO Eric Dodd said he planned to sink more than $100 million into its online strategy to "have e-business in place in every single part of our business".

Stuart Magrath, NRMA's online services manager, said the new Web strategy would eventually enable real-time online transactions, where users would receive a quote within 30 seconds of submitting their details.

"The goal is to build an infrastructure which will provide a platform to 'e-enable' the business," Magrath said.

Currently, NRMA's Web site can only process travel insurance applications online, Magrath said.

Phase one of the project, which includes a new front end and method of navigation for the site, is due for completion during the second quarter, Magrath said. The subsequent release would be ready some time in the next three to six months, he said.

The real-time insurance quotes and approvals may not be ready to go live in the first phase, Magrath said.

In June last year, NRMA outsourced its IT infrastructure to IBM GSA. Magrath said a core team of 10 NRMA staff would join the GSA team to work on the project.

As part of the project, NRMA will implement a new content management system based on R5 of Lotus Notes, Magrath said.

"We're using Notes as a way of capturing content which is then stored in HTML and served up using Apache," he said.

NRMA has recently rolled out Notes R5 internally as its messaging platform, Magrath said.

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