Suncorp Partners with Infosys for Agile Delivery of Major Infrastructure Program
Brisbane, Australia - December 10, 2008: Leading diversified financial services group Suncorp has partnered with Infosys to successfully deliver a major desktop integration project involving dozens of sites across Australia and New Zealand.
Following Suncorp's successful merger with the Promina organization last year, the company engaged Infosys Technologies to help deliver a common technology platform across the merged entity and standardize desktops throughout its operations in Australia and New Zealand.
Suncorp is now one of the few large corporates within Australasia that offers a common business productivity platform. All 19,000 employees access one email and calendaring system, a single domain login from any desktop computer in any country, access to Instant Messaging and shared training programs. Features such as shared use of Microsoft Office Communicator, desktop video integration and integrated telephony access help Suncorp's employees collaborate and serve customers across multiple geographies; other benefits include improved business continuity/disaster recovery and lower support costs for the business and its customers.
The desktop component of Suncorp's Infrastructure Integration Program went live across Australia during October 2008 and is on track for a successful completion in New Zealand late December.
A Big Hairy Beast
"A project like this is a big, hairy beast so we wanted a partner on board who knew their craft, was prepared to make decisions and stand accountable for the outcomes," Paul Cameron, Executive General Manager of Business Technology Infrastructure for Suncorp explained. "We'd successfully worked with Infosys in 2006 to help create a standard operating environment for Suncorp, and felt very confident they could partner and do it again."
The project was unusual for an infrastructure initiative in deploying Agile delivery principles more commonly used in software development. The Agile methodology is an adaptive, collaborative approach which calls for IT to work in concert with business goals, and encourages multiple small iterations of work rather than one large deployment.
Using the Agile approach, Infosys helped integrate and standardize over 9,000 desktops across the Promina group of companies (AAMI, Vero, Shannons, APIA, Tyndalls and AA Insurance) to bring them in line with Suncorp's existing desktop platform of 12,000, and to provide one technology foundation for the merged business.
"We executed the integration project in short, sharp bursts with deployment occurring over 125 consecutive days and regularly checking progress to 'course correct' and ensure the project remained on track" explained Cameron.
The Agile method meant the integration-comprising multiple email, calendaring, directories and storage systems was completed in just 18 months rather than the original three year estimate. "Time is money, so our executive team was overwhelmed with the speed and success of the deployments," Cameron added.
A Strong Return
The partnership with Infosys is yielding a strong return for Suncorp. Despite the complexities of the program, the design was completed in just seven weeks and delivered in a cost-efficient manner, as there was a repeatable and scalable model already in place from Suncorp's 2006 desktop roll-out.
When it came to deployment, the plan was to execute as quickly as possible. Cameron explained: "We leveraged Infosys' selective offshoring model which allowed up to 70 per cent of the deployments to happen offshore after hours. Work was generally completed by 11pm Australian time each day, minimizing disruption for users.
The project is already tracking at 98 per cent of benefits realization and will continue to deliver synergies and cost savings for Suncorp, with an enormous technology transformation and significant business productivity improvements.
On-time and on-budget delivery have never been more important, according to Infosys Australia Chief Operating Officer Vishnu Bhat. "In this economic climate, even a small variance can cause major headaches for management. Infosys has a track record of delivery excellence and the Suncorp-Promina infrastructure integration is a good example of this," said Bhat.
Across the Suncorp business there's now a feeling that technology "just works," noted Cameron. "A project such as this brings a certain level of anxiety with it, so to be receiving positive feedback from users so soon after deployment is a great outcome."