Pillar Administration to migrate platform using Acurity software

Pillar Administration is currently undertaking a mutli-phase business transformation using Financial Synergy's Acurity software to move nine subsidiary platforms into one.

New South Wales government-owned super management firm Pillar Administration is currently investing "tens of millions of dollars" into overhauling its backend system with the assistance of super and investment software provider Financial Synergy.

Using Financial Synergy's cloud based Acurity solution, Pillar is migrating its existing nine subsidiary platforms into one. As part of a multi-phase transition, Pillar will see its clients migrate to the new core platform.

The company has started to roll out phase one of its transformation with its first customer, First State Super, and plans to have it completed by March 2016. It then plans to move the company's other clients, including State Super and Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation, as part of their other scheduled releases at the end of 2016 and 2017.

Pillar CEO and managing director Peter Brook said the motivation behind the decision to overhaul its system was to increase customer satisfaction, increase flexibility, and to be able to better deal with annual legislative changes made to the super industry.

"Every time there has been a compliance change, I've had to make those changes nine times with all the subsidiary systems, and we needed to be able to address that," he said.

"I need to bring my total cost of ownership down, and I needed to be able to have an operating model that we were dealing with the important issue rather than crunching pieces of paper through a system."

Brook said Pillar ran an "intensive" tender process where 55 initial applicants applied for the project.

"In the end of it was a clear decision for us that Financial Synergy was right for us. It was a happy coincidence we had Financial Synergy because it has one of those platforms," he said. "Financial Synergy actually deals with some of the most complex systems that we actually have. The NSW government's defined benefits scheme is one."

One of the initial challenges Brook said the company faced was convincing the board and owners to approve the move. He said they were concerned that Pillar would end up as another Superpartners, which saw Australia's biggest superannuation administrator fail to complete its IT overhaul after four years.

"My board and owners were saying, 'How isn't this going to be another Superpartners?' I had seen in their last financial report their platform cost half a billion dollars," he said. "I'd love to say it's because of Pillar's governance and control but Financial Synergy is helping us as they have come on a fixed price contract, so we know our risks and what the scopes are."

Financial Synergy will establish a dedicated team for the project at the Pillar IT Centre in Coniston, Wollongong.