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Suncorp saves $6m with mainframe consolidation

Suncorp has consolidated its mainframe applications onto one new platform, following the completion of a major part of its Promina IT integration plans.
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Written by Suzanne Tindal on

Suncorp has consolidated its mainframe applications onto one new platform, following the completion of a major part of its Promina IT integration plans.

The move, classed as high risk by CEO John Mulcahy speaking yesterday at the Macquarie Investor conference, is expected to give the company AU$6 million in cost savings annually.

The savings come mostly from reductions in monthly licensing fees to software vendors, according to Andrew Bennett, Suncorp mainframe system team leader, although having a single large platform — an IBM Z9 — also plays a part.

The company has been preparing for consolidation since September, with the final changeover carried out over weekends in April. According to the CEO, it took place with "minimal business disruption".

Potentially, according to Bennett, the new platform could be run with fewer skilled staff, but he added that the company is not currently considering job cuts. The cost of the upgrade has not been revealed.

Suncorp has been busy integrating Promina, after it closed the acquisition last year. The bill for the integration, which is set to be completed in June 2010, is estimated at AU$161 million, but the group also expects to generate AU$325 million in cost savings from the merged businesses.

Suncorp's business technology hosting manager, Tim Harlow, told ZDNet.com.au in March that virtualisation has been part of Suncorp's acquisition strategy for Promina, which had only virtualised pockets of its server environment.

"One of the things with the merger, that's where we get a lot of operational efficiencies — in server consolidation," Harlow said.

Suncorp has been moving Promina's servers up to Suncorp's datacentre in Brisbane where the operating system and application will be lifted from each server and installed on IBM P570 and P590 shared servers.

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