ACC rolls out $130 million pilot claims system

ACC has spent the past ten months upgrading its ICT infrastructure from a mixed environment to a Microsoft platform

The Accident Compensation Corporation will roll out a pilot of its new $130 million claims management system at its Wellington branch and contact centre this month. A nationwide roll out is planned for February and March.

The new claims management system is part of the broader, $250 million Fineos system, which will come into effect over 2007 and 2008. It replaces ACC’s Pathway system.

ACC has spent the past ten months upgrading its ICT infrastructure from a mixed environment to a Microsoft platform. The legacy environment included Windows NT deployed on more than 3,000 desktops, 50 Novell servers, a similar number of NT servers connecting 60 business units to head office, combined with a Novell GroupWise and Directory services environment.

“It’s had a lot of do with our attitude to Novell,” says IT services head Warwick Laing. “We had a heavy reliance on Netware. Our aim was to move from bespoke software (Pathway) to packages and swim in the mainstream. Novell has become a minor player.”

It was about confidence for the future, he says. Open source had been looked at “only lightly”.

ACC’s 48 branch server sites have been reduced to five regional sites and two main datacentres, and upgraded to Windows Server 2003 and Exchange 2003. The 3,000 desktops have been migrated from Windows NT to Windows XP and Office 2003.

Laing describes the new claims management system as a capability-step towards putting the web-based Fineos system in place.

ACC has also pre-installed the Stellent document-management system, which links to Fineos. Documents have a central repository and can be updated regularly.

In 2004, ACC replaced its E10k Sun servers with much larger E25k models and several smaller servers.

A technical implementation of Fineos — known internally as EOS, for “new beginnings” — was completed over Labour weekend. Laing says the software is in production but has been switched off as far as users are concerned. “The real benefits will be seen in 2007 and 2008.”

He describes the new claims system as a major project, with a “huge amount” of testing done over the past eight months.

Planning to outsource infrastructure services is proceeding. Laing says he expects a final Request for Proposal (RFP) to be issued early next February.

A “pre-release” RFP will be sent to short-listed parties before Christmas. Unisys and Datacom are the incumbents.

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