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Britannia close to completion on £60m IT overhaul

Nick Huber

Britannia Building Society will complete a three-year overhaul of its IT systems this month which, it claims, will save £100m.

 

The business transformation and technology programme has cost around £60m, involving 40 projects and the introduction of 12 new systems, including customer relationship management, imaging and workflow. Britannia anticipates savings of £100m by 2009.

 

As part of the project, Britannia has replaced an old data archiving system with a Linux operating system. The system, which holds customers’ mortgage and savings account details, uses an Oracle 9i database running on Intel chips.

 

“It was a good opportunity to pilot Linux as it is a relatively low-risk system and the service-level agreements are not too demanding,” said Mark Jacot, information services manager at Britannia. “We also want to evaluate what the support contract is like.”

 

The building society would consider using Linux elsewhere in the business, depending on its performance in the archiving system, he added.

 

Under the IT overhaul, Britannia has replaced all its core systems and integrated new systems with IBM Integrator and Websphere middleware.

 

The programme was built on an earlier Y2K project to update Britannia's PC network and included the introduction of system management software. The company has 192 branches, more than 3,000 PCs and "hundreds" of servers.

 

When the new systems, based on software from Fineos and Lynx, are fully integrated, Britannia will have a single, real-time view of its million customers.

 

Experts have said that Britannia's approach to building IT systems from scratch to support an offset service was innovative. Other firms have chosen to bolt on functions for offset mortgages to existing systems.


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