Ipswich Building Society forced to change IT services supplier

Ipswich Building Society was part of a group of companies that had to find new IT service provider following a decision by the incumbent supplier to exit the business

Ipswich Building Society has been forced to find a new IT service provider following a decision by the incumbent supplier to exit the business.

A subsidiary of Skipton Building Society, known as Bailey Computer Services, gave Ipswich, Loughborough and Dudley societies two years notice when the parent company decided to end its IT services business.

Paul Winter, CEO at Ipswich Building Society, said the three societies decided to look for another service provider as a group.

Ipswich Building Society has total assets of around £600m, 65,000 members and 110 staff. It has no internal IT staff but rather outsourced IT to Bailey Computer Services.

Winter said the reason the company has a fully outsourced IT model is down to two factors. “Holding onto IT staff in Ipswich Is very hard because we are very close to London and Cambridge where they can earn more money," he said.

“We also just want to focus on what we are good at and let others do what they are good at.”

After going to market and assessing six different suppliers, the buying group decided to use a mortgage and savings platform from Unisys. This is the core system for all the building societies. Winter said other IT services such as supporting Microsoft software and desktops has been outsourced to Phoenix.

“One of the reasons we chose the Unisys platform is because it can manage both our savings and mortgage customers from accounts set up onwards. Unisys is also a company that keeps up to date with developments in financial services.”

Winter said that by using IT services as a group, the three building societies have more butting power and can put their resources together to do projects.

The project to migrate to the Unisys platform began in February and will be complete in the Spring next year. Unisys is responsible for migrating account and customer data from all three customers and their existing IT suppliers to the new platform, which will be hosted in a datacentre in Milton Keynes.

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