When Peter Burggraaff joined Farmers as CIO three years ago he developed a three to five-year IT plan to reduce costs, improve business processes and customer service. Most parts of that initial plan has already been delivered. An integrated ERP system (SAP) has been introduced; SOA has been introduced as the company’s base application architecture and Microsoft SQL for Business Intelligence Platform, BizTalk and Visual Studio have been rolled out.
Farmers is now almost one year ahead of the initial plan. The next step is to select and implement a new point of sale system, and implement a new service management and monitoring platform.
To ensure that the IT division stays aligned with the business, Burggraaff has introduced an IT governance structure. He has also introduced a project management office and a time-sheet system to provide transparency of activities in the IT division to other divisions within the company.
The two most significant IT initiatives Burggraaff has driven in the last two years are replacing the mainframe-based systems with an integrated business system and introducing new technology — POS and mobile applications — in its stores.
Burggraaff is a frequent presenter at retail conferences in Europe and Asia, and has also presented at technology conferences in New Zealand and Australia. Apart from his role at Farmers, Burggraaff is an advisor to robot-hosting.com, a provider of self-service software robots for business, academic and public service organisations. He is also a member of the business advisory committee for the business degree programme at AUT.