Projects that hit the sweet spot

Computerworld Excellence Awards finalists are recognised for successful project implementations

The three finalists in the Most Successful Project Implementation category of the Computerworld Excellence Awards span the forestry, insurance and electronic payments industries. What they all have in common, however, is that they were successful and completed on time and within budget.

The first finalist, Carter Holt Harvey Forests' Project Canopy, is an ambitious supply chain integration project that has delivered great benefits to the forestry company.

When CHH Forests was upgrading its supply chain environment a few years ago, it realised it needed to update the systems involved and introduce greater functionality.

The result was Project Canopy, which went live approximately two years ago.

The project involved developing an integrated "tree to customer" supply chain — from planting to felling to distribution — which is believed to be a world first for the forestry industry.

The undertaking involved integrating CHH Forests' mySAP applications with ESRI's GIS mapping ones and also tying in JD Edwards products and the underlying Oracle database, using webMethods as the integration tool.

The result is that forestry, engineering, harvesting and distribution can be viewed as a single plan and the supply chain can respond faster to changing variables than before.

The second finalist is ETSL, which operates the network that processes 80% of New Zealand's eft-pos transactions. ETSL is co-owned by the ASB, ANZ–National, BNZ and Westpac banks. Its entry in the Computerworld Excellence Awards relates to the total upgrade of its previous eftpos structure, which was facing obsolescence a few years ago.

The upgrade involved getting new hardware and software, updating the core Connex switching application, upgrading the datacentre, building new network infrastructure and enhancing the operation's disaster recovery capability.

Few networks are as mission-critical as ETSL's and the upgrade had to be delivered with minimal disruption to eft-pos processing and be seamless to customers and end user consumers paying by eft-pos.

The project was by far the largest ever undertaken by ETSL and all indicators for success were met, from time and budget to more technical specifications.

The third finalist is insurer Vero, which had a challenging project on its hands when it bought AMP's New Zealand general insurance business in 2001. Vero (formerly known as Royal and SunAlliance NZ) had been running its insurance portfolio from a Solvit database, whereas AMP's insurance offerings were administered from an I90 database.

Solvit and I90 are both specialised insurance policy databases, but migrating the AMP portfolio to Vero's system was a huge task, as the work had to be split between Auckland, Wellington and Sydney.

While the two sets of insurance data resided on the same kind of server and general database, that was where the similarity ended — the two sets of insurance products and the processes for administering them were quite separate and there were many aspects to the task of aligning them under the Vero system.

After the project was finished, the only aspect of the old AMP system that remained was the name; Vero decided to continue to brand the AMP insurance products as AMP.

The AMP name may remain, but upon completion of the project, administration of the AMP insurance products was firmly under the Vero system and a difficult, successful migration had been completed.

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More about AMPANZ Banking GroupBNZConnexESRI AustraliaETSLJD EdwardsOracleWebMethods AustraliaWestpacWestpac

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