Peoplesoft proceeds at ANZ

New Zealand staff are involved in what the ANZ Bank believes is one of the world's largest ERP implementations on Windows 2000.

New Zealand staff are involved in what the ANZ Bank believes is one of the world’s largest ERP implementations on Windows 2000.

However, the bank has one eye on Linux as a future operating system as it aims to cut costs by looking at other platforms.

The bank reached an agreement with Microsoft in February 2000 making it one of the first Australasian companies to commit to Windows 2000.

“We are running Windows 2000 as our business platform in New Zealand. This was a strategic decision that was taken in order to reduce the number of IT platforms the ANZ was running,” says ANZ New Zealand spokesman Steve Fisher.

The bank is shifting its multiple payroll systems to a single Peoplesoft system, which covers HR functions including employer and manager self-service, recruitment, career planning, competency management, payroll and absences.

ANZ says it now has a common ERP solution across both countries for all e-procurement, accounts payable, asset management and HR self-service. It has also replaced four general ledgers across Australia and New Zealand with a standard general ledger, which the bank believes is large and complex by world standards.

This month, work begins on the payroll software, which is the final stage, and completion in New Zealand is expected early next year, Fisher says.

The 18-month project, involving staff from both countries, began a year ago and affects 3800 staff in New Zealand and around 18,000 in Australia, he says.

ANZ refuses to comment on cost but says the project is running on time and at 3% above budget. The bank says it chose Peoplesoft in place of rival SAP because the project did not require major changes and it could use cheap hardware — up to half the cost of alternative platforms. A study by the bank found systems running on Windows 2000 were 33% to 50% cheaper to buy and run than if the bank used an equivalent Unix operating system.

“ANZ’s strategy has been to keep the software as vanilla as possible as it is an administrative back office system. This reduces our total cost of ownership. Our strategy is to spend our dollars on systems that will further improve our customer experience,” says Auckland-based Fisher.

ANZ Australia spokesman Paul Edwards says while the bank has looked at Linux, this was “a passing comment” in an interview the bank’s CIO, David Boyles, had with the Australian Financial Review; nothing has progressed further since then and there is “no implementation plan”.

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