IBM UNDERPINS DEMUTUALISATION OF FRIENDS PROVIDENT Thursday 12 July 2001 PDF Print IBM has helped Friends Provident complete one of the UK's fastest and most fault-free demutualisation programmes to date by handling the essential data and change management functions needed to bring a £3.7 billion company to the stock market. To successfully complete demutualisation Friends Provident was required to mail its member base three times to validate membership, deliver voting documentation and distribute prospectuses. To achieve this, the company needed to extract operational records from its source data mainframe without impacting the day to day running of a business serving 3.3 million members. Working alongside IBM to build a single-body of people, Friends Provident formed a tight knit team well positioned to take advantage of IBM's expertise and capabilities in customer relationship management projects of this kind. The project team also calculated the value of shares to be allocated to qualifying members, a sensitive activity that had to be absolutely right. The data compiled was then used to form the formal share register. "With a customer like Friends Provident, considerations such as financial sensitivity and data integrity become paramount. Constructing a discrete server environment away from the source data mainframe enabled us to correctly process 100% of the data 100% of the time," said Edward Rose, Project Manager, IBM. "Organisations only ever demutualise once so it's unlikely that they will have the experience or resources available to handle these processes in house. Friends Provident turned to IBM to draw upon our unparalleled experience in handling dynamic change of this scope." "From the start of this project IBM demonstrated that its highly motivated team had the required confidence and capabilities to complete this task effectively," said Nigel Hind, Members Register Project Sponsor, Friends Provident. "Working with our small team of experts, IBM ran the development environment making best use of cutting edge technology with minimum impact on our core business systems." Founded in 1832 by Quakers in Bradford, Friends Provident became incorporated as a mutual life assurance office in 1915 and now employs around 5,500 people within the UK. This operational reach meant that the company had a huge volume of data to process from eight separate data sources including 3.3 million members, 6.8 million roles, 4.5 million policies and 52 thousand schemes. To focus on and complete the critical project deliverables in this data-intensive environment, IBM drew upon internal experience from right across its organisation. 'Team IBM' then formed a working group with Friends Provident to implement an integrated architecture taking advantage of the best attributes of both legacy and new technologies. By taking a single snapshot of members for each mailing exercise, IBM was able to process the snapshot in a separate modular environment to avoid the complexities of incremental processing. Once started, the project had to sustain a vital level of momentum in order to keep up with demutualisation timescales and to ensure the project's production schedules ran in a true 24 by 7 environment. With all key deliverables met, Friends Provident has been able to complete a trouble-free demutualisation programme in record time. Reference number - 01/158 Notes to Editor About IBM Global Services IBM Global Services is the world's largest information technology services provider, with 2000 revenues of more than $33 billion. Services is the fastest growing part of IBM, with more than 148,000 professionals serving customers in 160 countries. IBM Global Services integrates IBM's broad range of capabilities -- services, hardware, software and research -- to help companies of all sizes realise the full value of information technology. For more information visit http://www.ibm.com/services. 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