Streamlining insurance with a touch of custom code

Earning long-term customers by providing long-term solutions

Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) is one of New Zealand's largest banks and has been operating for more than 150 years. The first office was opened in Auckland in October 1861. The modern-day bank now offers a variety of financial services including retail, business and institutional banking and insurance.

BNZ was purchased by National Australia Bank in 1992 and now employs more than 5,000 people. BNZ Insurances (BNZi) is responsible for positioning its house, contents, vehicle, boat, life, health and travel insurances to business and retail customers.

BNZi IT services needed a more prioritised approach, focused on their specific internal financial needs. They wanted to reduce complexity, boost cost efficiency, and expand the division’s capabilities to provide high quality services to its customers.

As well as balancing the needs within its parent’s IT structure, BNZi also had a number of customised ‘off the shelf’ components provided by a third party that needed to be weaved into the wider IT strategy.

Datacom was engaged to take over the support and management of BNZi’s IT systems, and since then the partnership has flourished and expanded beyond the initial work remit.

Over this time, Datacom has developed new IP and reworked the BNZi application stack. A key focus has been on collaboration with an external party who provided the Insurance Origination platform and adapting it to suit the company’s new requirements.

Insurance Origination is the multistep process every customer must go through when obtaining insurance. Customers submit various types of financial information, including tax returns, payment history, credit card information and bank balances.

This existing Insurance Origination system had a legacy code component developed in PowerBuilder (Talisman). Datacom worked jointly with BNZi to identify how best to migrate this to the new Java codebase.

The initial step involved simplifying the  integration layer using Kanban Agile over the course of six months.

The project was a complete success, streamlining operations and boosting usability across the business. BNZi was very happy and the excellent working relationship continues strongly.

“BNZ Insurances and Datacom have been working in partnership for the last seven years, keeping our legacy systems running and at the same time implementing new software and interfaces so that BNZi’s products stay fresh and modern. BNZ Insurances really value the expertise, experience and can do attitude all the Datacom staff bring to our workplace.”

Tony Gaskin, Head of Business Services, BNZi