Citistreet and major client SunSuper have co-invested in ‘Project Refresh’, a five year program aimed at maximising efficiency of the core Omni member administration platform.
Budget for the project was approved by the Sunsuper board late last year, according to operations managers at the 900,000-member fund, Bernard Daly. He said that in the six years Sunsuper had used Omni, most of the enhancements to the system had revolved around new regulatory requirements or the introduction of products.
As its name suggests, Project Refresh aims to revisit the fundamentals of the Omni system and identify “clever ways” that automation can be increased and costs to Sunsuper reduced. “The fund needs to make sure it’s got the technology architecture to support its business strategy. We know that costs are going up in other places – risk management, servicing a more engaged membership base – so in a sense we are stepping back and looking at how we can lower our basic operating costs.”
One of the outcomes Daly hopes to achieve is greater automation of the workflow management system which feeds Omni, so that for instance details from incoming faxes and emails do not have to be transposed. Project Refresh also aims to help the fund adapt to changing administration requirements brought about by choice of fund. “Under choice you’ve got a greater number of employers, who don’t wish to become participating, sending us a single payment on behalf of a single employee,” Daly says.
The fund is attempting to alter internal processes such that these single payments can be consolidated “into one big payment that we can automatically upload ourselves”. Daly is conscious that Citistreet clients who have not contributed to the Project Refresh investments will still reap the benefits of any improvements to the Omni system. “Our primary focus is on the cost efficiencies to SunSuper, but Citistreet are our co-investors…to the extent that it makes Citistreet more successful at attracting and retaining clients, that would be an appropriate outcome for its part of the investment.”