Down to a shortlist of two options for replacing its R2 administration software, Superpartners is seriously considering building an entirely new system in partnership with India’s Tata Corporation.

Supepartners’ head of IT, Gary Evans, and operations executive Luke Banfield are understood to be part of a delegation which has travelled to India to observe Tata Corporation’s capabilities. It is understood the surviving alternative is to purchase Synchronised Software’s CapitalX product. Superpartners, which administers roughly six million member accounts on behalf of industry funds including AustralianSuper, HESTA, HostPlus and Cbus, is using global IT consultancy CapGemini to advise it on the system review. A committee of delegates from all major clients is steering the process. One observer said that “;cost is the big upside”; of partnering with Tata, estimating that the use of lower-paid Indian programmers would put the price of that rebuild at “;about 20 per cent”; of what one could expect from an entirely Australian-built system. A risk to be managed in selecting Tata is the fact that member data would need to be transferred and accessed overseas during the building process, the observer said. The political ramifications among Superpartners’ client base of industry funds would be another risk, they added. Superpartners’ legacy system, R2, needs to be replaced for various reasons, including its inability to facilitate unit pricing, and its coding being such that the attachment of features such as imaging is difficult. Superpartners refused to comment on the system replacement process, other than to say it was ongoing.

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