The first super funds and wealth managers to adopt the Bluedoor administration and registry platform wanted the product to tick every box on their admin software wish list. To win them over, it had to be an integrated product, web-based, able to be customised, and easy to implement. Coming up to three years since the acquisition of Bluedoor Technologies by DST Global Solutions, the early adopters of the Bluedoor system – all self-administering funds – have worked through the initial stages of implementation and are beginning to examine the more customisable aspects of the system. AXA’s North product went live with the Bluedoor system in late 2007, after AXA worked closely with the company to design the North product and a wrap platform on top of Bluedoor’s existing core superannuation system. Steve Burgess, AXA’s general manager of platforms, says Bluedoor is delivering on its promise to be more efficient and deliver better customer service when compared to the rest of the industry. “It’s enabled us to deliver a solution to the market that is a genuine positive shift in operational efficiency by being genuinely straight through and operating an online experience which is second to none,” Burgess says.
When North, which has funds under management of $1.8 billion, first went live with Bluedoor, it was focused on providing capital guarantees, says Burgess. The product had to be “capable of carrying that kind of requirement”. It had to be a real-time system with straight-through processing. “Bluedoor represented the kind of technical solution we were looking for,” Burgess says. AXA invested around $40 million in the platform by the end of 2010. “That’s a total cost,” Burgess says. “That would include not just the investment in the Bluedoor system itself, [but] also the cost of project management, change management and design.” Burgess says it’s a commitment that anyone would have to make if they were to “configure the core system to suit their requirements.” AXA has continued to work with the Bluedoor team to “enhance and develop its functionality,” Burgess says. This culminated in a release in April when AXA launched enhancements to North, including model portfolios, direct share trading and term deposits. Such ongoing development is normal, says Nathan MacPhee, CEO of SuperRatings. Bluedoor has not been installed as a complete system, and funds have had to roll out enhancements as they go.
“A lot of the web technology, [such as] the web-based transactional services only came in the last six-to-12 months,” MacPhee says. Bluedoor aims to limit manual processing in administration centres. Achieving this is a step-by-step process, says Mark Cassar, executive director of product development at Bluedoor. “In any client implementation you’d see a series of steps,” he says. “The first step might be to get it live, get data converted [and] get people administering products. Really [it’s a] system replacement and then they’ll gradually introduce broader web capabilities [and] more detailed workflow.” Bluedoor clients, such as AXA, have funded these gradual developments, says MacPhee. “If a fund wants something from [Bluedoor] they have to pay for it themselves, and they don’t know if it’s going to be shared with other potential users,” he says. But for some, such as AUSCOAL Super, this is welcome. “One of the main reasons we chose Bluedoor was to be a partner,” Steve Grant, general managers of AUSCOAL Services, says.