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Change in Perspective

Change in Perspective

Announced in 1996, AMPlus, the IT alliance between AMP and then Andersen Consulting, was hailed as an "engine of transformation" by then CEO George Trumbull. Today, AMP is minus the "plus" and going it alone - welcome to IT@AMPThe road travelled by financial services giant AMP in recent years was not without its bumps, potholes and the occasional roadblock.

In particular, 2000 was a year of great change, both for the company in general and its IT organisation in particular. AMP's hostile take-over of GIO was a major event in itself and, admits Lee Barnett, director of IT, AMP, Australia and New Zealand, many of GIO's IT people were not happy about joining AMP. The cultures of the two organisations were quite different and in addition, GIO was offering a very attractive retrenchment package.

Consequently, the uptake by GIO personnel of IT positions in AMP's primary outsourcing partner, CSC, was low. AMP also renegotiated its contract with CSC last year. Since late 1993, when AMP sold its local IT subsidiary, CSA, to CSC, it has outsourced the support and maintenance of its IT infrastructure to CSC. However, perhaps the biggest upheaval of all, although taken before Barnett's arrival in her current position in May last year, was AMP's decision to restructure its IT model and terminate AMPlus, its "co-sourcing" relationship with Andersen Consulting (now Accenture).

"Last year was tough, and I think most of the businesses would agree that they made it tough on themselves. There was a lot of change going on simultaneously, and it was a difficult period to manage. But we came through and things are now improving, and at a pace. At the end of the day, a successful acquisition comes down to cultural fit and AMP works in a very different way to how GIO worked. So moving to the AMP model from where they were was quite challenging [for the GIO people]," Barnett reflects.

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