Momentum EB mitigates risk through mutually beneficial sunset outsourcing contract with Alacrity
MMI Holdings Limited (MMI) is a leading South African based financial services group. MMI was formed in 2010 through the merger of Metropolitan Holdings and Momentum Group, both sizeable insurance and financial services companies in South Africa. MMI’s core businesses include: long and short-term insurance; asset management; savings; investment; healthcare administration; health risk management and employee benefits.
As a result of the merger, MMI had two employee benefits (EB) divisions and IT systems (Metropolitan Capri and Momentum Orbit), with similar functionalities. A decision was taken to combine these divisions into Momentum EB, with the Orbit system becoming the EB platform of choice.
Momentum EB was now faced with the following challenges:
- Migrating information from the Capri system to the Orbit system.
- Maintaining the Capri system for the duration of the migration to Orbit.
- Ensuring employee motivation, retention and job security for the Metropolitan IT team working on the Capri system.
“After embarking on a process to define the IT strategy for the future company, we knew the migration would take time, and we needed a partner to help us maintain certain legacy components while we focused our development efforts on the target platform,” says Chris Reyneke, CIO for Momentum Employee Benefits.
Alacrity, a privately held technology solutions, services and consulting company, who had a long standing working relationship with both Momentum and Metropolitan, was approached by MMI to advise and assist in finding viable, long-term solutions to these challenges. “Alacrity had a long history of excellent delivery, high trust and integrity – this was a win-win for all parties involved,” adds Reyneke.
The outcome of these discussions resulted in the following:
- Alacrity would be awarded a four-year service-based outsource contract for the critical support and maintenance of the Capri system for the duration of the migration to the Orbit system.
- Alacrity would offer permanent employment positions to the Metropolitan IT staff working on the Capri system.
- A new contractual working relationship between the Alacrity team and Momentum was established.
Key Success Indicators and Future Opportunities:
This arrangement benefitted all parties concerned:
- Momentum were able to mitigate the risks associated with maintaining a system that would be sunset over a period of 4 years, thereby preventing any potential reputational or financial loss due to a lack of support for Capri. It also ensured that required statutory and business enhancements to Capri could continue.
- Momentum could concentrate on the development of the Orbit system to accommodate the Metroplitan EB business migration and ensure the stabilization and growth of the newly combined business.
- Alacrity could offer job security through longer term employment and career opportunities for the Metropolitan IT team that moved over to Alacrity.
- Through the outsource contract with Alacrity, Momentum was able to retain access to all the business and system IP and knowledge, together with well-defined development, maintenance and support processes, that had been subjected to scrutiny, and passed by Metropolitan’s external auditors.
- Alacrity gained profitable new business opportunities and access to additional skilled resources, who, in the future, would be able to be deployed at other clients.
“The key objectives of managing staff and retaining skills during an extended migration project was achieved with great professionalism by Alacrity. The fact that they themselves underwent some changes during this contract period underlines the quality and commitment of the management team at Alacrity. It was a pleasure working with everyone on this project and it was especially re-assuring to note how they catered for the people they inherited as part of the contract – shaping new careers for individuals, whilst still ensuring a well-managed hand over of skills. My lasting impression was one of a company willing and able to make things work despite the inevitable changes and challenges encountered during such a long contract,” concludes Heinz Seldte, IT Co-ordinator Momentum EB.
Alacrity Technologies is a privately held software company that provides services and crafts software solutions to fit a specific business and technology domain. For more than a decade, Alacrity has provided the South African financial services and retail industries with exceptional software solutions, strategic services and IT resources.