IQ wins Sunguard Development Contract
5 May 2003
SunGard is a global leader in integrated IT solutions for the financial services industry and has a significant installed base among South African institutions.
The agreement is the first step towards establishing an outsource development and process centre for SunGard Employee Benefit Systems in South Africa, to be run by The IQ Business Group. The facility will allow SunGard Employee Benefit Systems to sell offshore development services on behalf of its clients and other operating groups within the company.
Phase one of the project will involve a team of 25 development and industry specialists, which is expected to grow to between 75 and 100 by the end of the year.
According to Andre Sharpe, who is responsible for managing IQ’s US opportunities: ”This is a foundational opportunity for IQ to develop a serious process and development outsource centre based in South Africa, which can serve US and European clients.
A major differentiator between IQ’s offshore development model from that of other countries, is the availability of trained applications specialists, who will be based in South Africa. SunGard’s clients will thus have ready access to trained-up resources that are able to deliver development and maintenance services for SunGard products. Intensive training is currently taking place in South Africa and the US.”
“The IQ Group’s experience in the financial services marketplace, along with their ability to help us reduce development costs, will be instrumental in the evolution of our suite of products,” said David Kennedy, president of SunGard Employee Benefit Systems. “Being able to leverage offshore development resources is a direct benefit to our clients.”
CitiStreet will be the first to benefit from the enhanced defined contribution system, and has signed a similar project partnership with The IQ Business Group to do this.
CitiStreet chief information officer Barry Strasnick says his company selected IQ for the project because of its skills and substantial industry knowledge. He says the synergy of both CitiStreet and SunGard Employee Benefit Systems using the same organisation, was also a factor. The relationship between The IQ Business Group and CitiStreet was established in 2001, and began with US-based project work. Strasnick says he’s delighted that the relationship is now growing into a key partnership with global implications for the business: ”We look forward to working with IQ to enhance our software development methodologies, with resultant benefits in quality, time-to-market and costs. We look at this as an opportunity to enhance our quality and costs on an ongoing bases.”
Commenting on the fact that the deal means partnering with a South African company, Strasnick says there are no major challenges. He notes that there is a perception problem in the US that South Africa is not a stable, safe location, but says: “CitiStreet is positive about working with the South African team and foresees no major problems.”
“This is an excellent opportunity for The IQ Business Group to make its mark in the highly competitive US market. We see it as an endorsement of our in-depth industry knowledge and South Africa’s capacity to lend its world-class business skills and experience to international business,” says Les Horne, head of The IQ Business Group’s financial services division.
IQ’s international growth strategy is to export up to 40 percent of its locally designed-and built technology as well as its intellectual property. These are then deployed and managed together with IQ’s operational units situated in different parts of the globe.
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