Bank of Queensland Finance rebuilds IT systems

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Bank of Queensland Finance rebuilds IT systems

Former CIT Subsidiary moves off US services.

The Bank of Queensland’s (BOQ) year-old vendor financing arm, BOQ Finance, has kicked off a ‘next-generation architecture’ project after moving off IT services from its former parent company, CIT.

The $475 million buy closed last July. CIT Australia and New Zealand was rebranded BOQ Finance and joined the wider BOQ National Finance group, which included BOQ’s equipment and debtor financing businesses.

BOQ Finance employed 160 staff and provided leasing and financing packages to organisations and individuals on behalf of its customers, including Honda, Lenovo and Apple.

Chief information officer Peter Turnbull reported to BOQ CIO Chris Nilon.

Turnbull said his 17-person IT team had “some autonomy” but aimed to align the subsidiary with BOQ’s policies and processes.

In the six months to February 2011, the team deployed new desktops, networks and virtualised servers in BOQ Finance’s North Sydney headquarters.

“We effectively were given a mandate to build an environment from scratch,” he said, without disclosing details of the “business decision” to keep BOQ Finance’s data centre separate from that of its new parent.

“We brought a lot of systems across from CIT ... [but] we were running on a lot of US-based servers and infrastructure.”

Turnbull, formerly of CIT, explained that CIT Australia and New Zealand had used its US-based parent company’s Active Directory service to manage logins and some software.

Its new infrastructure was also based on Microsoft technology, including System Center Operations Manager (SCOM), SQL Server and BizTalk 2010 middleware.

In addition to those technologies, BOQ Finance deployed an eMite service intelligence platform to bring together data silos, and off-the-shelf software to automate deal-making processes.

Turnbull highlighted new iPad and Android applications that allowed BOQ Finance’s vendor clients to input information about a customer and, in some cases, receive a credit score and documentation to close the deal.

He said the IT team was the largest it had ever been, adding that it was averse to outsourcing most IT work due to concerns about keeping intellectual property in-house.

Employees were positive about moving to the parent company’s “great set of [architecture and information security] policies and processes”, he said.

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