Queensland Investment Corporation is preparing to roll out Oracle’s enterprise resource planning (ERP), enterprise resource management (ERM) and human capital management (HCM) SaaS offerings as part of a broader cloud push.
QIC is a state government-owned corporation that commenced operations in 1989 but was formally established in 1991 by the Queensland Investment Corporation Act.
QIC, which as of the end of March had $85 billion under management, was originally established to invest Queensland government superannuation, insurance and workers’ compensation funds. It has since expanded its remit and now invests on behalf of customers from around the world.
The corporation focuses predominantly on real estate, infrastructure, private equity, fixed interest and multi-asset strategies, chief financial officer Claire Blake said.
In March, QIC undertook a significant international expansion, taking over the management of 12 shopping malls in the United States and creating its own property accounting and property management platform in the country.
As part of that expansion, the corporation took on 250 employees — representing about a quarter of QIC’s total workforce.
The expansion not only boosted QIC’s headcount but also added a significant degree of complexity to the organisation, Blake said.
As a result, the CFO said, QIC needed a system that could deal with multiple jurisdictions and multiple currencies and also support future growth; “Oracle ticked all of the boxes,” the CFO told Computerworld.
“A big benefit for us will be having an ERP that can support growth and increasing complexity,” Blake added.
“Having our financials and our HCM modules integrated will really increase the amount of automation we have and eliminate a lot of manual intervention that needs to happen today — we’ll get a lot more straight-through processing out of that.”
The CFO is also hoping for an analytics and reporting boost. “Being able to deliver dashboards to senior management so that the information is there at their fingertips I think will be great,” she said.
The rollout will offer deliver mobile access to key business processes, Blake added. “This will realise modernise our processes in terms of having one place to approve things, in a fully mobile way,” she said.
The project will officially kick off in three weeks with a design phase that QIC plans to complete before the end of the calendar year. That design work will help determine the exact timeframe of the rollout, but QIC hopes to go live within 18 months.
It’s not QIC’s first brush with Oracle — when the company conducted a lot more of its fund accounting in-house it relied on the software vendor, but after outsourcing that work it shifted to “more of a mid-tier system,” Blake said.
“With this more recent expansion of our activities and increasing complexity we identified that we did need to go back to a tier one system and so we’re moving back to Oracle,” the CFO told Computerworld.
Around 18 months ago QIC moved to a cloud strategy and it has very few systems left that it is hosting internally, Blake said. “This will be one of the last to go,” she said.
The rollout will leave the organisation with a handful of on-premises applications associated with its previous accounting system and its property management activity. “There’s another program of work that’s just kicking off at the moment to shift all of those to the cloud as well,” Blake said.
“I would say by the time go live with Oracle in about 18 months, all of those other legacy applications will have been dealt with as well. At that point we should be able to go fully to the cloud and close down our internal data centre.”