Investment group eyes mainframe migration

With some 65 unit trusts and 70,000 members, Australian Unity Investments (AUI) has embarked on an application modernization project that will decommission its existing mainframe-based system.

Newly appointed chief operating officer, Mark Pratt, said AUI will evaluate technologies to help improve its services to customers and the company registry system.

AUI has reviewed the capability of its customer-facing systems and the impact the group's infrastructure will have in the future, Pratt said, adding AUI relies on the infrastructure of the group funds, but from its own business perspective that's not a primary focus.

AUI's bond and unit trusts record-keeping system is based on the Atlas mainframe application by Lumley Technology located onsite.

Program manager Brett Harrison said a primary objective is to migrate off the mainframe in favor of Web applications. The timeframe is to have the unit trust products implemented next year, and AUI's customizations for bonds in the second half of 2006.

"We don't have any Web applications from an administration point of view," Harrison said, adding the company's direction is to get its applications on the Web to improve customer and partner accessibility.