BACKGROUND: AMP Limited is one of the world's leading financial services businesses providing eight million customers worldwide with wealth creation and asset protection products and services. AMP, in operation for 150 years, is the largest life insurer in Australia and New Zealand and is a major provider of superannuation, general insurance and asset management products and services. AMP has a significant presence in the U.K.

PLATFORMS: Oracle8.0.5.2.1, HP-UX 11 and Windows NT 4.0.

PROBLEM SOLVED: AMP Asset Management (AMPAM), one of the five business units for AMP with total funds under management of over A$259 billion, is implementing PeopleSoft's Enterprise Warehouse and Activity Based Management for its newly formed global operations. AMPAM recognized the need for calculating product and customer profitability and developed an in-house system in the early 1990s. With the growth of the business and the evolution of more complex financial products, the in-house system was not able to keep pace. Business managers need access to more accurate and timely profitability information to enable them to make more informed decisions about products and clients the company should be servicing.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: Using PeopleSoft's Enterprise Warehouse and Activity Based Management Analytic Application, AMP has been able to decrease the time to report product and customer profitability from three months to one; to easily incorporate information on a monthly basis from our PeopleSoft general ledger and human resources systems as well as information from other operational and PC-based applications; to build models that can be run in batch processes; and to analyze product and customer profitability by comprehensive understanding of the activities, resources and G/L accounts that contributed to the profit. AMPAM intends to use the developed models for budgeting and planning purposes.

STRENGTHS: The strengths of PeopleSoft Enterprise Performance Management include:

  • Multistage cost-assignment methodology based on the theories of Kaplan and Cooper.
  • Drill-back capability to source data.
  • Delivery of a high-performance, graphically based ETL (extract, transform and load) tool.
  • Graphical maintenance of processing and reportin hierarchies (trees).
  • Choice of processing tools: most custom business rules can be implemented using meta data that can be maintained by nontechnical users while highly complex processes can be performed using SQL-based application engine programs
  • Tool to facilitate consistent design of new and customized database tables and views.
  • Consistent framework for trapping, correcting and reprocessing errors in incoming data.

WEAKNESSES: Delivered Informatica ETL mappings from PeopleSoft general ledger and human resources databases are based on recent versions of those products and had to be retro-fitted to the schema of the earlier versions used by AMP. Some of the delivered dimensions had little relevance to AMP's business model. Additional analytical dimensions are necessary.

SELECTION CRITERIA: AMP required that any new solution which is acquired/developed must adequately assign revenue and expenses to individual products and clients; accept data extracted out of the Peoplesoft general ledger and human resources systems; be easy to maintain and require little IT involvement; produce reports using different cuts and slices of data; have drill-down capability and an adequate report writing tool to create such reports; cater to multiple scenarios (e.g., quarterly, rolling 12 months, past year, etc.) and what-if analysis.

DELIVERABLES: All processing is currently performed monthly. AMP is using their existing corporate intranet to deliver reports using PeopleSoft Workbenches and tools such as Crystal Reports, Essbase and nVision.

VENDOR SUPPORT: PeopleSoft consultants assisted AMP's project team in developing the business models and implementation of the solution. For ongoing technical support, issues that arose were dealt with by the support team from PeopleSoft in the U.S. This was not ideal due to the difficulties of communicating across time zones.

DOCUMENTATION: Documentation was generally available in the standard PeopleBooks format which was adequate for answering most technical and functional issues that arose.

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