Issue date: 16 August 2010
Cirencester friendly, the leading income protection insurance provider, will be replacing its existing legacy IT systems with the support of a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) with the University of the West of England.
The KTP is a part-government funded programme aimed at encouraging collaboration between universities and businesses. It introduces an exchange of technology and academic resources to a company, enabling them to improve their competitiveness and productivity.
The relationship will give Cirencester friendly
access to a wider range of the very latest IT project management skills and also financial support to enable them to strengthen and improve the existing IT framework while replacing the legacy IT systems over a two and half year period, ultimately enhancing overall efficiency.
Paul Hudson, Chief Executive of Cirencester friendly, said, "We are delighted to be working with the University of the West of England as part of this arrangement. Being a mutual organisation where our Members own the business, it is a positive step to utilise cutting edge technology, expertise and resources like this, in order to move the business forward in a financially responsible way.
“The streamlining of existing frameworks will in turn boost overall efficiency and reduce cost to Members.
"Looking forward, this will support and help us to be well placed to continue the Society's ambitious development strategy to grow market share through product innovation and development while staying true to our Holloway roots."
Stephen Batty from Research Business and Innovation at UWE said, "We are very happy to be working with Cirencester friendly to assist them in replacing their existing legacy IT systems which will also in turn include an MBA consulting dissertation and two UWE Graduate Internships."
Cirencester friendly was established in 1890 in Cirencester, Gloucestershire. Primarily formed for the benefit of agricultural workers based in Gloucestershire, today the Society caters for the income protection needs of over 33,000 customers from all walks of life from across the UK.
Cirencester friendly is a mutual organisation. It therefore has no issued share capital quoted on a stock exchange and is owned by Members, not shareholders. The friendly society is run for the benefit of its Members who have the right to participate in the running of the Society.
Cirencester friendly was named 'Best Income Protection Provider' by Investment Life & Pensions magazine (Moneyfacts) in 2009 and 2008 and won the award for 'Service Beyond the Call of Duty' in 2007. It was recently awarded 5 stars by Financial Adviser for the Online Service Awards and is a member of the Association of Financial Mutuals (AFM).
For more information on KTPs at UWE visit Knowledge Transfer Partnerships