When Alison Main, global benefits manager at Sun Microsystems, and her team undertook the design and implementation of a global governance structure for the business, they had to really look at what was happening locally and align it with the business strategy.
During her international benefits session, ‘Designing and implementing a global governance structure for benefits’ at the Employee Benefits Live conference, Main said: “You need a company that has the same footprint as yourself to ensure your local offices have the support they need.”
Prior to its acquisition by Oracle Corporation, Sun Microsystems had 30,000 employees in 49 countries with 150 different benefit plans brokered by over 50 organisations.
“We were a very de-centralised company that was growing locally,” added Main.
Faced with restrictions such as limited local resources and regulatory or compliance risks across its global locations, the firm had a goal of consolidating all its employee benefits brokers for all of its insured plans without adding in any costs.
Through the establishment of an advisory committee and the review of the options in the industry, Sun Microsystems has been able to reduce the number of global brokers its uses from 50 to just two.
The results have been £1.5 million in savings, a single global database that houses all benefit plan information, and enhanced services at a local level.
“We found it very useful, going through the merger with Oracle, to have the consolidated database of employee benefits,” said Main.