Allianz has unveiled plans to consolidate its western European IT infrastructure under a new international company over the next three years, in a bid to improve service quality and enhance IT security.

Under the plans, the IT infrastructure entities of Allianz local subsidiaries throughout western Europe will be integrated step by step into Allianz Shared Infrastructure Services (ASIC), which will begin operations on July 1, 2007.

Friedrich Wobking, chairman of Allianz’s international IT committee, who is responsible for the preparation and implementation of this project, has explained the move in an interview posted on the insurer’s website.

He stated that the company is consolidating its European IT infrastructure as he believes that it would not be efficient to continue operating with many smaller IT infrastructure entities providing different technologies and processes to the company’s various subsidiaries, as is the case now.

We plan to reorganize our IT infrastructure in such a manner that we establish the best products, processes and technologies on a cross-national level, Mr Wobking said. This provides a range of benefits for the local subsidiaries: we can offer them higher quality and more secure services at better prices. For the local subsidiaries, this equals a clear competitive advantage.

Mr Wobking also confirmed that Munich, Germany-headquartered ASIC will become an international IT service provider within the Allianz group, and will take control of all infrastructure assets of the 26 entities that currently serve the company’s European subsidiaries.

However, while Munich will become the central data center location, ASIC will continue to offer customer-centric services, such as service management and project consulting, locally.

Furthermore, an external company is expected to be appointed to provide some of the services, although no possible names have yet been revealed.