When Direct Line Group, a U.K. headquartered insurance firm, was spun off from its parent company, Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), last year it had a mere five months to completely overhaul a key internal IT system. Mark Martin, Direct Line Group's HR director, said that the viability of its HR system was a big factor in how seriously the market would see its October 2012 IPO on the London Stock Exchange.

"We needed to build a separate system, and very quickly," Martin told Information Week. "We had all our HR based on a group system that we would no longer be able to use."

Compounding his task: the new company was going to be a highly complex beast, with 16,000 staff working in different companies with a range of different tasks -- from people repairing motor vehicles to actuaries to call center operatives -- with a complex set of contracts, pension arrangements and operating terms and conditions that would also need to be rationalized as part of Direct Line's separation from RBS. Read full story on InformationWeek

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