A lot of treasuries are buying new software. A lot are moving to hosted software, or software as a service (SaaS). With money and time short during a global financial crisis, though, not that many are doing a thorough reengineering to make all the pieces work together in a sophisticated way. But $8.3 billion not-for-profit Horizon Blue Cross/Blue Shield of New Jersey is.

The Horizon BCBS project was a "textbook" reengineering, says consultant Craig Jeffery, managing partner of Strategic Treasurer in Atlanta. "They looked at what was available and what they needed. They picked providers and then they made and executed a plan. They built it out in phases. They had a road map and followed it. Now they have visibility, efficiency, economy, speed and control."

One of the payoffs of the move to SaaS is that "we can now get reports and distribute them internally by 8:30 a.m.," reports Susan McCarthy, manager of cash and investments at Newark, N.J.-based Horizon, "and we have enough tagging rules around our posting and reconcilement that we don't have to identify very many kick-outs to resolve manually. Before, we couldn't get those reports out before 10 or 11." Distributing the reports earlier means people throughout the organization can see what's happening and take appropriate action sooner, McCarthy says. It also means that people on the cash desk can take care of other chores instead of being tied up with routine daily tasks, she adds. The new software comes largely from Kyriba Corp. of San Diego and Chesapeake Systems Solutions of Owings Mills, Md.

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