NU Online News Service, Aug. 29, 10:17 a.m. – SunGard Data Systems Inc., Wayne, Pa., says it is developing a version of its OmniPlus 401(k) recordkeeping system that will run on the Universal Database system from International Business Machines Corp., Armonk, N.Y.

SunGard’s Employee Benefit Systems unit is working on the project with Putnam Investments, Boston, and hopes to complete the new version in 2003.

The Universal Data system is a relational database system. Relational databases are more complicated but more flexible than traditional databases because they track more information about each piece of data stored in the database.

Putnam asked SunGard to help it with the project, because it needs a flexible database system to handle an internal systems integration project, according to David Kennedy, president of the SunGard benefit systems unit.

“We believe OmniPlus will be the only 401(k) recordkeeping solution running on IBM’s Universal Database,” Kennedy says.

The new OmniPlus version will operate on Unix, Windows NT and mainframe systems, SunGard says.

SunGard is one of several companies that have announced benefits-related Universal Database system projects in the past two years.

Vignette Corp., Austin, Texas, unveiled plans in June 2001 to use the system and related IBM products in custom-built Web sites for several large financial-services companies, including the retirement services unit of Nationwide Financial Services Inc., Columbus, Ohio.

PeopleSoft Inc., Pleasanton, Calif., said in October 2000 that it would run human resource management systems on the Universal Database system.