When Sachin Shah began working at MetLife in 1999, the carrier was using a DOS-based system to support online benefits administration. Five years later, Shah and the MetLife Inc.'s IT team have built an award-winning benefits administration portal that has been adopted by more than 17,000 corporate customers, brokers and third-party payers.

The three-year project didn't come without a big price tag: Shaw declined to reveal the actual cost, but says the investment was "multiple millions of dollars, between $5 million and $15 million." However, the investment was necessary for a carrier the size of MetLife to remain at the top of the field in the highly competitive benefits administration arena.

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