Telecom NZ completes first stage of core systems upgrade

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Telecom NZ completes first stage of core systems upgrade
Simon Moutter

From copper wire to customers at centre.

Telecom New Zealand has claimied success for the first stage of its multi-year re-engineering program to upgrade key customer service IT platforms, despite a hiccup downing its online operations for most of last Monday.

According to chief executive Simon Moutter, the overarching idea behind the IT infrastructure program is to shift the focus from copper wire connections as a monopoly business to having customers at the centre of its operations.

The telco incumbent has been working through a structural separation, with its traditional copper lines network business being spun off into a separate company Chorus, while Telecom NZ continues with fixed-line and cellular retail connections, national data backbones and part-ownership of the trans-Pacific Southern Cross Cable System.

While the structural separation started in 2011, Telecom and Chorus to date still share some legacy systems.

More than 120 major IT systems were targeted by the first stage implementation, taking over 430 person-years of work in total to deliver.

Telecom upgraded and consolidated its core foundation systems, as well as its prepaid mobile platform.

A spokesperson for Telecom said new foundation capability included a new online store and customer self-service, a business intelligence (BI) and integration platform, a new product catalogue and an order manager, replacing the 19 that Telecom had previously.

Furthermore, a best-in-class Oracle Siebel customer relationship management (CRM) system has been implemented, the spokesperson said.

Telecom will leverage existing investment in its Oracle Siebel and Singl.eView billing system components, with the aim to deliver "a simplified end-state". 

The program started under previous Telecom chief executive Paul Reynolds, and has come into full effect under his successor Moutter.

"As outlined in the [Telecom] Investor Day in May a year ago, it’s a three-year $150 to $200 million (A$139 to A$185 million) program to deliver re-engineering of products, processes and BSS/OSS platforms," the spokesperson said.

To date, the program has cost NZ$70 million (A$65 million) to deliver the first stage, according to Moutter.

Telecom announced in February this year that it intends to rebrand all its operations, including retail and systems integrator Gen-i, as Spark, a move that Moutter said is on track to take place in August. 

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