Who will be iTnews' Utilities CIO of the year?

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Who will be iTnews' Utilities CIO of the year?

The best of telco, gas, water and media/internet revealed.

This year we welcomed media companies and ISPs to enter the Utilities category, only to be swamped with submissions from the big guns of telecommunications, power, water and gas.

The category featured many big ticket IT projects and caused the judges some headaches. We've had to offer our commiserations to some of the industry's biggest players. But we feel the top three are the most deserving of being named as finalists.

Several organisations submitting in this category have recently embarked in M&A activity and predictably, systems integration represented the biggest challenges in 2013. Two of those we've named as finalists performed this daunting task admirably.

Please join us in congratulating:


Robyn Elliott – Foxtel
Foxtel/Austar systems integration

Foxtel has managed to migrate the customer care operations and data from its acquired competitor, Austar, in one great lift-and-shift. Crucially, the company managed the transition without customers experiencing a minute of downtime. The submission suggests the complex and large-scale data migration went without a hitch - testament to prudent technology selection, strong planning and a constructive partnership with Foxtel's services partner.  

The judges noted:

Customer service is of paramount importance in the telecommunications and media market at present, with the risk of customer churn top of mind. It's thus understandable that Foxtel has invested a significant sum in getting the migration of customer data (including billing systems) right. The geeks among us were impressed with the team's ability to replicate production systems while they were still in use. 


Craig Wishart - Service Stream
The eSSential Platform

Service Stream has determined that as an engineering function to Australia's telcos and utilities, it needs to adapt to shifting market conditions much faster than it has in the past. The company has opted to focus less on its IT infrastructure and more on direct outcomes for mobile field staff. 

The judges noted:

Craig Wishart has come to a common realisation among mature IT shops - that it is preferable to adapt business processes to generic, best-practice software solutions than to ask IT to build new systems for every project. This hosted solution, which integrates service management tools from several vendors and is hosted in a public cloud, is a low cost, high impact approach to field service. 


Mathew Thomas - Unitywater
Paramount Program 

Unitywater has undertaken a complex systems integration exercise to bring together asset management and customer billing systems from two newly-merged entities into a single platform. The volume of work and complexity of work undertaken was sizeable.  

The judges noted:

Unitywater's compelling submission featured detailed information on how the merged systems have resulted in improved outcomes for customers. Whilst Mathew Thomas has promised modest ROI expectations, the improved customer service that should result is likely to generate strong returns - the kind of returns that IT is famously, unfortunately, rarely given credit for.


Special thanks to our sponsors: The Australian Computer Society, Dimension Data Learning Solutions and Samsung.

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