Woolworths has kicked off what is anticipated to be a two-year transition to a new telephony-as-a-service arrangement run by Dimension Data/NTT.
The retailer began its transformation of legacy voice systems with the internal launch of what it is calling Telephony as a Service (TaaS).
It appears that a TaaS is initially set up to run out of an internal ‘innovation zone’ where its capabilities can be demonstrated to other parts of the business ahead of deployment.
A Woolworths spokesperson confirmed the project and timeline in a statement to iTnews.
“TaaS is an evolution of our existing telephony offering, transitioning to a modern cloud-hosted capability under a revised commercial model,” the spokesperson said.
"It will offer us an evergreen cloud service, new handset and softphone offerings, and improved call routing capabilities.
“We will transition from our existing services to the new offering in a staged approach over the next two years."
Further comment was being sought at the time of publication on the company’s existing telephony arrangements.
Documents sighted by iTnews show that TaaS is “powered by Dimension Data”, an IT brand that is presently being folded into NTT.
The “evergreen” structure of the new telephony system is intended to keep Woolworths using updated, “supportable” telephony systems through the life of the contract.
The documents suggested that many features of the new system were automated and that it could be deployed under a “light touch provisioning” model.
Woolworths suggested that it would benefit from moving telephony to a consumption-based charge model, which it said would reduce the total cost of ownership for voice infrastructure on a group-wide basis.
It also said that analytics built into the TaaS would provide insights that helped the retailer manage the voice based environment.
The voice telephony transformation comes on top of a transformation of internet infrastructure connecting Woolworths’ stores and other sites.
iTnews reported that 50 Woolworths sites a week are now being connected to the NBN using fibre links.