Senior IS executive: James Allison, GM of shared technology operations
Address: 167 Victoria St West, Auckland
"We concluded one of the most complex corporate transactions in New Zealand’s history with the de-merger of Chorus."“Late last year we concluded one of the most complex corporate transactions in New Zealand’s history with the de-merger of Chorus,” says James Allison, GM of shared technology operations for Telecom NZ. The demerger, which occurred on 30 November 2011, means that Chorus and Telecom are now completely separate companies, however, the transition agreement has Telecom’s Technology & Shared Services group continuing to provide services to Chorus under commercially negotiated terms. Telecom separated its local access infrastructure division, Chorus, into an entirely standalone company, in order to enable Chorus to take part in the government’s UFB initiative. Today, Telecom has a significant level of operational scale within the New Zealand telecommunications market, with assets including the PSTN network equipment for fixed line calling, the XT 3G mobile network, national backhaul networks, a 50 per cent ownership interest in the Southern Cross international cable, and one of Australia’s most extensive fixed IP networks. In addition to the launch of Telecom Place as a new consolidated office complex in Auckland 18 months ago, last year Telecom Central achieved a similar outcome for Wellington. The new building has reduced office equipment such as printers, whilst also deploying an integrated desktop VoIP solution. “In March 2011 we ended a 10-year outsourced contract with HP to deliver us a number of IT services,” says Allison. “This involved bringing the capability in-house, including over 300 HP people.” Now, projects spanning business intelligence, unified communications, virtualisation, social media, VoIP, business continuity/disaster recovery, wireless and knowledge management are all serviced by Telecom’s in house ICT team of nearly 2000 people. In March, Telecom announced it had signed a wholesale services agreement with Enable to deliver fibre-based services in Christchurch, including ultra-fast broadband. The agreement will enable Telecom Retail, and its Gen-i ICT business, to maintain a strong focus on innovation and development in Christchurch. Telecom is looking to work with Enable to trial bitstream services for residential customers. “We’ve seen increased demand for innovation and change from our Christchurch clients as they enhance their ICT capability to re-build their businesses and meet changing market demands,” said Gen-i’s Australasia, CEO Chris Quin at the time. ICT budgets and project numbers have decreased on last year by approximately 5 percent, though IT staff numbers remain stable. Telecom Retail has recently completed a $40 million deployment of Siebel Contact Centre as its CRM software in contact centres around New Zealand. Developed by Oracle, Siebel replaces a 20-year old IBM system that could no longer meet Telecom’s functionality needs. The new system is being used to provide the telco’s customer service agents a unified platform from which to view and handle calls from, and to manage customer information and product assets. The system also allows customers to track the progress of their issue online, in the form of a ticket.
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