Qantas is set to complete the introduction of Oracle financials across the group soon, a move that may finally allow the airline to see the back of its long-running eQ software project. Qantas chief information officer Jamila Gordon confirmed that Oracle financials was now in production at both Jetstar and the Qantas group's regional airlines.
"The rollout to the rest of the group will take place later this month," Ms Gordon said.
The eQ project was instituted by former Qantas CIO Fiona Balfour in 2002 to modernise finance and human resources systems. The original agreement with IBM to provide the new systems was terminated in 2006, six years short of its nominal term.
A six-month review of the project ensued, with board approval for the implementation of new financial systems given in July 2006 and Qantas electing to manage the integration itself. The eQ project was originally valued at about $200 million, but has on several occasions forced Qantas to increase its computer and communications spending. In February, chief financial officer Peter Gregg said spending on eQ had increased technology costs by $49 million in the first half of 2007-08.
Ms Gordon said Qantas was on track to implement the first aircraft-specific module of its new MXI engineering and maintenance system, scheduled to be ready for the introduction into service of the Airbus A380 in October.
The new system, Marlin, was approved by the Qantas board in February. The off-the-shelf system will replace a failed $22 million custom-made engineering platform, Jetsmart. First introduced in 2005, Jetsmart was derided as "Dumbjet" by engineers, who took industrial action over the introduction of the system.
Ms Gordon said Qantas had also introduced "a number of system changes" to support the airline's frequent flyer loyalty program. Qantas chief executive Geoff Dixon is expected to detail changes to the program at a press conference today. It is understood the booking engine needed an extensive rejig.
Fairfax Business Media
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