Telstra Announce Success with IT Migration

Fascinating news from Telstra, where yesterday’s analyst briefing for the 2008 year end results explicitly mentioned billing accuracy and revenue assurance. The Australian operator’s shares slipped as results fell short of analysts’ expectations, but American CEO Sol Trujillo emphasized the scale of the achievement in migrating IT platforms during the briefing. Trujillo said:

“Central to our transformation and central to delivering an excellent customer experience is the IT transformation. For our migrated consumer customers, we have moved from managing their data across 74 billing products and ordering systems to just three. I am pleased to tell you today of the outstanding progress made by our IT transformation team. We have now migrated 3.3 million customers and 4.3 million services. To be quite frank, we did not achieve our ambitious target of 5 million customer migrations before the end of June, but, more importantly, I now am probably more confident than ever about the cost takeout targets that we have associated with our business, because we have migrated over 3 million customers. We will have our 5 million probably by the end of September. When we do that, we now know that the code is absolutely right. So the experiences that you have seen with other companies that had to back track and, in effect, step back for what they have launched in terms of billing systems changes, OSS and other flat forms, we do not have that as an issue. That is now, essentially, out of the way, as we have
migrated over 3 million customers, and we will be moving to the 5 million and to the 7 million before the end of the year. That is the good news as part of our story here. Again, we will continue the migration not only of our consumer but, later this month, we will begin the migration of our business customers.

So, let me be clear: the code is deployed and running at scale. This has all been achieved without breaking what I would call our central commitment that there should be no interruption to either customers or the wider business. We have seen no increase in complaint volumes, and all billing accuracy and revenue assurance metrics are equal between the new and the legacy systems that we have in our business.”

It is unusual to see a CEO of a big player like Telstra both taking an interest in billing accuracy and revenue assurance metrics metrics, and then being publicly proud of them. Well done to Telstra’s team. Many CPs have learned the hard way about how difficult the large-scale migration of customer data can be.

Sol Trujillo is a good mate of US Presidential candidate John McCain. Could this mean if McCain wins, we will see a man in the White House surrounded by good advisers on data integrity, an area where governments so often to fail to meet their obligations to their citizens? One thing is certain. Trujillo took home A$13.4M (US$11.7M) in his pay packet this year, so McCain will be hoping a chunk of that is donated to his campaign fund… ;)

Eric Priezkalns
Eric Priezkalns
Eric is the Editor of Commsrisk. Look here for more about the history of Commsrisk and the role played by Eric.

Eric is also the Chief Executive of the Risk & Assurance Group (RAG), a global association of professionals working in risk management and business assurance for communications providers.

Previously Eric was Director of Risk Management for Qatar Telecom and he has worked with Cable & Wireless, T‑Mobile, Sky, Worldcom and other telcos. He was lead author of Revenue Assurance: Expert Opinions for Communications Providers, published by CRC Press. He is a qualified chartered accountant, with degrees in information systems, and in mathematics and philosophy.