AGL's Phoenix saves $25m

Project Phoenix, AGL Energy's four-year revamp of its billing and computer systems, has produced $25 million worth of savings for the gas giant, with 1.6 million customers migrated to the company's new billing platform.

Project Phoenix, AGL Energy's four-year revamp of its billing and computer systems, has produced $25 million worth of savings for the gas giant, with 1.6 million customers migrated to the company's new billing platform.

According to the company's full year results released today, the program, started in 2006 to rationalise and redesign the retail business's core operating processes and replace multiple mass market billing systems, has dropped net operating cost per customer account by 4.5 per cent.

To date $25 million in cumulative savings have been realised. The number is expected to increase by $35 million to $60 million in 2010.

The costs savings have come from areas such as increasing call centre automation and productivity, as well as reducing duplication and billing exceptions.

Release 1 of the program was completed last December, with 1.3 million Victorian and South Australian gas customers being migrated from legacy systems to a new SAP-based billing platform. By March this year, 300,000 Queensland customers had also been migrated as part of Release 2A.

Release 2B, where the rest of AGL's mass market accounts will be transferred to the SAP billing platform, will occur at the end of this year. Commercial and industrial customers are set to be migrated in 2009.

As part of the plan, AGL's applications management has also been outsourced to Tata consulting services, with its infrastructure and network management outsourced to IBM.

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