Trujillo defends Siebel project

Trujillo defends Siebel project

Summary: Telstra CEO Sol Trujillo defended the progress of the company's IT transformation program despite long call-centre hold times and reports of frustrated employees.

TOPICS: Telcos, CXO, Telstra
Sol Trujillo(Credit: Suzanne Tindal/

Outgoing Telstra CEO Sol Trujillo today defended the progress of the company's Siebel-based IT transformation program despite long call-centre hold times and reports of frustrated employees.

The good news is the system is working fine.

Outgoing Telstra CEO Sol Trujillo

The company had migrated over 7 million consumer customers to the new Siebel-based system, Trujillo said today at the company's half-year results hearing to 31 December, but it hasn't been a problem-free move.

"As migrations peaked across systems dealing with order provisioning, customer queries and complaints were severely tested," he admitted. "If you called into mostly David Moffatt's call centres you would see that we had a high level of long hold times for not meeting the kind of metrics we would like in terms of speed of answer. But that's been part of what we expected would happen when you migrate your customers onto a whole new system."

Sales staff had been seconded from their duties to answer in-bound calls. "Now that we're on the other side of that we're going to free up more capacity for outbound and inbound on the sales side of things," Trujillo said. He hoped to combat trends such as a drop in fixed and mobile call volumes as customers have sought to manage their spend.

Carriers had been having it easy while Telstra sales staff dealt with Siebel's teething issues, Trujillo said, but he added the fight was now on. "Look out, we're coming," he said.

Yet Telstra's sales people might not be as unencumbered as Trujillo hoped. Recently the Australian Council of Trade Unions released the results of a survey which said employees felt the system was stopping them from meeting their sales targets, bringing Trujillo's sales push into question.

Trujillo didn't agree with the survey. He said that the systems were working fine and instead pointed the finger at those using them. "The issue wasn't about systems not working ... there's lots of data showing how the billing system's working, orders are being taken, processed and all of that," he said. "You go through an adjustment period. Part of it of is me as an individual learning how to use a new system versus an old system that I may have used for 10 years or 20 years."

"Part of it is that we're not finished with some of our migration of our IT platforms, so sometimes you're working between a new system and an old system and sometimes that becomes difficult for some employees to get used to in terms of their productivity, in terms of the amount of time they take to deal with the customer," he said.

"The good news is the system is working fine. It's some of the process, some of the workarounds you do as you're rolling out a system that you have to keep on unravelling or eliminating as you go forward."

Topics: Telcos, CXO, Telstra

Suzanne Tindal

About Suzanne Tindal

Suzanne Tindal cut her teeth at as the site's telecommunications reporter, a role that saw her break some of the biggest stories associated with the National Broadband Network process. She then turned her attention to all matters in government and corporate ICT circles. Now she's taking on the whole gamut as news editor for the site.

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  • Why Defend

    Why make a point defending the technology - there must be issues - the stuff is older than Moses and hard to set up. There are superior technologies out there. The excuse though - blame the people on the coal face.
  • somewhat agree

    I have to say, that I believe there are some intrinsic issues behind the new system for telstra, but more in line with upper managements lack of budget for UPGRADING THEIR STAFFS EQUIPTMENT so that it can handle the more resource intensive java client, instead of a telnet based system which could have run on a commadore 64. Thats really it. If they upgraded their servers (internal) and upgraded all the staffs machines, and made sure the network was all fibre, probably wouldnt have the issues. But hey! what would most of us know, we're just plebs right!
  • Why Defend - Here Here

    Another attempt of diversion. Sol you said you are leaving! Time to relax! There is nothing wrong with admitting that sometimes you may have stuffed things up!
  • re Why Defend - Here Here

    No need to guess who sent this in.
  • Sim card change

    Why does it take over an hour to perform a SIM change where'as before it was instant?
  • Sebel System

    I tried for 2 months to have the overseas dialling restored to my phone at home, i gave up at christmas, and have not heard a peep. Every operator told me that evrything was alright, but still no overseas dialling, i was told that if iswitched back to the Legacy System it would be repaired staight away, but no internet for up to 3 weeks, GOOD CHOICE ?
  • Siebel = Feeble

    While I agree that staff training is somewhat of an issue a lot of the blame must rest with the platform.
    It is slow. Every click results in a short wait. There is also almost no auto-population or auto correction, and substandard error detection. This means that many of the "staff" issues are more to do with simple errors that should be automatically fixed, or at least warned about before the data is finalised.
    Additionally it is a highly pedantic system. Several things that should be single click actually require the operator to re-enter the same data they have already put in elsewhere manually.
    To be fair, they haven't even finished building it yet.. but then why was it rolled out when it clearly isn't up to scratch?