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ATO kicks off CRM deployment

The Australian Taxation Office has kicked off the initial rollout of Siebel customer relationship management software to contact centre staff ahead of a more wide-ranging deployment scheduled for next year. ATO second assistant commissioner, Greg Farr, told ZDNet Australia today the contact module of the Siebel v7.

The Australian Taxation Office has kicked off the initial rollout of Siebel customer relationship management software to contact centre staff ahead of a more wide-ranging deployment scheduled for next year.

ATO second assistant commissioner, Greg Farr, told ZDNet Australia today the contact module of the Siebel v7.7.2.1 software had been deployed to about 300 people in ATO call centres in Melbourne and Brisbane since implementation started in mid-September.

The customer relationship management deployment is a critical part of the ATO's AU$400 million-$450 million Change Program, which is designed to boost internal efficiencies and client interaction with the office.

The contact deployment is initially expected to affect around 1200 call centre staff, with specialist officers who handle more detailed queries coming on board from May next year. The total number of staff using the module is expected to be around 3,000.

ATO call centre staff handle 12 million to 13 million calls per year.

The ATO plans to deploy the Siebel case management module from May next year in a project that will see the 189 existing case management systems consolidated to one. The rollout - scheduled for completion by December 2006 -- would see the jobs of 16,000 ATO staff "fundamentally redesigned", Farr said.

He said one call centre employee who had used the new contact software had been able to handle a query using one consolidated client view screen, rather than the 11 or more required under the previous system.

According to ATO documentation, the software is designed so that employees can handle 80 percent of queries using the consolidated view screen.

The ATO had originally planned to start rolling out the customer relationship management software from April, but pushed it back to September to properly train staff and minimise the impact on external clients without causing disruption during peak transaction times.