It's been a rocky road for AAPT. Many will remember the company's advances as the innovative challenger of the 90s, sticking it to former monopolist Telstra. Then Telecom New Zealand came on the scene, acquiring 100 per cent of the business.
The reasons for
the takeover were obvious. It gave Telecom NZ growth opportunities
in a much bigger consumer market and provided a trans-Tasman
network to satisfy its corporate clients. Then AAPT's focus
shifted further into the business market with the acquisition of
For the last couple of years AAPT's ability to capitalise on the
market opportunity has been held back by cost-cutting and a
problematic implementation of its Hyperbaric billing platform.
David Yuile, recently appointed as AAPT's COO, was called in to
head up the "war council" that would fix the issues that were
upsetting residential customers and causing blow-outs in the call
Billing issues are not unique to AAPT and, hopefully, those days
are behind them. So, does this mean there's nothing but a bright
future for AAPT? Industry observer Paul Budde gives his thoughts on
AAPT in this week's Twisted Wire.
While its focus is on the higher yield corporate market, it
still has a residential base and it's trying to acquire more,
focusing on higher-yield, lower churn customers on bundled
offerings, reached with a reduced advertising budget. In the
program we look at AAPT's various attempts to win over customers,
from Effie to "the telco that tells it like it is" and "you're not
dreaming". Bruce Potter, creative director at Streetwise
Advertising, gives his views on its marketing approach. Does it
stand out from the crowd?
We had hoped to talk to David Yuile, AAPT's COO, and its CEO
Paul Broad to get inside comments on where the company is heading.
We wanted to find out what the company was going to do with its upgraded
network and new billing system, but AAPT's PR department pulled the
plug on these interviews, saying they were happy to talk about the company's
network upgrades and Paul Broad's view on the National Broadband Network (he's a
non-believer), but that's all.
AAPT strongly asserts there are no plans for a sale, just a rumour
mill fuelled by PacNet last year to which, the company would say, there is no
validity. I hate rumours. If only people would talk more.
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