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Wednesday, May 13, 2009


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By Dee May 10, 2009 - 6:17 pmNot that familiar with this site-was loinokg for your Green Guide article on TiVo. Couldn't find it online. Anyway, was curious as to why you were promoting this product. It's apparently a crippled version of the one the Americans get-Channel 7, and the other networks here have required that the ad-skipping function be removed, which seems to suck, right? You'd think the best time to promote TiVo would be when they sell the same version of the product that they sell in the US.Anyway, have been reading about new Freeview PVRs coming out now. They also seem similarly crippled as TiVo. Other PVRs seem just as good, if not better than these Freeview versions, but consumers might not realise this.In the future, I'd look at upgrading my standard definition PVR. Would like at dual tuner High Def PVR. Would want a PVR which you could be able to transport recorded shows onto computer for burning onto disc or whatnot. TiVo requires an internet connection for access to a tv guide, which also sucks, I think. My PVR has a c 24 hour guide on it, but not via internet.Cheers.


Telstra overspends $1.5b on IT transformation
Increase in scope and added complexity to blame, says CFO Stanhope

Tim Lohman 29 October, 2009 03:53

Telstra’s IT transformation budget is over by $1.5 billion on the original $12 billion forecast when the project commenced in November 2005.

But the company’s chief financial officer, John Stanhope, told Telstra Investor Day attendees the additional expenditure was “deliberate”.

“I want to emphasise it is not an overrun in our spend,” he said. “Back in [financial year] 04/05 there were things that we did not have in scope. It is not a concern, therefore, and we actually delivered $1.3 billion less in spending in other areas of our transformation, meaning that the total overspend in the original budget of $12 billion program is around 2 per cent,” he said. “So, there has been no transformation cost blow out at Telstra, which is often said.”

Stanhope said that there had been considerable change in scope to the transformation project which had seen the inclusion of BigPond and additional programs such as network planning in the operational support systems layer and its Sensis integration.

“We have spent an extra $500 million as we have added many new items to the transformation such as enterprise data warehouse, [integration between] new customer service applications and legacy systems, integrated desktop, and online billing,” he said. “Another 200 million was spent on dealing with additional complexity and we have capitalised $400 million on infrastructure we have previously intended to lease.”

The project had also come with its share of difficulties for the company and its customers, Stanhope acknowledged.

“I’d like to remind you it has been much more difficult than we anticipated and the journey has been painful for many of our customers,” he said. “As you go through these major [transformations] you try to avoid that but we realise that some customers have come on this painful journey with us. We have learnt a lot.”

Specific challenges during the project included aligning products, networks and customers, the need to simplify processes before transforming IT and the need for systems to manage customers and staff through the transition.

“Our key learning is the need to continue strategic investment in core platforms,” he said. “You can’t just stop investment then do big bangs. Big bangs are painful and we don’t want to do that sport of thing again. Also, never underestimate the complexity of IT telecommunications infrastructure.”

Despite the overspend, Telstra had begun to reap benefits from the transformation spend including $307 million of revenue and cost savings this financial year and an anticipated $790 million in 2011 and $1.23 billion in 2012, Stanhope said.

Specific benefits had been gained in Telstra’s customer relationship management (CRM), self service and identity management, sales catalogue, campaign management, credit management, usage processing, and IT cost reduction, he said. Email Computerworld or follow @computerworldau on Twitter.


Thodey defends $200m IT blowout
Liam Tung, ZDNet.com.au

13 August 2009 05:15 PM

Telstra chief executive David Thodey today defended the progress of his company's five-year IT billing and customer relation management system modernisation, which has run $200 million over budget.

"I've been involved in too many IT transformations. There's nothing easy in here," Thodey told media and analysts at Telstra's annual results session. "It's easy to talk about, but harder to do. I do not know a better IT transformation ... We're within $200 million of the IT transformation."

Chief financial officer John Stanhope said the $200 million was around 2 per cent more than initially budgeted, and later noted that despite rumours that Telstra faced cost overruns, the increased bill was in part due to changing the scope of the project.

"There's lots of rumours about cost overrun," Stanhope responded to an analyst. "In October [Telstra's annual investor briefing] I will take you through the details. There are things about this program that weren't in there, such as BigPond. Now it is. That puts in more money."

Stanhope did, however, concede there was "a bit more complexity". "We did spend some more money as we came through to the realisation," he said.

Thodey said Telstra had moved 9.2 million of its customers to its new Siebel CRM system, but multi-product customers have yet to be migrated, while Telstra still faces the task of switching off legacy systems.

"As of last weekend, we had 9.2 million customers across the new platform. 17.8 million of our services are moved from the old platform to the new," said Thodey at his first annual earnings announcement as Telstra's chief executive.

A major milestone for Telstra remains switching off its legacy systems, which Thodey pointed out was where its sunk capital still lay. "We've done a tremendous amount in the IT arena, and we still have some legacy products to exist to move forward," he said.

In September last year Telstra announced it had completed the integration of BigPond as part of its transformation, which enabled it to shed 800 staff from the division as BigPond's access business was integrated with the rest of Telstra.

Telstra in 2005 had set a target of reducing its headcount by 10,000 to 12,000 as a result of its systems upgrade. Thodey would not update guidance on headcount it expected to shed, but he set expectations by relaying his experience when Telstra installed Siebel CRM in its Enterprise and Government division.

"In 2002 we put in Seibel [in Telstra Enterprise & Government]. I remember what happened. We put it in and the first release was an absolute failure. It took 15 months of working every application, trying to get the processes right. On some we got instantaneous benefits. Some took longer. Siebel is a wonderful product, but it takes some time to drive value from," he said.

"I don't think there is any necessity for any recourse to anyone because we're going to drive the value from the product. When people say you just drop a new CRM in get instantaneous value, well, it's just not true," he said.

Telstra's chief information officer, John McInerney, who took the role in 2008, clarified that several systems had been installed: Siebel/Oracle for Telstra's CRM, Kenan for its billing systems and Amdox for its order provisioning.

"So there are a lot of systems in this, and many are different stages of migration. All these systems are in production. So what we're doing is the migration of the customers across our release four platforms," said McInerney.


Today on AAP we learn that Sol has slunk back to America. He may have conned Telstra out of several million dollars a year but hats off to him if Aussies are stupid enough to let him get away with it!

If you have to blame anyone - blame Donald McGauchie.

Trujillo makes quiet return home

SMH May 19, 2009 - 12:38PM
Former Telstra chief executive Sol Trujillo has returned home to the US more than a month before he was due to leave the telco giant.

Mr Trujillo returned to the US late last week, a Telstra spokesman said this morning.

The company said Mr Trujillo received a $3 million termination payment on his departure, the equivalent of one year's base pay, as outlined in his contract.

Telstra said in a brief statement the appointment of an internal candidate as the new chief executive "meant a smooth and swift transition was possible''.

New chief executive David Thodey officially took up his role today, the telco said.

Details of Mr Thodey's contract are expected to be lodged with the ASX in the coming days.

Mr Trujillo announced his resignation from Telstra in February, but had planned to stay on until June 30.

Donald McGauchie, who resigned as Telstra chairman just over a week ago, joked in February that Mr Trujillo was likely to remain at his desk right up until midnight on June 30.

Mr Trujillo is not expected to fulfill a speaking engagement with the American Chamber of Commerce in Australia scheduled for next month, the Telstra spokesman said.

In February, Mr Trujillo said he did not have a new job lined up in the US, with his focus on spending time with his family and "losing about eight kilos''.

He currently holds a position on the board of US retailer Target Corp.

Telstra also said it had appointed Nerida Caesar to replace Mr Thodey as managing director of its enterprise and government division.

Ms Caesar, who was managing director of Telstra wholesale, will take leave until she begins her new role on June 9.

Glenn Osborne has been appointed to replace Ms Caesar as head of the wholesale division.

Telstra shares were steady at $3.20 in midday trade.


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