Telecom deepens relationship with Indian outsourcer

Tech Mahindra signed for $30 million retail transformation

Telecom New Zealand is partnering with Indian outsourcer Tech Mahindra to deliver its retail transformation programme, called Next Generation Telecom (NGT).

Tech Mahindra has been a Telecom partner through its IT services arm Gen-i for some time, but it will now work directly on programme management and systems integration to "redefine Telecom's retail business".

Telecom spokesman Ian Bonnar says NGT is a multi-year programme and while there is an element of cost cutting in it, Telecom is a long way from being able to define any implications for local staff numbers.

"We'll have to see how things play out," he says.

Australian media reports in April suggested outsourced IT services and call centres could be a major part of the transformation programme aimed at reducing operating costs by $300 million a year.

Pawel Grochowicz, Telecom's GM of retail transformation, says over the years complexity has grown in the business as new products and capabilities have arrived.

"It's time to rewire the business to be customer centric and competitive," he says.

Grochowicz says the change spans all aspects of retail including CRM and billing. While the next generation billing system is in place, he says, there are still elements of the legacy system in use as well.

"Telcos around the world have been investing a lot in billing capability," he says. "Broadly, this is to deliver flexibility and innovative bundling of products, both internally and from third parties."

CP Gurnani, president of international operations for Tech Mahindra, says the contract has very specific timeframes and deliverables but also elements of flexibility to extend and fast track and to allow Telecom to call on consultants.

“This deal is a significant step forward in the transformation of Telecom,” Paul Reynolds, Telecom's CEO, says in a statement.

Reynolds says Tech Mahindra brings expertise and proven delivery of systems integration and business transformation in the global telecommunications industry.

The contract, worth between $20m and $30m, will see Tech Mahindra taking responsibility for programme management and end-to-end systems integration as Part of Telecom’s $1bn a year investment plan in areas such as fibre-to-the-node, a new mobile phone network, transitioning to IP-based services and completing operational separation.

“We are taking on an unprecedented amount of change that is attracting interest from industry observers around the world, and we are bringing in world class partners, such as Tech Mahindra, to ensure we deliver'" Reynolds says.

Customers are expected to start seeing new products and services delivered under the programme within two years.

Bonnar says retail customers will not be forced into any particular channel and will be able to choose how they interact with Telecom.

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