Telecom seeks customer truth

Telecom has been using Oracle's customer data hub, a bundle of products showcased at the company's Apps World conference in San Diego last month, to create "a single version of truth" about its customers.

Telecom has been using Oracle’s customer data hub, a bundle of products showcased at the company’s Apps World conference in San Diego last month, to create “a single version of truth” about its customers.

Customer data hub is a new name for a range of Oracle products that have been available for some time, and Telecom has been referring to it under a different term, the customer EDB (electronic database).

Greg Patchell, Telecom’s technology, strategy and architecture general manager, says when Oracle opened up its application stack so that its applications could be integrated with those of other vendors, Telecom was able to benefit.

“We’ve been using EDB and IBM’s CrossWorlds EAI technology. We’ve hooked up the customer EDB with our legacy environments to create a single version of the truth about our customers.”

The customer EDB integrates with an Oracle Probe data warehouse so changes in customer data are sent through the customer EDB and on to load tables to go into Probe.

“The information comes in on an as-is basis and it’s reduced the lag you get in data warehouses.”

The customer EDB and IBM EAI products are enabling Telecom to take customer data out of its ICMS voice and tolls application without disrupting ICMS, he says.

“For example, for new DSL service activation software, rather than having to write it to integrate with ICMS, we write it to integrate with the EAI so we can see customers from the EDB.”

Patchell says using the customer EDB “is part of augmenting ICMS with newer solutions in such a way that we don’t destroy ICMS”.

He says Oracle’s opening of its application stack is a big move.

“There’s now more flexibility in what you can plug in.”

The first phase of moving customer data to one place was finished in June. The next phase, relating to product information, “is in the design phase at the moment”.

Patchell says IBM’s EAI technology is as crucial to the smooth separation of customer data from ICMS as is the Oracle EDB.

Oracle New Zealand manager Robert Gosling says the Customer Data Hub “isn’t a brand new product, it’s a packaging of a number of technologies that are currently there into a single product.”

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