Telecom is cutting the number of its IT suppliers "from the tens to a few" as part of a consolidation exercise being carried out with key IT partners EDS and Alcatel.
Telecom technology boss Murray Milner says the telco has in the past tended to have a fragmented vendor arrangement for networks and IT. "But in conjunction with EDS we've been rationalising to a smaller number of IT suppliers."
Telecom is likewise working with Alcatel on reducing the number of suppliers for its networking operations, which include building an all-IP network with gear primarily from by Alcatel and, where others supply it, Alcatel co-ordinating.
It doesn't mean customers with gear from different suppliers won't continue to be supported, says Milner. "We need to support a range of suppliers. They want us to support what they want."
On the IT side, big-name vendors such as SAP and Oracle will be among the chosen few. "As we rebuild the database system, we're focusing around Oracle being the core provider."
Telecom's database inventory includes a lot of bespoke products and some from non-Oracle vendors that are nearing the end of their life cycle, Milner says.
"The key thing is that we're working towards a single view of our customers and the data associated with them so it can be easily used."
The recent implementation of an identity management package from Novell will help that single-view plan. "[The aim is to] have one view of our customers, one meta-directory capability that manages the identities of anyone using our services, across all the services they use, whether it be fixed, mobile or internet."
The Novell product fits over the top of some existing directories, he says. "It defines a schema. We're still using some bespoke systems, but it will be rationalised down to a smaller number."
Novell's GroupWise is used throughout the organisation.