Vodafone's CRM system sees the dark during upgrade

CRM brown-out was planned, says Vodafone

A CRM upgrade which caused Vodafone's pre-paid service to 'brown out' for over a week was totally foreseen, says the company.

Starting May 17, the company commenced an upgrade of the Siebel system that handles its Australian pre-paid billing system.

The systems upgrade meant that for over a week, Vodafone could not provision new products or services, such as: providing voicemail; moving customers to new propositions; change rate plans; or churn customers to or from pre-paid phone accounts.

There was no impact to the telco's post-pay business.

"This was schedule as a piece of work. It was not as though we thought it would take a day and it has taken longer. It was certainly a nine-day brown out period that was factored in," said Greg Spears, Vodafone's head of corporate communications.

The systems upgrade concluded on Saturday, May 27 and nine hours ahead of it's scheduled completion time.

Spears said the company tried to be upfront with all its partners that were involved in registering new pre-paid customers during the brown-out.

Any customer request during that time were held in database and would not get fed into the system until the upgrade was moved live, he said.

Spears said the work is part of the final phase of a three-year upgrade to the company's new CRM system.

"It was something that we had to do. But down the track it will actually give us a lot more functionality and ability to change prices and come up with competitive offers very quickly," he said.

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Howard Dahdah

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