After two years of work, NZX-listed telco Spark has a new enterprise resource planning (ERP) system in place that it says will support its agile way of work.
Replacing a 25-year-old and heavily customised SAP implementation was a project only briefly noted in Spark’s annual report which told shareholders the diversified telco continued to build the core capabilities that could differentiate it in a competitive market.
“We successfully completed the implementation of a new enterprise resource planning system, which will improve the efficiency of our internal operations, supporting better customer outcomes,” the report said.
One of the pillars of Spark’s three-year strategy was “building world-class capabilities and culture”, Spark told Reseller News in a statement. The company’s shift to Microsoft Dynamics 365 would help to meet this ambition by providing the capability to simplify the business and speed-up how its does things.
“Needless to say upgrading legacy ERP that has been the backbone of a large business for almost 25 years has been a massive undertaking, but we knew that we needed to deliver a more modern and flexible ERP solution, that could keep up with our agile ways of working, increase the speed at which we could support our customers, and reduce complexity in our systems through the simplification of our existing processes,” Spark said.
Dynamics 365 ticked those boxes, but implementing change of that scale in a huge business came with a set of challenges.
“Covid-19 reached our shores just as we kicked off this project, which meant that our teams had to shift to a virtual way of working and collaborating, closed borders and some of our people were dealing with the additional stress and worry of having their family members and loved ones stuck overseas.”
According to an article in Forbes Magazine, Infosys was a key partner in the deployment, which included D365 finance and operations covering finance, sourcing, human resources, supply chain and IT billing.
Indicators the old ERP system was no longer cutting the mustard included reporting delays, overly complex customer journeys, the use of manual handoffs, and slow processes which could all affect the customer experience.
Business processes were also remodelled and simplified to minimise customisation.
Spark credited a smooth rollout on the close partnership formed between Spark, Microsoft, and Infosys.
Infosys led design and modelling of the solution, dividing processes divided into eight functional tracks under seven business owners and eleven process leaders.
Legacy data was extracted, cleaned and mapped into Dynamics by a dedicated data team.
That helped Spark to continue to hone its data capability to better understand customers needs.
“Our data and AI-driven marketing capability continues to mature, and we can now better predict the needs of around 90 per cent of Spark customer households and make recommendations for more than half of our small-medium business customers – increasing marketing campaign conversion by 19 per cent year on year,” the telco wrote in its annual report.
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