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TelstraSaturn Gets Streetwise

TelstraSaturn Gets Streetwise

Media release

9-July-01

TELSTRASATURN GETS STREETWISE WITH A TOUCH OF MOBILE INTELLIGENCE

This month TelstraSaturn is rolling out a world-class automated mobile direct sales application developed by JADE with support from the Holliday Group (an iTouch company) on the Palm OS and JADE platforms.

After examining TelstraSaturn’s field sales order process, clipboards, paper and pens are being scrapped in favour of an intelligent custom-built software solution using Palm PDAs.

The new mobile sales system, which integrates door-to-door collected sales data with the back office, guarantees more accurate collection of information on customer details orders and up-to-date sales reporting.

Initially concerned about whether the technology was up to the job, the project was placed on the wish list for two years until June 2000 when TelstraSaturn decided to issue a request for information that was answered by Christchurch-based software company JADE.

JADE's response to Declan Shea, General Manager Network Applications at TelstraSaturn, included a demonstration by the Holliday Group of a working mobile sales solution that they had developed for Kapiti Cheese (using Palm OS and JADE platforms). This changed the company's perception of the maturity of mobile technology.

The application is designed to support three core areas: field sales communications, centralised sales territory management and sales operations reporting.

Sean Wynne, Director of Sales and Marketing, is thrilled with the application. “We are now able to provide sales reps with a weekly, allocated list of addresses to call upon, as well as a fixed sales process to follow when capturing customer information in the home. Any complementary information is automatically generated and sent to sales reps via SMS text on mobile phones. The application also manages the contacts database, territory allocation, sales reporting and order checking. It makes the job so much easier and streamlines the sales order process.”

As the driving force behind its development, TelstraSaturn sales staff have enthusiastically embraced the application. They wanted an easy to use, mobile paperless system that would provide the essential customer information needed to improve the direct sales process. TelstraSaturn Christchurch sales staff are now using the Direct Sales System and Wellington Sales staff are due to use the system later this month.

“The main focus has been the automation of the sales process,” explained Declan Shea. “At the end of each day the sales rep used to spend an hour duplicating the collected paper-based customer information. Key information, such as customers’ response to the services on offer, was not always fully digitised and as a consequence the scattered data was difficult to analyse. The new direct sales system changes all of this. It allows us to collect a more thorough profile of the state of sales operation within each area. The application will also reduce the rate of order entry error and ensure a healthier start to the customer relationship.”

As more intelligent information is collected about customers (for instance where the lead came from, when customers were contacted, what their reactions to offered services were, and so on) TelstraSaturn hopes to better define patterns that may be evident in service take up, geographic area or technological understanding.

“Since 1997 all new systems have been integrated as closely as possible, “ recounted Mr Shea. “One of the last areas to be automated was the door-to-door sales process. The direct sales system fits the last piece to the full digitisation of the residential operation from network build through to sales, service provisioning and billing. The complexity of the sales processes made it an intricate system to deliver. We give credit to all parties - JADE and Holliday Group have worked hard with us to develop a robust, and easy to use application. It has been an interesting and enjoyable project.”

The project was a challenging but rewarding one for the suppliers, says JADE Account Director Mark Soper. "We judge a project as successful if it enables our customer to deliver a better experience for their customers, and I think this system fits that need. It also strengthens TelstraSaturn's position as the real innovator in the convergent market."

Rod McKay, Software Development Manager at Holliday’s agrees, “The application focused on the tracking of the sales process. Multiple products, lots of choices and considerable data collected on each customer all had to be integrated with the office system. The partnership between the companies worked extremely well, and to the highest of standards.”

Future development will see the application further integrating with TelstraSaturn’s core customer billing and services system to process orders, schedule work and diary appointments.

The Mobile Sales Application

The TelstraSaturn Direct Sales System is constructed around a JADE-built hub software (an application that gathers and processes information) seamlessly interfacing with the iTouch iConnect communications server that synchronizes the information to the mobile environment. The latter can send and receive messages to users via wireless data networks using mobile phones, short messaging services, pagers, or dial up modems to the Palm handheld computers.

The JADE hub software interprets information from TelstraSaturn’s ICSS core customer care system and sends sales territory allocations to the sales reps’ mobile phones and Palms via the iTouch iConnect communications server.

The JADE hub software also automatically “routes” sales leads captured in TelstraSaturn’s call and contact centres to the appropriate rep within minutes via SMS messaging and the Palm PDA.

It also receives information back from the Palm (via dial-up modem), distributing relevant sales information back to the core system and providing reports on sales activities.

As part of the solution, each field rep’s Palm PDA holds the business process that they must follow when signing up a customer, including required customer information. The required information might change for each customer as the application is “intelligent’, polling the database and only asking to capture information that is not currently available on that particular customer.

The Palm application also stores the most current product and promotional material (which change weekly), and their sales call list for the week. When a sales rep captures an order for a new customer they can input, on the spot, all the details required to process the customer’s selection of telephone, mobile, cable TV and Internet services. Over 25 variables are catered for at this data entry stage, including requested telephone numbers, Internet user names, preferred email addresses, toll plans and cable TV packages. At the completion of the sales call, the rep can then uplift this information to TelstraSaturn’s back end systems via the iTouch iConnect communications server to the JADE hub, ensuring immediate response to the order, greater accuracy of customer details and orders, faster customer service, and up-to-date sales reporting.

This level of automation and functionality is available throughout the entire system via an intuitive interface and electronic processes catering to the needs of its various users. The package encompasses:

- sales contact management

- sales force activity reporting

- sales lead management

- product / services listings and sales quotation

- order entry and order details gathering

- order processing.

Further details of the application are available in PDF format entitled “TelstraSaturn Direct Sales System - Smart Mobile Sales Solution”. Please request from Mark Soper or Shelley Grell (contact details below) or visit www.discoverjade.com.

- Ends -

About TelstraSaturn Limited

As New Zealand’s leading convergent company, TelstraSaturn Ltd offers voice, data, mobile, Internet and cable television services to a mix of business and residential customers in the New Zealand market. The company is currently planning and/or building residential and business networks in Christchurch and Auckland to complement its Wellington network. TelstraSaturn is a company merging the New Zealand operations of Telstra Corporation and Austar United Communications, each of whom have 50 percent share holding. For further information visit www.telstrasaturn.co.nz

About JADE

JADE is a division of Aoraki Corporation Limited, a privately owned New Zealand company. It employs 400 people in New Zealand, Australia and the United Kingdom. The company's founder and Chief Executive is Sir Gil Simpson.

Using its own JADE development technology, the company works with a network of partners, including companies such as the Holliday Group, IBM, PricewaterhouseCoopers, KPMG and gen-I, to deliver customised and pre-built software for large enterprises. JADE is building a strong capability in the convergent technology area with several strategic partners including TelstraSaturn. For more information visit www.discoverjade.com

About iTouch PLC

iTouch PLC is an international company that provides wireless data services to consumers, corporates and mobile networks. The delivery of iTouch services and solutions is carried out through Interactive Voice Response (IVR), Short Message Service (SMS), Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) and Wireless Data technologies.

iTouch is listed on the London Stock Exchange, and currently has operations in the UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Israel. iTouch has strong relationships with mobile network operators in all these countries. For further information visit www.itouchplc.com

About Holliday Group

Holliday Group, an iTouch owned company, develops a wide range of custom software solutions that streamlines time-to-market production and minimises administrative costs. Holliday Group’s expertise spans development of custom made Microsoft OS desktop applications, Internet Web authorising, man-machine interfaces to back office systems, communications and remote control systems.

The company is also the largest Palm application provider in Australasia and one of the top 100 Palm application developers in the world. They are at the forefront of the mobile wireless technology industry and excel in the provision of innovative mobile communication solutions on the Palm computing platform. For further information visit www.holliday.co.nz

For further information about this release and/or accompanying photography please contact:

TelstraSaturn

Declan Shea, General Manager Network Applications - 04 939 5026, 029 939 5144

Sean Wynn, Director of Sales & Marketing - 04 939 5006, 029 939 5006

Holliday Group

Rod McKay, Software Development Manager - 03 365 4120, 021 440 905

rodm@holliday.co.nz

JADE

Mark Soper, JADE Account Director - 03 365 2500, 029 595 6620, msoper@discoverjade.com

Communicate IT Ltd

Shelley Grell, PR Director - 03 314 4676, 025 260 2635, shelley@communicateit.co.nz


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