AAPT opts for multi-tenancy, order-to-cash platform

AAPT, a wholly owned subsidiary of Telecom New Zealand and Australia's third largest telco, adopted a different business model to compete against its larger rivals, Telstra and Optus. It decided to aggregate and bundle its own and third party products across its national infrastructure. As the market matured, AAPT needed to offer increasingly complex bundles.

These bundles needed ever more sophisticated business rules, which were unwieldy and demanded greater resources to support additional functionality. Eventually the situation became unviable on AAPT’s BSS.

Consequently, in 2004, AAPT engaged in a transformation exercise to improve its competitive positioning and tackle the issue of rising cost and falling profits by improving its back-office IT systems.

The initial approach focused on integrating many of the existing systems, but was dropped after the operator’s comparative and business case analysis had considered capabilities, benefits and savings across multiple dimensions.

It chose Infonova’s BSS on the grounds that it could deliver triple play and the transformation program, with the other functionality and outcomes required, more cheaply and faster. In particular AAPT felt Infonova BSS would provide competitive advantage through:

• bundling products from different services with a single common bill for all services (fixed, broadband, mobile and ISP);

• being able to launch new offers and bundles in hours, not weeks;

• delivering customer self-care with a single view of customer and complete visibility of their installed services.

• providing automated workflows, scheduling and status for order management, provisioning and billing;

•  billing online with mediation, rating and discounts for all services and integrated revenue assurance;

• reduced operations and support costs across multiple channels.

AAPT’s Infonova platform went live in 2007, with an automated triple play configuration orchestrating AAPT’s and third parties’ systems across 44 interfaces.

AAPT moved from five billing systems to one, from 100 BSS systems to a single one and from 80 applications in call centres to a handful, thereby reaping substantial cost cuts and needing fewer employees.

In May 2008, Paul Reynolds, CEO of Telecom New Zealand, announced “massive progress” had been made in just 12 months at the TMF World conference in Nice. He said over 50% of customers have been migrated to the new platform and that AAPT offered 17 plans compared with the previous complexity and confusion of over 2,000 plans.

He also pointed out that provisioning has moved from weeks to days and the bundling rate has risen to 75% because customers found the self-care platform easy to use, pushing up online sales by 25%.

AAPT has recently moved to Infonova Release 6.0, which Infonova describes as a multi-tenancy, order-to-cash BBS platform. AAPT is using the platform to support multiple retail and wholesale businesses, each with their own branding and pricing, including services across the operator’s ADSL2+ national network.

The companies say that every wholesaler and retailer that runs on AAPT’s network will have full control over their customers, product, billing and branding.

“This recent upgrade program was a seamless experience and yet another example of great transformational achievements delivered by AAPT, BearingPoint Australia [for system integration and consultancy] and Infonova,” said David Yuile, GM Technology, AAPT. “The upgrade itself provides AAPT with the option to broaden our market focus to tackle new market segments through new retailers with their own brands and channels”.

AAPT’s Infonova Release 6.0 deployment was one of six finalists in the TM Forum’s Excellence Awards 2009, Best Practices – Service Provider category.