November 29, 2004

NCR Pips Oracle at Vodafone

RETAIL technology specialist NCR has beaten off software giant Oracle to win a multimillion dollar datawarehousing contract with Vodafone New Zealand.

Teradata, a division of US multinational NCR, will merge the telco's four existing datawarehouses into a single facility, which will let the telco conduct more sophisticated analysis on how customers are using its various services.

Vodafone's general manager of business planning John Tombleson says the transition from its current systems should take about a year to 18 months.

He says the datawarehouse will let Vodafone integrate records on network usage with Vodafone Live Wap logs and information gleaned from its call centre as to the reason for helpdesk calls.

Telcos are increasingly chasing "high value" customers, he says, of which "there are only so many to go round".

"We need to be aware of what they want, what their behaviour is and what their needs are, so we can target offerings to them."

Mr Tombleson says that with the imminent arrival of 3G and the uptake of mobile data services, Vodafone's interactions with customers are becoming more complex.

"A person on 3G could be making a phone call and sending an e- mail and connecting to the Net to buy a concert ticket all at the same time."

Globally, Vodafone has a policy of buying datawarehousing solutions from either Teradata or Oracle. Mr Tombleson says the decision by the New Zealand subsidiary to go with Teradata was a "close call".

The telco called in three consultancies and conducted site visits to other Vodafone companies around the world, before choosing Teradata.

The fact Vodafone Australia already has a Teradata datawarehouse in place influenced the decision, he says.