Internode pours $4M on CRM

System to replace in-house billing system

Internode has splurged $4 million on new hosted Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems to replace an internally built platform.

The systems use Computer Telephony Integration (CTI) to link customer applications into the telephone system which could allow the telco to route calls to specific agents, link instant messaging with land line calls, and provide more detail reports on how customers navigate around its touchtone phone system.

Internode will phase-in the systems over 12 months to replace its decade old customer database which was “tacked-on” to its in-house billing system. It will further customise the platforms over three to four years.

Internode CEO Patrick Tapper said the system will make it easier for staff to manage its customers.

“Overhauling our customer systems will underpin product innovation... it will also allow Internode to learn from its customers by tracking and reporting their preferences, so we can give them even more of what they want,” Tapper said. “We want to ensure we protect and improve [credibility with customers] as we grow.”

Internode evaluated in-house and hosted products before choosing the NetSuite systems delivered as Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). Spokesman John Harris said the hosted model held appeal because it would be subject to less privacy requirements and could deliver the system to new offices without specialist help.

He said the solution will speed up client call times and provide its 150,000 customers with an online portal for order tracking, call centre interactions and service-service. The CRM and ERP traffic will travel over Internode's network to the NetSuite datacentre in California.

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