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EXCLUSIVE: Retailers Hit By Telstra Siebel Saleforce Upgrade iPhone 11 Launch Affected

Telstra has a major problem after an upgrade of their Siebel customer system to Salesforce left dealers struggling to transact contracts and not able to update existing customers, the issue has been ongoing for two months.

According to dealers who have contacted ChannelNews the problem “has impacted their abilities to do business at a store level”.

“It’s like we are starting with a new system all over again only this time transactions are going pear shaped”.

According to one NSW dealer, Telstra “got the system working for the iPhone 11 launch only for the system to crash a few hours later”.

One North Sydney customer who tried to buy an additional SIM and has been both a business and consumer customer of Telstra for more than 30 years was told that despite his business being on the old Siebel system they would have to set up a new business profile despite that business still being billed for broadband services.

“It’s an utter mess and it’s been like this since mid-August, currently we are operating from day to day not knowing whether we can transact contracts” the franchised dealer said.

Recently Telstra said it was writing down the value of legacy IT assets by $500 million as a result of “good progress” on T22.

“When they first told us about the upgrade Telstra management said will make it easier and faster for our people to process transactions, manage an account or fault, recommend additional products and services and undertake a host of other interactions” this is far from the truth.

“What we got was one delay after another. When the new iPhone was launched the system actually worked as designed only to crash a few hours later and this is not good especially for Telstra partners”.

JB Hi Fi a major Telstra reseller have not said whether they are affected by the problems.

Telstra said back in January that it is starting to use Salesforce’s marketing cloud to improve personalisation in its communications to customers.

“We have established key personalisation capabilities using our big data platform and the marketing cloud feature of the Salesforce platform, which collectively enable us to deliver highly targeted and personalised communications,” Telstra said.

The telco who recently moved to sack 10,000 employees claimed that the carrier has made significant investments in modern platforms since 2016, including rolling out ServiceNow and replacing its aging Siebel CRM system with Salesforce.

“We’re replacing our billing systems, our order management systems, our customer interface systems, and all of these systems are being built on a new technology stack in the cloud with an extensive ecosystem of APIs,” CEO Andy Penn said as part of a briefing on T22’s progress.

What’s not known is how much the delay in rolling out the new system is going to cost Telstra.

Telstra has not commented for this story.

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