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Tuesday, 26 May 2009 07:34

Internode implements $4 million SaaS CRM solution

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South Australian ISP, Internode, has embarked on a four-year redevelopment of its customer care systems with implementation of a SaaS CRM solution from NetSuite.

Announcing commencement of the $4 million implementation, Internode CEO Patrick Tapper said today the company was making the investment in a customised NetSuite solution as the centrepiece of its customer system overhaul.

According to Tapper, Internode serviced 150,000 customers last year and, as well as speeding up calls and reducing queues during busy periods at the company’s customer call centre, the NetSuite solution would provide a customer-centric portal to let customers track the progress of orders, view the history of their interactions with Internode and undertake many self-service activities.

The new software includes fully integrated customer relationship management (CRM) and enterprise resource planning (ERP) applications, delivered as a software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution, and Tapper says it will help the company “maintain its reputation for great customer service” as it grows.

According to Tapper, the company’s research shows that more than 90 per cent of its customers “come on board after being recommended by a family member, friend or colleague,” which, he adds, is “great testimony to Internode’s credibility with its customers, so we want to ensure we protect and improve that reputation as we grow.”

Internode, says Tapper, chose NetSuite because it was the best system for managing its customer interaction, and the system would provide a “much more user-friendly and automated interface for frontline staff.”

“Integration with Internode’s telephone system will speed up service by automatically presenting staff with customer details if the customer has Calling Line Identification (CLI) turned on.
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“NetSuite will also provide Internode team leaders with accurate and timely information, giving them greater visibility into the business, which will allow them to better serve their customers’ inquiries. The application will also provide employees with improved reporting about the status of customer interactions in areas such as tickets, sales opportunities and complaint handling.”

Tapper says a central benefit of the NetSuite system will be the creation of a customer portal that, he adds, will greatly extend the customer self-service facilities that are already available through the My Internode portal.

As well as providing a deep view into Internode’s ordering system, Tapper says the portal can provide customers with Amazon-like recommendations for services popular with comparable customers, and the integrated enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution would simplify the introduction and marketing of new products and services.

Tapper says the new system will replace Internode’s internally-developed system for recording customer data, and to reduce the risk of disruption during the transition, the NetSuite application will be introduced incrementally during the next 12 months.

Slated as a four-year redevelopment, Internode expects stage one of implementation to be completed by August this year, and it plans to continue customising the system to meet its needs over the next three to four years.

According to Tapper, customer service and product innovation will be, what he calls, “the critical differentiators” for telecommunication companies as the broadband market matures, and, he’s clearly confident of Internode’s position in the market, claiming Internode has a “great track record of innovation such pioneering ADSL2+ broadband in Australia.”

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