by CIO UK Staff

Carphone Warehouse banks on CRM for growth

Jun 04, 20093 mins
IT LeadershipIT StrategyMobile

Carphone Warehouse, the mobile telecoms retailer has announced a reduction in debt and profits after tax. CEO Charles Dunstone said the company has begun migrating to a new customer relationship management and billing platform which he is confident will improve the company’s performance.

In its preliminary results to 31 March 2009 Carphone Warehouse said profits after tax were at £112 million, down from £137m for the same period last year. Net debt has been reduced to £182m from £843m. This was achieved by selling 50 per cent of its retail business to US retailer Best Buy.

Discussing the continued investment in CRM and billing technology Dunstone said they will “enable us to provide enhanced services to customers in the years ahead”. In January 2007 Carphone Warehouse announced it would be integrating the Tibco Software service-oriented architecture and business process management platform for order management, service activation, billing and CRM. Migration to the Tibco technology continues.

Carphone Warehouse is also involved in a de-merger from US technology retail group Best Buy, which will see the Talk Talk brand operate and listed as a separate entity. The de-merger will be completed by next July.

Dunstone said: “It’s been increasingly obvious that the Group is now two businesses – Best Buy Europe and TalkTalk Group. The one grew out of the other; but both have now reached the stage where there are no material synergies between them and where, for operational and competitive reasons, they need to operate independently. The businesses are effectively run as separate entities already, each with highly experienced and strong management teams.” The group continues to grow its internet service provider (ISP) business Talk Talk Grop, has entered into an agreement to but the UK arm of Italian ISP Tiscali. When the deal is completed Talk Talk will be the UK’s largest residential broadband provider with 4.25m subscribers.

In April Carphone Warehouse signed a new infrastructure services deal with IBM. Big blue provides Carphone Warehouse with service desk, storage, server, desktop, network and datacentre management. Chief technology officer at Carphone Warehouse said the deal will increase efficiency and service level improvements for the organisation’s staff. Carphone Warehouse got into trouble with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) last year for a breach of the Data Protection Act. An ICO investigation discovered security failings in the storage and management of personal information which meant that customers could see other customers details online. The ICO also found that the company had failed to respond to requests by customers about the personal information it held.