by Rebecca Merrett

EnergyAustralia hits back over billing integration project

Mar 19, 20132 mins
CareersFinance and Accounting SystemsIT Management

EnergyAustralia claims that an article in The Australian has “misrepresented” a project to integrate billing platforms from Oracle and SAP.

The newspaper reported that a “troubled technology integration project at EnergyAustralia has seen its chief information officer resign and the company forced to spend more than $285 million just to keep the lights on.”

The report was referring to EnergyAustralia’s project of moving 1.5 million customers from Ausgrid’s SAP billing platform to EnergyAustralia’s Oracle billing platform. EnergyAustralia is owned by the CLP Group, which purchased the retail arm of EnergyAustralia in 2011, including the EnergyAustralia brand. The rest of the state-owned EnergyAustralia company was renamed Ausgrid.

“When we acquired the retail customer base of Ausgrid we obviously had a transition arrangement that was agreed [on] – transitioning the customer base from one company to another. This unfortunately has been misrepresented in today’s report [in The Australian],” a spokesperson from Energy Australia told CIO Australia.

“They have referred to it as money to ‘keep the lights on’. They have misrepresented what part of the spending is under this arrangement.”

The Australian reported that a letter, sighted by the paper, had been sent by EnergyAustralia employees to the board of CLP, outlining problems with the project, including stating that the project was stuck at the planning stage after two years.

The EnergyAustralia spokesperson said that the figure of “more than $285 million just to keep the lights on” reported by The Australian had not been confirmed with EnergyAustralia. However, the spokesperson did not provide a figure for the total project spend, but said it is “within the original budget and forecast to remain so”.

The spokesperson would not give any further details in regards to EnergyAustralia CIO Gary Martin’s resignation, which the newspaper reported was linked to problems with the project.

“The company wishes to place on the record our gratitude for Gary’s leadership of the IS function through a period of great change and challenges,” the spokesperson said.

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