by Divina Paredes

CIO 100: Spark New Zealand

Mar 24, 2016
Technology Industry

A MOVE TO digital, leading through technology disruption, is an ongoing focus at Spark New Zealand, formerly known as Telecom. Over the last three years Spark has rapidly transformed to become a communications, IT and digital services company, inspired by its customers and with the vision to become the number one provider of mobile, data and cloud solutions in New Zealand.

The group is now made up of core business units Spark Home, Mobile and Business, Spark Digital, Spark Ventures and Spark Connect.

It has also sold non-core businesses; invested in new businesses like Skinny, Bigpipe, Revera, Qrious, Lightbox and Morepork; and has focussed its entire business on the New Zealand market.

The company rebranded itself nearly two years ago and today it continues with its re-engineering program which it expects to complete in 2016.

Spark has completed the second stage of its re-engineering program and updated its key customer service IT platforms.

The second stage involved large scale migration of 25 years’ worth of customer data to a new customer management system. Spark says this shift will provide the company with better customer management capabilities, with all customer information in one system.

Chief operating offi cer David Havercroft says in the past year the re-engineering of the organisation’s core infrastructure and the continued rollout of the 4G network were among the projects that delivered the biggest improvements for customers.

Digitalisation of the business continues, he states. The company has set up a strategic programme called Digital First, which will coordinate and accelerate the raft of digital initiatives going on across the business.

Spark says the Digital First Programme is already underway and has involved the development of mobile applications for customers, investors and staff, and there will be bigger pipeline of digital initiatives in 2016.

Components of this program include investing in talent, strategies and platforms to bring digital to the heart of the organisation and adopt digital best practice, disruptive mind-sets and agile methodologies to become even more customer-centric.

Havercroft notes one of the biggest shifts he has seen in the industry is the move away from a siloed focus on assets and an emphasis on the customer experience, leading Spark to introduce a DevOps operating model increasing the use agile methodologies as a delivery mechanism.