ABT POS for VHA ( Vodafone Hutchison Australia)

When Vodafone, the third biggest Australian mobile provider, and Hutchison, the number four provider under the “3” brand, announced plans to create a company to be called VHA Pty Ltd with about six million customers, it was hardly a day of celebration at ABT.

Hutchison had been a long time ABT customer, and as the smaller partner in the merger, it was envisaged that Hutchison systems would be migrated onto Vodafones platforms.

The long and the short being that a good, and large, ABT customer was expected to be lost.

Not that Hutchison were dissatisfied with ABT’s Pronto POS (Point of Sale) system. In-fact, just the opposite was the case, with the number of seats growing annually and a richer feature set available with each upgrade.

However the reality of business mergers is consolidation. Vodafone’s larger, already installed systems would surely become the platform for the future company.

“We had been told there were some issues with the Vodafone POS systems that were impacting both head office and franchisees. There were apparently also end-to end integration issues that needed to be addressed”, said ABT General Manager, Eldred Richards

“We were hopeful of getting the call from VHA but yes, it was a good day when we did sign the agreement,” Richards added.

VHA required that the POS system be able to interface with the legacy Oracle platform and not require major changes to VHA’s business processes. Both requirements readily achievable with the ABT customised Pronto POS solution that had already been well proven in the Hutchison “3” stores across Australia.

ABT began implementation of the new consolidated VHA ABT POS application to more than one thousand users in November 2009, with the system going live in May, 2010. The POS Consolidation Project was the first major project undertaken by the newly merged VHA organisation, and its outcome was hence nervously scrutinised throughout its duration by the VHA Board.

The successful completion of the POS consolidation Project was regarded by VHA as a major milestone for the newly merged organisation.

The implementation was pretty smooth, says Richards. “While the intense scrutiny was a little disconcerting at times, VHA’s strong commitment and resourcing prioritisation that was given to the given to the project were undoubtedly major contributors to the success of the project”.

“Of course there were issues, as there are with every implementation, which is why you need an experienced company like ABT, who have a tremendous depth of experience in delivering complex ERP project outcomes” he added

The implementation was completed within both the expected timeframe and budget.

“With the new POS system ABT have markedly enhanced mobile phone serial number tracking for VHA, basically giving them a cradle to grave tracking system. This may not immediately sound much, but this enhancement drastically helps with stock control,” Richards added.

“Actually, Asset Control is a major drawcard with our POS system”, says Richards. “Pronto is very strong in Asset Control, sales can’t be deleted, commissions, handset remittances and masterstock catalogues are all handled smoothly within our customised system, “ Richards added.

VHA are very happy with the ABT POS system. They haven’t had to retrain staff, franchisees know and trust the commissions tracking and accurate stock levels are reported. ABT retains a Services and Maintenance agreement with VHA to ensure that their systems remain fully supported and productive for years to come.