ATO delays Siebel rollout

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has delayed its initial deployment of its Siebel 7 CRM platform by almost six months, saying the delay has been caused by a later than scheduled kick-off to its Change Program and an end of financial year system lockdown.

The Tax Office had originally anticipated the first release of its agency-wide Siebel 7 rollout for customer contacts to have been completed the end of April 2005. However, finalization of due diligence and risk management processes of the Change Program meant initial rollouts, called stage gates, had now slipped by about six months.

ATO second commissioner for IT, Greg Farr, told Computerworld part of the issue involved a period in mid June to late July when the ATO stops releasing all new software into its production environment because of the load placed on the ATO's systems by end of financial year activities.

Farr said it was also unlikely the ATO would be able to make up for the lost time on the first Siebel release in the interim, probably affecting other the second part of the ATO Siebel rollout for case management.

Despite the delays, Farr said the ATO's Siebel experience to date had proved positive with the inbound contact channel requiring "very little or no customization".

Farr said he was not overly concerned by the departure of Siebel CEO Mike Lawrie who has been replaced by George Shaheen.

He said the ATO viewed such developments as part of its wider risk management strategy.

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