TRUenergy inks 10 year outsourcing deal with IBM

Job losses in hundreds

TRUenergy today announced a 10 year outsourcing deal with IBM Australia resulting in 200 redundancies.

This includes customer registration systems, billing, credit and collections, as well as IT applications development and maintenance, support and infrastructure management. TRUenergy's call centres will not be affected.

TRUenergy managing director, Richard McIndoe, said the decision to outsource is in response to a very competitive retail market.

"Outsourcing these functions will improve TRUenergy's operating systems, enabling the business to maintain competitive prices for customers," he said.

"This initiative will also provide TRUenergy with increased flexibility and efficiency in offering customers a wider range of choice in meeting their energy requirements.

"Importantly, the new systems will be compatible with the requirements of the Victorian Government's advanced interval meter rollout, which enables customers to monitor their electricity use on a real time basis and promotes energy efficiency in the home."

The new systems to be managed by IBM will offer customers greater choice in structuring their energy arrangements, including additional billing and payment options, new products and flexible pricing structures.

While unwilling to disclose financial details of the deal, McIndoe said the agreement allows the energy provider to concentrate on its core business while leveraging IBM's expertise in business process outsourcing.

He said employees in affected areas will be advised of the impact on their role in one-on-one sessions this week.

About 66 TRUenergy positions will transfer to IBM. Also, IBM will offer approximately 30 additional job opportunities to affected employees to work on other accounts.

The total number of redundancies will be approximately 200. As a result of TRUenergy's expansion in the national market, there will also be approximately 30 new positions offered by TRUenergy in the retail business that will be open to all employees.

"All employees who are not offered employment with IBM, and whose employment with TRUenergy ceases, will receive their full leave and redundancy entitlements as well as outplacement services.," the company said in a statement.

" All employees transferring to IBM to work on the TRUenergy account will receive recognition of their prior service including accrued annual leave and long service leave."

IBM Asia Pacific general manager for business process services, Randy Walker, said the standardisation of business processes and the globalisation of delivery have created new opportunities for clients who want to focus on investing in core parts of their business, such as developing new products and services for their customers.

"IBM is able to leverage its industry expertise, size and scale to provide flexible, high quality, secure solutions and deliver them more efficiently," Walker said.

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