The Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE), otherwise known as the Costa Rican Institute of Electricity, is a Costa Rican government agency that offers fixed, mobile, and broadband telecommunications services and provides power to approximately 95% of the country. After the country’s telecommunications market was privatized, ICE went from working in a monopolistic market to a competitive environment that included two other telephone companies.
ICE had a significant portfolio of telecommunications clients, which it needed to better understand and provide with valuable additional services to enhance its competitiveness in the new environment. With this goal in mind, ICE launched what it called the Plan for the Development of Systems Operations Support (PESSO) to give the company an IT infrastructure that could help improve the business. To implement its new directive, ICE worked with Oracle Consulting to plan, deploy, and support Oracle’s Siebel CRM Desktop. The implementation was to ensure that ICE fully understood its customers and enable it to better manage customer relationships.
In addition, ICE deployed Oracle Application Integration Architecture Foundation Pack and Oracle Process Integration Pack for Oracle Customer Hub to integrate systems, such as Oracle Communications Billing and Revenue Management, with the customer relationship management (CRM) system and unify all customer information, from product use to billing. This delivered a complete profile of each customer, enabling ICE to provide the right products and services as well as increase its competitiveness. ICE used its new customer information to better serve 5 million customers, of which 2 million are mobile phone customers.
“We evaluated several billing tools, based on a Gartner report that highlighted world class products. We also visited each provider to analyze their capabilities. This helped us see where the market was headed,” said Jaswicia Marroquín, vertical billing project director, Plan PESSO, Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad. “We then initiated a public bidding process, in which the finalists were Oracle and AMDOCS. After we evaluated each product and fulfilled bidding specifications, Oracle was selected.”
The CRM selection process was similar. “We evaluated other tools, such as Clarify, but we felt that the Microsoft tool was very lightweight. In addition, we had acquired some Siebel licenses for other projects. We saw that Siebel’s CRM offering was one of the best, so we decided to extend the licensing,” said Laura Morera, CRM project director, Plan PESSO, Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad.
ICE evaluated both products in terms of technology and economics. “The bidding of the billing vertical project also included mediation and systems for international interconnection. In the end, we chose to integrate with Oracle Application Integration Architecture Foundation Pack and orchestrate the system with Siebel CRM Desktop,” Marroquín said.
Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad conducted a bidding process for the billing tool and CRM system.
The ambitious project, which was part of the PESSO plan, was carried out over a two-year period. ICE migrated to Siebel CRM Desktop between 2009 and 2011—beginning with prepaid customers, while synchronizing with Siebel Universal Customer Master. This unique customer base went live in 2010. During the same two-year period, ICE deployed Oracle Communications Billing and Revenue Management for its postpaid mobile clients.
“Oracle not only helped us implement its software, it trained our users and helped us make a transformative shift. Our business processes were widely scattered, with significant redundancy. The Oracle tools, beyond the standardization they provided, ensured that everyone who participated in the implementation process—from beginning to end—had the same knowledge,” Abarca said.