IDEA Cellular: IT Lends Bright IDEAS

DQI Bureau
New Update


Vivek Mahendru, IDEA Cellular

Idea Cellular started as a two-circle company operating in Maharashtra and

Gujarat. After a spate of mergers and acquisitions, today it is an eight-circle

company with a scattered operations set-up that needs to be re-aligned.

Earlier, IT systems at each circle were operating as independent units with

different types of hardware and software. Hence, there were obvious limitations

with respect to daily operations, hardware and software duplication and

regionalized MIS reporting systems. Therefore, Idea moved to a common platform.


Some of these migrations are still happening-the recent acquisition,

Escotel, worked on Ramco Marshal while the AP circle, on SAP; now both these

apps are moving to Oracle.

A web-based application was developed for the activation of customers,

enabling service charges, receiving customer queries from any media like SMS,

phone or email. Another key challenge was to replace the existing switching

systems-and to centralize all the independent billing systems, mediation

systems and ERP systems of the southern and northern hubs.

The IT focus in Idea was to become more process driven, allowing resources to

be moved through locations without affecting operations. Staffers were initially

coached and pilots were run on a few small projects to ensure a smooth

switchover. Since most processes were thus in place, the EDGE rollout in Idea

was a smooth affair, though it involved several complex IT processes.




A common platform including UNIX OS, BSCS as the billing software and Oracle Financial as the ERP package

- Web-based application for activation of customers and receiving customer queries

- Working on a CMM like model for internal efficiencies

- Various data centers across the country are also being used as DR for one another

This consolidation of the IT infrastructure centrally at the corporate office

in Pune and the two hubs in Delhi and Pune came under the ambit of the ambitious

Project Galaxy undertaken by Idea.

With consolidation being the mantra, data storage, retrieval and backup were

the essential prerequisites of the storage solution that Idea Cellular was

seeking. Ultimately, Idea opted for a SAN with five SAN boxes in each of its

data centers. And HP Brocade switches connected the SAN boxes to the application

servers at each data center. For Idea, this centralized storage strategy made it

easy to consolidate its resources at various locations with minimal downtimes.