Spark completes Yahoo divorce
Spark's troubled partnership with United States technology company Yahoo has finally been put to rest.
The company said it had finished migrating several hundred thousand Xtra customers off the troubled email service provided by former partner Yahoo.
Xtra is now supported by Auckland email company SMX.
Xtra was beset with problems soon after Spark partnered with Yahoo in 2007, culminating in a series of security issues – outside of Spark's control – that led to a deluge of spam.
* YahooXtra users' hacking spam nightmare
* Xtra customers will have to 'opt in' to avoid losing settings
* Spark says problems facing 'small groups' of Xtra customers to be expected
Spark executive Jason Paris fired a final barb at its former US partner, saying it was "good to complete the transition away from an email provider who's been dealing with big issues on a global basis, and has kept us very much at arm's length".
There are about 830,000 Xtra email accounts, which will make xtramail.co.nz, one of the country's most-visited webpages.
Spark is not selling advertising on Xtra's new landing page. Spokeswoman Ellie Cross said it had no plans to turn it into a revenue-earner.
That contrasts with the previous policy of Yahoo-backed joint venture YahooXtra which once employed a few dozen editorial staff to capitalise on the landing page opportunity.
Yahoo reportedly axed the last handful of people who were providing it with New Zealand web content last month.
Spark chief executive Simon Moutter said in a newsletter to shareholders in April that migrating Xtra off Yahoo had been challenging.
About one in eight Spark customers contacted the company with a query about the migration and about one in a thousand had problems that took multiple attempts to fix, Cross said.
Spark planned to introduce more self-service tools for Xtra users, she said.
The company has indicated moves towards self-service could impact jobs, though it this week scotched speculation that mass redundancies were imminent.