Q&A: Digital transformation starts with customer centric vision
Miguel Fernandez, CTO of Telecom Argentina Group, highlights the many benefits its new service operations centre promises to deliver as it expands the platform across the country and all business lines.
Q: What are the key objectives of your transformational programme plan?
Miguel Fernandez (MF): With the ongoing development of the industry, digital transformation is becoming paramount to Telecom Argentina. Actually, we’re in the middle of this transformation journey; our organisation has just been shaped to address new customer demands.
From the company’s point of view, we must adapt to satisfy the ever-changing demands of our digital clients: this is our transformation objective. We believe that the change from a network technology focus to a customer-centric vision will allow us to improve our brand in the country.
Q: How is transforming to customer-centric operations changing the way you operate?
MF: We believe transformation from network technology centric operations to customer-centric operations will require a lot of changes from the way we’ve been functioning up until now. The key elements are technologies, process, people and culture.
It is necessary to develop customer-centric strategies and criteria, and add customer experience to the company’s goals. The customer lifecycle model defined by the TM Forum is applicable for us.
To achieve this, we established a service operations centre (SOC) and work side-by-side with our network operations centre to focus on the customer service experience. Huawei’s SmartCare platform allows us to see and manage things we couldn’t before.
Of course, for a SOC to work properly we must create a customer-focused culture in the company, which is mainly people and process driven. We are working on that in all areas of the company. For example, re-defining the scope of technology, new career planning and new functions inside the organisation.
Q: How is that investment and effort translating into business value?
MF: The SOC has contributed a lot so far, even at this early stage.
In our VoLTE provisioning phase, we were able to improve efficiency 30 per cent by using a more precise marketing campaign. In addition, we’ve seen a visible improvement in the customer experience, with our net promotor score (NPS) improving 40 per cent after the SOC was implemented.
We can be more precise on our optimisation activities, measuring and improving customer satisfaction after every action we take. Roaming assurance for customers traveling to the 2019 Copa America event was successfully secured because of SOC.
We operationally launched the SOC in August 2019 and just completed the phase 2 expansion covering mobile operations countrywide. We still have work to do and also are simplifying the network, getting rid of legacy technology. I think SOC can be of great value to us in the near future.
For our mobile SOC operations, we are trying to monetize the benefits of our operations whenever possible, and we think this is where SOC will shine.
Q: How is Huawei supporting your goals?
MF: Huawei is an important strategic partner in this transformation. It has rich global experience as an industry leader and a professional team made of up of local and expatriate talent to help us set up our SOC. It also enables the development of our team, giving us the skills and knowledge to make the transformation possible. We expect continued cooperation to make innovative use-cases with a joint Telecom Argentina-Huawei operations team.
Q: What are the next steps on that journey?
MF: As you know, this is a continuous journey. We are doing many things and there’s still more to do. We need to continue growing our big data and analytics capabilities to support our data driven operations to be more proactive in addressing our customers’ needs with the collaboration of other departments.
We also are working to deploy the service operations platform across the country and to take advantage of the new capabilities to implement our new set of customer-centric processes. This is key to leveraging our cultural transformation to succeed in these challenges.
We also expect to implement an SOC in our international operations in Paraguay. Another part of the journey is in the near future to replicate the SOC model, which now only covers our mobile business, to the other two verticals of the company: fixed, which includes our DOCSIS/HFC network, and content platform called Flow.