Looking at digital transformation - NESS Czech s.r.o.
Looking at digital transformation - NESS Czech s.r.o.
challenge often faced by customer-facing tech companies is the internal conflict between marketing and IT. After more than a decade working on the commercial side of telecommunications, O2 Czech Republic’s new CTO, Jan Hruska – a mathematics and computer science graduate from the Charles University in Prague – has the unique advantage of seeing the country’s largest telecommunications provider from both sides of the equation.
“I’m lucky to be one of the few people who are able to understand and know the company from every perspective,” he explains. “Because I spent over 10 years in different positions on the commercial side of the business, I can apply a deep understanding of its marketing, commercial and distribution issues, programs and challenges to my technical role. At almost every company there’s a tension between the technicians and the commer- cial guys. I see my current mission as not only mitigating this tension, but bringing the two halves of the company together to establish a creative dialog that helps us progress, and strengthens both A Jan Hruska,CTO at O2 Czech Republic,discusses the company’s ongoing digital transformation of both its technology and commercial functions 04 O2 CZECH RE PUBLIC
— Jan Hruska, CTO, O2 Czech Republic “Our advantage lies in the fact we are able to offer the full range of telco products” our technological market leadership and our commercial position. I can talk to the commercial side and explain technologies using language the com- mercial guys understand, and along with this, promote achievements, projects and excellent people we have in Technology.” Hruska’s new role has included overseeing the completion of a four- year digital transformation of O2 Czech Republic’s customer relationship management (CRM) strategy, business support systems (BSS), and practices ranging from billing systems to product catalogues.
“We call it Simple Online Company. The aim was a radical simplification that would enable future digitisation,” Hruska says. Never a com- pany to stand still, O2 Czech Republic is also now embarking on another ongoing personnel-focused transfor- mation. “We are now implementing agile scrum methodology for change delivery, that covers about 300 people and connects with the Simple Online Company transformation, because we created the enabler for digitisation and now we need to transform the way we deliver new services and changes,” Hruska adds. From a technological 06 O2 CZECH RE PUBLIC
point of view, the company is also implementing significant changes to its network architecture. Hruska elabo- rates: “We’re introducing some sign- ificant product improvements, one of which is that we are complementing traditionalcopperDSLlineswithhouse- hold internet that is based on LTE connectivity, so called Fixed Wireless Access.” We spoke to Hruska about O2 Czech Republic’s ever-advancing evolution, its past, present and future transformations, and the collaborative expertise he is bringing to the compa- ny’s CTO role.
Founded in 2006 after rebranding from the amalgamation of Czech Telecom andEurotel,O2CzechRepublic is the largest integrated telecommunica- tions provider in the Czech market, operatingapproximately7mnmobileand fixed accesses in the region.
In 2012, the company was the first in the region to open its network to virtual operators. Operating the only Tier III certified data centres in Central Europe, O2 is a regional leader in hosting, cloud and managed services. “Our advantage lies in the fact we are able to offer the full range of telco CLICK TO WATCH: ‘O2 SMART BOX: O2 SMART BOOSTER’ 07 www.o2.cz
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products,” says Hruska. “We originated from a merger between fixed and mobile operators, so we have fully integrated suite of products. We were the first operatorherethatstartedanIPtelevision service, which adds a new dimension to our fixed internet service.” O2 also produces its own content for television.
“We have a daughter company that pro- duces three sports channels, and we ownsomeexclusiverightstocontent like the Champions League in Czech Republic, as well as Czech national football and ice hockey leagues – a huge majority of important matches you can’t see without O2 TV service.” For a company with such an extensive and diverse portfolio of offerings, ensuring its customers have an intuitive and accessible customer experience is a top priority. The Simple Online Company, which launched in October 2018, involved the launch of a new CRM system and a new customer portal, as 10 O2 CZECH RE PUBLIC
EXECUTIVE PROFILE Jan Hruska Jan Hruska graduated in Computer Science at Charles University in Prague in 1994. After 8 years in management consulting, he moved to Telefónica O2 Czech Republic. Within his 15 years with Telefónica, and later O2 Czech Republic, Jan went through many positions, mainly Fixed-Mobile convergence program manager, E-shop manager, Director for distribution strategy and sales performance, Fixed services marketing director, to his current role of CTO, covering responsibility for IT, Network, and Product management areas. Jan’s latest focus is fixed wireless internet, network function virtualisation, simplification of product portfolio and customer serving processes, agile change delivery.
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The challenge: Migrating and unifying legacy systems running in sep- arate silos is an expensive, time-consuming and risky endeavour. Yet end-customers demand a true omnichan- nel user experience, an unparalleled level of customer experience, and a unified provision of service throughout all touchpoints in a seamlessly consolidated manner.
Ultimately, this has taken service providers down the path of arming their engagement channels with the tools to evolve from a mere sales role into a fully encompass- ing and comprehensive customer care apparatus. UX expectations have progressed to such an extent that the classical customer journey has matured from a simple path of guided sales to a state of perpetual motion among channels affected by the principles of “anytime, anywhere, anyhow”.
The solution: To satiate the constantly growing demands of improved customer experience and keep ahead of customer expec- tations, there are essentially three different approaches available to CSPs in addressing their channel strategies: • Legacy plumbing: maintaining existing legacy heteroge- neous silos and building meshed pipes to connect them together. This approach pretends to solve the problem, however, is merely cosmetic window dressing where the end product risks doing more harm than good. • Silos modernisation: replacing disparate legacy silos with a set of new disparate applications, thus again pre- serving multiple data masters into the channel architec- ture.
A typical implementation of this approach would be the introduction and deployment of new ecom- merce, CRM and POS applications into the existing integration architecture. The resulting solution retains multiple product catalogues, customer data stores and business processes, all stitched together through a complex latticework of integration points. Such solu- tions require orchestration of multiple “hearts and brains” using sophisticated conductor solutions. TCO and long time to market issues still persist, magnified by restricted agility.
• True Omni-channel: replacing all silos with a unified “one heart and one brain” solution of consolidated & unified commerce and CRM business functions. This singular solution inherently does not require sophisti- cated orchestration capabilities - the customer experi- ences a smooth journey across their entire brand en- gagement, and across all channels. In practice, empirical industry measurements have shown that adopters of this approach are generously rewarded with substantial- ly lower TCO and time-to-market enhancements, lead- ing to dominant business agility to meet new customer requirements resulting in overall improvements of net promoter scores across their brand.
About Emeldi Commerce® Emeldi Commerce® is a ready-made, unified true Om- ni-channel commerce & CRM application specifically designed for the service provider industry vertical, sup- porting all products, services & customer-engagement processes. A solution tailored to be your “one heart and one brain”. With software alchemists in Canada, UK, Czech Republic and Slovakia, Emeldi has built a formidable reputation as an innovative and disruptive solution provider for CRM & Digital Commerce Platforms and is continuously recog- nized by Gartner as sitting on the cutting-edge in the area of digitalization of the customer experience in the service provider industry.
Way forward – in a digital service world LEARN MORE CONTACT US www.o2.cz
Trusted Partner of O2 & Telco Sector We connect internal processes and systems with digital products and services for our clients and help them succeed in a digital world. z Understanding your business processes and needs z Exploiting strong market related know-how to achieve your objectives z Delivering flexible & agile solutions to increase your efficiency z Unleashing the potential of innovative technologies for your growth EUROPE London, Munich, Prague, Bratislava, Iasi, Timisoara, Kosice, Brno, Ostrava, Budapest NORTH AMERICA Teaneck (HQ), San Jose, Pittsburgh, Albany, Toronto MIDDLE EAST Tel Aviv ASIA Bangalore, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Chennai, Singapore Key competencies in Telco Sector Ness, strategic partner for a complex digital transformation Portal & Digital Commerce DWH&BI Printing Solutions Provisioning Custom Application Development Enterprise Economic Systems & SAP Services Billing/Operations Service Support More information on www.ness.cz CI/CD architecture SPC Provisioning Projects for O2 eCommerce solution Prepaid billing wellasanewproductcatalogue,network inventory system, provisioning system and a complete revamp of the billing system.
“Our aim was to radically simplify,” says Hruska. “We reworked our product catalogue from thousands of services to a couple of hundred. We also switched from our legacy CRM to a new system we built ourselves based on Emeldi Commerce Core.” Emeldi is a long-term partner of O2 Czech Republic. The company’s Commerce Core provides the core functionality for O2 Czech Republic’s new CRM. “It’s the heart of our CRM,” says Hruska. “Emeldi is a key partner that we picked because of their flexibility. We are able to influence the product and get any so- lution we need. Putting their technology in the middle of our CRM is definitely strengthening our partnership.” Even though the technical side of the transformation is up and running, Hruska maintains the work is far from over.
“This is an ongoing process. We need to keep it simple and make sure any additions and modifications we make aren’t creating extra complexity, which is an extremely tough exercise.” The transformation has also allowed O2
Czech Republic to take the next step on its journey towards digitisation. “Previously, our store set up had a legacy system that typically required four employees behind the counter, working on a main computer, and only allowed for one on the floor greeting customers,” says Hruska. “Now, we have a new system running on all our devices, not just the store computer, but with no reduction in functionality. We can have four guys on the floor in any setup you can imagine. They can talk with the customer; they can take their own mobile or even the custom- er’s mobile and access the system alongside them.
It’s true assisted self-care.” If Emeldi is the heart of O2 Czech Republic’s new CRM, then Ness is its face. “They’re an important IT vendor, providing us with portal solutions; our new Moje O2 portal, developed by Ness, is what the customers and internal staff see from their side,” says Hruska. The new face of O2 Czech Republic’s IT is allowingthecompanytopursuestrategic change in the way it manages its employees and hiring practices. “It’s enabling us to look for a different — Jan Hruska, CTO, O2 Czech Republic “ I spent over 10 years in different positions on the commercial side of the business,and I can apply that deep understanding to my technical role” 15 www.o2.cz
profile when hiring people in our stores and call centres. Previously, the ability to work with the complex system was a priority. Up to 30% of store consultants were leaving the company within the first three months. Now, after launching this system, we can focus on hiring people who enjoy serving our customers, whohavemoresalesskillsthantechnical skills – and that exit rate has dropped toalmostzeroimmediately.Ouremploy- ees are able to work naturally with the new CRM and portal, which means they can focus on their conversation with the customer.” In addition to reworking the customer- facing side of the business, O2 Czech Republic’s behind the scenes technical infrastructure is also undergoing a trans- formation to ensure that the company’s services remain at the highest possible level of quality.
“We are lucky to be in a business with huge demand - a dem- and for data that shows double digit annual growth rates. This requires us to significantly change our network £1.5bn 2006 4,500 Approximate revenue Year founded Approximate number of employees 16 O2 CZECH RE PUBLIC
frequency band of 3.7GHz and LTE TDD to provide home and business internet connectivity for locations not covered well by fibre or DSL infrastructure,” Hruska explains. “This is allowing us to offer speeds of 100 megabit per second and higher, which is something that you cannot guarantee on a standard LTE network. This, connected with the O2 Smart Box – the premium WiFi router that we have in households and SMEs – complements the unique ecosystem of our fixed broadband service.” Chinese tech giant Huawei is a key partner in O2 Czech Republic’s journey to ensure the tier one quality of its network architecture.
“Huawei is one of the important vendors to the network side of the business,” says Hruska. “Our fixed wireless service that runs on the dedicated 3.7GHz band is based on Huawei radio technology. It was one of the key projects that we implemented with them last year.” Huawei’s Fusion- Sphere technology is also powering the company’svirtualcorenetworkinfra- structure, part of O2 Czech Republic’s ongoingvirtualisationinitiative.“Huawei is helping us to prepare for extreme data usage growth that we expect to architecture in order to sustain quality and profitability,” Hruska adds. “We’re in the middle of virtualising our core network systems, as well as introducing a number of product improvements.” The company is implementing Huawei 5G ready radio access technology to complement its new, ultrafast LTE broadband service.
“Last year, we launched a second generationofourfixedwirelessbroad- band service. We use dedicated 17 www.o2.cz
“ Our employees are able to work naturally with the new CRM and portal,which means they can focus on their conversation with the customer” — Jan Hruska, CTO, O2 Czech Republic 18 O2 CZECH RE PUBLIC
continue but is hard to predict precisely. Network function virtualised infrastruc- ture, together with virtual evolved packet core, is granting us practically unlim- ited scalability with a sustainable profit margin.” Looking to the future, Hruska is confident in the ongoing transformation of O2 Czech Republic, powered by the symbiotic relationship between the business’ commercial and technology divisions.
“We need to shorten the delivery time for new features and func- tionalities; we need sufficient capacity inournetworktosupportthehugeglobal demand for data, as well as providing a service with sustainable profitability.” He concludes: “My vision is that every year we deliver a significant piece of our IT and network transformation which immediately translates to im- proved value proposition and customer experience, eventually allowing for constant growth of our market share, revenues, and profit.” 19 www.o2.cz
O2 Czech Republic Za Brumlovkou 266/2 Praha 140 22, CZ T +00 420 720 720 720 www.o2.cz