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Powering Algeria’s digital transformation



Powering Algeria’s digital transformation


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Timos Tsokanis, CTO at Ooredoo Algérie, discusses the company’s role in enabling a societal digital transformation — and its response to COVID-19


oredoo Algérie is a leader of digital transformation in Algeria, as its CTO Timos Tsokanis explains: “We contrib-

ute to the economic development of the country through an ambitious growth strategy. Customer 04

satisfaction is at the heart of our interactions, and we’re a responsible, caring company both for our employees and society at large. Algeria is the largest country in Africa with a surface area of over 2.3 million square kilometres. It has a young population and a strong demand for internet access supported by very rapid penetration of smartphones. Therefore, national mobile coverage requires massive investment to be able to offer quality voice and data services to more customers across the country.” Ooredoo is intimately involved with Algeria’s own national digital transformation, having made significant investments in the development and modernisation of its network in the country. “We have invested, in total, hundreds of billions of dinars, since we started in 2004,” says Tsokanis.


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“There’s a saying I like that goes: ‘trends are our friends’” — Timos Tsokanis, CTO, Ooredoo Algérie

“We continue to invest tens of billions of dinars in every investment cycle that we go through. We’re expanding, we’re modernising our network with the focus, of course, being on newer and more efficient technologies such as 4G. I believe that the sheer volume of investment proves beyond any doubt our solid commitment to this country.” The opportunities for partnerships and digital ecosystems creation in Algeria are extensive. “Belonging


to the most dynamic telecoms




07 group in the EMEA region, Ooredoo

aggregator for the two major pay-

Algérie taps into the know-how

ment channels of the country. We

and ecosystem jointly developed

collect and distribute content, and in

by our Alliance,” Tsokanis explains.

general we are at the heart of digital

“We have strategic alliances with

services, bringing together the ser-

global digital players, global and

vice provider with the end customer.”

local content creators, distributors,

That level of integration is to the

social media platforms, merchants,

benefit of the Algerian economy

payment channels and banks. By

at large. “One of our objectives is

nature, we are in the pole position

to contribute to the burgeoning

for seeding such ecosystems.” The

Algerian digital ecosystem. This, in

critical role it plays as a telecommu-

turn, will contribute to the diversi-

nications provider allows Ooredoo

fication of the national economy.

to unite customers with services

We’re ready to work with our stake-

across Algeria. “We’re already an

holders to support Algeria in its www.o o red oo. d z

Enabling connectivity and trust everywhere Learn more

ZTE Boosts African Operators’ Digital Transformation What is ZTE digital transformation progress and suggestions for operator digital transformation? In recent years, ZTE has made in-depth innovations in related fields through digital transformation. During the fight against Covid-19 pandemic, ZTE has expanded our IT equipment resources flexibly to promote efficient collaboration among customers and partners. Ensure Work Resumption and Production Resumption is carried out in an orderly, efficient, and safe manner, trying to reduce the impact of pandemic on the R&D and production effectively . Our digital transformation results include: Digital office: Build a mobile, online, self-service, and intelligent office cloud platform. Digital operation: Empower the agile combat team to lead business changes; enable flexible orchestration of business activities; implement risk visualization and intelligent decision-making through real-time presentation of operation analysis/forecast and data&AI empowering business.Digital R&D: R&D operations are carried out in the cloud, cross-regional online collaboration is implemented, and the R&D period is shortened by 50%. Digital Commerce: By building a perfect digital collaboration platform for customers, partners, and suppliers, the digital commerce drives the process optimization and transformation of both parties to achieve a win-win situation of reducing costs and increasing efficiency. Facing the challenges of Covid-19 Pandemic and global economic uncertainties, MEA operators are under the pressure of both business growth and revenue growth slowing down. Digital transformation can promote services and business model innovation, bring new grow th, and empower operators to cope with risks. Therefore, digital transformation is an imperative for operator transformation. ZTE’s recommendations for digital transformation are focusing on two capabilities and promote three major transformations, namely, front-end product innovation capabilities and network agility rooted in the back-end. Based on the construction of two major capabilities, ZTE can promote operation transformation, network transformation, and talent and organization transformation, and achieve ecological transition from pipeline connection providers to digital service providers ultimately. How does ZTE help operators cope with the challenges brought by traffic growth? How to view the development prospect of 5G in Africa? In Africa, 4G networks will still take an irreplaceable leading position in the coming 2-3 years, with operators’ investment in 4G networks taking a leading position. 4G and 5G networks will coexist and develop for a long time. To cope with the challenges brought by user growth and traffic pressure, and to fully consider network evolution, it is suggested that the operators upgrade and reconstruct the existing 4G network while embedding 5G capabilities, which would make it more convenient for

Wu Jianjun Vice President, ZTE Corporation future evolution towards 5G network and facilitate the coordinated development of 4G&5G. It is recommended to take 5G as an effective supplement, while focusing on mobile broadband customer experience improvement and new service development. ZTE is a provider of endto-end 5G solutions. Its highly integrated virtualized Core network platform of ZTE Common Core can support 2/3/4G/5G/Fix at the same time, and the base station and RF platform series support multi-mode multi-frequency band and 4G/5G coordination at the same time. ZTE has successfully delivered 5G in South Africa and Uganda, and will work closely with operators and partners to make 5G and innovative communication technologies become the driving force for enabling African industrial development to generate more economic growth. How does ZTE assist Ooredoo in digital transformation? Ooredoo is one of the world’s leading telecom operators. ZTE has a long history of cooperation with Ooredoo in wireless, wired and terminal fields. We have provided wireless networks for the core region of the capital of Ooredoo Algeria, achieved full deployment of 4G services, and built leading data network in Algiers, facilitating the digitalization process of Ooredoo Algeria. Facing the challenges brought by Covid-19, ZTE has used smart tool to perform network management and analysis, realize remote deployment and ensure network delivery. In addition, ZTE has provided network-wide O&M for the OML(Ooredoo Myanmar) network, deployed UniSeer intelligent O&M system and provided full lifecycle management service solution. The joint deployment of the VMAX system based on in-depth insight network and the Cloudstudio GA system featuring real-time management fully integrates the processes, organizations and tools in OML, and brings brand-new O&M management concepts, measures and modes to Ooredoo. In the future, through the precision cloud concept, we will tailor differentiated cloud-network collaboration solutions for Ooredoo, fully assisting Ooredoo in digital transformation to achieve stable and sustainable business growth. zte.com.cn/global



digital transformation for several

The character of Ooredoo’s

years.” Ooredoo has duly started a

transformation incorporates both

number of initiatives to support the

external and internal developments.

country’s digital ecosystem. “We

The former has seen introductions

have adopted strategies such as

such as a touchless customer acqui-

I-start, T-start and Oobarmijoo.

sition and sales process, as well as

These programmes aim to help cre-

a new generation of plans which

ate a knowledge-based economy

allows customers to control spend-

derived from local competence and

ing using an app. Internally, Ooredoo

talent, as well as content creation.

has been just as busy. “We have

Since 2013, Ooredoo has supported

digitised the interaction between

more than 20 startups in our own

employees and the company

incubator — a large part of which are

through a new HR application. We

initiated by young students.”

have also introduced new tools to

“You overcome obstacles and reluctance to change with communication” — Timos Tsokanis, CTO, Ooredoo Algérie

improve network planning and make sure we optimise our every investment and measure our cost for every unit of revenue.” Tsokanis is clear, however, that before automation, it’s important to first simplify. “Otherwise one can spend tons of money and achieve nothing,” he says. “You overcome obstacles and reluctance to change by communication. First decide where you want to end up and by 11


Timos Tsokanis Title: CTO Company: Ooredoo Algérie Industry: Telecommunications Location: Algeria During his broad career in Telecommunications, Timos has been a Board member, leading the areas of Technology & Operations, including customer-facing functions. He has held positions of increasing responsibility in the largest telecommunication groups in the world, including Ooredoo, Verizon, Deutsche Telekom and WIND, across five countries and three continents. He has an exciting track record of accomplishments and successful transformations, using digitalisation to surpass customer expectations and ensuring overachievement of stakeholders’ mandates. www.o o red oo. d z




In Algeria, Ericsson is committed with his partner Ooredoo in a longstanding partnership that led to many successes along the digitalization journey. While supporting Ooredoo Algeria in building a powerful and flexible BSS environment, the joint technological efforts are allowing an improved time to market and a better customers experience, through a Convergent Charging & Billing Solution.� Explains Lyes Bensebti Key Account Manager Ericsson Algeria.

The Ericsson Business support system (BSS) strategy is designed to support a low-risk but effective step-by-step evolution to the Digital world that is being built with 5G and IoT. The solutions are catalog-driven and preintegrated with other Ericsson solutions such as self-care, analytics, OSS and Core, and also support available standards for multivendor integration. More information about Ericsson BSS solutions are available on the dedicated group website here.


Ooredoo Algeria and ZTE started their cooperation in 2016. ZTE provides wireless networking for the Ooredoo Algeria’ capital region, achieving full deployment of 4G services with leading data performance. Over the past few

years they have built up their strategic partnership, and hope to expand cooperation in more domains to enhance the relationship in the future with more win-win achievements.


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Looking for the flexibility to charge for anything? Equip your BSS to lead you into the future. Ericsson Digital BSS is the complete solution you need to continue your evolution to digital. Ericsson. The quest for easy. ericsson.com /digital-bss

If you want to monetize 5G, start here

“One of our objectives is to contribute to the burgeoning Algerian digital ecosystem” — Timos Tsokanis, CTO, Ooredoo Algérie

with Algerian law, we use that data to analyse the behaviours and needs of our customers, improve their experience, enhance our business offerings and direct our investments. No decisions are taken in the company without being supported by the proper analysis. It is the only way to make sure we make the most impactful changes as efficiently as possible.” Analysing the quantity of data

when. Then you design how to get

produced increasingly requires the

there with more steps and quick wins

deployment of emerging technolo-

at every step of the process. Keep

gies such as AI. With the exponential

customers and employees informed

increase in available data, AI solu-

and motivated, admit mistakes, do

tions are overtaking more bespoke

not be afraid to undo things that

models. “It is with these new technol-

didn’t work and experiment con-

ogies that the vast amounts of data

tinuously. Every mistake is a great

in our networks and systems can

lesson learned for how to do better

be assessed, combined and used to

on the next step.”

reveal trends and opportunities that

One of the technologies crucial

are invisible to the naked eye. We’re

to enabling the transformation was

currently working on a number of ini-

the proper use of data. “There’s a

tiatives in collecting, processing and

saying I like that goes: ‘trends are

understanding data to improve the

our friends’,” says Tsokanis. “There’s

customer experience and maximise

an incredible amount of trends and

every dinar we invest in Algeria.”

information in the huge quantities

Like all other companies, Ooredoo

of data that are daily processed by

has had to weather the storm

a telecom operator. In accordance

caused by the ongoing COVID-19 www.o o red oo. d z



“We contribute to the economic development of the country through an ambitious growth strategy” — Timos Tsokanis, CTO, Ooredoo Algérie


pandemic, playing a crucial role in Algeria’s response. “We helped Algeria deal with COVID-19 through a wide network for teleworking and also facilitating remote education in cooperation with the authorities and the ministries,” says Tsokanis. “We were already working on digitising customer experience through contactless sales processes and digital offers, so we’re very well positioned for the New Normal. Our ambition is not to just facilitate the new way of doing things, but also excite our customers in the process.” That ambition leads Tsokanis to tie Ooredoo Algérie’s future with that of the country itself. “It’s going to be bright and exciting, just like the future of this country and its people — some of the most young, energetic, resourceful and smart people I have ever met in my career.”

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Profile for Business Chief Europe

Ooredoo September 2020  

Ooredoo September 2020