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the birth of the

digital telecom employee


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The telecom industry we were working in 15 to 20 years ago, is unrecognizable. IoT, Blockchain, Virtual on-demand networks, Artificial Intelligence and machine learning, for example, were technologies and services we only dreamed of a decade ago. But they are now fast becoming an integral part of our day to day life and telecom operators of all sizes, who want to remain relevant, are gearing themselves up to incorporate them within their portfolio of capabilities.

This brings in an entirely different reality, compared with what most telecom employees have been working in up to recently. The million-dollar question now therefore is: Can telecom employees, who have been in the industry for 10, 15 or even in some cases 25 years, reinvent themselves to adapt to this new reality, and if so, what will successful digital telecom leaders, workplaces and employees, look like?

With operators and carriers looking to reinvent themselves to empower the digital transformation presently sweeping our society and industry at all levels, comes the need for a 360ď‚° transformation of services, processes, technology, marketing and last but not least, culture and people.

THE DIGITAL TELECOM EMPLOYER LEADING BY EXAMPLE

Gone are the days where new services were launched every 2 to 3 years, where business cases after business cases were written in the process and where customers were offered what services telecom service providers decided was best. Telecom operators’ new reality is all about customer-centricity, DevOps, agile business processes, trialling fast - trialling often - failing fast and everything on-demand. Therefore, it is all about empowering employees and embracing risk. An agile, resilient and dynamic human resource is thus becoming critical to any operators’ success. Furthermore, the current rise in M&As, and the consolidation it triggers, is driving Tier-1 operators to absorb smaller more innovative and agile organizations and at the same time driving a rapid global telecom culture shift. Small start-ups are often being swallowed by giant operators overnight, sparking an unprecedented ethos revolution.

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The first step in this transformation process, is to ensure operators hire the right digital leaders, as eventually, everything starts from the top. For the digital transformation to take place in our industry, we need strong and charismatic telecom executives who are passionate about innovation and who will lead by example. Only a few will have the confidence, courage and resilience necessary to take the hard decisions and actions required to trigger this transformation at all levels of the organization. Here are four key behaviors of true digital leaders: Instills a clear vision: To drive digital transformation from the top down, organizations require charismatic leaders able to communicate a strong and clear vision of the digital path the company is taking. The empowerment and virtual workforce needs leaders able to deliver solid and sustained guidance and a clear view of the ultimate destination of the transformational journey. Empowers people to think and work differently: Once the vision is set and communicated, it is key for digital leaders to be brave enough to take the next step and give


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their employers the opportunities, as well as the freedom and knowledge, to execute on the vision. Fosters collaboration across boundaries: The digital world both demands and enables a collaboration never seen before in our industry. Digital leaders therefore need the knowledge and expertise necessary to foster collaboration, not only throughout their own organization, but more importantly with partners, customers and sometimes competitors. For this to take place, he or she must have a deep understanding of the end-to-end ecosystem, and its evolution, and what it takes to create the environment and tools to enable frictionless cooperation throughout the ecosystem.

Encourages experimentation: With the acceleration of innovation comes the need for agility. This means experimenting with new ideas, fast and often, even if it means failing more, when it comes to launching new services, features or applications. Moving the organization to this type of culture is one of the biggest challenges faced by operators today in our opinion. For this to take place, digital leaders must have the appetite to encourage and reward intelligent risk taking and put the necessary processes in place for people to experiment new ideas and business models in all aspects of the business.

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THE DIGITAL TELECOM WORKPLACE A FLUID ENVIRONMENT Secondly, a successful digital transformation cannot take place without the proper environment to encourage and foster it. The workplace therefore must transform itself. What does a digital workplace look like? Here are five characteristics of such a working environment: Adaptive structure: Intricate, hierarchical and multi-layer organizations tend to be rigid when faced with complex, dynamic situations. Therefore, streamlined organizations must be introduced. Fluid processes are also key here, so agile-inspired work models should become part of the organizations’ DNA, from top to bottom, to help rapidly disseminate information and enable participants to adapt more easily to change.

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On-demand workforce: Employers are seeking more flexible working arrangements capable of scaling with demand. The trend towards an elastic workforce is continuing to grow to mirror the ultimate flexibility expected by the business, customers and partners. Everything must be delivered on-demand now and an on-demand workforce is part of meeting this new requirement. Virtual workplace: The definition of workplace, in the way we have always known it, needs to be reconsidered. A true digital workplace is not necessarily a physical place, as it should allow work to take place regardless of where the employee is located. Consequently, organizations not only need to implement the right technology, but they must also ensure teams can work virtually. This ensures that the best team members are involved at all times to address specific challenges, and that their


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participation is not determined by their location. Intelligent tools: For employees to successfully function in the fast-paced digital world, the workplace must be equipped with automated and intelligent tools, to help collect and make sense of a massive quantity and variety of internal and external digital information. Real-time learning: With innovation moving at lightning speed, employees must keep up with new ideas, technology and information daily. To do so efficiently, they require realtime, on-demand learning. This means giving employees the tools necessary to acquire knowledge when and where they need it, to meet their immediate needs. Giving employees the necessary education and information is crucial and budgets must be released to do so. Knowledge is power and this is truer than ever in the digital age.

THE DIGITAL TELECOM EMPLOYEE BRAND ME Finally, once the digital leadership is in place and the workplace is conducive to a cooperative and empowered organization, the next building block of the digital organization is the birth of the digital telecom employee. This will mean both engaging and transforming the workforce that remains, as well as hiring new talents and catalysts of change. What characteristics should the digital employees aspire to acquire to remain relevant. Here are five characteristics of a successful digital telecom employee: Super-collaborator: To function successfully in an open work environment, where the lines are blurring between customers, partners and competitors, it will be vital for employees to be able to cooperate, not only internally within

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their organization, but also, maybe even more importantly, with people outside of their own company. Multi-personality: More and more employees must be multi-skilled, flexible, adaptable and able to take on numerous and varied responsibilities within the organization, depending on what projects they are involved in. Additionally, it is not unrealistic to think that employees will soon have to push their versatility to the next level and work for multiple organizations, may it be partners or customers for example, as the lines blur between companies. With this will also come the need for multi-tasking. Self-sufficient: As the hierarchical structures become ever more streamlined, the new generation of employees must have independence in their DNA, be self-sufficient, autonomous and able to govern their priorities, time and tasks, this with minimal guidance. Hyper-mobile: Working from anywhere is already a reality for many of us, and as the walls within and between companies continue to disappear, employees must become hypermobile and have the capability to work from a variety of locations and time zones. This means being able to work at home, at the office and even at customers’ or partners’ premises. Intra-preneur: As companies aim to become more agile and embrace the start-up culture, more and more employees will be required to manage innovations, new business models and new technologies within their organizations, in some way becoming internal entrepreneurs. In this type of environment, employees able to foster their entrepreneurship spirit will thrive. Not all organizations will succeed in their crossing toward the digital side and not all

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employees will embrace this journey either. Some will retire, some will decide to move to more traditional organizations for the rest of their careers, but others, who embrace the digital revolution, will thrive and find that their work experience is much more rewarding, if maybe more challenging. THE DIGITAL TELECOM CONSULTANTS TRANSFORMATION AS A SERVICE If you are one of these organizations looking for the right digital leader to guide your company through the digital transformation journey or for employees having the necessary characteristic to help you build a winning digital organization, HOT TELECOM and Pair Recruitment can help. Throughout our 26 years working in the international wholesale industry, HOT TELECOM has succeeded in building a network of contacts with inspiring C-Suite and Executive leaders around the world. People who are born leaders, disruptors and innovators. We can help you find the right people or support you with the necessary knowledge, guidance and intelligence. Pair Recruitment is specialised in finding the right people to lead the change and provide you with candidates who thrive in evolving technology. We have built a database of candidates, including C-level, that have successfully made the move from traditional to new telecom environments and that therefore possess the characteristics of successful telecom digital leaders and employees outlined in this article. Reach out to us, we are here to help you build your digital future!


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ABOUT THE AUTHORS ISABELLE PARADIS President HOT TELECOM

Isabelle is President and Founder of HOT TELECOM, one of the most innovative and creative telecom research and consulting companies in the industry. More recently, Isabelle has been working with many of the world’s telecom service providers to help them define their transformation strategy. She has published several articles and reports on the subject and has spoken at numerous conferences around the world to share her views on the future of the international telecoms business.

REUMA HALAL SHIBI Founder Pair Recruitment

Reuma has over 12 years of experience in telecoms. She has worked for and with major telecom companies all around the world. She held senior positions in both Voice and Data wholesale and she has vast knowledge in the industry’s trends and solutions. Reuma holds a BA in Economics and Management. She is a former IDF Lieutenant and in parallel to her Lieutenant duties also held a commanding HR role and was a Liaison Officer for the United Nations.

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ABOUT HOT TELECOM HOT TELECOM is one of the most innovative and creative research, merketing and consulting companies, which has been providing International operators and carriers with specialized intelligence and advice for the past 16 years. We understand the challenges faced by international carriers better than anyone, and have therefore developed a number of marketing, research and advisory tools and expertise to mirror these needs, and provide the support any wholesaler requires to survive and thrive in the current environment. To find out more about what we can do for you and how we can make the difference in your success, contact us and it will be our pleasure to provide you with tailored, real-life solutions that will meet your needs, challenges and objectives. For more information, please visit: www.hottelecom.com

ABOUT PAIR RECRUITMENT Pair recruitment is a boutique recruitment company, helping the telecom industry to pair between people and companies. Founded in 2018 by an experienced entrepreneur, who recognised the need for a specific recruitment firm in the telecom environment. It is a privately-owned company. Pair offer an agile and prompt approach, with in-depth qualified interviews with the candidates, as part of the company knowledge of the industry. Our goal is to minimise the time employers spend on recruitment, providing quality interviews rather than just interviews. We carefully select the candidates and put forward only relevant people that fit the role and the organisation’s culture. To learn more, please visit www.pairrecruitment.com

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Profile for HOT TELECOM

The birth of the digital telecom employee  

Can telecom employees, who have been in the industry for 10, 15 or even in some cases 25 years, reinvent themselves to adapt to this new rea...

The birth of the digital telecom employee  

Can telecom employees, who have been in the industry for 10, 15 or even in some cases 25 years, reinvent themselves to adapt to this new rea...