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A Fortune 500 Case Study
Building a Strategic Competitive Advantage
via
Experiential Action Learning

Telecom Training Courses - Telecom Institute - Telecom Management Best Practices The Client:  AT&T Wireless - One of the largest wireless telecoms in the world with more than 100 million subscribers

Telecom Training Courses - Telecom Institute - Telecom Management Best Practices Client Business Needs: Limiting customer churn, infrastructure change management, business process improvement, and improving customer services

Telecom Training Courses - Telecom Institute - Telecom Management Best Practices Our Services: Consulting. Organizational Development.  Experiential Action Learning

  • Telecom management best practices education
  • Customized experiential management and technical training courses
  • Telecom lifecycle change management
  • Enterprise knowledge management development
  • Operational support and project management

Telecom Training Courses - Telecom Institute - Telecom Management Best Practices The Challenge:

The client was facing major challenges to grow its market share, overcome customer churn and manage its national network operations and customer service levels because of the large-scale upgrades of their telecom from 2G to 3G infrastructure.

Strong competitive forces resulted in launching hundreds of new technology and operational change projects with limited internal resources. The employees were pressured to execute more projects, faster, with fewer resources. The operational environment was complex; it consisted of thousands of technologies, circuits, vendors, employees, and processes undergoing change at the same time. 

The number one management challenge was the size and speed of change. The VP of National Operations needed a new operational framework to streamline internal processes and to manage the rapid growth and integration of network elements. He also wanted to develop cross-functional collaboration to leverage the knowledge and skills across various departments (Voice, Data, Value Added Services, Ecommerce, SMS, Multimedia, Radio, NGN, etc.).

Initially the client sought an independent expert with strong technical and managerial background to help them bridge the knowledge and communication gap between various groups and to identify specific improvement areas and recommend solutions based on industry best practices. 

Telecom Training Courses - Telecom Institute - Telecom Management Best Practices The Project:

The senior management team understood that in highly competitive and rapidly changing industries, operational speed and execution excellence are the only sustainable competitive advantage.

The VP of Operations knew that teams that learn together, work better together. The project sponsor was not interested in generic training courses, because they did not address the critical knowledge-implementation gap. The vendor training courses were also limited to their products and could not provide the required end-to-end view.

Quoting Confucius, one manager said, "We do not want fish; we want to learn how to fish. We do not want a consulting firm to come and fix some of the problems, then after one year the technology changes and we have to go through the same operational challenges all over again". The client realized that the best strategy to develop core competencies and to speed up the enterprise transformation initiative was through experiential learning and development models. A new partnership was needed to support the management team in enterprise capacity building.

The client asked the institute to capture the enterprise telecom knowledge and to develop its intellectual capital by sharing telecom best practices with various teams. The institute consultant designed and delivered the customized curriculum for the client. The consultant advised and supported various management layers. They also facilitated collaboration and experiential learning sessions between various functional teams.

Telecom Training Courses - Telecom Institute - Telecom Management Best Practices The Solution:

The consultant provided rapid analysis of the business, operational and technical environment and shared with the senior management team the emerging telecom trends, opportunities, best practices, frameworks and tools to help them achieve their goals. Having seen similar issues with other Global Fortune 1000 companies across various industries, the consultant suggested that the best solution to overcome the client's growing pains and continuously changing competitive environment is to adopt the following recommendations:

  • Implement tighter integration and collaboration across the telecom management lifecycle, including planning, designing, building, operating and transfer (PDBOT) phases

  • Create telecom business and operational map outlining key value chain activities and their functional interfaces to serve as a tool for communication and collaboration across various functional departments

  • Create an easy-to-understand technology map providing 360 degree view of the new national network to be shared across all technical departments and their management layers to improve their communication and problem-solving processes

  • Create end-to-end network troubleshooting scripts and support processes to be used by each support tier to diagnose network elements belonging to different departments, including Radio, BSS, GSM, GGSN, HLR, VAS, MMS, Unix, NMS, Billing and other subsystems

  • Create end-to-end data flow diagrams across various elements to help in the FCAPS  (Fault, Configuration, Accounting, Performance and Security) management

  • Leverage telecom management frameworks and international IT best practices, such as (ISO FCAPS, TMF FAB, ITIL, COBIT, etc.) to streamline operational processes and services

  • Fine tune the implementation and integration of various network management tools to use the full functionality of each software subsystem and to save the engineers time and effort in managing the network

  • Update the customer service, help desk and trouble ticketing systems with better technical and operational content at all support levels to reduce problem escalation and speed problem-resolution time

  • Use a collaborative enterprise knowledge management system to leverage the collective intelligence of various technical teams to help improve knowledge acquisition, dissemination and communication; and to speed up planning, implementation and problem resolution processes

Telecom Training Courses - Telecom Institute - Telecom Management Best Practices The Results:

The results of the engagement were immediately felt and the initial consulting engagement grew from a two-week consulting project to 11 capacity building projects over four years. The management and technical training programs, presentations and documentation were delivered to the VP, Directors, Managers, Supervisors and Technical levels, essentially building AT&T Wireless Telecom University and Technical knowledge base.

The direct benefits of the program were improved staff expertise, enhanced communication and collaboration between various operational teams, smoother transition to the new generation network, enhanced network availability and improved customer service level management (SLM). The client now uses the training program and manuals as their operational and technical training standards. Existing and new employees leverage the developed knowledge base to help them overcome their everyday challenges.

The senior management achieved their objectives of improving their operational speed and excellence as part of their competitive strategy.

Telecom Training Courses - Telecom Institute - Telecom Management Best Practices Client Testimonials for Various Projects:

I just want to take a moment to express how pleased we are with the work of the consultant. The feedback from my team has been extremely positive. It is obvious that he has a real gift for communicating his vast knowledge in comprehensible terms. In a relatively short time, the consultant learned the complexity of our operations and translated this learning into meaningful lessons for our people. This has come at a critical time for us as we quickly move into the next generation network capabilities. -  Richard Okino - Director, National Wireless Network Control Center (WNCC)

The consultant researched, developed and presented customized training presentations and documents for the AT&T Wireless Network Operations Center team as well as the support teams for the NOC. The presentations and documents are still being used as the basis for today's training and documentation many years later as they represent the most comprehensive documents we have available to us. The results of the training were immediately seen in the NOC following each training session. The technicians trained during this period have gone on to extremely successful careers within the AT&T Mobility networking group as well as many other Telecommunications companies. I would highly recommend the services for thoroughness, dedication to duty and excellent presentation skills. - Marnie Haworth, Training Project Manager

I found the consultant's insight and knowledge of the wireless industry to be a benefactor into driving success across multiple National Operations Teams, specifically between the WNCC and MMS Operations. He is a true expert within the wireless arena, focusing on inter-dependencies, SLAs, availability, and performance of a national network. He is well respected, easy to work with, and extremely personable. He keeps up to date on the latest technologies and best practices. I strongly recommend him to work for any organization.” - Mark Hart - National NOC Manager

The training was very useful for my next job. The course customization was excellent. The course advisor has deep knowledge and insights into senior management thinking and their "triggers". The most useful experience that I gained from attending this course is how to think and act like a CIO. If you want to advance your career, you should take this class. - Brian Chan - IT Security Manager

The consultant is a person who can build bridges and is extremely good at crossing organizational boundaries to unify departments within an organization.” - Paul Farag, Lead Network Operations Support Engineer

I worked with the consultants for 3 years on a few different projects. They always delivered results and exceeded expectations. With a “can do” attitude and willingness to go the extra mile they have been key players in many successful projects at AT&T Wireless - Sam Mikhail Senior Telecom Engineer

The consultant is very professional and knowledgeable in the Network Security industry. He was instrumental in assisting my team to maintain a high quality experience and secure operating environment for our customer's devices. It was a pleasure working with him. - Doug Truex - Network Security Analyst

The consultant is a very intelligent individual who produces large amounts of high quality work. People like and respect him and I would welcome the opportunity to work with him again. - Suzan Miller, Tools & Support Sr. Manager

We originally hired IIM advisor for a consultation of how to improve the efficiencies of our Network Operations and their interactions with their escalation groups. My team was one of those escalation groups. The consultant helped identify several key areas to focus on, one of which was training. We were impressed with the knowledge of networking so we hired them back to perform some of this training for the NOC and to get them up to speed. They were very professional and we got nothing but praise on the work done.” - Shelly Johnson - Lead Principal Network Architect

Telecom Training Courses - Telecom Institute - Telecom Management Best Practices Sample Telecom Training Material:

  • Telecom Training Course 1: Telecom Architecture for Managers
    • Understanding wireless Telecom architecture. Radio network. Voice network. Data network. Multimedia Network. IT billing, provisioning and reporting.
  • Telecom Training Course 2: Next Generation Wireless Telecom
    • Wireless technology roadmap (CDPD/GPRS/EDGE/UMTS). Transport technology roadmap (TDM/SONET/DWDM). IP Technology roadmap (Data, Voice & Video over IP: VoIP/SS7oIP /QoS /MPLS). IT Applications technology roadmap: (SMS/Multimedia/M-Commerce). What does this mean for telecom companies? Services strategy and operations
  • Telecom Training Course 3: E-Telco Management - Operation Support System (OSS)
    • Network management Roadmap.  Elements of telecom operations support systems (OSS). End to End (E2E) integration of network management systems. Case Study: Netcool Manager of Managers Tool. Telecom management best practices and next generation OSS
  • Telecom Training Course 4: Telecom Management Best Practices
    • Wireless service provider (WSP) challenges. Defining best practices. Network management maturity. Strategic action list. Performance management. Network operation management (NOM) best practices. Telecom managers key questions. Quick wins.

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Last Updated: February 6, 2017.