Best Going the Extra Mile
Mobiltel and Amdocs
“By working with a best-in-class service provider as Amdocs, we have been able to focus our efforts in going the extra mile for our customers by launching new services and providing unparalleled customer support.”
Plamen Zyumbyulev, Director Network and IT Operations
The Bulgarian telecommunications market is an intensely aggressive market, filled with numerous competitors, low ARPU and changing regulations. Add to the mix that this is a relatively small, price-sensitive market serving 7 million consumers, making innovation extremely difficult.
In 2008, Mobiltel, Bulgaria’s largest operator providing mobile, fixed telephony, internet and digital services to consumers and corporations knew it had to shake up operations to stay on top and maintain its high-level customer experience and support. Selecting Amdocs CRM for its 360-degree view of the customer, Mobiltel quickly realized was the right decision. But deciding to further streamline operations in 2010 through a large-scale modernization and customer conversion to Amdocs rating, billing, invoicing, accounts receivable and ordering proved more challenging. “We fell short of planned targets because we tried to do too much—managing all recovery activities and focusing on continued business growth,” recalls Zyumbyulev.
Outsourcing as a way forward
Recognizing the need for a new operating model that supported a focus on core business services rather than management of support services, Mobiltel executives made the decision to outsource key operations to best-in-class providers in 2012.
With Mobiltel setting aggressive timelines from the start, Amdocs proved they were up to the challenge. Negotiating the five-year managed services in six months seemed easy compared to the goal to go-live in half the time—only three months from contract signing.
Mobiltel and Amdocs started the outsourcing arrangement by focusing on getting the scope right. “This was time well spent as we wanted to make sure it made sense from both the business and customer perspective,” cites Zyumbyulev.
Amdocs also organized a weeklong trip where the CTO and Operations Director of Mobiltel saw Amdocs’ Global Strategic Sourcing sites in the US and Canada and met directly with another customer to hear about their outsourcing experience. After this trip, Mobiltel recognized that beyond the reduced total cost of ownership, this partnership gave them resources with global experience, expertise and impressive maturity.
How do you ensure a smooth transition during an outsourcing deal? This is a question often asked by first-time outsourcers.
The simple answer for Mobiltel was transparent communication.
“Even though over 70 people were transferred, we did not experience any adverse impacts during the transition period,” stated Zyumbyulev. “By making the transition phase truly transparent to all managers and support staff, with everything shared up front, people had the opportunity to ask questions. Throughout the transition, people remained motivated and focused on the task at hand; it was a great experience!”
Weekly governance meetings and preparation of a detailed contract including basic areas of responsibility for each partner made all the difference in eliminating as many grey areas as possible. Documenting universal roles and responsibilities gave both parties clarity and positive results. Rebadged employees seamlessly assimilated with Amdocs employees and culture. Resources were flown to Bulgaria to assist with the design and planning of several critical projects that were out of the scope of the agreement. These tangible actions proved to Mobiltel that they had selected a partner they could count on.
Sure flare ups occurred, but both sides compromised to achieve the end goal. They even managed to look back and laugh about some of the tactics used. Humor and compromise were key attributes that supported this successful transition.
Making the relationship work
Trust, common goals, simplicity, meaningful SLAs and respect—these are the key five components Zyumbyulev cites as the foundation to a successful relationship.
- Trust is the main ingredient. You can’t have a relationship, let alone a partnership without it.
- Common goals ensure both parties want the same outcome and want to focus on helping make each other successful.
- Simplicity, not just technical aspects, helps to ensure clear business focus.
- Meaningful and direct SLAs are the underlying measures of balance that keep the relationship in check and ensures that everyone knows what is expected at all times.
- Respect for each other is a simple concept that applies from executive levels to the individual contributor.
By applying these elements, the Mobiltel-Amdocs partnership has yielded tremendous results in the areas of improved efficiencies, faster time-to-market and reduced cost—all in a short time period. Both parties approached the partnership like a marriage, where neither party was willing to let the other one fail. Amdocs’ dedication to Mobiltel’s success made them a true trusted partner that Mobiltel relies on to protect their number one asset—their customers.