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Internal Culture Key to Transformation: Huawei GTS

Dictionary definition transformation

Internal culture is the most important factor in digital transformation, according to Bill Tang, president of Huawei’s Global Technical Services (GTS) business unit.

Tang told the Huawei Operational Transformation Forum (OTF) that this was the lesson he drew from the digital transformation experience of his own team.

That’s because the transformation process shakes up traditional roles and hierarchies and the way staff work with each other and their customers.

It’s essential to build cross-functional teams to overcome this, but “every function and every department are naturally against this kind of transformation,” Tang warns.

“So I think cultural transformation should be the first priority.”

It is also important to start early, Tang said, pointing out that the GTS unit took three years to complete its digital change.

“We must use that time to create a transformation culture, a digitalization culture. If we want success in transformation, we must change early and set up dedicated teams.”

Tang noted the distinction between digitization and digitalization.

To be digitized means to leverage technologies such as AI and cloud to improve efficiency, but digitalization means providing more and more digital services through rapid innovation.

Tang said telcos wishing to embark on transformation should start with a specific scenario or service.

“Think big, start small and scale fast.”

For example, Huawei had worked with partners on scenarios such as digital marketing (the identification of value users), digital services (mobile money) and digital planning (WTTx planning).

The next step was to expand to a minimum viable product (MVP) for a dry run to validate functions and capabilities.

“Following that we can expand such proven capabilities to other domains for continuous evolution.”

After that comes the “scale fast” stage.

“That means building cross-functional teams, together with our customers, to jointly innovate and carry out devops. This will shorten the requirement fulfilment cycle and improve development agility.”

As a success story, Tang cited Kenya’s Safaricom, which uses Huawei’s mobile money platform to support its burgeoning payments business.

The service now accounts for 30% of total revenue, helping reduce churn by 45%, supported by a cloud-based platform that can be easily customized.

Another was the ‘Idea to Product’ process, which requires teams to quickly turn plans into profitable digital products.

A Huawei team helped HKT “design a digital customer journey and shorten the order processing time from five days to two hours through order digitalization.”

For another project, with Malaysia’s Celcom, Huawei provided AUTIN, its SaaS-based digital solution, to reduce MTTR by 11% and shorten customization time from three months to two weeks.

“We have a lot of technologies and platforms to help you to achieve your target,” he said.

“We can find some people to work with you to find a scenario to start with.

“We can to provide you with resource orchestration, service assurance, project management and a digitised OSS. For all systems we have the same uniform platform.”

Tang urged industry partners to “think big” about their digital future.

“We have a grand vision to support our digital strategy.

“Last year, we committed $200 million to implement Huawei’s digital strategy, and we will continue to increase such investments.”

He said Huawei had just set up a Digital Transformation Practice Center (DTPC) in partnership with HKT in Hong Kong.

At the DTPC, a cross-function team consisting of operators, end-users, Huawei and third-party partners can work through different scenarios across all stages of transformation.

“I invite you to send your teams to this lab to discuss your challenges and your scenarios. We can set up dedicated teams and also share other operators’ success stories find ways to accelerate digital transformation.”


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