Michalis Papamichail, Director of Network Strategy at OTE Group, is responsible for core network plan build and support as well as network strategy. He shares his experience engaging with Cisco Services to automate and accelerate customer provisioning and enhance network performance.
OTE Group, part of the Deutsche Telekom Group, is the largest telecommunications provider and technology company in Greece, with the majority of the country’s telecommunications going through our network.
Our vision is “a better world for all,” and our mission is to make telecommunications technology available to everyone today while also building a better tomorrow. As such, we are a key player in Greece’s overall digital transformation.
We are the premium service provider in the country, delivering fixed and mobile telephony, broadband services, pay television, and integrated ICT solutions across to businesses, government entities, and homes. Currently, our main initiatives are rolling out fiber to homes, introducing the 5G network and increasing the value we offer to our business customers.
In the telecommunications industry, provisioning is the process of preparing the network to provide new services to our customers. With our focus on customer satisfaction, we knew that a quick and cost-effective process for rolling out new services was paramount, so we set out to improve the customer provisioning process.
“We chose Cisco Services because they had the expertise to make our vision a reality.”—Michalis Papamichail, Director of Network Strategy, OTE Group
We realized that automation was the key to achieving a streamlined and cost-effective process for business customer provisioning. But we needed expert guidance to be successful in this initiative, and we wanted to be sure that if we invested in a plan, we would be successful in executing on it.
And, we needed a partner that understood our entire infrastructure, which includes a variety of different vendors and technologies. We chose Cisco Services because they had the expertise to make our vision a reality. After 20 years’ working with Cisco, we knew they were the right team for the job.
Automating customer provisioning was going to be challenging, given the complexity of our multivendor network and system. The Cisco Services team rose to the challenge and worked closely with us to develop a solution that automated not only the Cisco equipment or infrastructure, but also the entire network.
With the expert advice from the Cisco Services team, we created an automation solution that covered all the major services that we provide to the B2C market, including internet access, IPVPN’s service, e-line service, and CPE ZTP provisioning.
The new processes automate both our services and networks that deliver the services, helping us to provide exceptional service to our customers throughout Greece.
Collaborating with the Cisco Services team was a true partnership. We worked as one team to achieve our goals. Together, throughout the development process, we were able to overcome technical challenges and performance problems. As an organization, our employees embraced the new processes, because they were involved every step of the way.
The Cisco Services team was a key part of the success of our automation initiative in many ways. They were hands on in managing the deployment, making sure everything went smoothly. They were also instrumental in assisting with adapting use cases.
The team was also responsible for fine-tuning and simplifying our workflows, a critical component. Simplification was a significant part of the process, because we expect to lose a large part of our technical skilled staff to retirement over the next several years.
As a result of our automation initiative, we dramatically reduced customer provisioning time. Since we automated manual tasks, we also significantly reduced user errors. We now have higher customer satisfaction and an even better customer experience.
Since we also automated provisioning of our network, we have improved network performance, troubleshooting network issues is much quicker and easier, and we save a significant amount of time. All of this has resulted significant cost savings potential.
“Working with the Cisco Services team was a true partnership. We worked as one team to achieve our goals.”— Michalis Papamichail, Director of Network Strategy, OTE Group
Another important outcome with the time savings has been the ability to redirect resources to focus on continually providing value to the business. Now we have more resources allocated to innovation, forward-thinking progress, and improvements.
The time-consuming manual tasks have been replaced with a focus on strategies to help us continue delivering exceptional services to our customers throughout Greece.
Our partnership with the Cisco Services team will continue to evolve as we grow and evolve as a business. As a company, we will continue to enhance to our existing services and offer new services. Because of the value Cisco Services has already provided, we are looking forward to finding new use cases to collaborate on with the team.
Meeting the ever-changing needs of our customers requires us to be constantly innovating and optimizing our processes and services. We plan to continue to collaborate with the Cisco team to achieve this. Together, we can drive digital transformation throughout Greece, delivering better services for all.