On the first day of this year’s Operations Transformation Forum (OTF 2023) held in Dubai, we sat down with Agus Sulistio, Senior Vice President of Network Operations of Indosat Ooredoo Hutchison (IOH) Indonesia, and W. George Glass, Chief Technology Officer of TM Forum, to talk through their insights and experiences of digital operation transformations, and the changes that the telecoms industry is going through

As IOH is a merger company from Indosat and Hutchison 3 Indonesia, formed last year, the discussion began by examining how the new firm tackled the network consolidation during the merger, to ensure solid network stability and performance.

Agus emphasised the sheer growth of the network after the merger: “With our recent merger with CK Hutchison and Ooredoo Group, our network has doubled up. Our customer base increased by over 100 million subscribers. This, coupled with the evolution towards 5G networks, means our networks are growing fast in terms of scale and complexity. Staying with the status quo is no longer an option,” he said.

“IOH has adopted an Autonomous Operations (AO) Framework to accelerate digital operations transformation journey. And with the AO framework, it allows us to charter our operating direction forward that aligns to our corporate business strategy. The forward-looking AO framework enables us to identify the necessary capabilities we need to bridge and the state-of-the-art technologies such as machine learning and AI, and we should leverage on in order to accelerate our maturity level towards automation and autonomy.”

George then emphasised that the key to a successful digital transformation is a structured process, which he defines as follows:

  1. Undertake a comprehensive audit to establish a baseline
  2. Establish the business strategic intent
  3. Enumerate the business goals
  4. Translate business goals into operations requirements
  5. Implement the plan
  6. Assess the implementation results

When it comes to digital transformation 3 key elements need to be considered: technology, service and operation. No one element is more important than the other, but all must be used together. The key, says George, is to make use of all three elements to achieve a multiplier effect from the different elements. For example, new tech such as digital twins or large language models can support improved customer service and AI-driven marketing, leveraging new services will enable you to create new experiences, and then adding new operations such as intelligent networks offers the potential for new growth.

George then lends a word of advice to operators embarking on their future digital transformations. “It is essential that you continuously re-assess the value that you are delivering and ensure that it remains closely aligned with your business strategy and business goals.”

Agus then discussed the business value added by the merger in terms of network operation and maintenance. “Well, in terms of business values, after merger, we have enhanced our customer experience with a large reduce in annual customer complaint volume. In addition, we managed to drive our operation efficiency with trouble ticket volume reduced by more than one third within a year. This is just the initial stage, it’s the beginning of the journey, we will keep executing the transformation firmly.

IOH’s partnership with Huawei Managed Services is then discussed. The partnership allows digital to take the lead on improving the network performance and user experience:

“IOH has selected Huawei, because we feel Huawei is the right managed service partner as we embrace the Gotong Royong as a principle while transforming towards a TechCo,” says Agus.

“Our operation focus is to build operational excellence and data-driven decision within our operating model culture. Huawei brings along their years of rich managed services experience globally. In addition to that, Huawei has adopted the Autonomous Operations Maturity Model best practice to execute, manage and measure our digital operation transformation achievement.”

On IOH’s future plans, Agus concludes:

“It’s just a journey now. We had a good achievement on our digital operation transformation so far. We will not stop here. Instead, we will continue our digital operation transformation momentum towards operational excellence. We will continue to build on our best practices to accelerate towards autonomy in achieving a next level of operation efficiency and deliver marvelous network experience for customers.”


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