Blog August 23, 2019 Andreas Nicander Head of Delivery & Implementation , Tele2 IoT

Operations: The Face of Tele2 IoT

I often get questions about what exactly it is that we do in Operations. Do we just field phone calls and emails from customers, making sure they get the help they need? Sure, we do that, but that’s only part of the story. From my perspective Operations is one of the key pillars of Tele2 IoT. We are the face of the company towards existing customers, with the most direct contact and interactions. And we’re with our customers almost from the beginning of their IoT journey.

What we do

One of the most important things we do is onboard customers. We get the signed agreement that has passed through all the different departments and protocols and then check it to make sure that what has been promised is possible to onboard and implement. Once we ascertain that everything is good to go we start putting the information, such as technical solutions and pricing, into different systems, to make sure your SIMs will actually work.

The average customer takes maybe 2-3 days to onboard but it always comes down to complexity.  Just say we’re onboarding a customer with 1 million SIMs. That might take just a few hours because it’s pretty straightforward, but when we start factoring in things like how many communications plans, rate plans, and the complexity of the account structure in Cisco Jasper things change. The average on boarding is up to one week – but our record is 3 hours.

We often have contact with our customers pretty early on, depending on the level of the agreement. A basic standard agreement simply means a lot of manual steps to get things done, but if it’s a more complicated agreement, perhaps with different products and services, we’ll usually contact the customer to double check information, get more information that might be needed, and to check things like the date we will configure their IPsec tunnel so that they can do their part to ensure a smooth flow.

 

Once a customer is onboarded our attitude is: Ask us for what you need – we are here for you. We do everything so give us a call or send an email and we’ll help you with whatever you need.

Andreas Nicander Head of Delivery & Implementation Tele2 IoT

The thing is, a normal first line usually has knowledge in small and very particular areas, where the easy questions are answered, and the tougher ones are passed on. My team, with the level of knowledge we have, goes beyond that, providing first line support, but also second and third line – avoiding escalations that eat up time. The questions we handle range from needing new SIM cards or not knowing how the platform works to invoicing inquiries, something technical, or maybe just something about how communications plans or rate plans work or what kind of products and services we offer.

We don’t act as a clearing house for these questions. Instead, we’re a port of call where we can either give you the answers you need right away or get the answers from someone else and get back to you both as quickly as possible and with high quality.

That time we found a giraffe

We’ve had some really interesting calls over the years, such as one customer who opened their call with, “Um, we’ve lost a giraffe.” Tracking animals wasn’t very big at the time so the team member who took the call was a bit surprised – but in the end we managed to get the giraffe back online.

That same customer had an issue with a device. We asked them if they could remove the SIM card and put it in another device, so we could see how it would react. Their reply was another classic: removing the SIM would be difficult because it was on a sea otter somewhere in France, but they weren’t sure exactly where in France. That was quite a challenge, but we did manage to solve the problem to everyone’s satisfaction.

So, the calls we get can really be about anything and that’s what makes my job and the jobs of my entire team so interesting – each day brings something new. Knowing what our customers are using their SIMs for creates a bigger sense of purpose and understanding of what we’re a part of.

Soft skills

But while taking calls and solving problems is a critical part of our job, I’m also a big fan of “soft skills”, which is my own phrase for how we communicate with our customers. Soft skills are about clear messaging, clarifying that we are all talking about the same thing, and that we consider which words we use and how we structure our sentences.

In Operations, we need to be precise in our communications, because people’s livelihoods are in our hands.

Statistics show that when you read an email only 7% of your understanding is based solely on the actual words written, while the other 93% of understanding comes from your own interpretation.  The majority of our interactions are done through email, rather than phone calls. This is actually a good thing because then there is a written record of everything that transpires – but writing emails can also create confusion and sometimes incorrect assumptions are made. Using the right words when communicating with customers and really taking to time to make sure everyone understands what is being said can really make a difference.

So, as you can see, the role of Operations within Tele2 IoT is more than just handling cases and phone calls and emails. Sure, they’re a big part of what we do, but we are also a big part of the company itself, in terms of things like how agreements are done and how solutions are made. We are giving input because we have the knowledge and maybe the widest perspective. We know what is possible and we know how to make it happen.

Welcome to Operations at Tele2 IoT. Get in touch – we’d love to help you.



Andreas Nicander
andreas.nicander@tele2.com
Head of Delivery & Implementation
Tele2 IoT