Understanding Changing Telecommunications: Building a Successful Telecom Business

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Although there are so many definitions on KM, they all have something in common.

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They are all concern about two dimensions of People and Knowledge. KM lies in the relationship between these two dimensions, mediated by various systems and processes. Knowledge management is critical to all kinds of industry which can help the organizations to consider how to capture the knowledge resident in the organization. Especially for the telecommunications industry in which its operation rely on hundreds of or thousands of knowledge workers all over the world, it is important for them to communicate and share their knowledge.

Therefore, telecom companies nowadays are willing to make investments to capture as much knowledge as possible from their most experienced workers. Many large telecommunications service provides start to create a senior-level management position to ensure that KM activities operate effectively. Strouse has also stated several components that are important to an effective KM system in telecommunications industry.

Processes need to support the facilitation of information retrieval and must be in place to assist in the creation of new information. System performance metrics should be maintained in order to help to determine the criteria for new data to enter the system.

Effective incentives and supportive core values should be encouraged to the most expert employees to share their knowledge. People also always argue that the benefits of knowledge management systems appear to be too theoretical to measure; the following is an example of returns from implementing KM in telecommunication industry. Quantification of benefits is most obvious in customer service sectors such as sales and customer support department.

For example, a customer service center could use a knowledge management system to help service representatives to identify the source of problems by listing troubleshooting measures that were successful in the past. Therefore, more problems are resolved with a single call in customer service centers. Telecommunications service providers have used KM systems to increase their sales productivity. Sales representatives tend to specialize in those services that they have sold successfully in the past.

KM systems can assist to increase sales by providing information about services with which the sales representative is less familiar with. Firstly, we will examine how the telecoms giants — US West reacted to knowledge challenge: the majority of its 47, employees will be eligible to retire in the year taking the bulk of the knowledge in the organization with them. Accordingly, every project must have a clear business purpose and the measures to show it has been delivered. Rather than only looking at the literal requirements, the group tries to work with its internal clients to determine what the systemic effects might be.

GVL discovered that there was a backlog, an enormous amount of errors and rework, and lost revenue due to lost customers. Solution: GVL team started to pool and codifies the needed knowledge. They turned it into a corporate asset, and distributed the new ordering tool via the intranet. Local knowledge of US West was stored in numerous systems. This resulted in unfulfilled orders and incomplete information leading to missed commitments.

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Solution: The data was pooled and access was given across the system, providing completeness and corroboration. Again, the tool was distributed across the intranet. Users were motivated because the system was easy to use. Missed commitments were reduced dramatically. The 65 agents assigned to the helpdesk provide assistance on applications across the company, responding to about 40, calls per month. Traditionally, calls were assigned to people who were experts on the specific application with the problem; they wanted to capture the expertise to solve these problems in a system so that more people could have access to it.

It converted personal knowledge into a corporate asset. Statistics are recorded on which cases are most frequently invoked. This enables identification and elimination of the root cause of the problem. Secondly, we will then look into what work have been done across the KM at a well-known international telecom company — Orange. They want all their employees to be competent in which they aim to learn from experience on how to improve working practices, how to excel at them and how to pass learning on. The KM team in Orange had to look at the way in which training can best adapt to and support rapid changing needs.

What KM team in Orange has done?

senrei-exorcism.com/images/wife/cheating-children-on-samsung-galaxy-a80.php The Orange KM team had uncovered a wealth of good practice and innovative learning techniques. They share the techniques with all training professionals at other countries and provide a channel for others to access.

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Orange also makes use of the knowledge communities like joining forum to share professional techniques. In early stage, such events concentrated primarily on getting to know each other through understanding current challenges, budget issues, key knowledge areas and the range of learning techniques employed. But now, much exchange and sharing of approaches and resources occurred; it gives the members access to training and workshop materials throughout the group.

Orange have developed large amount of relevant context and materials, therefore, members can take these materials and add this to their training portfolio at a greatly reduced cost. The challenge that BT faced is that they find difficult to retain the discipline of customer focus while developing rich and extensive knowledge sharing. The team recognized that the lack of knowledge-sharing was inhibiting the business.

Through the mass customization strategy, innovative new products and solutions could be created. Strategy 1: Top Down Communication. They inform the employee on strategy, business performance and market knowledge via internal conferences and intranet sites.


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They also changed the design of the corporate scorecard to align with the new strategy. To encourage the knowledge-sharing, they increased the reward given to sector managers for achieving organizational goals. Strategy 2: Targeting Critical Communities. The KM initiative team in BT would target those communities relating to their industry and working in partnership with them, such as develop, implement and measure the right knowledge strategies, tools and techniques to enhance the value proposition to the business. They also work closely with several other business units within BT and establish networking with knowledge practitioners in other major corporations so as to ensure they learned from others and brought in the right help as required.

In fact, it is difficult to create successful knowledge management networks. The limited empirical knowledge on how knowledge networks are set up in high-tech organizations may result that issues and problems encountered during the set up process become overwhelming. If the problems are not tackled properly the outcome will be unsuccessful knowledge networks which only consume financial resources and undermine the trust for management. Thus, the staff in an organization can have the deeper understanding in the concepts of the KM practices.

Also, the concept of communities of practice CoP is also encouraged in the telecommunication industries. The groups of people can share the ideas and knowledge in order to put the duplication of effort on the same incident. Besides, not only the formal groups of people can share the ideas, the informal groups of people can also share the idea among themselves.

Moreover, the Intranet becomes commonly used as one of the KM practice in the telecommunication industries. Intranet plays an important role in the more effective exploitation of both explicit and tacit knowledge. By using the Intranet, people can share both the explicit and tacit knowledge through the Intranet, thus the people can get the updated information easily. Information collected and findings gathered for the study are mainly divided into two sections, interview questions and professional experiences.

We have conducted an informal interview with the General Manager of the department in the company, Mr. Chan, in The interview questions are shown in the Appendix 1. Further description and investigation will be shown in the case study. We have participated in various projects and take post in responsible for improved information management system. What we have observed can be input into the case study for research use.

Besides, we hold some documentations in hand which are related to KM issues of the industry. We have asked for permission on the use of those documents from the department and Mr. Chan has also introduced us some useful business profiles about KM practice, both for organizations and the whole industry. As we understand that well managed customer and staff knowledge was the major competitive advantages among telecommunication, we target this industry as our project study and research subject. For example, it supports the knowledge initiatives on the scale of the technology-themed Cyberport project and help make Hong Kong and IT hub around the international market.

The company has employed KM practice which stimulates production progress and offers business intelligence to sales persons in order to provide high-quality services for potential customers. In this paper, we study how the extraordinary KM development brings in benefits to the company and turns into the good practice of the industry.

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Competition was introduced by Hong Kong government in telecommunication industry in , to instead of monopoly service provider for one century. Each of the new entrants can build their own network to provide new service at highly competitive prices. It is a great challenge for all the telecommunication companies to sustain and increase their market share for the dynamic changes. He was responsible of bidding for those landmark projects, such as Cyberport project, Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center project, etc.

Normally, it takes 9 months to complete the whole bid process. Chan called it as knowledge intensive process, on which they have spent significant resources. The bidding preparation includes discussion with customer on tender specification before bid book publishing, potential competitor analysis, costing and return on investment estimation, technical solution determination etc. To avoid wasting time and human resources, they need to know how much possibility they have to focus those highly recommended tenders. As a matter of fact, the bid team has done something related to KM all along, but without an explicit KM practice.


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  • When they won the bid, manager would praise the team members and use the constant strategy for the coming bid projects. If the team failed the bid, they would discuss and find reasons or elements that they had not prepared enough for. However, this ordinary after-review could not reflect the real situation, since staff may feel fear of the responsibility of losing the bid.

    To improve bidding performance, Mr. Chan invited one of his friends, a KM professional from Cambridge University, to present KM concept to the high level of management. Getting justification and budget for initial approval, they got started to undertake a KM pilot project in bidding team first. The consultant conducted a systematic survey to study how well the employees have done with respect to supporting KM in terms of collecting, storing, classifying, distributing, harvesting and reusing the knowledge.