Collaboration paramount in KPN’s successful business transformation | Computer Weekly

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Dutch telecoms supplier KPN took two years to hold out a posh transformation, redesigning inner operations for the longer term and transferring from utilizing about 80 functions from third-party suppliers to Oracle Fusion Cloud.  

KPN is the most important telco organisation in the Netherlands, with greater than 12,000 workers, some 10 million prospects and annual revenues of greater than $5bn. The corporate goals to make the Netherlands the best-connected nation in the world, in addition to provide its prospects essentially the most environmentally pleasant network and providers.

“With the arrival of WhatsApp in 2009, KPN’s income from cellular providers started to say no,” mentioned Hamza Tedik, government vice-president for group business providers at KPN, throughout a buyer session at Oracle CloudWorld 2023 in Las Vegas in September. “12 months over 12 months, income was falling. As of final 12 months, the corporate is rising once more due to our clear technique that’s all about connectivity.”

KPN was working on a legacy enterprise business providers atmosphere and numerous third-social gathering functions – some 15 years previous with greater than 370 integrations and greater than 1,000 customisations, in keeping with Michael Bell, vice-president for enterprise IT at KPN, in one other CloudWorld session. “Our ambition is to attach everybody in the Netherlands, and in addition present a sustainable future,” he mentioned. “We need to develop as an organization and provide prospects a digitised expertise.”

This, nonetheless, requires additional digitisation of the corporate itself. “As a know-how firm, we wish to the longer term,” mentioned Tatiana Sumina, government vice-president and program director for Oracle Cloud at KPN, throughout a keynote. “While you try this, it shortly turns into clear that complexity and legacy will maintain you again. We needed to change to remain forward.”

The corporate regarded for a platform on which it might home a number of processes, with standardisation and simplification main the way in which.

“Beforehand, we have been working quite a few completely different functions that have been upgraded solely sporadically, leaving little room for innovation in between,” mentioned Sumina. “We needed to maneuver in direction of one built-in platform that dynamically evolves frequently and affords extra potentialities for innovation.”

Hold repeating your imaginative and prescient

To form the complicated cloud transformation, KPN enlisted the assistance of Deloitte. “That shut collaboration saved us on our toes,” mentioned KPN IT head Bell. “In such a giant venture, it’s essential to supply construction, and ensure all components of the business are on board and linked to the technique of the corporate.”

That is additionally endorsed by Tedik. “One of many issues we discovered is how essential it’s in such a journey to have a transparent imaginative and prescient and to maintain repeating it,” he mentioned. “Individuals are likely to overlook the why; they get drained over time. It’s paramount to maintain reminding everybody why you’re doing this and what it can ship.”

The scope of the venture was enormous, and revolved round 5 streams: finance, procurement, initiatives, provide chain administration and HR.  

The transformation began in November 2020, and had three deployments. “In January 2022, we migrated to Oracle HCM,” mentioned Tedik.

“Then, in Could of that 12 months, we migrated our fibre business to Oracle Cloud for finance, procurement, and initiatives,” he continued. “Our fibre business is our huge subsidiary, driving roll-out of community, and this turned out to be a great resolution; to principally attempt a brand new means of labor in actual operations and assist this area with superior instruments. In April of this 12 months, we migrated all of the Oracle modules and different functions in scope to Oracle Cloud.”  

One of many challenges KPN confronted in the method was that providers needed to proceed as traditional, regardless that there was heavy rebuilding happening in the background.

“That’s why it was so essential to work in a structured means by way of a confirmed venture methodology, governance and ideas,” mentioned Bell. “Each transformation is rocky and has its ups and downs. However sticking to a set of agreed guidelines offers you floor to cowl to make sure you keep on the precise path.”

For instance, we had two guiding ideas, which have been important for the venture: stick with the usual as a lot as attainable – “Oracle to the max” – and redesign useful processes by implementing greatest practices.

After the migration, KPN has three customisations and a wide range of greatest apply processes. “I’m actually pleased with that,” mentioned Bell. “In the event you had informed me that at the beginning of the venture, I’d have thought that was far too bold.”

Furthermore, the corporate has managed to cut back the variety of integrations by roughly 50%. “Previously, we had about 370 integrations, and in our present scenario, we solely have 170,” he mentioned. “That may be a enormous profit from a price perspective and an operational standpoint, as a result of it’s simpler to keep up and reduces the complexity in the organisation.”

Knowledge high quality is success issue 

Change administration proved essential in the method, mentioned Sumina. “This transformation required a change of mindset of our folks, for them to be open to new know-how,” she mentioned. “We have now been making an attempt to leverage a most of normal performance, as any customisation creates complexity. That required for some folks to be open to alter the way in which they labored.” 

The telecoms supplier has simplified its IT panorama, lowered the variety of integrations and retired virtually 80 functions. “Consequently, we now have higher perception not solely into processes, but additionally into the Euros we spend,” added Sumina. “The transformation pressured KPN to look critically not solely at which functions have been working, but additionally at what was working in these apps. We needed to clear up datasets from 15 years, which was fairly a problem.”

That was one of many the reason why one out of three go-live moments was delayed by six months. “Initially, we have been alleged to go dwell with the final piece of transition in October 2022, however we needed to ensure every thing was proper,” she mentioned. “Knowledge high quality defines how briskly you may stabilise processes and ship correct assist to the business. As a result of we delayed the migration, we have been in a position to obtain the next automated migration charge and went dwell with a large quantity of operations in a clean method.”

KPN shared key classes from the cloud transformation in a number of classes at Oracle CloudWorld 2023. Moreover change administration and construction and methodology, Bell identified the significance of assist from the board members.

“You’ll run into conditions the place customers need to stick with their very own customisations,” mentioned Sumina. “Three of our six board members have been actually proudly owning the transformation programme, driving choices and securing the route we took. That assist is required to maneuver ahead in difficult moments.”

In a migration of this magnitude, every thing is interlinked, and making sturdy cross-string alignment can also be mandatory. “We concerned particular useful customers, in addition to technical consultants, that sat collectively to determine what was logical and what modifications wanted to be applied,” she mentioned. “There have been fierce discussions at that desk, however you must cater for that in your governance.”

However maybe a very powerful lesson for KPN is that these sorts of transformations are virtually inconceivable to do alone. “The success can’t be attributed to KPN, or to Oracle, or to Deloitte; it was the collaboration and synergy that made this a successful business transformation,” mentioned Bell. “At one level, you couldn’t even inform who was Oracle, who was KPN and who was Deloitte. Everybody shared the identical view and aim. It was very arduous work to get to that time, nevertheless it proved paramount for fulfillment.”

Exploring synthetic intelligence 

Now that KPN’s IT panorama has been modernised and the corporate has technologically prepped for the longer term, there may be room to consider the subsequent steps.

“We’re exploring the subsequent degree of automation for particular processes and the event of superior fashions of forecasting,” mentioned Sumina. “And regardless that AI is just not new to us, we’re conscious that our transformation has significantly elevated potentialities, which we will leverage additional in time.”

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