A presentation made by Gwen Edwards, Digis Squared Marketing Director, at GSMA HQ, London, as part of an exclusive briefing on 17th November 2022.
Please find the link to a pdf of her slides, with extra notes, here.
Digis Squared will be in Hall 7 at GSMA MWC23 in Barcelona, exhibition stand 7B23, part of the UK Pavilion, managed by Tradefair.
About this exclusive briefing
The briefing, on 17th November 2022, was aimed at helping UK companies exhibiting or visiting MWC/4YFN 2023 to maximise their presence and optimise their RoI at MWC Barcelona 2023.
The event was jointly hosted by Tradefair and XL Communications in partnership with the GSM Association and the UK Department for International Trade, at the new GSMA HQ in London, 17th November 2022.
Presentations were also made by Chris Bignell Director at XL Communications Ltd, Peter Jarich Head of GSMA Intelligence, Nick Spencer Head of Marketing & Event Content at GSMA, William Neil Director of Sales MWC & GSMA Intelligence, and Mark Birchall MD of Tradefair.
Riyadh, KSA – The Digis Squared Team met last week with the Ministry of Investment in KSA, and initiated the process to open a new business and offices in Riyadh.
Digis Squared, the UK-based managed services, system integration and telecoms consulting specialists, continues its business expansion, and initiates the process to open a new business and offices in Riyadh, in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. With a London HQ, Technology and Global Customer Support Centre in Cairo, and businesses in Luanda, Angola, and Dubai, UAE, this fifth new company is a significant milestone in the sixth year of business.
Ziad Khalil, Co-Founder & CEO, said “This is a key strategic region for Digis Squared. I am delighted to meet with the Ministry of Investment and progress our plans to open a new office here in Riyadh.”
“This milestone will enrich and expand our current business in Riyadh and supports our Tier 1 CSP clients in the region”, shared Yasser Elsabrouty, Co-Founder and KSA Managing Director. “As we deliver on our plans to open a new company and our own offices here in Saudi, the Digis Squared team will deepen its local investment, and expand our existing capabilities.”
“This step is another key delivery against our GTM strategy, and we are on target to achieve a doubling of our market share in the region,” shared Mohamed Hamdy, CCO.
About Digis Squared
Managed Services, System Integration & Consulting. We transform telecom networks, deploy new technologies, and manage vendors, for network operators, service providers and regulators. Apply our vendor-agnostic expertise, automated AI-led tools and processes to transform your technical and commercial capabilities. We work with agility, deep experience, and our in-house cognitive tools to optimise and manage multi-vendor networks across all technologies. Headquartered in the UK, Digis Squared has offices in Angola, Egypt and UAE.
“The Digis Squared team are pleased to be sponsoring the live platform for the UK 5G Showcase event, enabling even more people globally to join this sold-out event,” shared Marketing Director Gwen Edwards. “We welcome the opportunity to meet in-person with other innovators and leaders in the 5G, Open RAN and Private Networks sector. We’ll be happy to discuss some of the System Integration and Interoperability Testing work we are undertaking for our clients.”
If you would like to arrange a dedicated time to talk with the team, please get in touch, firstname.lastname@example.org
The UK’s 5G Showcase – Realising the transformative potential of 5G, 22nd to 23rd March 2022, Birmingham, UK. Organised by CW (Cambridge Wireless) on behalf of 5GUK and The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS). The UK’s 5G Showcase conference and exhibition is a two-day event aimed at senior change-makers and decision-makers from industry, the investment community, government, industry and the public sector from the UK and across the globe.
Discover more about the event, and access it for free online, here.
Digis Squared, independent telecoms expertise.
We transform telecom networks, deploy new technologies, and manage vendors, for operators, service providers and regulators.
Apply our expertise, automated AI-led tools and processes to transform your technical and commercial capabilities. We work with agility, deep experience, and our in-house cognitive tools to optimise and manage multi-vendor networks across all technologies. With Private Network, 5G and OpenRAN deployment expertise and tools, we are ready to support UK 5G deployment.
“Connecting the world. As the UK expands its investment in STEM sectors, these firms are developing cutting-edge technology and building new ways to stay connected.”
This text is taken from a post by Business Insider / Insider Studios, which lists Digis Squared, what3words, CommAgility, pureLiFi and Speechmatics as five of the most innovative UK telecoms and technology firms. Read their full article here.
The telecoms and technology industries are likely to keep up their rapid rate of expansion over the next decade. This presents an opportunity for investment and development in the companies that are driving progress forward.
These 5 UK-based firms are highly innovative in their fields, from using light to enable wireless internet, to deploying artificial intelligence (AI), to removing bias in speech recognition. These are the companies whose pioneering technology will capitalize on an increasingly connected world.
Digis Squared enables telecom operators and communications service providers to optimize, upgrade, manage, and enhance their networks. Its clients include the likes of Vodafone, Telefónica, and Telecom Egypt, and it has offices in the UK, Egypt, and Dubai — as well as a new site in Luanda, Angola, which opened in October.
“Our new office in Luanda will on-board a team of over 40 engineers providing managed services for the entire Africell Angola network,” Mohamed Hamdy, the company’s chief commercial officer, said. The new office will also support “the commercial launch of [Africell Angola’s] new network to the public in 2022.”
Africa is a huge market for the firm, which also plans to open a new facility in Saudi Arabia in 2022. Key priorities for the year include expanding its footprint in its target markets and doubling its revenue. The rollout of 5G — and planning for 6G deployment — means the need for communication technology is likely to dramatically increase in both scale and complexity. This will lead to increased demand for Digis Squared’s services over the next five to 10 years, according to CEO Ziad Khalil.
“The ability for our business to work internationally is vital — communication is both constrained and unlimited by boundaries,” Hamdy added. “Digis Squared was set up as a multi-country operation and international trade has been at the heart of our approach right from the start. Working with DIT has been a key pillar of this.”
As new technology and demand for innovation leap forward, new ways to communicate will also need to accelerate. An international approach for telecoms and tech companies is crucial, and with support from the public sector to build relationships and provide investment, there is a bright future ahead.
Differentiation through operational excellence. ◦ Ahmed Zein, Digis Squared Co-Founder and Chief Operations & Delivery Officer, shares his experience and thoughts on the vital role the Operations function plays in differentiating your business. Plus, as his new Managed Services team gets ready for the commercial launch of a network, he shares insights into key areas of current focus.
Differentiation and success
What differentiates leading organizations from their less successful rivals? More often than not, it comes down to how they manage their Operations. No matter how great the business strategy, or how large the investment, the Operations Team, the efficiency and customer experience they can achieve, can ultimately determine which business wins and who is left behind.
A workplace philosophy where problem-solving, teamwork, and leadership are core to the way people work together and collaborate, results in the continuous improvement of an organization,” shared Ahmed. “Focusing consistently on the customers’ needs, keeping employees positive and empowered, and continually improving the current activities in the workplace to deliver a better outcome in the future – all of this requires energy and commitment. However, this is a virtuous circle of improvement – keep doing it, and you’ll keep improving, the more energy and commitment you put in, the bigger the improvement you’ll get out.
There are five key areas I’ll be focussing on with the Digis Squared team during this phase. Working together, the team in the Digis Squared Delivery and Operations Centre in Luanda, backed up with staff in our Technology and Customer Support Centre in Cairo, will ensure an on-schedule, optimised network launch, and maintain smooth operational performance throughout.
One: Preparing the Squad
As with any project we work on, preparing the squad for this mission is our top priority. Designing a complete program, and establishing a high achieving attitude and sports-behaviour in the team and its structure, help us all to succeed. The squad needs a dynamic attitude to problem-solving, and an ambitious target to achieve success together.
With all our projects, we carefully consider the specific skills, experience and expertise we need. In recruiting the squad it’s also critical to our success together that we have a strong and aligned sense of purpose, and a strong fit with the Digis Squared culture and sports-team ethos. It’s vitally important to the way in which we operate that we work together as a squad – we help each other, we share knowledge, we learn from and help each other. It’s about both leadership and personal accountability, as well as knowledge sharing. In an area as complex as network technology, almost all issues can only be solved by working together, asking questions, and listening to the experience and ideas of others. We achieve and learn more together.
And this is one of the key differences between Operational Efficiency and Operational Excellence. Efficiency focuses only on how things are done, and doing them better – faster, cheaper, fewer errors, continuous improvement. These are the basics. But Operational Excellence is far wider, it aims to create a culture within the team and company that is conducive to efficient and sustainable long-term growth. The strongly aligned sense of purpose, solving problems and succeeding together as a squad, that is vital to achieving Operational Excellence.
Two: Multi-Vendor Management
Vendor management is not as simple as monitoring a mathematical set of KPIs, and a lengthy document filled with SLA words. As a team, we know that the success of any operations is reliant on sound relationships, and clear communications. The Digis Squared way is to always try and bridge the gaps in understanding, to clarify discussions, to identify a mis-fit in technologies, or a gap within a contract and resolve misunderstandings before they become problematic – and critically, to propose a solution.
Yes, of course we report on KPIs, and when an SLA isn’t being hit,but we also work hard to bridge that gap between the vendor and the operator. We work hard to build connections with the vendor’s teams, and work collaboratively together, running user acceptance tests and handovers across all domains.
Three: Performance & Field Management through NOC
Digis Squared’s Managed Services will ensure we achieve full monitoring of the network, corrective and preventive maintenance, network configuration and change management. All of this will be accomplished with operational excellence strategies by improving network availability, maintaining all network KPIs, enhancing quality of service to end customers, improving customer experience and reducing operating cost, as well as capitalizing on network automation and automating all automatable network procedures, across both front and back-office activities.
One of the most important KPIs in Managed Services contracts is the focus on Network Performance KPIs as one of the most important goals. Digis Squared’s cognitive tools are used to provide active monitoring of the network. We use INOS for drive testing, and there are plenty of recent blogs about that! [See list at end of blog.]
Digis-One is a key tool for any Operations team. We typically passively monitor the network performance using Digis-One, our cognitive, multi-vendor, multi-technology Unified Fault Management (UFM) solution delivering centralized dashboard and alarming monitoring system for the Front and Back Office Teams. Digis-One facilitates all systems/interfaces monitoring, in addition to automating the most time-critical manual work, including automated generation and assignment of Trouble Tickets to the team responsible for solving the network issue. Digis-One delivers a significant impact on SLAs and Mean Time to Repair.
Generally, when undertaking a Managed Services contract, field maintenance is one of the top priorities. Responsive teams on the ground undertake corrective and preventive actions across the network, fixing issues before they become a problem. The Operations Squad assess KPIs, and proactively lead the way to ensuring improved customer experience. Working together, this delivers efficiency, expansion and business success.
The field maintenance service will utilise available data (network, environment, events etc.) and our cognitive tools to schedule preventive maintenance plans and optimise resource utilisation. Mindful of the various contractual SLAs and targets, together, I field maintenance and NOC teams will ensure complete coordination and alignment for all field and site access activities.
Four: Clear Change Management
A newly launched network encounters a lot of dynamic changes and interactions across all domains. I’ve experienced the dynamic situations new network deployments encounter many times before, and know that creative thinking, sound analytical practices and strong teamwork can together solve the issues which will arise. Actively managing and considering the sequence of changes require deep consideration and experience. Careful planning is needed to consider how unforeseen risks or incidents will be handled, what processes will be followed, and how unplanned changes will be addressed.
We’re at a really exciting stage of this project. Combining the skills, expertise and experience of our staff, and our AI-led tools and processes, we’re confident the squad we are building will deliver differentiation through operational excellence.
Five: Application Development Management
As a greenfield mobile network, benefits from the high demands and expectations of the commercial teams to launch ambitious, state of the art products & services to the market, pushing at the competitive and technological edge of possibilities.
With this in mind, the Digis Squared team believe it is important to bring the concept of Application Development Management, ADM, with a DevOps flavour to this Managed Service contract. Merging the development and IT/BSS operations, the goal of our ADM team is to reduce the time between a system needed development or change and its deployment into the production environments. In turn, this reflects on and enhances the time to market to materialize a commercial requirement into a real technical output, deployed on the product IT/VAS nodes. To put that another way, we’ll be using ADM techniques to develop, test and deploy rapid, noticeable improvements in an ongoing continuous loop, perhaps even before the end customer notices there was ever an issue.
Working in this way, as a DevOps team, both the development staff, and the staff in charge of operations, are in deep communication with each other – they are ONE team! There is enhanced cross-knowledge and collaboration between the developers and IT operations, assessing and solving issues together, and a more seamless workflow that eliminates sizeable knowledge silo’s which are found in traditional models. The result is the smooth deployment of technology, such as software and updates in the safest, most reliable way possible.
Differentiation through operational excellence
It’s an exciting time for the Digis Squared team globally, and we’re ready for this. It’s great to work with clients with clear ambitions, and high targets for excellence. Sharing knowledge, ensuring utilisation of cognitive systems and clear processes, building a superb team. We’re working closely with our client and the other partners to ensure this new network achieves commercial success, and one of the secrets in how we will achieve that together is with differentiation through operational excellence.
In conversation with Ahmed Zein, Digis Squared Co-Founder and Chief Operations & Delivery Officer.
Mobile World Congress, the world’s most influential conference and exhibition for the connectivity industry is back!
“The Digis Squared team will be in Barcelona at the end of February, meeting clients and partners, and demonstrating solutions on our biggest stand to date, in Hall 7,” shared Ziad Khalil, Digis Squared CEO. “Our tech team will be providing demos on live network optimisation, capacity planning and other cognitive-operations tools, and more.”
“We’re excited to be attending an in-person event again. We’re reassured by the measures the GSMA and Catalan Government have put in place, and are grateful for the support of the UK Department of International Trade. We’ll be doing everything we can to put our clients at ease as we meet with them in Barcelona.”
For those not travelling to Spain, or if the MWC situation changes, we are always happy to arrange private demos and discussions online, just get in touch and we can arrange that for you.
“2021 has been a year of significant milestones for the Digis Squared team,” shared Ziad Khalil, Digis Squared’s Co-Founder and CEO. “As the end of the year approaches, we send our gratitude and thanks to our customers and partners for their continued collaboration, and trust in us. As our business continues to grow, we know that our people, and the people we work with are absolutely vital to our success. We succeed together!”
+3 New Cloud-based AI-assisted tools launched.
To enhance our existing suite of cloud-based, AI-led, and vendor-independent tools – INOS suite for drive testing and field optimization, and IPM cloud-based performance management solution – in 2021 we developed and launched Digis-One, a cloud-native Unified Fault Management platform, UCM an AI-assisted cloud solution for Unified Configuration Management, and Digis-Capacity, our ML & AI capacity management tool. Further new tools and enhancements are planned in early 2022, as we continue to invest in our market-leading multi-vendor, multi-technology solutions.
We increased the number of global Digis Squared offices, and doubled the number of regional offices with the addition of a new facility in Luanda. Digis Squared now have offices in UK, Cairo, UAE and Angola.
+3 New strategic partnerships.
As a part of our technology-oriented System Integration, and through new strategic partnerships, we are now ready to introduce to our telco customers E2E use cases covering 5G standalone, private networks, Open RAN, IOT & support for public cloud adoption. Public partnership announcements: We have been recognized by Intel Corporation and awarded Intel Winner’s Circle Membership.
+44 Increased our global team.
With recruitment to support new contracts in the Middle East in our Dubai office at the start of the year, and significant recruitment in our new offices in Angola in the last quarter, in addition to growth in the teams in the Technology & Support Centre in Cairo, it has been an immensely busy year for the HR team and everyone involved in recruiting and onboarding new staff. (If you’re interested in working with us, all our current roles are here.)
CEO Ziad Khalil says, “As a relatively young company, reaching the Year 5 milestone is an immense achievement, and something to celebrate. As a fully self-funded, profitable business, the founders are proud and thankful to have achieved this success. We know this is only possible because of the hard work and dedication of the entire team, and the trust our clients and partners continue to place in us. As a leadership team, we are mindful that the growth we are experiencing now is also an ambitious time for any business to navigate – we are working carefully to ensure our systems and processes scale, and our culture remains strong. We work flexibly and with care, always looking to improve, and acting with integrity. We can be counted on to deliver what we promised, and always focussing on delivering commercial value to our clients.”
Looking ahead to 2022
CTO AbdelRahman Fady shared, “All our state of the art software and solutions are future proof, cognitive, cloud-native, and with 5G support, ensuring that we provide independent, vendor-agnostic solutions for our clients. Our 2022 development schedule is ambitious, and there will be drops of new capabilities delivered as part of our agile development process. A number of our clients have early access already to some of our new capabilities, and their feedback is helping us refine further enhancements before we push them out on general availability. This development work is vital to keep pace with the constantly evolving issues we see as network interactions become more complex.”
CCO Mohamed Hamdy said, “2022 is already looking like a big commercial year for us. We have new clients coming on board, and extensions to existing contracts – a great mix! And, fingers crossed, at the end of February, we will get the chance to meet in real life at GSMA Mobile World Congress, where our exhibition stand will have live connectivity to our AI-led tools. If you want to see a live demo of network optimisation whilst you’re in Barcelona, drop by or get in touch to book a dedicated meeting!”
“I am very proud of the team and solutions we have built, and the difference we are making to the people and networks we manage and enhance,” CEO Ziad concluded. “To everyone who has contributed to Digis Squared’s significant milestones and projects this year, thank you! To the team, partners and clients we work with in the year ahead, we are ready, let’s help make your mobile network work, better.”
Managed Services from Digis Squared will maximise mobile network efficiency and give Africell’s customers in Angola an outstanding user experience.
November 2021: Africell Angola has awarded Digis Squared a multi-year contract to provide end to end Managed Services to support the launch of Africell’s new network in Angola. In this article, Africell Angola CEO Christopher Lundh and CTIO Faissal Abdallah discuss the partnership with Digis Squared’s CCO, Mohamed Hamdy, and explain why it will contribute to the success of Africell’s launch in Angola.
Optimising digital connectivity
The multi-year contract will see Africell Angola benefiting from Digis Squared’s end to end Managed Services capabilities, covering Radio, Core, BSS, VAS and Field.
“Digis Squared’s tools will help our systems work smartly and efficiently”, says Christopher Lundh, CEO of Africell Angola. “We have been impressed by Digis Squared’s commitment to transferring skills to local staff, a goal which aligns with our own, and we are confident in their experience of multi-vendor systems. It is exciting to have Digis Squared join our new network team.”
“We thank Africell Angola for the trust they have invested in us with this significant commitment”, said Mohamed Hamdy, CCO of Digis Squared. “The contract for Managed Services will enable the new Africell Angola network to launch smoothly and undertake a successful rollout of solutions to customers. Digis Squared’s resources, AI assisted tools, and processes will ensure Africell Angola’s end-to-end services perform at their peak. With our support, Africell’s customers in Angola will be able to experience a revolution in network excellence and performance.”
Supporting Africell’s mission in Angola
Africell Angola’s mission is simple: to help Angola grow by providing innovative, affordable and reliable mobile services.
“The telecoms sector is key to the future success of Angola,” explains Christopher Lundh, “and we will play a big part in this success. Our team of staff and suppliers is tasked with building a network that excites customers, keeps pace with new technologies, and fulfils our vision of leading a digital transformation in Angola.”
Africell Angola’s CTIO Faissal Abdallah added, “The technical solutions we deploy now will form the backbone of the systems we use for decades ahead. Making sure that the complex web of systems deployed can work together seamlessly and resiliently is vital if Africell Angola is to be a network which delivers innovation, affordability and reliability over the long term – working in this new partnership with Digis Squared will enable us to achieve that.”
Africell Angola selects Digis Squared for in-building coverage optimisation
Digis Squared have also been entrusted with an additional contract for Africell in Angola, handling in-building coverage optimisation. In this workstream, Digis Squared will utilise their AI assisted tools including Digis One, INOS, and iPM solutions. Developed in-house by Digis Squared, these tools deliver intelligent, automated testing, benchmarking and analysis platform for network operators and service providers, delivering drive testing (DT), in-building solution (IBS) capability, end to end IoT system testing, as well as Unified Performance and Fault Management and much more, whilst decreasing both the time taken to complete the work and OpEx cost. These AI-led tools are ideally suited to analysing and optimising multi-vendor, multi-technology network implementations, including 5G.
“The contract for in-building coverage optimisation is significant to Digis Squared. When considered alongside our Managed Services contract, it shows that there is real momentum in our southern Africa business operations,” said Mohamed Hamdy. “It’s an exciting time for Digis Squared, and we are grateful to all our clients for the faith they have shown in selecting us. The team are excited to apply their skills, tools and experience to benefit Africell Angola and their clients.”
In partnership with Africell, Digis Squared aims to develop and enhance the capability of local engineers and other technical professionals, increasing their skills and experience. The target is to create a significant number of skilled jobs in the local Angola telecoms market. Says Mohamed Hamdy: “This is a key part of how we work. Digis Squared is committed to developing local employees who can benefit from our international multi-technology and multi-vendor experience and form a vibrant and capable cohort of local engineers in Luanda”.
About Africell: a fast-growing mobile operator with a pan-African footprint Africell provides mobile network coverage and related technology services to more than 12 million subscribers in sub-Saharan Africa. In January 2021 Africell won a competitive international tender process for a telecommunications license in Angola. Africell will launch mobile network services in Angola 2022.
These two new contracts between Africell Angola and Digis Squared follow the recent Digis Squared announcement of new offices in Luanda. With business continuing to expand across central and southern Africa, the new Digis Squared office space in Luanda will serve as a regional hub and give the growing Digis Squared team a Covid-19 secure space to meet clients and collaborate with colleagues.
In conversation with CEO and Founder Ziad Khalil, we discuss how Digis Squared’s new office in Angola supports business expansion across southern Africa.
Digis Squared Ltd, the UK-based managed services, system integration and telecoms consulting specialists, continues the expansion of its global footprint with the opening of new offices in Luanda, Angola this month. This latest announcement builds on solid business growth at Digis Squared, and enhances support to clients in the southern region of Africa.
Digis Squared’s London HQ, and Technology & Customer Support Centre in Cairo now have over 180 staff, an increasing team in the Dubai office opened in December, plus additional staff in-country embedded in clients’ offices in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The announcement today builds on the celebrations of Digis Squared’s fifth year in business, and their #WeAre5 campaign.
Ziad Khalil, CEO and Founder at Digis Squared, shared his insights into why the business is investing here in Angola, now,
“Our clients and partners have demonstrated their trust in the Digis Squared team and our capabilities, and as our commitment in the region continues to expand, this is reflected in our new investment in Angola. With increasing numbers of significant engagements locally, and across Africa, now is the time for Digis Squared to invest and open a new office in Luanda.”
With business continuing to expand across central and southern Africa, the new office space in Luanda will provide a regional hub, and ensure that the growing Digis Squared team has a Covid-19 secure space to meet clients, and collaborate in-person safely.
“2021 continues to be another year of significant success and growth for the Digis Squared team. The work we undertook for clients in 2020 addressed massive changes in mobile network demand caused by the pandemic, re-dimensioning and optimising network performance,” commented Ziad.
“This significant investment in new offices in Luanda, strengthens our commitment to clients in Angola and across the southern Africa region. The facilities will enable our local team to provide enhanced support to new and extended contracts, as our business continues to expand.”
“As 2022 approaches, and new technology deployments continue at pace, this location is ideally situated to deliver further business expansion and enhanced presence in the region for Digis Squared,” Ziad added. “This investment strengthens the local support and capabilities we can deliver to our clients and staff, and demonstrates our commitment to them.”
In conversation with Ziad Khalil, Digis Squared CEO and Founder.
Digis Squared team Key Account Manager Ahmed Ma’moon, CCO Mohamed Hamdy, and Co-Founder and Chief Business Development Officer Yasser Elsabrouty outside the new offices in Luanda, Angola, here on LinkedIn
Digis Squared social media and blog banner image: Mohamed Hamdy
The Digis Squared team has recently achieved a huge milestone of delivering one thousand hours of client training. As we share our congratulations, we asked Amr Ashraf from the Training Team to talk about who we train and how – including solving real network issues on the courses, that students can immediately fix – and any tips he can share about capturing people’s attention on long zoom calls.
Structured training for maximum flexibility
“Clients often have a mixture of highly experienced and new staff wanting to attend our courses,” said Amr. “My colleague Ahmed Ma’moon will work with the client’s HR team to assess existing knowledge. Together, they develop a tailored program to ensure that everyone ultimately reaches the same level, by providing specific courses to ensure gaps are filled. So, for example, before attending a 5G course, Ahmed will help to determine who needs to first cover specific elements of our 4G courses.”
“We work with HR departments to understand skills and knowledge, bringing everyone up to the same speed, so that each person joins the program at the level which is right for them. Then, they can progress through the courses until they acquire the knowledge and skills they need for their role. As their role changes and adapts in the future, we often return and provide more training, picking up from where they completed their previous training. This structured program is efficient and flexible.”
And it’s not just the technical ops teams that attend Digis Squared’s courses. “Technology in the telecoms sector continues to evolve and move rapidly. It’s really important that senior staff continue to maintain and enhance their knowledge of new technologies. They need to keep pace with new skills and capabilities so that they can make critical investment and vendor decisions.”
Solving real-life network problems as part of the training
“HR staff often tell me that their teams prefer our courses, and certainly, once we start working with a team, they will continue to ask Digis Squared back to provide more and more training. One of the key reasons clients chose training from us is the way in which we approach the practical training. We work hard to ensure that everyone acquires some special experience of how the technology behaves and works in the real world. So, as we are teaching a specific topic, we will also consider and learn more about how their own network and unique configuration behaves. We don’t just teach how to code the solution, we teach how to tune it, and what to watch out for, what additional points to consider and how to monitor for issues once their solution is live.”
Typically, these in-depth, tailored training courses run over 10 to 15 days, and as well as providing extensive theoretical training, those receiving training also apply their new knowledge to specific practical issues the client is facing in their network – the teams immediately put their newly acquired knowledge to work, and gain a deeper, hands-on experience under the training team’s guidance.
As part of Digis Squared’s commercial work, our teams are constantly working with multi-vendor solutions across all our clients. Amr explains, “We have seen and experienced almost all systems and combinations of vendor systems at one point or another. We know inside and out the differences between different vendor solutions, and specific features and issues to look for. This experience is not something you can read about in books, you can only acquire it by experiencing it, or working alongside others who have.”
Training during the pandemic
In the past all of this training was delivered on site and in person. How has this changed with the pandemic?
“Of course, everything switched swiftly to online training in 2020. With such technical training, it’s more difficult for everyone to maintain concentration. Plus, there is not always enough bandwidth to maintain a video connection, and not everyone wants to keep their camera on. I think we are all very aware of personal boundaries now.”
So what tips can you share for capturing people’s attention on long zoom calls?
“Try to ensure a two-way exchange of information, and ensure it’s a dynamic conversation – sometimes if all the cameras are off I can feel as if I am talking on a radio broadcast for a moment, but then I will ask a question and the interactions are started again. I really love teaching, but doing everything online, well, it has really given me a great appreciation of the work teachers have done during this time, teaching all their students online – I really admire both the teachers and students who have done this.”
“In general, teaching and delivering training online, I would say it’s more difficult to be sure that everyone has understood each point. Whenever I can, I switch away from using slides. I will draw things out on the digital whiteboard instead, even if I have a prepared slide for the same point – drawing it out is often more memorable, and somehow it also encourages people to ask more questions.”
Teaching with real-life issues grabs the attention
“On Digis Squared’s courses, most of the time, we are teaching based on real cases in the client’s network wherever we can, trying to solve relevant problems they have encountered in their own network. This definitely grabs people’s attention! By working together in this way, we can solve many cases they have in their own network. So it’s not just a training course, it’s also a live problem-solving opportunity, and we exercise our knowledge and new problem-solving muscles during the training.”
“Naturally, sometimes, there are problems which are too complex to answer during the training, and we need to solve them with more time, resources or expertise. For these bigger issues, the Digis Squared team can assist as part of our consultancy work, if the client wants us to. Those on the training course have a far greater understanding of the complexity of these issues, and a deep trust in our ability to solve them.”
Comprehensive reference material
“We deliver Digs Squared training courses in English or Arabic. When we teach in-person we provide all the students with a printed copy of all of the materials and notes. Sometimes our suitcases can be very heavy with all this paper! I think this approach is worthwhile though, as the students can then add their own notes and examples, and extra elements they learn from the conversation and problem-solving sessions.”
“When taught online, students get a full digital copy, and can add their own notes, images of my sketches, and other material to their digital file. This, combined with all the real-life network issues we consider and solve during the course, ensures they have a really comprehensive reference for the future.”
Celebrating one thousand hours of training to clients!
This blog post was written in conversation with Amr Ashraf, 5G, LTE RAN and Software Solution Architect and Trainer at Digis Squared.
Amr recently achieved a huge milestone of delivering one thousand hours of training to clients, and we celebrate his success! Amr joined Digis Squared in 2018, and started delivering training in September 2019. Since then he has delivered 30 in-depth courses for clients. He has travelled extensively across the Middle East and Africa, delivering courses at the client’s premises, on a wide range of specific subjects in telecoms, and radio.