Staff Augmentation for Effective Project Delivery & Operations

Staff augmentation has become a popular strategy for delivering projects effectively while positively impacting project financials. This approach offers businesses the flexibility to scale their workforce up or down based on project needs, bring in specialized skills for short-term requirements, and optimize costs. 

Using Staff Augmentation for Effective Project Delivery & Operations 

1. Flexibility in Scaling:

Staff augmentation allows companies to quickly scale their team size according to project requirements. This flexibility ensures that projects can be handled efficiently without the need to hire full-time employees for short-term needs.

2. Access to Specialized Skills:

By leveraging staff augmentation services, organizations can access specialized skills and expertise that may not be available in-house. This is especially beneficial for projects that require niche capabilities or temporary support in specific areas.

3. Cost-Effectiveness:

One of the key benefits of staff augmentation is its cost-effectiveness. Rather than bearing the overhead costs associated with full-time employees, businesses can utilize external resources on a project-basis, reducing overall expenses.

4. Faster Project Delivery:

With the ability to quickly onboard additional resources through staff augmentation, projects can be completed faster and more efficiently. This accelerated turnaround time can lead to increased client satisfaction and competitive advantage.

Positive Impact on Project Financials

1. Reduced Overhead Costs:

Staff augmentation allows companies to avoid the costs associated with hiring and retaining full-time employees, such as salaries, benefits, training, and infrastructure. This cost-saving element directly impacts project financials positively.

2. Improved Budget Control:

By only paying for the resources utilized during the project duration, organizations can better control their project budgets. This results in more accurate cost estimation and allocation, reducing the risk of budget overruns.

3. Enhanced ROI:

With staff augmentation, businesses can allocate resources where they are most needed, optimizing project efficiency and ROI. The ability to access specialized skills and scale teams as required contributes to a higher return on investment for projects.

4. Mitigation of Employee-related Risks:

Engaging external resources through staff augmentation helps mitigate risks associated with full-time employees, such as turnover, training costs, and legal responsibilities. This risk mitigation positively impacts project financial stability.

The Future of Staff Augmentation Business

1. Continued Growth:

As businesses seek flexible workforce solutions and specialized expertise, the demand for staff augmentation services is expected to grow. This trend is fueled by the need for agility, cost-efficiency, and access to diverse talent pools.

2. Emphasis on Technology Integration:

The future of staff augmentation will involve a greater emphasis on technology integration, automation, and AI-driven solutions. This shift aims to enhance service quality, streamline processes, and deliver better value to clients.

3. Global Talent Pool Access:

Staff augmentation providers will increasingly tap into global talent pools, offering organizations access to a broader range of skills and capabilities. This globalized approach enables businesses to leverage diverse expertise regardless of geographic limitations.

4. Focus on Compliance and Security:

With data privacy regulations and cybersecurity concerns on the rise, the future of staff augmentation will prioritize compliance and security measures. Providers will invest in robust safeguards to protect client data and ensure regulatory adherence.

In conclusion, staff augmentation is a strategic approach that enables organizations to deliver projects effectively, optimize project financials, and adapt to evolving business demands. As the workforce landscape evolves, the future of staff augmentation businesses will be shaped by technology integration, global talent sourcing, and a steadfast commitment to compliance and security.

Eagle Eye: Revolutionizing Mobile Network Testing with INOS

Introduction

In the world of mobile network testing, efficiency and accuracy are crucial for optimizing network performance. The “Eagle Eye” feature in INOS is a powerful tool that enables users to analyze large data sets in logfiles, extracting valuable insights through geofencing. This feature facilitates data-driven decision-making for network optimization.

Unveiling “Eagle Eye”

The “Eagle Eye” feature in INOS allows users to effortlessly search through logfiles containing millions of samples, making it a reality. Unlike the traditional method that required meticulous effort in recalling file names, dates, and locations, “Eagle Eye” offers an intuitive solution. Users can define their area of interest using geofencing, and the feature retrieves all relevant data within that area, saving both time and effort.

Figure 1

Optimizing Search Results

“Eagle Eye” offers various settings to streamline the search process, allowing users to optimize and narrow down their results efficiently. These settings include:

  • Time Aggregation: Users can pick time granularity (hourly, weekly, or monthly) to analyze data over specific periods, aiding trend identification.
  • Distance Aggregation: Users can set the desired distance aggregation for a detailed location-based network performance analysis.
  • Operator MNC/MCC: Users can filter their search results based on specific Mobile Network Code (MNC) and Mobile Country Code (MCC).
  • KPI Selection: Users can choose the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) they wish to extract from the logfiles.
  • Date Range and Time Clustering: Users can set a date range and cluster data in time to better understand network performance changes in specific periods.

Interpreting the Results

Once the search parameters are set, “Eagle Eye” presents users with an interactive map accompanied by a timeline.

Figure-2

“Eagle Eye” offers a user-friendly visual representation for easy navigation, providing insights into network performance across locations and timeframes. It also includes benchmark tables and histogram charts for comparative analysis and trend identification.

Use Case Scenarios

The application of “Eagle Eye” in INOS extends to various use cases like;

  • Pre-action Network Assessment
  • Performance Benchmarking
  • Team Performance Assessment
  • Investment Impact analysis
Figure-3
Figure-4

Conclusion

“Eagle Eye” in INOS is a game-changer for mobile network testing, with geofencing, result optimization, and visual representations that empower efficient insights extraction. It enhances decision-making, network performance, and operational excellence in mobile network testing.

Transforming lives: Insights from new network launches in Angola & Yemen

Transforming lives: This blog post provides a transcript of, and images from, the presentation made in the main auditorium at MWC Africa by Gwen Edwards, Marketing Director at Digis Squared. Presented in the Network Modernisation session on Day One of the conference, 25th October 2022.

The presentation focuses on two key Digis Squared Managed Services projects.

Also available as a standalone white paper.

MWC Africa 2022 – Network Modernisation session

Main auditorium, Kigali Convention Centre, Day One of the inaugural MWC Africa.

“With the ever-evolving and rapid advancements in technology, network transformation will be key for delivering next generation services. How are communication service providers across Africa, enhancing their capabilities to offer seamless connectivity and better digital experiences to their customers? How are they utilising cloud, virtualisation and AI to address the challenges of the region, from usage gap to decarbonisation? Join us as we answer some these questions, while also exploring Open RAN ambitions and the steps needed to prepare the network for web3.”

Transforming lives: Insights from new network launches in Angola & Yemen

Thank you, I’m delighted to join you here today.

I’ll be sharing insights into some of our recent projects transforming and launching new networks in Yemen and Angola, and how these projects are transforming lives.

About us

Digis Squared is an independent UK company, focused on Managed Services, System Integration, and Consulting.

We’re 6 years old, and our senior staff have worked in the telecoms sector for decades for vendors and operators.

We develop our own vendor-agnostic AI tools in-house, have strong processes, and about 200 staff across Africa and the Middle East.

And we’re the only non-Network Equipment Manufacturer delivering end-to-end Managed Services.

Similar, very different

The projects I’m sharing today focus on two operators, covering end-to-end managed services from pre-launch through to full launch and network operations.

Angola and Yemen have geographically challenging topography, plus their own logistical and societal complexities.

The projects are similar and very different.

Both projects delivered real change and transformed connectivity for communities.

Aden, Yemen

This is Aden, in the southern tip of Yemen, looking towards the Presidential Palace over on the left with the flag. Behind the white barriers in the centre is the football pitch.

Many of the photos I’m using today have been taken by our staff. We want to share with you a sense of place and insights into our projects and what we’ve achieved.

Yemen is complex

Before the conflict in Yemen, telecoms was second only to oil and gas in generating revenue and foreign currency for the government.

After almost 8 years of conflict, over 23 million people need humanitarian assistance, and
over 5 million are displaced.

In such a disrupted society, the need for reliable communications between families and communities is vital.

But, the networks supported only legacy 2G voice and text messages – no WhatsApp, no email, no search, no apps, no interconnect, and no roaming. With incredibly limited and patchy coverage, and significant network instability there was almost no mobile data, and even person-to-person calls were unreliable, making it very difficult to keep in contact with loved ones inside the country and internationally.

Difficult terrain

As part of the country’s re-construction mega-project, the Yemeni Government in Aden assigned 4G licenses to Y-Tel.

Digis Squared won a competitive tender and was selected to deliver the entire major transformation program. The old 2G legacy systems were dramatically upgraded to best-in-class, cloud-based solutions – 4G at launch, with 5G ready elements.

I’m worried I’ve made that sound easy! The local Digis Squared team on the ground in Yemen used our processes and AI tools to assess what was needed, and working together with our remote teams, they defined the strategy and services, co-ordinated and selected vendors, and managed contracts, logistics and warehousing. They used our smart network planning tools, managed the physical network rollout and optimization, the back and front office implementation, network commissioning and dimensioning, everything through to network operations. We worked together with Y-Tel, the Ministry of Telecommunications in Aden, and the GSMA to drive delivery of the new network.

As part of this huge program, we established a NOC in our Cairo GNOC to ensure operational excellence and resilience. And we continue to carefully balance local and remote skills by investing in on-site training for a new generation of Yemeni engineers.

Re-calibrating an over-used term: digital transformation

This project is huge.

We have entirely transformed the capability, stability and capacity available, and delivered every element of the new 4G network for Y-Tel.

The Digis Squared Operations Team in Yemen have been enormously committed to the project, working in very difficult environments, 24 hours a day to achieve key targets within specific windows.

I would like to publicly thank them and acknowledge the impact their work will have on connectivity between communities in Yemen.

In June this year, we completed the on schedule first call, and the first 4G data connection, and the first ever mobile video call in country. These are massive milestones for our client Y-Tel and the local Digis Squared Team in Aden.

It is hard for us now, in this room here in Kigali, to imagine or remember life without mobile connectivity. The certainty that you can phone a loved one, and so much more: the ability to place an order via your phone, to send a photo to a friend, to make a video call and check your Dad is ok – we take all of this for granted.

The impact the project will have on the people of Yemen is hard to express. This project in Yemen re-calibrates the term ‘digital transformation’. The connectivity we are delivering for Yemen will truly transform lives, and improve the functioning of society.

Be connected. Be fast.

The “first calls” made in June mark the start of network operations and pave the way for the phased roll-out of infrastructure and portfolio of customer services.

The Y-Tel pre-launch marketing campaign is underway, and focuses on simple, straightforward commitments: be connected, be fast.

As the only non-Network Equipment Manufacturer delivering end-to-end Managed Services for mobile networks, this project in Yemen is very significant for the Digis Squared team.

If we can do this in Yemen, we can do this anywhere.

Luanda, Angola

Turning now to the second half of the presentation: Angola on the southwest coast of Africa. A very different place, but with some surprising similarities in population size and age. Civil War-ravaged Angola for 27 years until it finally ended in 2002.

Africell’s mission

In January last year, 2021, Africell won a competitive international tender for a telecoms license. Their mission was simple: to provide innovative, affordable and reliable mobile services, and lead a digital transformation in Angola – a country which has experienced decades of stasis and under investment in the mobile sector.

Fast forward to November last year: after a competitive international tender, Africell awarded Digis Squared a multi-year contract to provide end to end Managed Services to support their launch.

We moved fast. We created a local legal entity, set up an office, and in just one month mobilised and hired forty-four engineers, from Angola locally and across Africa.

Digis Squared has worked with Africell Group in other OpCos – in DRC, Sierra Leone and The Gambia, plus Uganda in the past – delivering enhancements to radio, core and VAS.

In Angola the end to end Managed Services contract covers everything from field to full NOC, all aspects of Radio, Core, BSS, VAS and field managed services, across the entire brand new network.

In April this year, the Africell Angola 4G mobile network went commercially live. Within 6 months Africell Angola had over 5 million subscribers. This is a significant success together for Africell and Digis Squared, and a significant transformation in service for subscribers.

5G boost to economy & innovation

In July, just 4 months after launch, we supported Africell in publicly demo’ing 5G for the first time in Angola, reaching speeds of 1 gigabit per second. 

Angola has one of the most advanced economies in sub-Saharan Africa, and the future rollout of 5G and private networks has the potential to boost the economy, drive innovation, security and performance even further.

Working together, we are looking forward to enabling that future 5G transformational capability.

Connecting communities

Today, network rollout is progressing and soon Africell Angola will expand to include cities and regions outside Luanda.

This project has been technically complex in scale and ambition, but the impact on people’s lives, and the ability to deliver change is very real.

Mobile services in Angola have never been faster, lower cost or more reliable.

Making change happen, together

Africell launched services in Angola in April this year with a promise to shake up the telecoms sector and lead a nationwide digital transformation.

As the first new mobile operator in almost two decades, the introduction of fresh competition has already led to improved network quality and security, reduced prices and increased consumption, and is delivering benefits for digital inclusion, education and healthcare.

Whilst Digis Squared has worked in over 25 countries in Africa and the Middle East, this project was our first in Angola, a new country and culture for us, and Africell.

Investing in the local team, using our solid existing processes and automated AI tools, balancing expertise in country, with experienced staff in our other offices when needed, we’ve been successful in setting up and delivering quickly, and delivering on schedule.

Africell Angola promised to change and make change happen, and together, we’ve done that.  

Conclusion

And what have we learnt from these projects?

  • Working in an almost war-zone is hard, but can be done.
  • Finding balance between staff in country, and a remote GNOC helps ensure stability, robustness and continuity.
  • Clear focus on aligned mission, and trust in working together is vital to success.
  • Building strong local teams, and investing in and enhancing skills, competence development and training, is really important to the way in which we work, and a clear commitment from the Digis Squared team to the project, the client, and the country we are working in.
  • In such a competitive market we are the only non-Network Equipment Manufacturer delivering end to end Managed Services, covering preventive and corrective maintenance in the field, up to full NOC including core, billing, charging and VAS.

When we are driven by the power of connecting people, together we can achieve anything.

With thanks to Africell, and Y-Tel.

As presented by Gwen Edwards, Digis Squared’s Marketing Director, at MWC Africa 2022.

If you or your team would like to discover more about our Managed Services capabilities, please get in touch: use this link or email sales@DigisSquared.com

 

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Image credits

 

References

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.

Digis Squared ◦ Enabling smarter networks.

First ever mobile video call in Yemen, on 5G-ready Y-Tel network

In Yemen, even simple person-to-person 2G calls are unreliable – this first ever mobile video call, marks a colossal transformation, only 18 months after Y-Tel initiated this major transformation program with Digis Squared.

Aden, YEMEN – 15 June 2022 – Y-Tel has made the first call on in its new 5G-ready network in Yemen, and the first ever mobile video call in the country. This significant technical milestone marks the start of the leap from legacy 2G to transformed 5G-ready network operations, and heralds a new era of stable calls and mobile data for the first time for the Yemeni people.

After the war, and as part of the re-construction mega-project across the country, the Yemeni Government in Aden assigned 4G telecommunications licenses to Y-Tel. Previously, Y-Tel ran only a legacy 2G network for voice and SMS, which like all Yemeni networks suffered from very patchy coverage, and significant network instability.

Following a rigorous selection process, the entire Y-Tel network major transformation program – covering everything from the entire network planning and design, through to vendor selection, end-to-end Radio on-site rollout, network core infrastructure implementation and integration, through to network go-live, and operations – was assigned in its entirety to Digis Squared, including end-to-end Managed Services and System Integration. Working throughout the pandemic, the highly motivated teams have solved complex technical and logistical issues to transform all aspects of capability, to deliver a world-class 5G-ready network in Aden, Yemen, and in parallel managed the current 2G legacy network, to keep the limited existing capability going, and migrate the subscribers to the new secure network.

“This on schedule first call, plus first 4G data connection and first ever mobile video call in the country are significant and exciting program milestones for our client Y-Tel and the Digis Squared Team,” shared Digis Squared COO Ahmed Zein.

“The impact of this major program on the Yemeni people can not be overstated. This is a country where even person to person calls are very unreliable, where there is incredibly limited coverage and almost no mobile data, making it very difficult to keep in contact with loved ones in the country and internationally,” Zein continued. “Until you have lived and worked here it is hard to imagine or remember life without mobile connectivity. We over use the term ‘digital transformation’ in our industry; I simply cannot express the impact this project will have on the people here in Yemen. The ability to phone a loved one, to place an order with a company, to send a photo to a friend – the connectivity we are delivering will truly transform lives, and improve the functioning of society. The benefit this project will bring to the Yemeni people, starting with Aden, is colossal.”

“Digis Squared have completely replaced and upgraded the legacy infrastructure, entirely transforming the capability, stability and capacity available, and delivered every element of this network for Y-Tel”, explained Zein. “Starting from a blank piece of paper, we have handled everything from network design and architecture, vendor and equipment selection, contract management, logistics and warehousing, physical network rollout and optimization, back and front office implementation, network commissioning and dimensioning, everything through to network operations – every element from the ground up. The old legacy systems have been dramatically upgraded to best-in-class cloud-based solutions. We have worked closely with the Y-Tel team, the telecom sector in Yemen, and the Ministry of Telecommunication.”

The transformed Y-Tel network will launch initially in Aden, before a phased national deployment. These “first calls” mark the start of network operations and pave the way for a phased roll-out of infrastructure and portfolio of customer services.

Looking across the bay towards the Presidential Palace, Aden, Yemen, June 2022 [credit: Ahmed Zein/Digis Squared].

“This program in Yemen is incredible. I am immensely proud of our Digis Squared team in Yemen, and our global team who have worked together to achieve this entirely transformed network infrastructure, and the milestone first calls last week,” stated Digis Squared CEO Ziad Khalil. “This first ever mobile video call in Yemen is testament to the hard work, dedication and skill of our teams. It builds on our significant achievements in launching and operating the Africell Angola network earlier this year. If we can contribute to change people’s lives for the better, and completely transform, launch and operate a 5G-ready network, if we can do this in Yemen, we can do this anywhere.”

“After working closely together with Digis Squared for the last 18 months, it was a real thrill for me to make the first video call together with Zein!,” said Ahmed Gadallah, Vice Chairman of Y-Tel. “This reliable, and fast connectivity will bring such a dramatic improvement in communications to the Yemeni people, we can’t wait to bring our new fast 4G network to the people of Aden and then across Yemen. We have a very exciting time ahead of us!”

Images from Aden, Yemen, June 2022 [credit: Ahmed Zein/Digis Squared]. Left to right: The first Digis Squared 4G mast for Y-Tel ◦ A billboard with part of the Y-Tel pre-launch marketing campaign ◦ A hillside near Aden.

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.

Digis Squared ◦ Enabling smarter networks.

If you or your team would like to discover more about our capabilities, please get in touch: use this link or email sales@DigisSquared.com .

Digis Squared, independent telecoms expertise.

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Further notes

  • The first voice and video calls were made on the new 4G network on the 8th June 2022 in Aden, Yemen between Ahmed Gadallah, Vice Chairman of Y-Tel and Digis Squared COO Ahmed Zein.
  • The transformation project included,
    • Legacy 2G infrastructure transformed to 4G, with 5G-ready capability (5G license not yet available).
    • The Digis Squared team managed all elements of,
      • Network planning, design and architecture
      • Vendor and equipment selection, contract management
      • Logistics and warehousing
      • Physical network rollout and optimization
      • Customer registration (mobile, public internet and new number range)
      • Network security
      • Network core infrastructure implementation and integration
        • Legacy Core and Charging systems modernized to Cloud Core Network, Cloud Charging/BSS and VAS consolidation – this will enable Y-Tel to deliver a comprehensive catalogue of commercial products and services to meet the daily needs of the Yemeni people.
      • Back and front office implementation
      • Network commissioning and dimensioning
      • Managed Services: all elements of live network operations
  • Y-Tel mobile network soft launch of 4G is scheduled for Aden very soon. In parallel, fast-paced work is underway to be ready to launch in Mukalla, Mareb and Sayoun during 2022, with further coverage extension to other provinces in 2023.

Related coverage,

Africell Group confirms Africell Angola launch

“Africell launches services with mandate to transform Angola’s digital landscape.”

7 April 2022, Africell Group.

The Africell Group announcement confirms the Africell Angola launch, and that commercial mobile services are now live.

We are pleased to re-share these extracts from Africell Group’s press release,

“Partnerships with blue-chip international technology vendors including Nokia, Oracle and Digis Squared, as well as with carefully selected local suppliers such as Angola Cables and MSTelcom, promise Africell Angola’s users an unprecedented level of service quality on a secure, trustworthy and resilient network.”

“Africell is building a mobile network in Angola that will soon be recognised as the best in the country.”

As announced in November 2021, Africell Angola awarded Digis Squared a multi-year contract to provide end to end Managed Services, covering Radio, Core, BSS, VAS and Field, for the new network in Angola, in addition to a second contract handling in-building coverage optimisation.

The Digis Squared Team celebrate the key network-launch milestone, and continue to focus their expertise and commitment on the success of the new network as we move into the next phase of the project.

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Digis Squared, enabling smarter networks.

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.

Image credits

Also reported by

Business Insider: “Discover Five of the Most Innovative UK Telecoms and Technology Firms”

“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

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.

 

 

Digis Squared, independent telecoms expertise.

Differentiation through operational excellence

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.

Some of the Digis Squared Luanda Squad, February 2022

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.

Read more about INOS here – and the bottom of that page also has links to using INOS in LTE 450 or 600MHz network, 5G and customer case studies.

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.

If you or your team would like to discover more about our capabilities, please get in touch: use this link or email sales@DigisSquared.com .

Digis Squared, independent telecoms expertise.

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Africell selects Digis Squared to support new network in Angola

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.

Members of the 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.

If you or your team would like to discover more about our capabilities, please get in touch or email sales@DigisSquared.com .

Keep up to speed with company updates, product launches and our quarterly newsletter, sign up here.

Digis Squared, independent telecoms expertise.

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5G ◦ Now more than ever, deliver the robust capability you need

5G in 2020: the time to build is now

In the last quarter of 2019, the number of 5G subscriptions had more than quadrupled to reach at least 17.73 million (1), and the GSMA was forecasting that “…2020 is set to prove the year for mass-market adoption around the world” (2).  Although forecasts have changed, 2020 is still the year to build 5G, its capacity and robustness is needed now more than ever.

Covid-19 & 5G rollout

At the start of the Covid-19 crisis, as workers and students rapidly adjusted to working from home where they could, mobile data demand shifted rapidly and operators worked hard to keep pace. Some demand was displaced to fixed broadband and fibre connections, whilst others used mobile data to deal with competing demands of online gaming and video calls within the same household.

Even at the start of the crisis, a European IT Buyer Sentiment Survey conducted by IDC revealed that “58% of spending on 5G technology will be increased or will remain the same”, (3).

Now, as the pandemic continues to disrupt lives and society globally, with staff and students continuing to work and study from home, high speed, reliable connectivity has become essential. Home broadband has often struggled to meet demand, and 5G can often provide a better, more reliable and stable solution. As mobile network capacity has flexed to try and address the unpredictable demand, end customers have been very aware of which powerful, flexible and stable networks have adapted to meet their needs. 5G’s ultra-low latency and high-reliability has ensured that those customer’s with the ability to access it, have benefited from an excellent customer experience.

5G will play a critical role in the digital economy for decades to come. This new era of intelligent connectivity offers the chance to recast customer value propositions, accelerate industrial transformation, and reinvigorate the digital society.” 

Source: EY (6)

In the initial stage of the pandemic, many mobile network operators and service providers put their investment plans on hold, realigning resources to meet the immediate needs of network re-dimensioning. Now, as the world starts to address mid to long term strategies, mobile operators and service providers are re-considering their 5G plans. As IDC portray in their graphic below (3), as we move forward through the different economic phases ahead of us, business focus changes.

Today, as business confidence slowly rebuilds, and commercial activity picks up pace, adjusted 5G strategies and rollout plans are progressing. As this GSMA map illustrates, as of June 2020, there are now 79 commercial launches globally.

Digis Squared, independent telecoms expertise

In the months ahead, as we move through the cycles IDC  identifies, our experienced, independent and multi-vendor team at Digis Squared can help and guide your teams as they,

  • Reassess and revise technical and commercial network strategies, and budgets
  • Reconsider network vendor selection options commercially and technically
  • Review and revise rollout plans to address changes in working patterns, shifts in geographical demands and deliver extra flexibility for the future
  • Re-test and optimise existing network infrastructure, to ensure your existing investments are working as effectively as possible.

Perhaps, Communications Service Providers (CSPs) or Mobile Network Operator, you are considering whether to roll out 5G at all, and want to better understand how you can utilise your existing technologies for longer. We can help you assess this, and dimension your legacy infrastructure and licenses to optimise their use for a longer than originally anticipated lifespan.

Other businesses are experiencing supply chain disruption and bottlenecks in raw material access, production, and distribution. These, in turn, may cause you to re-assess commercial contracts and technical options – our teams can help you understand options and impacts, and ensure you have the flexibility and capability to be as ready as possible for whatever happens next.

As 5G rollout plans change and flex in ways we never envisaged, now more than ever, work with flexible partners to support your changing needs and deliver robust 5g capability.

Digis Squared, independent telecoms expertise.

Now more than ever, deliver the robust capability you need with 5G

To discuss how our 5G expertise can help your business, please use this link or email sales@DigisSquared.com to arrange a convenient time for an informal conversation.

Keep up to speed with company updates, product launches and our quarterly newsletter, sign up here.

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Managed Services ◦ Now more than ever, reduce operational costs and outpace competitors

This year service providers and telecom operators have experienced greater uncertainty and unpredictability than in any other. With rapidly changing demand and geographical dynamics, shortages of equipment, and increased customer enquiries, all teams across businesses have been stretched to capacity. Combined with this, staff and family health and home schooling, plus physical office and working from home issues have meant that “working” has itself been more difficult than ever before.

Working safely, to keep communities connected

The “new normal” created massive changes in demand, as both home-working and communications between friends and family impacted the networks. At Digis Squared, we ensured that all our staff are able to work safely and are equipped to work remotely. Our teams can assist yours in adapting their network strategies, adjusting operational support, and implementing new technologies to support the changes we see now, and those we can anticipate as the situation continues to change.

We are here to support your teams in ensuring that they can do their work safely and securely, and that together we can keep our communities connected.

The next phase: resilience – from respond to recover, from react to reinvent

Now, some countries are starting to remove restrictions, whilst others are anticipating lockdown being re-imposed, and businesses are switching from reacting to recovering. Addressing the initial crisis within businesses was achieved with an urgent energy, focus and determination; now there is a need to identify and implement sustainable solutions for the longer term, with resilience to handle recurrent unpredictability, plus flexible options as peaks and troughs in resources and capabilities ebb and flow.

“…the telecom operator’s journey to a full telco cloud environment, where network functions and services are orchestrated and automated across a ‘containerized’ network applications cloud landscape, will be accelerated to prepare for the next pandemic crisis and the ever growing need for telecom services.”  Source: Deloitte (1)

Reducing complex costs & finding flexibility

A recent Covid-19 paper from Deloitte (2), posed 6 key questions telecom executives and boards should be asking now.

Across all of these areas, the Digis Squared team can apply their extensive experience and expertise to support your business. In addition to the specific managed services outlined below, we can identify and resolve operational service problems, and upgrade and refocus skills within dynamically changing teams.

Relentless focus on outcomes

Digis Squared’s Managed Services capabilities help our clients to flexibly address resource constraints, reduce operational costs and outpace competitors. Whether you need short term support, or longer term outsourcing flexibility, as a vendor-agnostic partner our teams can deliver innovative cloud strategies, application modernization and help desk solutions.

Our Managed Services team adapts a near-shore / off-shore model of delivery through multiple support hubs to provide 24×7 support for customers in multiple technology stacks. We seek to operate and optimize IT support functions through an ITIL aligned service delivery model managed by ITSM delivery experts and resource managers.

The Digis Squared team work on your behalf, delivering intelligence, value and experience for your business, and focusing on the outcomes you are striving to achieve.

Reduce operational costs & outpace competitors

Investments made at this time need to work doubly hard: delivering flexibility and cost reduction benefits now, and ensuring that they help your business outpace your competitors. Just some of the ways the Digis Squared team can deliver agility and competitive edge to your business include,

  • Revise Business Continuity Plans: review assumptions, re-plan and re-scale, improving resilience and flexibility.
  • Accelerate digital transformation: use AI and RPA to extend the use of robotic process automation as part of your digital transformation agenda, and automate mundane, repetitive tasks to deliver consistent customer experience, and free-up greater capacity for more complex calls and processes to be handled by your skilled staff.
  • Accelerate 5G deployment and integration to better handle high demand dynamically.
  • Implement autonomous capacity management, using AI to handle unpredictable demand with agility and efficiency.
  • Automated drive testing and complaints handling with INOS: eliminate the need for skilled engineers to perform drive tests; instead, a solitary-driver takes the INOS stand-alone box on a predefined route, and all data is automatically uploaded for analysis remotely. AI-led analysis generates reports for assessment and action, to deliver the optimal customer experience and aid high-value customer retention.
  • E2E Radio Network Services: use our vendor agnostic independent team of experts to provide technical strategy reviews, competency development, radio optimization for legacy networks, radio planning, network performance and innovation in multi-technology multi-vendor environments.

Now more than ever, reduce operational costs and outpace competitors with Managed Services.

To discuss how our managed services expertise can help your business, please use this link or email sales@DigisSquared.com to arrange a convenient time for an informal conversation.

Keep up to speed with company updates, product launches and our quarterly newsletter, sign up here.

“5G will play a critical role in the digital economy for decades to come. This new era of intelligent connectivity offers the chance to recast customer value propositions, accelerate industrial transformation, and reinvigorate the digital society.” 

Source: EY (3)

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