Collaboration paramount in KPN’s profitable enterprise transformation

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By Calvin S. Nelson

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

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

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

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on a legacy enterprise enterprise providers atmosphere and varied third-social gathering purposes – some 15 years outdated with greater than 370 integrations and greater than 1,000 customisations, in line with Michael Bell, vice-president for enterprise IT at KPN, in one other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

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

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

“Beforehand, we had been operating quite a few completely different purposes that had been upgraded solely sporadically, leaving little room for innovation in between,” stated Sumina. “We wished to maneuver in the direction of one built-in platform that dynamically evolves frequently and presents extra prospects for innovation.”

Maintain repeating your imaginative and prescient

To form the advanced cloud transformation, KPN enlisted the assistance of Deloitte. “That shut collaboration stored us on our toes,” stated KPN IT head Bell. “In such an enormous venture, it’s essential to offer construction, and ensure all elements of the enterprise are on board and linked to the technique of the corporate.”

That is additionally endorsed by Tedik. “One of many issues we realized is how necessary it’s in such a journey to have a transparent imaginative and prescient and to maintain repeating it,” he stated. “Folks are likely to neglect the why; they get drained over time. It’s paramount to maintain reminding everybody why you might be doing this and what it’ll ship.”

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

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

“Then, in Might of that yr, we migrated our fibre enterprise to Oracle Cloud for finance, procurement, and initiatives,” he continued. “Our fibre enterprise is our large subsidiary, driving roll-out of community, and this turned out to be an excellent resolution; to mainly strive a brand new method of labor in actual operations and assist this area with superior instruments. In April of this yr, we migrated all of the Oracle modules and different purposes in scope to Oracle Cloud.”  

One of many challenges KPN confronted within the course of was that providers needed to proceed as traditional, despite the fact that there was heavy rebuilding happening within the background.

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

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

After the migration, KPN has three customisations and a wide range of greatest follow processes. “I’m actually pleased with that,” stated Bell. “For those who had informed me that at the beginning of the venture, I might have thought that was far too bold.”

Furthermore, the corporate has managed to cut back the variety of integrations by roughly 50%. “Prior to now, we had about 370 integrations, and in our present state of affairs, we solely have 170,” he stated. “That may be a big profit from a value perspective and an operational perspective, as a result of it’s simpler to take care of and reduces the complexity within the organisation.”

Information high quality is success issue 

Change administration proved essential within the course of, stated Sumina. “This transformation required a change of mindset of our folks, for them to be open to new know-how,” she stated. “We’ve been attempting to leverage a most of ordinary performance, as any customisation creates complexity. That required for some folks to be open to alter the best way they labored.” 

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

That was one of many explanation why one out of three go-live moments was delayed by six months. “Initially, we had been speculated to go stay with the final piece of transition in October 2022, however we wished to ensure all the things was proper,” she stated. “Information high quality defines how briskly you possibly can stabilise processes and ship correct assist to the enterprise. As a result of we delayed the migration, we had been capable of obtain the next automated migration charge and went stay with a large quantity of operations in a easy method.”

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

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

In a migration of this magnitude, all the things is interlinked, and making sturdy cross-string alignment can be crucial. “We concerned particular practical customers, in addition to technical specialists, that sat collectively to determine what was logical and what modifications wanted to be carried out,” she stated. “There have been fierce discussions at that desk, however you need to cater for that in your governance.”

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

Exploring synthetic intelligence 

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

“We’re exploring the following degree of automation for particular processes and the event of superior fashions of forecasting,” stated Sumina. “And despite the fact that AI will not be new to us, we’re conscious that our transformation has drastically elevated prospects, which we will leverage additional in time.”

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