Learn more about Entel's Digital Transformation

Carlos Palito, Head of Digital Transformation at Entel explains the details of the business-wide transformation that he is driving within his company: a project that engages 1,000 employees from 24 different countries. Watch the video and read the summary to gain all the insights.

Entel is a telecom service provider with operations in Chile and Peru, addressing B2B and B2C business. The company is more than 50 years old and is currently undergoing one of the most exciting business transformation programs in our industry. We met Carlos Palito who is leading this effort.

Watch the full discussion below between two industry thought leaders, Entel's Carlos Palito and Dez Blanchfield

To explore additional insights around digital transformation and Telecom BSS, please visit our website.

I found this interview so interesting that I have summarized a few key points below.

Entel realized that change was inevitable

In 2014, Entel realized that change was required to maintain market leadership. Market conditions had changed with strong competition and with a new demographic situation. Entel’s customers are increasingly millennials and the prediction is that the millennial generation will be 75% of Chile’s total workforce in 2025. Carlos talks about challenges of satisfying the demands of this new generation that requests everything to be real time, seamless, and simple.

The new situation is challenging and puts stress on the Entel organization today and will do so even more in the future—so the time to act is now.

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The creation of a digital telecom company

Carlos describes how Entel decided to transform its business with the ambition of creating a different company, a digital telecom organization that could address a new type of audience. The journey started in September 2015, and Entel chose Ericsson as its partner.

The transformation has three main pillars:

  1. Customer experience. New offerings, products, and services that are simple and fully digitalized for a new generation of customers.
  2. Organization. A lean organization that is simple in order to address the simplicity asked for by the millennial generation.
  3. IT solution. An IT arena that support the new products, the new lean organization, and new processes.

The result should be a unique user experience for Entel's clients. Carlos describes the new experience as real-time, seamless, paperless, and peopleless.

Transforming from a Boeing 747 to an Airbus A380 during flight

We learn during this interview that being a 50-year-old company with lots of legacy systems meant that Entel had more than 500 applications and more than 80 providers involved. It normally took three to six months and large investments to launch a new product. In summary, this situation is incompatible with the new challenge of keeping millennial customers satisfied. Carlos describes the characteristics of millennials with examples such as “if they don't have the things real-time, they go away and make a lot of noise on the social side.”

Carlos talks about the need for a "change of mindset" and the "move to a new start-up operation," which is where Entel needs to be when the transformation is done. He also describes the transformation with a metaphor: he compares it to a flight that takes off as a Boeing 747 but needs to land as an Airbus A380. All required changes take place during the flight while it is still carrying its passengers. To make things even harder, 50 years of legacy systems and acquired assets are part of the equation.

It's a marriage

Carlos explains how important it is that you choose a partner for this kind of business transformation, and he compares the process to a marriage. You're going to have problems, but you have to find a common path. He states that both may not have the answers at all times, but as long as you know what you want to achieve, together the partners will find a way forward. Carlos enforces how important it is to focus on the outcome and also that their selected partner be willing to "change" during this transformation.

He describes the outcome as not only a change of Entel into a new digital company, but also the change of Ericsson into a new digital partner for Entel.

B2C business is already transformed

Carlos explains that the Entel B2C business has already been transformed and has reached a mode of operation that resembles that of a startup company. He explains that the traditional organizational hierarchies have been removed and how new technology, processes, and competencies are in place.

What’s next?
While he claims to not have a crystal ball to look into the future, Carlos explains how transformation within the B2B business unit will follow the successful transformation on the B2C side.

Carlos also reinforces his company’s desire to do more for its customers than just being “dumb-pipe” connectivity services. He explains how important it is that you know the customer and you interact with the customer. Carlos states that while there cannot be a monopoly of clients, he argues that a huge investment that a telecom company like Entel makes requires a share of revenues beyond connectivity.

A business transformation with 1,000 people of 24 nationalities

Carlos re-enforces in the interview wrap-up that this is not an IT transformation but a transformation of Entel’s business. He also talks about the impact on staff engaged in the transformation: 1,000 people of 24 different nationalities. He further explains that while dealing with all the complexity, the beauty is how the organization is learning and changing. Entel and Ericsson are having to continuously adapt, through agile processes; however, the combination of two companies strengths is creating the right results.

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