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Adventures in Switzerland - what it takes to be first

The Executive Team Advisory Board Visits Europe’s Commercial 5G Starting Point to Find Out What Makes Swisscom Special.

Switzerland street

'Grüessech' (That's 'Hello' from Bern) everyone! Here comes another update from the Executive Team Advisory Board (ETAB).

The last time you heard from us, we had just completed our first assignment for the Executive Team and were celebrating this major milestone after a job well done. Since then, we've scoped out our second assignment, ramped-up on the subject matter, and made some substantial progress towards the presentation for the Executive Team in July. (More information on this in an upcoming blog post!)

What we wanted to talk about today is one of the perks of being in the ETAB: Development Week.

Development Week is a one-week trip where the ETAB goes somewhere awesome to build new skills, meet great people, and add a new dimension of understanding to our ongoing assignment.

This year, we had the phenomenal opportunity of having our Development Week in Bern, Switzerland. Bern is where Ericsson's Swiss head office is located, and a quick train ride to the Swisscom headquarters as well! Our timing could not have been better since a short three weeks before our arrival at the office, Swisscom flipped the switch on its 5G Network. We were all curious to find out how the launch had gone, and what was going to happen next.

People entering office


Once we stepped through the doors of the Ericsson Office in Bern, the first order of business was to understand what made them successful. Everyone we asked gave us the same reply: A true partnership with Swisscom. We even heard that it felt like Ericsson & Swisscom were in a "marriage" more than once 😊. Intrigued, much of our time in the office was spent running workshops to gain understanding on how this partnership worked, how the agile transformation of both Swisscom & Ericsson supported this relationship, and what insights we could bring back and scale globally.

Meeting inside office


To complement our time at the Ericsson Office, we also got a chance to visit the Swisscom HQ to see how this partnership worked in person. Earlier in the week, we had been told that the joint Swisscom/Ericsson space was designed with the intention to have everyone feel like one, big, seamless team. And having been there ourselves, we can say: mission accomplished! Looking around the room, you can't tell who is from Ericsson and who is from Swisscom- only people working towards a shared vision.

Near the end of our visit to the Swisscom HQ, we even got the unexpected privilege of getting Urs Schaeppi's (Swisscom's CEO) reflections on how the partnership was running. All-in-all, our visit to Swisscom HQ was a deeply encouraging!

team


Of course, any time not in the office was spent breathing in the local sights & sounds. We toured Bern's old town on foot, went bear-spotting, and ended one of our days with dinner next to a historic rose garden once favored by Einstein and his wife.

On top of that, we even took the train to the neighboring city of Biel to take part in the career fair at the local university. This was another chance the share our passion & experiences working @Ericsson with the next generation of engineers and information technologists. (And give out some booth swag- let's not forget the booth swag)

people smiling


That's all folks! The ETAB is now back in our respective home country after an intense and inspiring trip to Switzerland. We would like to thank our gracious hosts for making this development week possible. Martin Buerki & Kenneth Ong deserve special mention for being welcoming and engaged at every step of our time in Bern. Thank you both!

And now dear reader, with one month left before our final presentation to the ET, we return to our regular, action-packed schedule. 😊

Hope you've enjoyed our update and look forward to the next!

Respectfully,
The ETAB

City view at night

ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTOR
Gabriel Telles O’Neill
He has been working in the R&D field for Ericsson’s network products division since he first joined in 2013. The big, common thread during his day-to-day life is figuring out how to use technology for the greater good.
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