BT and its partnersBy Shay Walsh,
BT has a strong list of partners who help deliver the best customer experience. How important are BT Ireland’s partners to the organisation?
The short answer is they’re massively important because what we do effectively is pull together a bunch of different solutions and make it a service and our service is only as good as any element in that chain. We have great business partners that help us deliver technology that underpins our carrier class next generation core network platforms at one level right through our infrastructure build partners that install our fibre. We wouldn’t be able to offer the great service that we do without them. It’s essential that partners are treated as such. They have to be brought in to help us formulate our design frameworks and what new technology we should be adopting which helps build strong “one team” relationships with them. No telecommunications company does everything by themselves. It is a large network of partners and we work very hard with them particularly in terms of accreditations that we need to achieve, for example with Cisco where we put our engineers through training courses that then get accredited by Cisco and our key to the credentials we need to design complex clients solutions. Strategic partners benefit everyone: the business, employees, and the customers.
What is the key to making partnerships work?
The key is getting everybody coordinated around understanding what the purpose is, what the vision is, what the customer requires, and getting everything aligned to deliver the best service that customers deserve to deliver for their consumers. We never deliver a customer a service and that’s the end of it. We’re an important part in their chain as our suppliers and partners are in our chain and in fact we hold the promise to the customer for everything that goes on in the chain that we provide. It’s critical to our success and having good relationships with everyone involved. It’s important that BT and its partners share the same values in order to work in unity, communicate regularly to make sure everything is running smoothly, and if something fails communicate straight away in order to rectify the problem. If communication is lost that is the biggest problem as nothing will get solved. So, for me, it is working together for the benefit of the customer to align with each other’s values and provide the best service each party can offer.
Are there challenges you have to overcome with partners?
There can be many challenges with partners from both sides. We drive our partners hard and they know that, my philosophy is we’re all for engagement, but there’s a non-negotiable set of standards and if you achieve those then that’s perfect as we set high levels of expectations internally and with our partners we have the same expectations. We will always have some issues that arise from time to time as no technology is immune to failures for example components will fail fibres will get dug up, circuits will fail, software bugs will happen. We’re realistic, it’s not a perfect world but it’s how you deal with those and how those relationships seem to be strong to make everything work in unity. There will be challenges in the life cycle and can be difficult times but again, it is how we work together to come up with a solution in order to provide the best service our customers has asked for.