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Delivering world class customer service with workforce management builds competitive advantage and cuts costs for leading telco
Improving the efficiency and productivity of its field technicians was fundamental to achieving Etisalat’s goal of world class service for its customers.
Drawing on its own experience of field force automation, Etisalat selected BT as a partner to support service transformation by introducing a workforce management solution in just 12months; replacing manual, paper-based processes with automated job scheduling, centralised information and comprehensive reporting.
New standards of customer service are the result, along with a significant increase in the productivity of field technicians plus big savings of operational cost.
This was one of the largest and most complex business transformation projects ever undertaken by Etisalat. We are very proud of the outcome of the project and are now looking at extending the solution to other countries and operating divisions.”
- Hassan Al Aghbari, Senior Director Value Added Services, Etisalat
Headquartered in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Etisalat is the largest carrier of international voice traffic in the Middle East and Africa, and the twelfth largest voice carrier in the world. Etisalat’s role as a pacesetter has helped power the United Arab Emirates into the top ten nations in the world in terms of availability of new technologies.
Etisalat is committed to delivering world class customer service to match its world class network. Such a service would give customers, for example, the opportunity to choose a convenient appointment time or delivery slot. To achieve this goal, the company needed to transform the way it delivered service in the field, replacing manual, paper-based processes with an automated, mobile workforce solution. This would allow it to standardise procedures, share best practices, and have full visibility and control of field operations at all times.
Following a competitive process, Etisalat chose BT to deliver a full field force automation solution. Hassan Al Aghbari, Senior Director of Value Added Services at Etisalat, explains: “Successfully introducing workforce management is about much more than technology. Integration is key. Implementation is difficult. And the issues around people and process are fundamental. So we wanted a partner that understood the bigger picture, who would give us a single point of ownership and reduce risk. Only BT, with its experience not only as a provider but also a practitioner of field force automation, met that requirement.”
BT was appointed to design, develop and implement a workforce management solution for Etisalat. It included a mobility platform delivered in partnership with Sybase, and Motorola MC75 devices for field technicians.
With help from BT’s field force automation specialists, Etisalat embarked on a major business transformation programme in March 2011 with an aggressive 12 month timeline for mobilising its field technicians and processes.
In a series of workshops, workflows were streamlined and enhanced to match the new ambition of Etisalat to focus more on customer service. All 1200 field technicians and more than 300 engineering department staff underwent training in their new mobile ways of working, and devices and support teams were in place ahead of the launch to ensure business continuity. Comments Hassan Al Aghbari: “Alongside delivery of the technical solution, BT enabled us to address the organisational changes required to underpin this significant step forward in delivering improved service for our customers.”
Etisalat’s internal IT team set up a large new infrastructure, including a 50+ server configuration to support the new workforce management (WFM) platform. Etisalat subsidiary Technologia, based in Bangalore, India, was responsible for integrating the WFM with Etisalat’s CRM suite and also took over responsibility for supporting and enhancing the WFM application post implementation.
Etisalat is now achieving the high level of customer service it seeks. According to Hassan Al Ahgbari, “Workforce management has enabled us to transform customer service from a costly process into a competitive differentiator.” Tasks are scheduled at times convenient for customers and the company is meeting 90 per cent of all commitments for customer appointments.
Previously, it was hard for a field technician to get information and for the customer service team to understand the status of jobs. Now, all such information is centrally held and easily accessible by both field technicians and call centre personnel.
With all activity monitored and controlled from a single point, Etisalat can micro-manage technicians and their workload. Better task planning reduces the time technicians spend travelling, and scheduling tasks according to confirmed customer appointments means that more jobs are successfully completed.
A further benefit is that Technologia will be able to use the systems integration experience gained by working alongside BT to develop its own portfolio and expand its business in this area.
- BT Field Force Automation solution, including business demand forecasting, manpower resource planning, and real time scheduling and work execution, all supported by management reporting and control
BT provided a fully integrated Field Force Automation solution to Etisalat including a mobility solution (delivered in association with Sybase), Motorola MC75 devices, and a Field Optimisation Suite (FOS) – developed and used by BT internally – integrated with Etisalat’s CRM system.
BT managed the whole design, development, and implementation of the Field Force Automation solution. BT also worked with Etisalat’s IT subsidiary, Technolgia, to enable it to assume responsibility for ongoing support and future development.
Alongside the delivery of the technical solution, BT helped Etisalat to address the cultural and organisational changes required to embed successful mobile field service.
Key components of BT Field Force Automation
Mobile device management
Field Optimisation Suite (FOS)
Field forecast and plan
Strategic Integration Hub (SIH)
Integrates between CRM, FOS and mobility