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    An Interview with Jerzy Bartman, Telco & Industry Business Unit Director at Sii

    What are the challenges that the telecommunication industry will have to face in the upcoming years? What are Sii’s plans in this area? What does it have to offer to the telecommunications market, except for broad competences, a flexible approach and many years of experience in service provision for the biggest mobile operators and telecommunication companies in Poland and abroad? And why should telecommunication companies enter into cooperation with external providers like Sii in the first place?

    We would like to invite you to read the interview with Jerzy Bartman, Telco & Industry Business Unit director at Sii Poland, that appeared in a special issue of Harvard Business Review Poland, a prestigious magazine for managers. The interview was carried out by Maciej Ochociński.

    Below you will find a link to the original – Polish version of the Interview, and a translation of the text into English. (Text in Polish )


    Sii conquers the telecommunication market

    Although the first association with Sii is the outsourcing of high-end IT and engineering services, the company has much more to offer. Sii implements technologically advanced projects for more than 200 clients worldwide, ranging from finance, hi-tech, energy, media, automotive, FMCG and Public to Telco. Sii bets not only on technological competencies, which are developed in dedicated Competency Centers, but also offers dedicated solutions that meet the needs of specific sectors. Among them are e-KRK for the Ministry of Finance or the interface for communication with the National Clearing House for banks. The forthcoming plans are a further expansion in the Telco industry.

    HBRP: What are Sii’s plans for developing Telco services?

    Jerzy Bartman, Telco & Industry Business Unit Director at Sii Poland: our offer is the result of 10 years of experience in carrying out projects for the largest mobile operators and telecommunication companies in Poland and abroad, as well as expertise in providing innovative IT solutions. For our customers we do not want to be a regular service provider but a partner who understands their weaknesses and is able to create a solution tailored to the specific needs of the market as well as the individual needs of the customer.

    Strategically we want to implement e2e projects and operate on foreign markets. To this end, we will strengthen our competence in the areas specific to OSS and BSS telecommunications operators. All this based on agile project management. We focus on agile in our realizations. The agile model – the obvious direction of our product development (successfully implemented in other industries), is conceptually close to what Sii does. It is worth noting that more and more telecoms are moving towards DevOps, as the recent telecoms experiences in large waterfall transformations show – agile or DevOps are often the most effective methods of development. We will certainly, strongly promote our competence in testing. We have a lot of experience here and we are able to quickly mobilize very large teams with relevant competences.

    Operators seeking new business ideas, more and more often need solutions that bundle up the underlying telecommunication layer with a complex (often virtualized), IT and application stack. Sii is the perfect partner for telecoms in these ventures. First of all, our Competency Centers are building our competitive advantage. These are units in which we employ top-class experts. It is also the place where we focus on advanced technologies. Based on such Centers of Excellence, we run a number of world-class projects for various clients from Canada and the US, through Western Europe, to Japan. At present, Sii has 11 Competency Centers specialized in selected technologies, so we have a lot of competencies and advantages as a provider of IT services.

    HBRP: What was Sii’s previous experience with Telco?

    J.B.: We cooperate more or less with all MNOs in Poland. An important step in the development of telecommunications services took place two years ago when Sii took over the Polish branch of Sofrecom – the IT arm of Orange.

    In terms of collaborative models, almost 50% of our activity is Managed Services, while the rest is Staffing and Team Leasing. Currently, our experts are responsible for Release Management or integration of B2B support systems for some of our operators. In addition, we have competencies in systems and technologies for a variety of industries: CRM, BI, Big Data, EAI, ERP.

    HBRP: What about the industry itself? What challenges are awaiting Telco now?

    J.B.: There are many challenges, the ARPU has been falling for years, especially in the area of voice and SMS, and there is a problem in complementing this decline through data transmission services. According to the company, the OTT (e.g. Skype, WhatsApp, Netflix, etc.), can be “blamed” the most for this, because they simply win the fight with telecoms for the customers’ money. There is also a fall in regulatory revenue (the abolition of roaming in the EU, the reduction or elimination of MTRs).
    Of course there are a lot of potential opportunities – especially with regard to Digital Transformation, moving solutions to the cloud and the entire IoT area. There is a risk, however, that telecoms will have to incur huge capital investments in other broadband technologies such as 5G and Network Virtualization (NFV, CORD) and will not be the main beneficiaries of the IoT. It all depends on whether operators will be able to build the right ecosystems.

    HBRP: Let’s look at this topic from a slightly different perspective – why do companies decide to work with companies like Sii? Why do they need all of this?

    J.B.: Many operators have outdated IT systems, and there are cases when some of the work is still done manually. Telecoms know that changes are necessary. Sii has a lot to offer: very broad competencies, a flexible approach to the delivery model, experience acquired with different clients. Similar things can be said about other companies. There are, however, some features which are characteristic for Sii: the company is very stable, has a well-established position, positive results over the years, and a flat structure with a fast decision-making path. It can respond quickly to new market conditions, project changes or sudden customer needs.

    The key to our success is experience, flexibility, expert knowledge in IT and Telco, as well as the presence of Competency Centers. But that is not all – on the market, we are distinguished by our satisfied employees. Together we create the best work place – the comfort and satisfaction of the engineers working at Sii are very important to us. Three times in a row we have received the Great Place to Work Award, which confirms that we are moving in the right direction. It is important to us that every employee, in addition to his or her technical competence, also shares our passion for new technologies. The slogan that accompanies us at Sii is: “Passion for Technology, Passion for fun”. The human aspect will always be the most important to us.

    We also focus on transparency – this approach is always successful in the long run. The honesty of the company is built by the clarity of Sii’s principles. That’s why Sii does not hide that the purpose of the business is profit and defines it transparently. Sii is aware of the fact that revenue grows only when the customer and the staff are satisfied, so the company definitely takes these aspects into account in its business.

    What are our further plans? We will continue to position ourselves as a technology expert, who knows the needs of markets and clients, has a lot to offer with Competency Centers and has a tailored sector offer. We are facing further expansion – mainly into foreign markets, new projects and new clients.

    HBRP: Then we wish Sii success and conquesting foreign markets.

    Interviewed by: Maciej Ochociński, ICAN Institute editor

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