Sustainability has become a key part of business in any industry, and Telia is leading the shift towards more sustainable practices in the telecom sector in Europe.
When the biggest telecom services provider in the Nordic and Baltic regions set out to build a new tool for handling after-sales processes, one of the central goals was to create the technical framework for scaling Telia’s repurchasing and refurbishing activity. The goal was to extend the lifecycle of phones and other electronic devices by promoting reuse instead of only selling and shipping new ones.
Helmes has more than 20 years of experience developing business-critical systems for Telia. The after-sales service platform developed by Helmes is currently used in multiple channels including, the company’s 400+ stores in six countries, by Telia Customer Service, and directly online by end customers.
The web-based platform covers all after-sales processes, including repairs, returns, and repurchases. The system allows Telia to collaborate with dozens of after-sales partners instead of relying on a single provider and harmonize and optimize after-sales processes on the group level.
Thanks to automating processes, the platform simplifies the daily workflow of Telia employees and customers and reduces the possibility of manual error. A self-service portal lets customers track their case status and initiate new cases online. The tool has been localized for the six markets and is available to staff and customers in their mother tongue.
The system has been developed as a web-based tool and integrated with more than 100 systems. These include Telia’s internal systems and the systems of the repair, logistics, and insurance partners in different markets.
Meet the customer
As the leading telecom service provider in the Nordic and Baltic countries, the Telia Company serves 25 million customers in the region with essential digital infrastructure and digital services.
Sustainability is firmly integrated into Telia’s strategy. Telia aims to collect and recycle one phone for every new phone sold by 2025. In 2022, Telia collected and recycled 1.3 million phones, equivalent to one-third of the new phones sold. Additionally, Telia’s Annual and Sustainability Report for 2022 states the following:
- Telia has reduced CO2 emissions generated by its operations by 85% since 2018;
- 27% of all mobile phones sold to B2B customers are sold via a “Device as a Service” circular model that enables Telia to scale the re-use and recycling of devices;
- Ten of Telia’s top 12 mobile phone suppliers participate in Eco Rating, an initiative launched in 2021 with other operators to drive circular economic principles within mobile phones.
As Telia sought to build a new common after-sales service platform to support operations in six countries, two important challenges were presented.
First, it was to provide the technical framework for ramping up the company’s repurchasing and refurbishing activities, in line with Telia’s goal of leading the shift towards a more sustainable telecom business.
Second, it would allow the company to switch to collaborating with multiple after-sales service partners in different countries instead of depending on a single service provider and their IT system. Additionally, Telia wanted to automate and optimize its after-sales processes across all its locations.
The solution developed by Helmes is currently used in more than 400 Telia stores in six countries.
The web-based platform covers all after-sales processes, including repairs, returns, and repurchases, allowing customer service representatives to conveniently register and handle all cases on a single platform instead of using multiple systems.
Telia can now efficiently collaborate with dozens of after-sales partners in different countries instead of being dependent on a single service provider. For smooth data exchange and workflow automation, the platform is integrated with more than 100 systems, including Telia’s internal systems and those of Telia’s repair, logistics, and insurance partners.
Customers can use a self-service platform to track their case status and initiate new cases online. They use a parcel machine or a home pickup courier, depending on the country.
Benefits of the after-sales tool
The custom-developed platform has various benefits for Telia, including:
- Group-level control, harmonization, and optimization of after-sales processes thanks to moving all processes to a central platform;
- Supporting the move towards a circular economy by allowing Telia to scale its repurchase and refurbishing activities and obtain a full overview of returned devices;
- Integration with dozens of repair, logistics, and insurance partners leads to more efficiency and lower costs in after-sales processes.
- Automated processes simplify the daily workflow of customer service agents, saving time and cutting the rate of manual error.
- Improved monitoring and automated notifications (for instance, if a repair has taken longer than scheduled) allow early detection and handling of problems.
- The self-service platform and optimization of after-sales processes lead to better customer experience and improved customer satisfaction and loyalty.
We tackled the business challenge by dividing it into small steps and conducted the development agilely.
- In the pre-analysis stage, we collected input from stakeholders responsible for after-sales in each country.
- We synthesized the input into system requirements with the product manager.
- We prioritized the tasks and assigned time and budget estimates to each functionality.
- In the development stage, we started the development with one country, one business process, and one after-sales services partner.
- Next, we moved on to add other countries and partners to the process.
- After successfully finalizing the first business process, we started developing the functionalities for the next one.
Team and daily collaboration
The Helmes team working on the project consisted of 7-12 people, depending on the project phase. In addition to the typical roles of a product development team (team lead, analyst, developers, designers), the team currently includes a tech support coordinator whom the users can contact in case of any questions.
The core group includes the Telia business owner, who prioritizes the requirements of different countries, the country contact persons, who are responsible for after-sales processes in their country), and an extended group of approximately 50 people responsible for different business processes.
We also communicate directly with Telia’s after-sales partners whose IT systems must be integrated with the tool, bringing the total number of stakeholders involved in the project at different stages close to 100.
For smooth collaboration, we rely on regular team meetings:
- Quarterly planning meetings where we define the roadmap for the next two quarters (a physical meeting either at the Telia or Helmes office);
- Country contact persons meetings twice a month;
- Weekly development status updates with the business owner;
- Weekly project management meetings to cover general topics and budget matters.
Work with us
Helmes has over 30 years of experience in providing custom development services to clients in the telecom industry. If you are looking for a development partner, we’d be happy to hear from you.