Feeling that they have finally put their cash-burning, post-disaster recovery phase completely behind them, glbc is embarking on the next stage of its evolution. The company has reorganized internally into four Customer Facing Units (CFUs), one each for North America, South America, EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa), and Worldwide Carrier Services. For financial reporting they will still be giving us GCUK, GC Impsat, and Rest-Of-World for now, however customers will interact with the new structure. They seem to have taken a middle road on where the dividing line between CFUs and centralization falls: areas like sales and local access which differ greatly with geography will be divided between the CFUs , whereas those which make more sense in a global context such as network design and global strategy will remain centralized.
The other interesting development is the company’s new website. Now corporate websites aren’t generally news, but what I find interesting here is the high level of integration with the corporate blog and other social media. Global Crossing has long had one of the most active corporate blogs in telecom, and they seem to be using that asset to bring freshness the corporate website. It’s an interesting approach to leveraging social media, bringing more public faces and voices to the forefront. Kevin Courteau has more details over there.
Regarding the changes I had the opportunity to speak with Anthony Christie, who is the new Chief Technology/Chief Information Officer (CTO/CIO) for Global Crossing and a driving force behind the recent changes. He has been with the company in various executive capacities since 2001, including stints as managing director of the EMEA division and Chief Marketing Officer. Prior to that he was with Asia Global Crossing, and prior to that he was at AT&T Solutions.
TR: The Chief Technology/Chief Information Officer (CTO/CIO) is new to Global Crossing. What will you be focusing on?
AC: I recently transitioned from serving as Global Crossing’s Managing Director of Europe, the Middle East and Africa – overseeing the company’s critical UK and European businesses – to my new role of CTO/CIO. In my new position, I oversee our ongoing efforts to deliver a superior customer experience and will maintain future momentum on this front by determining the right balance between the human “touch” that our customers appreciate and the use of technology to make our processes more productive and efficient. This overarching strategy of deploying technology both internally and externally will lead to one main objective—helping our customers and company succeed through innovation.
TR: The customer experience is a topic I don’t hear much of from CTOs in telecom, is it a new battleground?
AC: For the industry, yes; for us, it something we’ve focused on for years. As IP services become commoditized, customers will continue to look for ways to distinguish products from increasingly undifferentiated offerings. Many leading-edge companies are finding that success lies in the delivery of providing those services.
In fact, we released a new whitepaper today that outlines our methodology of “Ask. Listen. Act. Learn.” This approach drives mutual value through a continuous cycle of customer feedback, strategic investments and innovation. The paper also discusses a service assurance co-development project that has resulted in the creation of a new customer service portal for improved ease of use and efficiency. Go to our site at www.globalcrossing.com and check it out.
TR: Tell me about your recent reorganization and the reasons behind it?
AC: Global Crossing has come a long way. During our corporate restructuring, our business required tighter, more centralized decision making controls. The need to preserve our global network and retain our customer base required strong global functions dedicated to delivering the global “proposition” that separated us from our competitors. Having come through that successfully while keeping 90% of our customers, we’ve evolved into establishing a series of customer-facing units (CFUs) to manage our business within EMEA, Latin America, and North America. We also have a fourth CFU dedicated to managing our global Carrier customers. This new model puts decision-making closer to our customers.
Our CFU leaders have greater regional accountability for key components of the business, such as sales, pricing, service delivery, and access. These actions create a closer physical connection with customers and establish greater visibility into their needs. This change also recognizes the need for an ‘activist’ corporate center based on key global functions that assure consistent customer experience, operational excellence, global branding, and global policies. In effect, our global functions provide a ‘connective tissue’ that binds all of our actions around one corporate identity, one corporate voice, one corporate culture, and one set of consistent messages based upon a global vision, mission and strategy.
TR: I see that you launched a new corporate website today with a high level of integration of social media. What precipitated this change?
AC: Like our recent reorganization around CFU’s, our newly reenergized website was launched for our customers. The new site implements a new web presence strategy that incorporates web 2.0 technology and enhances user experience through better visual appeal and intuitiveness; customized content and languages; and multi-tiered navigation. In addition, our embrace of social media tools puts our thought leaders and industry experts closer to our customers.
TR: Thank you, Anthony, for taking the time to talk with Telecom Ramblings.
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