We just passed our first anniversary (woohoo!) and we’ve been looking back through some of our most beloved episodes. Our most popular one was a conversation with transformation-leader Juha Korhonen, who gave us a behind-the-scenes look at Zain Group’s successful launch of Yaqoot, a digital mobile operator in the Middle East. The original episode went live on May 4, and since then it’s been listened to thousands of times.
I’m always preaching that using the public cloud requires a new mindset. It’s not about running workloads in different locations; it’s about taking a completely fresh approach to building and managing software. If you do a great job, you can get results you never thought possible. The proof is in the Yaqoot. It’s proved that telcos can focus on customers, save a ton of money, AND achieve massive growth.
Our guest, Juha Korhonen, was instrumental in getting Yaqoot off the ground, and in this episode he tells us how he did it. Listen to our conversation to hear about:
- The advantage of starting with a blank sheet of paper [4:48];
- The approaches to transformation Juha’s team considered, and which one they chose [5:51];
- How Yaqoot turned telcos’ biggest cost drivers – sales commissions, customer care, IT management – upside down [10:07];
- The project’s shocking effect on subscriber growth and the bottom line [21:31];
- Juha’s advice for other telcos trying to turn their ship [24:02].
Juha Korhonen is a senior executive with more than 25 years of experience in the telecom industry. He built, launched, and operated Zain Group’s fully digital operator Yaqoot in 2020. He has held several C-level roles, including Group Director of Digital and Innovation with Zain Group, as well as Chief Commercial Officer for Zain Saudi Arabia and Wataniya Telecom in Kuwait. He is currently Senior Director, Research and Advisory, at Gartner.
Listen to our conversation by clicking play above or subscribe through your favorite podcast feed.
- Download as an MP3 by right-clicking here and choosing “save as.”
- Listen on your favorite podcast platform – see the links above under the audio player.
- You can find the transcript for this episode here.
Links and Resources
- Learn more about transformational leadership by listening to Episode 1 with Jim Abolt – it’s a classic!
- A big part of transformational change has to do with your people. I also talked with Jim Abolt about workforce transformation strategies in Episode 7 – how big change affects the people in your organization. Listen to it again!
- You can totally build a digital brand, too. Check out this article from McKinsey & Company about the value of a smart digital-attacker strategy for operators seeking transformation, or this one, or this one.
- Check out this case study about how OMD & Yaqoot use Adjust to lower CPA
- Get ready for the move to the public cloud by changing your state of mind by listening to Scorpions’ Winds of Change, Billy Joel’s New York State of Mind, Tears for Fears Everybody Wants to Rule the World or Tom Petty’s I Won’t Back Down (I know I won’t!).
- Yaqoot means “ruby” in Arabic. Learn more about Zain Group’s digital brand by visiting the Yaqoot website.
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- Executive Producer and Host: Danielle Royston, TelcoDR
- Executive Producer: Kristin Donelson, OneLouder Marketing
- Senior Producer: Lindsay Grubb, TillCo Media
- Editor/Producer: Alisa Jenkins Wilson, Springboard Marketing
- Audio Editing: Andrew Condell
- Music: Dyami Wilson
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