CX, ITIL and farming – Bernd Hesse has got your back

In this, the last of our ‘meet the team’ blogs in 2021, we meet Bernd Hesse, a business service manager from our CX service management team, based in Frankfurt, Germany.  Bernd has been with Telia Carrier for over 20 years and seen a huge amount of innovation and change in terms of what our customers need.  Sit back and enjoy our last instalment of 2021!

Bernd – tell us a bit about yourself

I joined Telia Carrier over 20 years ago, having built up a range of experience in the telecoms industry as a graduate engineer at a mobile, PBX and IP network provider.  I’ve always had a strong technical background and later gained an interest in ITIL processes, which I have been working with for about a decade.  I now use my V3 and V4 Expert Level knowledge and experience as part of my role, which sees me managing issues for customers across the region.

When not working in the service management team, I try to give as much time as I can to supporting my local “Farm-for-Kids” social enterprise where I am a “board member”.  It is a great initiative and gives children a playground for basic farming and small-scale construction work with wood.  It is a great place for them to learn new skills, experience farming and learn about topics outside the school curriculum.

What does a typical day look like for you?

I start with the gym at home, and often marvel at an illuminated globe I have in the room that I use.  On one hand the planet is so big, but it also amazes me as it reminds me how, as a company, we make the world that much closer and connected.  It reminds me of the responsibility we have to our customers.

I am one member of the SM team that is distributed across three continents.  When I get to work my first task is to review the open customer questions that could not be directly answered via our automated and standardized processes in our customer care and NOC teams.  No two days are the same for our team, which is one of the best things about it. As flexibility and priority changes across the day are normal, it is a very dynamic team and environment.

My colleagues and I cover a range of tasks that we can undertake for customers, from service requests to account management and performance reporting. Recently, one of my new responsibilities has been to establish the Problem Management process – that is, to troubleshoot major and key technical or procedural problems that have reoccurred. This challenge requires experience and a thorough understanding of technology and procedures to find a workaround and final solution. A very satisfying job when solved as a team.

Are you getting involved in anything new at Telia Carrier?

Now that Telia Carrier has become a separate entity to Telia Company, I am very excited to be involved in designing the processes and technical requirements of what will be our new NOC infrastructure.  It is a really exciting time in our development and a unique opportunity to do things exactly as we want and that will bring about some exciting customer-facing features, I am sure.  We are planning several new proactive monitoring systems which will detect faults in advance even more quickly and enable us to act before they cause an issue.

Looking back over the last decade, what do you think has been a real change in the sector?

Without a doubt it is the focus on latency.  Ten years ago, latency did not matter significantly to most businesses, but today it has become a global obsession.  And it is not just latency, but even the specific routes traffic takes to mitigate network incidents or cable route overlaps.  It is a real reflection of how cloud services, streaming and gaming – to name just a few – have developed in such a short time.

What excites you most about your role?

At the end of the day, you enjoy working in a team like ours because you enjoy the challenge of helping people and solving a problem.  One of the most enjoyable aspects is that we know we play a key role in improving processes and services across the company with our feedback.  That leads to better value add for customers, improved operating practices and a better underlying network infrastructure.

Any interesting anecdotes you can share?

It is very unscientific, but I do remember speaking earlier in the year with two very similar customers to get some feedback on how satisfied they were at the time with the service they get from us as a company.  Both scored well, but the customer that had experienced a network incident scored us markedly higher.  This seemed counter intuitive to me at first, but on reflection it makes a lot of sense and underlines the important work our team does.  It is impossible to completely rule out the possibility of network incidents. What matters is how you deal with them for your customer when they occur, both on a relationship level and as technicians.