How to serve customers better in a fast-paced digital era, use of artificial intelligence in the telecoms industry, how to run and grow a business in a sustainable manner, and much more were all topics of discussion at last week’s TeleForum conference, hosted in Guernsey by Sure.
TeleForum is the forum for telecoms operators of small states, set up in 2000 for participants to share experiences, address issues faced by small operators and leverage proven solutions which fast track time to deploy and customer adoption. The members of TeleForum represent 19 different operators, from 24 countries such as Andorra, Cyprus, Iceland and Greenland, where they may face similar challenges in serving consumers. This year also saw Cable & Wireless Seychelles join the TeleForum. The conference was attended by over 60 delegates, including the 12 different sponsors.
The conference is where discussions and workshops are held for members, and some of their partners and suppliers in the industry, to engage and identify solutions for issues the industry may be facing.
The delegates also experienced Guernsey through a series of networking events hosted around the island at Art for Guernsey and Octopus, and took the opportunity to visit Castle Cornet and learn about Guernsey’s history.
Alistair Beak, Group CEO at Sure, opened the event and led a roundtable discussion on business growth and how to be a sustainable telecoms player in a competitive market.
Lucienne De La Mare, Sure’s Group HR Director, got the room’s attention highlighting the critical importance of a highly engaged professional team. She showcased the multiple initiatives at Sure to foster an environment for employees to learn, voice their feedback and thrive in their particular job and how those initiatives later dovetail into the wider company’s objectives, as well as Sure’s contribution back to local communities and charities.
Cyrille Joffre, Group Chief Technology and Information Officer at Sure and Deputy Chair of TeleForum, chaired a discussion on the uptake of 5G and Fibre, as well as being on the panel for the use of AI in the telecoms industry. He said: “The discussions at the TeleForum conference were fascinating given the diversity of markets, culture and, therefore, of opinion from other providers in small jurisdictions. We discussed the challenges we face as providers of telecommunication services for small jurisdictions with customers expecting the same breadth and quality as they find countries with larger populations, such as the UK.”
Sustainability was the key talking point on the third day, both in infrastructure and services the telecoms providers deliver; looking at the entire supply chain and ecosystem in order to reduce their carbon footprint with setting science-based targets to reach net-zero emissions and getting prepared in disclosing Scope 1/2/3 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, scope 3 being the important and also most challenging one.
Alistair said: “The event was a great success, allowing us to touch base with similar-sized telecoms operators to share our experiences and ideas on how to deliver the best technology and service to our customers. The diversity of islands and jurisdictions and their operators was incredible from Greenland to Gibraltar, the Faroe Islands and Gibralta. The similarities though were striking with a focus on providing fast networks to underpin and connect our island communities for a better and more digital future.”