Glen has worked at Telenova since the beginning of 2020 and has been in the telecoms industry for over thirty years clocking up service for KCOM, BT, and Nokia amongst others. He has a wealth of knowledge of telco solutions from network design and installation to decommissioning legacy infrastructure but is dedicated to staying ahead of new technologies too.
We asked him about life and challenges at Telenova.
Tell me about your role at Telenova and what it entails.
As head of engineering services, my role is to build a team with the skills to serve Telenova’s range of customers and meet their requirements. We have lots of experience and a diverse array of skills and specialisations across the team from network architecture and design to installation and commissioning in the field.
My day involves ensuring the team keeps busy and on track, and that customers get the service they need. We are a professional services business unit, so professionalism is at the heart of our core values. Many meetings take place throughout the typical day with our customers’ key stakeholders where we may be addressing new requirements, helping them to develop specific solutions, troubleshooting or proposing ideas to optimise their networks to meet new challenges as technology evolves.
These customers range from national carriers to regional altnets. Large or small, we are there to assist with new network rollouts, or help with the daily dilemma of sustaining and/or updating aging networks.
What do you think your biggest challenges will be in the next couple of years?
Our biggest challenges mirror our customers’ challenges. In the coming years, it will be ensuring that we keep up with the new developments across the industry. That won’t be a problem with the team I have who, like many dyed-in-the-wool techies, love to get their hands on anything new! We ensure that we’re ahead of the curve, and work hand-in-hand with most of the key players in the industry.
We’re also here to help our customers close their legacy networks, some of which are nearing 30 years old. The challenge is to transform the networks, whilst keeping the equipment operational in the interim period. Being able to provide spare components and having the know-how to address faults and issues on those networks is another of our key strengths, so we’re here to support our customers through that period of change.
What’s been the biggest achievement thus far?
The biggest achievement has been assembling a professional services team that is able to rise to all of our telecoms customers’ challenges. We’ve successfully helped our customers transform their legacy networks, designed networks for new businesses entering the FTTx market and built our own 24 x7 support organisation. This has seen a rapid growth in our business, that has necessitated recruiting the right people for the right roles. I’m proud of my team and their commitment.
What’s the biggest challenges that your customers face currently?
For the large CPs, they’re currently facing the challenge of closing their legacy TDM networks, accompanied by the transformation to new technologies. The difficulty is being able to retire those networks, whilst keeping the regulator happy by continuing to support certain essential services for which substitutes have yet to be developed. The need to engage with their customers to transition them onto ethernet and IP-based services. It requires a determined and focused upsell, migration or closure campaign. That isn’t easy to coordinate and manage. For the ‘altnets’ their challenge will be to hold their position in a competitive market. Securing and sustaining funding as well as managing costs in the current financial climate. This is an extremely challenging time for those businesses that have yet to assert their position in the market.
If you could give one piece of advice for someone getting into your industry – what would it be?
The telecommunications market continues to develop and evolve almost daily. Most other technological advancements in other industries are intrinsically entwined with telecommunications, in some way. Keep an open mind and keep up-to-date with all new technological developments. Don’t let the grass grow under you. This industry is full of opportunities.