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AIS boosts 3G competence and improves training budget utilization by 20 percent with 3G knowledge benchmarking
Thailand’s leading mobile operator leverages Nokia Siemens Networks Academy’s Competence Management Services to optimize 3G training efforts.
“AIS is off to a good start now that the management has insight to the employees’ job competence level. Thanks to Nokia Siemens Networks, we can make better-informed decisions and look out for areas to focus on. We are confident that our 3G network deployment will be a successful one.”
Technical Training Manager
Advanced Info Service Public Company Limited (AIS)
Conducting regular training programs is not just for enhancing staff’s capability and job competence. It raises the bar on the company’s service level and sharpens its competitive edge. But these sessions can be costly, time-consuming, and sometimes irrelevant if companies do not evaluate or lack the ability to accurately measure the effectiveness of such initiatives.
This was exactly what Advanced Info Service Public Company Limited (AIS) was concerned about when it embarked on a company-wide effort to prepare employees for the deployment of 3G networks. The operator has already captured more than 70 and 50 percent of Thailand’s urban and rural markets respectively, with approximately 25 million mobile subscribers, and it wanted to advance its leadership position in the country.
That was when the operator decided that a 3G competence development program would be necessary to ensure that its 3G expansion strategy stays on track and that training investments are optimized.
- Need to keep the 3G expansion strategy on track to maintain leadership position in Thailand
- Employees need to acquire competence on new technology
- Lacked evaluation tests or methods to measure employees' competence in 3G technology
- Required better management of the company’s training budget
Evaluate competence gaps for future staff development
AIS already has its own training center with a high-performance training team delivering soft skills and technical competence development. With proper evaluation initiatives, managers can now monitor current knowledge standards of staff as well as determine the direction for future staff development programs.
“We wanted to have a clearer picture of the impact our existing training programs has on the employees. It was crucial for us to tailor training initiatives according to their individual needs,” says Surachai Hirannitichai, Technical Training Manager for AIS. This will also ensure better allocation of funds since employees will only undergo training that is the most appropriate for them.
- Enhance employees’ competence in 3G technology with Nokia Siemens Networks 3G knowledge benchmarking services. Services customized to operator’s needs. Best quality assurance on the market
- Identify staff competence gaps by testing and evaluating
- Advise the operator how to further develop employee competence
Best quality assurance on the market
AIS turned to Nokia Siemens Networks for help as both parties have been working together successfully for a long time. Moreover, other vendors were unable to provide the same level of quality assurance. Says Surachai, “Nokia Siemens Networks is very experienced and proficient in what they do. We were very confident that the team would deliver another success, hence we chose the Competence Management Services program offered by the Nokia Siemens Networks Academy.”
Nokia Siemens Networks’ Competence Management Services program offers a complete range of competence management solutions and qualification project services that can be customized according to operators’ specific requirements, e.g. a requirement to improve a certain network KPI. In AIS’ case, insight to employees’ understanding of the 3G technology was critical. The “Jack Philips’ model” of measuring the return on investment in training was used to test and evaluate staff, and it consists of five levels. The Nokia Siemens Networks team concluded that the second level measurement in the form of online tests was the most appropriate solution for the operator as they focus on learning and acquiring knowledge. “This 3G knowledge benchmarking project helped us identify the 3G competence gaps of our individual staff. We then developed specific development programs for each of them accordingly,” says Surachai.
To ensure project success, Nokia Siemens Networks put together a team of solution consultant, solution architects, and technical trainers to conduct this exercise. A total of 400 operation and technical staff took part in the online test. Subsequently, the test was reactivated for 164 staff members who had failed the test the first time round.
- Improved competitiveness and enhanced company service level for 3G network launch
- Gain better insight to each employee’s strengths, allowing for more efficient job allocation, higher operational efficiency and increased job satisfaction
- Improve training budget utilization by 20 percent due to flexible customizations of staff development programs
- Ability to create customized and professional 3G training courses to increase learning efficiency
A well-executed program
The 3G knowledge benchmarking project was smoothly executed within the given time frame of six months. “The Nokia Siemens Networks team was very experienced and professional. The program was delivered right on time, and with very accurate and beneficial results,” says Surachai.
Response from AIS employees was very encouraging too. They were very enthusiastic throughout the program, and those who took the test twice spent extra hours preparing for it.
Response from AIS employees was very encouraging too. They were very enthusiastic throughout the program, and those who took the test twice spent extra hours preparing for it. “You can only manage what you measure,” says Karoliina Valkamo, Lead Solution Architect of Nokia Siemens Networks’ Academy, Asia Pacific. “This 3G knowledge benchmarking project provides a snapshot of the current situation. It does not mean that there will be an improvement automatically. AIS will have to take appropriate actions.”
And indeed, AIS plans to follow up the benchmarking project by engaging Nokia Siemens Networks’ Academy to provide tailored training programs for their employees. “Since Nokia Siemens Networks will be one of our vendors in the 3G network deployment this year, we can be sure of continuity in learning as the results will be used to create relevant training sessions which will be conducted by them,” adds Surachai.
Utilization of training budget improved by 20 percent
In fact, with clearer insight into the competencies of each staff, the management is now able to allocate jobs more accurately and efficiently. This goes a long way in enhancing the service level and quality of AIS’ 3G network.
“Nokia Siemens Networks’ Competence Management Services has also given us the flexibility to customize development programs for our staff, allowing us to improve the utilization of our training budget by 20 percent,” says Surachai.
More benefits from the program are expected as Nokia Siemens Networks has advised AIS on various actions it should take to further develop the competencies of their employees. Some initiatives include provision of self-study materials to staff, job rotation opportunities in 3G, and classroom or on-the-job training.