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Transforming Culture in the Kingdom: How ‘stc’ Focused on People to Compete in the Digital Age

Inside Telecom Staff




Professors from The Stephen M. Ross School of Business  at the University of Michigan (Michigan Ross) published a study on stc Group’s successful transformation journey into the digital era. The study is titled “Transforming Culture in the Kingdom: How ‘stc’ Focused on People to Compete in the Digital Age.”

In just six years after launching its cultural transformation, the Group established its position as one of the Kingdom’s leading entities, providing innovative services and solutions, earning customer trust and enriching society. stc became one of the leading companies in enabling digital transformation in the Kingdom, operating eleven subsidiaries in eight countries. stc’s brand value grew from $2.8 billion to $8.024 billion and is now one of the top three brands in the Middle East. Scores on the McKinsey Organizational Health Index (OHI), initially among the lowest in the world in 2013, soared from 33 on a 100-point scale to 71, the largest 5-year increase in the McKinsey database.

Eng. Nasser Sulaiman Al Nasser took over as Group CEO after being one of the key transformers of the culture-change initiative. The change constituted a qualitative leap and was critical to the success of the country as a whole. The case study explores how the company achieved this level of success and the issues and challenges facing Group CEO Nasser to sustain and accelerate the momentum going forward. His humility had him connect to the employees at a deep level, and doing so unleashed the energy of the organization to complete an astonishing business transformation.

Dr Khalid Biyari, the company’s former CEO, applied a new leadership approach that became the driving force behind one of the most remarkable culture-change success stories of the last decade.

Authored by Michigan Ross Professors Kim Cameron and John Branch, the case is intended to convey key learning points for companies looking to learn from stc’s example, and business schools who would like to teach using a timely and relevant example from the GCC region. Key learning points are around the importance of focusing on people first to drive organizational change, the unique challenges facing a CEO after a cultural transition, and the need to keep the strategy fresh and vital to grow for the future.

“We hope this business case inspires knowledge seekers around the world. Leadership humility is a virtuous practice that has recently received some attention in its association with effectiveness in organizational performance. stc’s humble and transformational leadership has built a strong foundation upon which the company continues to maintain its position as the main enabler of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030,” said Kim Cameron.

“stc is an inspiring role model of a government-run entity transforming into a nimble, forward-looking privatized business with digital-ready leadership. At the core of the company’s digitally powered success and regional growth are the goal-oriented initiatives for cultural change and collaboration. The company is focused on promoting a culture that values employees from the bottom-up rather than top-down,” said John Branch.

stc Group CEO Eng Nasser Sulaiman Al Nasser remarked, “At stc, our benchmark is beyond Saudi or other telecom companies. We have raised the bar by leading the digital transformation process, accelerating the performance of our core assets, reinventing the customer experience to world-class standards, and expanding our scale and scope. We are keen to attract the best talents and leaders, harness their capabilities and prepare them as one of our most important assets. We, at stc, continue to empower the nation’s next generation of entrepreneurs and build local capabilities. We assume our responsibility as leaders in the Kingdom’s digital transformation and will continue to invest in this area.”

The stc group has worked to encourage creativity and enhance the innovative spirit of the youth to establish small and medium enterprises (SME) through several initiatives. In 2015, stc launched InspireU – a business incubator, to support SMEs and their transformation into smart projects. The program has incubated 38 startups since launch and supports them with services such as financing, training and consulting. The incubated companies have obtained investments amounting to 60 million SAR, while the market value of these investments is 300 million SAR. Till date, InspireU projects have created 160,000 jobs, including part-time jobs.

stc Group, in cooperation with Michigan Ross University, launched a specialized three-year Executive Education program to develop High Potential (“Hi Po”) future leaders. The Ross faculty team worked with stc to design a customized, multi-year learning journey to upskill the workforce to be digital leaders. The The stc High Potential program was named “Best Talent Program in the Gulf” by the Arab Society for Human Resources Management “Ashram” (ASHRM) in 2018.

“stc” has also established the “Saudi Telecom Academy”, an advanced educational center, aimed at developing the next generation of digital leaders in the Kingdom. It offers several programs focused on the mindsets and skill sets needed to grow digital competence.


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Press Releases

OneVizion Achieves Global ISO/IEC 27001:2013 Certification

Inside Telecom Staff




New certification affirms OneVizion’s steadfast commitment to maintaining the highest standard and best practices for information security management

MARIETTA, Ga. – May 11, 2021 — OneVizion, the most trusted Platform as a Service (PaaS) provider, is pleased to announce the achievement of the ISO/IEC 27001:2013 certification, an internationally recognized standard that is the highest and most stringent standard for information security management.

By obtaining the ISO/IEC 27001:2013 certification, OneVizion demonstrates that its risk, governance, and compliance practices meet or exceed the required controls for an established Information Security Management System (ISMS).

Frank Faulk, Chief Information Security Officer at OneVizion, states, “We are proud of this accomplishment as it affirms our firm commitment to our customers who can rest assured that the OneVizion ISMS is being maintained and audited to the most rigid security standard in the industry.”

Following an efficient and thorough audit process, the certification was issued by Perry Johnson Registrars, Inc., an accredited certification body at the forefront of the international certification and registration industry.

Commenting on the tremendous recognition, John Patton, CEO at OneVizion, says, “I am also honored to share that we achieved this certification in record time by using our own OneVizion platform, OneTeam, to track and provide the evidence for each clause in the standard.”

In addition to the platform being Veracode Verified, a key customer recently conducted an independent third-party line-by-line code review of the OneVizion platform.

Randy Moon, Vice President, Enterprise Innovation at OneVizion explains, “The independent code review was extremely complimentary of the structure and quality of our codebase. We are quickly implementing their recommendations to harden the security of our platform even further.”

Verifying the importance of company culture in the context of this notable achievement, Doug Tribolet, Vice President-Operations at OneVizion, concludes, “Adhering to the industry-leading security standard and best practices makes us a better company in addition to building the confidence of our customers in the platform.”
“Internally, we use our OneTeam platform for all aspects of the business and have incorporated the ISO/IEC 27001:2013 certification process into our corporate culture.”

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Press Releases

Teraco Boosts Regional Interconnection With MÉTISS Cable

Inside Telecom Staff




Teraco, Africa’s largest and most interconnected data centre operator, has become an integral node to the Meltingpot Indianoceanic Submarine System (MÉTISS)

MÉTISS is a 3,200 km subsea fibre optic cable system connecting South Africa to the Indian Ocean islands of Madagascar, Reunion and Mauritius. The MÉTISS consortium comprises Canal+ Télécom, CEB Fibernet, Emtel, Zeop and SRR (SFR) Telma. The MÉTISS cable lands in Amanzimtoti and is backhauled by Liquid Telecoms to Teraco’s data centre in Durban (DB1).

With MÉTISS consortium members having infrastructure in both the Teraco Durban (DB1) and Johannesburg (JB1)data centre facilities, the Indian Ocean Islands have direct access to Teraco’s ecosystem of over 300 networks, 130 IT service providers, 50 global content providers, and the key global cloud providers says Michele McCann, Head of Interconnection and Peering at Teraco. The availability of a new cable servicing the Indian Ocean Islands region widens the addressable market for content and cloud providers in South Africa. It adds new resilience to the existing telecommunications infrastructure.

MÉTISS provides global telecoms organisations, multinationals and enterprises with interests in the region with the reliable services and capacities to empower their digital strategies.

Situated on Durban’s north coast, Teraco DB1 is a strategic interconnection hub on the African subsea cable map with access to MÉTISS and the cable systems of Seacom and EASSy that are already accessible from the facility. Teraco’s DB1 facility is connected to the JB1 Campus in Isando, Johannesburg through a wide choice of carriers, via diverse regional fibre routes. It will allow clients to increase the number of partners they connect with and expand their reach into new markets. Teraco’s DB1 facility offers clients secure colocation and interconnection services, as well as the ability to leverage Teraco’s digital hubs in DB1 and JB1 directly.

“The cable brings connectivity across regions that were previously hard to reach. Through Teraco, access to this cable is an interconnect away and in keeping with our tagline, ‘the world connects here’, we are very proud to play such a pivotal role in the success of this cable system,” says McCann. Peering at Africa’s largest Internet exchange, NAPAfrica, is now also possible for the island region and brings many benefits: reduced latency; network fault tolerance; reliable exchange of traffic; increased routing control; and improved network performance.

Interconnection and peering successfully addresses a growing need for more bandwidth but at the lowest possible latency. This also needs to be done cost-effectively. The MÉTISS cable system will enable further interconnection within the Indian Ocean Islands region and the growth of its digital economy. Teraco makes it easy and accessible for everyone to connect within the data centre and immediately benefit.

About Teraco:

Teraco provides carrier and cloud neutral colocation data centres, and with over 18 500 cross-connects, is Africa’s most interconnected data centre hub. As the first provider of highly resilient, vendor-neutral data environments in sub-Saharan Africa, Teraco brings global content closer to the digital edge.

With its world-class data centre infrastructure and network dense ecosystems, Teraco forms a vital part of the African Internet’s backbone and is an essential part of the modern enterprise’s digital transformation strategy. Its ever-expanding ecosystems move Teraco beyond colocation and firmly establish it as an open marketplace for digital growth and innovation. Discovering new business partners, making strategic interconnection choices, on-ramping to your choice of cloud, and reaching new markets globally – Teraco provides a highly secure, flexible and resilient home for digital organisations the world over.

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DIDWW joins the international association GSMA

Inside Telecom Staff




DIDWW, a leading global provider of premium quality cloud communication services, has announced that it has become an associate member of the GSMA, an industry organization representing the interests of mobile network operators worldwide.

The association’s member base now boasts more than 750 operators, as well as 400 companies from adjacent industries such as handset, device and equipment vendors, software and Internet service providers. The GSMA actively supports the latest tech innovations and developments in the mobile ecosystem to drive digital transformation and industry growth.

The GSMA membership enables DIDWW to actively participate in technical working groups, establish new business relationships and develop strategies that will greatly contribute to a wider adoption of hosted VoIP services. As a pioneer of VoIP technologies specializing in two-way voice and SMS cloud solutions, DIDWW will also share its expertise and valuable experience to unlock new opportunities for a wide range of business sectors including telecom, financial services, healthcare, media, transportation, and more.

Lina Zaboras,CEO of DIDWW, said, “We’re excited to join the GSMA and be able to seize the opportunity to collaborate in technology innovation projects, join exclusive networking events, and make even more companies aware of the many possibilities VoIP has to offer. Also, we very much look forward to working with other, like-minded members of this organization to address emerging challenges related to globalization, security policies and regulatory compliance.”

In addition, DIDWW has the official status of LIR (Local Internet Registry) and is a member of RIPE (“European IP Networks”), a non-profit association that ensures the administrative and technical coordination necessary to enable the operation of the Internet. DIDWW is also a part of the ITU (International Telecommunication Union), which is a specialized agency of the United Nations that focuses on information and communication technology issues.


DIDWW is a platform for telecommunication professionals with full self-service access and real-time provisioning, APIs and all the necessary building blocks for achieving the ultimate control over voice and SMS services.

The company offers the largest fully compliant international coverage of local, national, mobile, toll-free voice and SMS-enabled virtual phone numbers, two-way local and global SIP trunks, access to local emergency services, flexible capacity options, free global number portability, a number selection tool, and more.

DIDWW delivers premium quality services to thousands of operators worldwide through a private and fully geo-redundant network with mission-critical reliability and guaranteed SLAs. Their customers enjoy advanced solutions coupled with a unique service experience and superior value, all driven by a highly motivated team of professionals.

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