Who is Alex Truman & what made you choose this Analytics space?
I began my career in the Telecoms sector at the age of 19 at MTN South Africa. While attending university, I worked in call centres. During my time there, I was offered a job in the network’s GIS (Geographic Information Systems) area, which aligned perfectly with my degree. Thus, I did a lot of Geographic Information Systems tasks. I worked with many incredible engineers who taught me everything I know about the business’s technical side, which helped me learn a lot about the Telcom Industry.
During my time there, I was lucky to meet and work with a couple of people, who later left to start CDRlive. They subsequently formed a company called LGR and established a branch in Australia after landing a contract with Telstra. During that process, I was presented with the opportunity to join the LGR team in Australia.
The Analytics space chose me indeed, because, despite my initial plans to work as a Geographic Information Specialist, I ended up shifting into SQL coding and analytics. I evolved organically over the last 20 years. I can say that our customers’ challenges have kept me motivated, which is why I’m still working in Analytics.
What does a typical Customer Journey & interaction look like within your space?
I receive messages from our major customer, Telstra daily via Teams. I enjoy how they consider us as an extension of themselves. It’s a seamless integration. They’re happy to contact us every time they need our expertise. They know that we’re accessible and available.
It clearly benefits our company. Every day while I work with them, I have to remember two rules. The first unspoken rule is, “Don’t bring your preconceived ideas and solutions”. Yes, we know a lot about Telecommunications; however, each time you interact with the customer, the scenario is different. We collaborate with the entire company, from product and network developers to marketing and product development professionals. So every time you interact with them, they have a new product, methodology or idea. You definitely learn something new; this is why it is critical to listen first.
Second, I only speak once I’ve listened to the customer describe their situation entirely. Only then I can return to my knowledge pool and begin to leverage it to create a solution. These two guiding principles pilot my journey with the customer. Only after you have listened, start gathering your expertise and facts, and then put your reporting solution together. That’s how it usually works.
Three most important things you love about your relationship with the client?
The three most important things I love in my relationship with the client are firstly, I love the fact that we’re ingrained and easily accessible. It is a two-way relationship; I am accessible to them and they are to me. If I have a query, I can pick up the phone and call someone from the client, and vice versa. It makes the relationship seamless.
Secondly, I enjoy not having to worry about my progress and training because the client takes care of it. They are continuously trying new things and changing how they work, build products, and implement Technology on their network. So, whether I want to or not, I’m constantly learning and getting schooled on the job by the client’s innovation as well as their Technology and requirements.
Finally, this is quite weird strange one, but I appreciate how they ask us the impossible. They will approach us with the craziest expectations, but that’s excellent because it really challenges us to go to the next step of innovation. They also give us time to think about it and see what we can do. Furthermore, they are relatively amenable to a solution. Even if it’s not precisely what they requested, they are frequently just grateful that we responded to their request. Since they have nothing when they come to us with their needs. I appreciate that they truly think we can solve the impossible. It makes me proud of our team. You know, it is always a great feeling when people trust you.
How do you give CDRlive the voice & how do you assess the customer’s needs?
Most of the client’s mobility-related records are imported into CDRlive. It may appear to be a simple thing, but data arrives to us in a variety of formats. We receive 90% of the mobile-related feeds, so we have the data, and our ETL in CDRlive is designed in such a way that it can deal with a range of different fields and turn the data into legible tables.
If you are an Analyst, you don’t have to do anything after opening the file. Because the data is already talking to you. It can be read from left to right, bottom to top, even before you begin dealing with it. For us, CDRlive is a set of tools. And these tools have allowed us to perform things we would never have been able to do before. That’s the way we see things. None of these entities exist on their own. They all work together to provide many faceted solutions. We have got an incredible Technology available. We build workflows that use loops within loops and parallels within loops. It really helps us in solving our customer’s needs. However, data in a database’s tables are just data. CDRlive’s main strength is the way it manipulates data as it enters. Our role is to make that information readable to the customer. And it does not simply entail providing the number. It entails providing ongoing reporting, insights, and analytics to them.
So, to answer the customer’s question, we’d go to his feeds and look for the information needed. They are usually from different databases. After that, we would combine all of those feeds and bits of data to produce a single view. Then we can show it to them and say: “This is your customer, and here is the information you’re searching for.” Furthermore, what is so beautiful with CDRlive in terms of the ETL – (Extract, Transform and Load), is that, as the data is loaded, it is being cleaned up and made legible.
As a result, it becomes a lot easier for us when we start putting all these pieces of information together. This is how we work. We put everything in one place and create a seamless view that provides answers to several queries from numerous sources. We join all your data sources to create one record view per service.
How do you present the final data to the customer?
The problem is that we’re dealing with people with a variety of skill sets, and some people can read reports while others can’t. So we must always provide the facts in such a way that, it is intuitive so that anyone, with the necessary permissions, can understand it.
Our responsibility is to ensure that the data is presented in a way that makes sense to the customer. Nevertheless, our major client, usually tell us exactly how they want the data to appear in terms of a template. It can say to us, put this on the left-hand side, I want it to be able to pivot that way, and it must be in blue.
Can you imagine life without Technology? Why?
Because I grew up without Technology and we all survived, I can definitely picture life without it. I’m confident it can be done. However, I think Technology is like all advances. It has elements that are good, bad, and ugly. In my opinion, the answer is neither yes nor no. I believe they are aspects of Technology that we do not require since they provide no value to our lives. However, there are some aspects of Technology that, if we didn’t have them, we would be forced to evolve backwards. We would become extinct as a species.
Moreover, if Technology were to exist without people, it would probably lead to a lot of problems. I’m going to use a quote from the film “iRobot,” starring Will Smith. He walks into the factory and the robots are building robots and he says “That’s a very bad idea”. I believe that addresses the need for human intervention. We may overthrow by robots if we have robots building robots. We must unquestionably leave People Behind Technology.
To close our interview, I’d like to add that every success we’ve had at Adapt IT Telecoms Australia is owed to every member of the team; because we’re all integral to each other.