TalkTalk, says Gary Steen, is a data millionaire but an insight pauper. The Managing Director of Technology, Change and Security for the telecoms provider has no intention of letting that imbalance persist much longer.
With data the only thing that TalkTalk manufactures, Steen is looking to overcome the challenges of protecting it and driving insight and business outcomes from it. Steen and his team have therefore built a service index to allow activities such as data-driven customer diagnostics, removing layers of technical support channels and providing the data directly to the customer. The resulting improvement in fault response time is significant, and faults can be fixed proactively before the customer even knows that something is an issue. They are now applying AI to the data to automatically recommend and action the next best action for customers.
At the infrastructure level, there is a huge amount of transformation. Steen's function is moving systems to hybrid cloud, consolidating 7,000 servers down to 500, moving from waterfall to more agile delivery methods and replacing outsourced providers with internal teams – all while relocating the head office (along with the IT needs of 400 staff) from London to Manchester.