Digital is Not a Trend!

Tiago Félix da Silva Lopes is a brilliant and enthusiastic Digital Director at Portugal Telecom. He recently gave a very convincing presentation in Lisbon on the way Portugal Telecom organized for digital transformation: it settled a specific unit dedicated to digital, and even created a digital brand, MEO. Quite different from the traditional Chief Digital Officer approach. I’ve taken a few notes related to his peculiar experience.

Digital is now

Digital is not a trend, digital is how we live: our habits as consumers have changed, digital is a cornerstone in our lives.

We’re always on, and on the move: smartphone is used in a multitasking context, and people don’t leave home without their smartphone.

Digital Transformation implications for Corporations

Organizations need to go mobile as mobile is present at every step.

Digital is a major milestone in customer journey, and impacts strongly customer satisfaction. Faster, cheaper, more choices, that’s the digital customer experience, which all customers are now expecting!

Digital also impacts values, transforming corporate DNA.

Digital is not an option, and digital can not be something done on top of other things.

Digital is not doing old things in new ways: it’s part of your mindset, digital is about to finding entirely new things to do, and new ways to do them.

Tthe digital wave revisit topics such as: updated company vision, improved efficiency, increased customer conversion and loyalty, greater competitive advantage, improved customer journey, thriving culture of innovation, increased internal collaboration, deeper data analysis, and more empowered workforce.

digital values

Reorganization through a single digital unit to address the digital challenge

Digital requires organizational and top management focus.

At PT, one single digital unit was set-up to exert focus: it was preferred to an organization where digital is managed in silos. It was considered as a timely solution before digital maturity, where digital is fully integrated in all functional areas.

Digital unit is covering all digital functions: marketing, sales, customer care, with the ability to execute (design & web technology), and thus creating a single digital vision, unifying communication and goals, and developing synergies.

The benefits of a single digital unit are: team spirit and cross-collaboration, increased delivery speed, standardized work methods, expectations alignment, and individual empowerment.

digital unit

Digital Unit scope and achievements

The main objectives of the digital units are:

  • Providing a consistent and simple customer experience, changing marketing and sales, products and services, into digital;
  • Promoting the adoption and usage of digital sales and customer care channels, increasing overall efficiency;
  • Enabling major business improvements and streamlining of operations by leveraging digital technologies.

Its course of actions and skills include: digital marketing, e-commerce, e-care, design & web technology, reporting & analytics, and transformation projects.

Many achievements stand out:

  • Management of digital presence (web site, store, selfcare, forum, app, social) of brands, and set-up of the 100% digital brand MEO for  quadruple play offering.

  • Superior mobile experience adopting RESS combining responsive design and speed;
  • Digital onboarding, personalization, and improved customer journey with a single sign-on digital passport across the ecosystem, complemented with online help, forum, and social care;
  • Omnichannel strategy, buy online, and pick-up offline;
  • Integrated media planning and reporting, shifting from banners to social media, video and mobile advertising.

Tips for the road!

Forget waterfall approach, going for agile sprints.

Become thinkers and makers:

  • Understanding the “why” behind each initiative, and generating new ideas, consistent with company priorities;
  • Small teams including business owners, covering development process from analysis to deployment, and delivering new functionalities every 2 or 3 weeks;
  • Analyse, assess, and iterate.

Think digital and customer first.

Digital transformation is about people, it’s about people using technology.

Transformation is our nature. Our life is a permanent beta, never stop starting!

And my personal add-on: Digital transformation is not a project with an ending, it’s a continuous set of renewed initiatives.

image credits: Portugal Telecom,

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future of TV - Leading by InnovatingNicolas is a senior VP at Orange Innovation Group. Serial innovator, he set-up creative BU with an international challenge, and a focus on new TV experiences. Forward thinker, he completed a thesis on “Rapid Innovation”, implemented successfully at Orange, further developed in his writings. He tweets @nicobry

Nicolas Bry

Serial innovator, Nicolas has set up creative units for new business at Orange, Club-Internet, and SFR. Nicolas created crowd platform, Orange Studio for Intrapreneurs, and edits Open Innovation blog International speaker, entrepreneurs & startups coach, innovation teacher at Telecom ParisTech, HEC & CentraleSupélec, and freelance consultant (ECC). Follow him at @nicobry.




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