ECONOMY

Michalis Tsamaz: Technology as a guide to the future

michalis-tsamaz-technology-as-a-guide-to-the-future

COSMOTE

Having left behind a ten-year adventure, our country soon faced a new, major challenge with economic and social aspects. The global crisis brought on by the coronavirus pandemic changed our everyday lives abruptly: the way we work, the way we entertain ourselves, the way we are educated, and so forth. Simultaneously, it highlighted a powerful ally for the country, for enterprises and for citizens: technology.

The pandemic functioned as an acceleratoror for the country’s digital transformation, driven by technology. Most enterprises embraced a new production model, emphasising on the online environment.

Lately we’ve seen various applications, from online personal training sessions, to the creation of ICU ventilator valves using 3D printing. The work already implemented by the Greek State is also important. All the services that are either completed, or underway, facilitate the everyday lives of citizens and confirm that digital transformation is the only way forward.

Greece can and must swiftly and meaningfully leverage the opportunities offered by technology – and the coronavirus “helped” us grasp the critical importance of transitioning to the digital age. The momentum is there, and we must take advantage of it.

We must move forward dynamically in order to reach the levels of digital maturity already attained by technologically advanced countries. In order for our country to become an example of digital transformation and evolution, just like it became an example for responding to the pandemic, we must put technology on the foreground – not by necessity, but by choice. Now is the right time to take the leap forward.

The OTE Group’s investments of EUR 5 billion over the last decade in fiber optic and 4G/4G+ networks allowed citizens to work, entertain themselves and learn at home during the lockdown, with no drop in the quality of the services provided.

Since 2016, we have been implementing a strategic programme for a 360° digital transformation. This allowed us to immediately offer digital alternatives to our subscribers in order to pay their bills, renew their contracts and purchase devices, but also helped us win the major ”bet” of remote work).

In just a few hours, we managed to “change the engines mid-flight” and have 13,000 people working for the Group (accounting for 80% of its workforce) to do so from the safety of their homes. With these new circumstances and given the experience we acquired, we are already re-assessing the way we work at OTE.

To us, change is a component of our DNA and we are planning for the next day, with technology as our ally.

Recently, the term “normality” is being used ever increasingly. The reality is that the normality we knew may never return – and that is not necessarily a bad thing. We can and must treat this crisis, just like any other crisis, as an opportunity for the next day. An opportunity to revise our attitude and our priorities.

We must understand that it is not the strongest who survives, but the one who embraces change and adapts swiftly. Needless to say, it is a unique opportunity for all of us to be part of the new digital era. To believe in technology and leverage it in order to benefit the country and society.

THE COMPANY AT A GLANCE

The OTE Group is the largest technology company in Greece. It offers a wide range of services: fixed, mobile telephony and broadband services, pay-TV and ICT solutions. With EUR 4.7 billion in investments over the last decade, it is the largest investor in telecommunications in the country.