Officials of Zubair Telecommunications, in an exclusive interview with OER, reveal how the company’s growth strategy has inbuilt plans to increase the numbers of its local workforce. The 100 per cent Omanisation of its technical department team is a result of a long term plan .
Zubair Telecommunications & Services (ZTS) which is committed to achieving ambitious targets for placing ever greater numbers of Omanis in skilled and specialised careers reached a new milestone of 100 per cent Omanisation within its technical department team. The technical engineers at ZTS completed a comprehensive training programme, which included intensive development workshops to improve their technical skills.
Commenting on this achievement, Samer Hamed Al Siyabi, general manager, ZTS says, “I would like to congratulate the technical department team members who underwent this specialised and valuable training as part of our commitment to staff development and up-skill. This achievement is a real milestone and reflects The Zubair Corporation strategy to give priority to Omanis when it comes to job opportunities, increasing training and uplifting skill levels and career development.”
According to Siyabi, such training programmes enable the Omani workforce to meet the challenges of technological developments in the Sultanate across various sectors and industries. After all, equipping Omanis with the necessary skillsets is key to the development of our country, he says. The training programme has been specifically developed to promote the use of new systems and latest technologies, enabling the company’s workers to use them with confidence and efficiency.
ZTS was one of the first companies in Oman to introduce advanced digital and latest technologies within its operations. The origin of ZTS date back to 1973 when they brought the giant telecom company I M Ericsson, to Oman as a strategic partner to develop the sector in the Sultanate.
Since then, ZTS expertise covers product implementation, integration capabilities in wire and wireless technologies, internet services and infrastructure. The company is the leading solutions provider in telecom infrastructure & services, networking, enterprise solutions and related areas with many years of specialised implementation expertise and knowledge of the most up-to-date trends in telecom and technology.
Growth of skills
“At ZTS, we have not only focused on Omanisation and developing human resources, but also on how to increase job opportunities through intensive training programmes. It is important that we support and grow the skills of our employees, making an attractive working environment for employees to stay and grow within the company, continuing their career developments,” says Siyabi.
The Royal Directives of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said describe the importance of developing Omanis in different fields, mainly in the private sector, through training, education and gaining experience in the workplace. “Our aim is to consistently contribute to this national strategy so that we can ensure better living standards for citizens. The Zubair Corporation has job opportunities and responsibilities in line with experiences which help in adhering to the work for long years and contribute to the success of the corporation. We are pleased that we reached 100 per cent Omanisation within the technical department team in ZTS,” Siyabi adds.
The aim and vision of ZTS is to become one of the largest players in Oman’s telecom market by growing and diversifying the company’s products as much as possible. During this journey, the employment of local human resources for new projects is an imperative as the company seeks to ensure that there is a knowledge transfer from experts to budding Omani engineers in order to improve their skills.
“It’s a long term strategy that we have adopted. First is to recruit local talents and increase our Omanisation percentage over and above than what is stipulated by the regulatory authorities and secondly to upgrade the skills of existing and newly recruited employees,” says Siyabi who has more than 20 years of experience in the telecom field having served with Omantel before joining ZTS.
Siyabi started as a telecom engineer with Omantel doing tele-traffic engineering and then was the manager for corporate strategies. He was also involved with the privatisation process of Omantel. Later, he was part of the team which collaborated with the Information Technology Authority (ITA) to deliver connectivity to the ministries through MPLS (multi-protocol label switching).
Skilled team necessary
Talking about ZTS programme for skilling its employees especially members of the technical department which is the mainstay for the operations of the company, Siyabi says, “We brought experts to run short term courses for the technical team and empowering them through on the job training. Now these trained Omanis have to continue with the skills they have obtained. This is a continuous process and as we implement new projects and products, this trained team will be necessary and become the key factor for all our operations.”
The technical department team is a critical component of the company says Siyabi adding that although ZTS has a diversified portfolio of products, most of the team members are specialised. “The company has lots of annual maintenance contracts where technical skills are required. But there is a teamwork happening between all the departments. Basically it is multitasking. And there is a help desk too. Our goal is to ensure that the technical department team has enough skills to deliver on time on all our service level agreements, with quality, and manage within the budgets provided to them. In short we can say they are the champions who manage the systems,” he says.
Siyabi disclosed that although ZTS is one of the ICT sector companies under the Zubair Corporation umbrella, it has a well diversified operations in the telecommunications field of the Sultanate. “You will see that we are in the wireless arena where we build and commission radio repeater stations. These are known as outdoor repeaters and then we have indoor repeaters for business customers,” Siyabi says.
ZTS also supplies PABXs systems which are mainly call managers to consolidate calls from the business customers and route them to internal phones. The PABX systems which are sourced from Astraa, their supplier, can facilitate any outbound calls making use of the available bandwidth. These systems also have IVRS (interactive voice response) facilities.
ZTS also sells the Q-systems and is the biggest implementer of the Q-net system in Oman. For the Q-system, ZTS has a number of clients in government, utility and banking sectors. The company is in the process of introducing a new product line-the customer visit management system.
The customer visit management system is a unique interactive platform which ZTS is installing for different customer service outlets located across the Sultanate. The system will intelligently record and monitor the whole customer experience when visiting the outlet, such as customer’s interaction with the agent and get electronic feedback based on various factors. Each outlet will have KPIs and any outlet which goes over/below the set KPIs will be reported to the management through an alert and they will take rewarding/remedial measures. The management will be able to see the KPIs on their smartphones. This is a new system, which is being implemented by ZTS.
ZTS also has done big projects for external cabling like the fibre optic cabling between different cities in the telecom sector and is the largest implementer of video conferencing equipment in the country which is sourced from Tandberg, the leader in video conferencing equipment.
The company’s future growth plans include regional and international expansion apart from introducing new products and focusing on team development.
Committed to Omanisation
According to Rogeh Hajj, chief operating officer, information & communications technology, Zubair Corporation, ZTS is going to expand in tandem with the parent group’s long term growth plan. “While we are developing our capabilities and internal resources, we are setting up regional offices and we are also investing in products and services which we would like to deliver to our clients. The vision at Zubair Corporation is to support the growth of its group companies while developing Omani talent and this is mainly aligned with the vision and strategy for the future. As part of our corporate social responsibility, and as an Omani company our main focus is Omanisation and development of local talent. Therefore we are very happy with the 100 per cent Omanisation achievement of ZTS technical department team,” says Hajj.
Today, as the whole world is moving into the connected world, the ICT division of Zubair Corporation (which includes ZTS) is investing heavily on broadband technology, and it also intends to invest on new technologies as well since it wants to expand its presence into the new areas and markets.