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Optus: Empowering the people

31 Mar 2022

Interview with Rohan Ashton, Head of Enterprise PMO at Optus

Leading Australian telco Optus was recently awarded the 2021 International Service Excellence Award for the Customer Service Project of the Year – Innovation, as well as the 2021 Australian Service Excellence Award for the Customer Service Project of the Year – Service Innovation.


Here we talk with Rohan Ashton, Head of Enterprise PMO at Optus, about what drives Optus’ team, how the telco creates lasting customer relationships and why the award-winning eSIM innovation was a game changer for customers.


Briefly outline the award-winning eSIM project and why it was so innovative.

Customers have previously needed to walk into a store during business hours to purchase a service or have the SIM they purchased delivered to a location to use their telecommunications service for the first time. The Optus eSIM solution enables an identity verified customer, with an eSIM capable phone, to purchase and activate a service anywhere they have internet connectivity at a time that suits them. This solution enables customers to trigger activation requests directly on the network, via the My Optus app, truly empowering our customers.


Why did Optus choose to nominate this particular project for the CSIA awards?

This is just one of the amazing new things we have been doing within Optus, and at the time, we felt it was a great candidate to showcase and demonstrate our customer focus and spirit.  Since then, we have launched many other new innovative initiatives, for example Call Translate, one of our Living Network features currently being beta tested by customers, which I suspect you may see pop up in this year’s awards.


In what ways does the eSIM reduce the environmental impact of providing telco services?

Every eSIM is at least one (likely more over the life of a phone) physical SIM that is NOT manufactured, packaged and transported to a warehouse, then to a store, and eventually discarded once it reaches end of life. When you consider how many phones are sold each year in Australia alone, the environmental impacts of physical SIMs quickly mount up.


Why is it so important to place the customer at the centre of everything Optus does?

Lasting customer relationships is a key part of our vision and the best way to retain a customer is to give them great service and value for money. Putting the customer at the centre of our decision making and everything we do ensures we achieve this goal and our vision.


How does Optus stay at the forefront of digital innovation?

We really push ourselves to think outside the square and the company actively encourages innovation through hackathons for our own people’s ideas. We also stay ever present of market trends and look to see how we can incorporate external innovation into our own products and solutions to provide unique customer experiences.


How important is it to have a great team, all working towards the same goal; customer satisfaction? 

Critical. Within Optus we have amazing people galvanised and energised behind a purposeful vision. There is great satisfaction seeing the results of this not only in these types of awards, but also by the consistent rise in the company’s net promoter score.


What would you say are the hallmarks of providing excellent service?

Know and understand your customer and what they want, have a clear purpose aligned with the customer and an innovative spirit.


Optus eSIM

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