Process management to establish contracts for LTE and Managed Services

Without yet having started discussions on LTE system or services contracts with any supplier a European operator had decided to launch and go live with LTE within 7 months. Simultaneously, the operator was for various reasons forced to replace its current Managed Services partner. Thus, given the timing requirements, the operator faced an immense challenge to swiftly initiate and complete RFP processes for both the LTE network and the managed services (including that of the existing 3G network). These two processes would in a normal situation be considered a 4-8 month activity.

Together with the operator, Northstream set up a project with an aggressive strategy and schedule to fulfil the very rigid objectives without having to compromise on quality or result. Northstream managed to establish trust with the potential suppliers on the feasibility of the time plan and approach, as a vital element for succeeding with the undertaking is that suppliers are comfortable with the process and prepared to ‘walk that extra mile’. In tight conjunction with the operator’s various stakeholders Northstream developed the RFP material, negotiated contracts and closed agreements for both the managed services and the LTE infrastructure, all within two months after the initial discussions.

Some of Northstream’s key contributions in the process were:
• An agile and swift process with results focus – normal processes needed redefinition to handle the extraordinary time constraints
• Clear evaluation methods with focus on the key objectives needed to achieve for the operator
• A momentum driven negotiation method through clear and consistent communication and creation of a competitive environment despite the time constraints and complexity in projects