In the framework of its Engage 2025 strategic plan, Orange announced on November 2, 2021 the launch of TOTEM, its new subsidiary for the management of its European Tower Co. This new, fully independent entity is equipped with the necessary financial, real estate and human resources to ensure the management of passive mobile infrastructures: around 20,000 sites in France and 8,000 in Spain. The challenge for TOTEM is to increase the tenancy ratio of these mobile sites whenever convenient from an economic point of view for the operators and to offer them adapted connectivity solutions to enable them to stand out in a very competitive market.
In order to prepare the launch and to meet the various challenges, the TOTEM project has been structured around 10 areas of work combining economic ambition and operational implementation of the organization and the information system.
Illustration of the different network sharing models
In this context, Sofrecom was requested to accompany this highly strategic project for the Orange group. Sofrecom's experts intervened in 2 key areas:
- Accompany the structuring of the project and the definition of the governance necessary for the success of TOTEM.
- Defining the IS master plan and identifying a generic and replicable IS solution in all Orange Tower Cos.
Challenges of the Sofrecom mission
The IS project is part of the global roadmap for the creation of the subsidiary. Therefore, respecting schedules and deadlines was a major challenge to avoid a delay in the operational launch of each local Tower Co and the global holding.
The second challenge of TOTEM is to have an autonomous information system. This is indeed an essential condition to meet both the obligations of tax authorities and business development requirements, independently from Orange.
Finally, it was necessary to cover the main activities of a Tower Co: construction of new sites, management and leveraging existing sites...
In light of these challenges, Sofrecom had to help design the IS that will allow to serve the objectives of the TOTEM group and to answer the needs and specificities of each regional Tower Co.
To do so and in order to implement the IS master plan, Sofrecom proceeded in 4 main key steps:
- Identifying business areas (Operations, HR, Finance) and associated processes: target business processes of the Tower Co have determined the creation of the IS solution and the choice of solutions. For the operational IS, a benchmark was carried out to complete the experience of Orange France on the deployment IS.
- Identifying required IS components and solutions to support the various processes: the replication of the IS solution is made possible by the use of solutions already mastered and deployed in the Orange Group as well as by the choice of a cloud infrastructure.
- Defining target architecture: interfaces and flows between the different components, external interfaces with third-party IS (operator customers, etc.).
- Supporting Orange teams in the operational implementation of the IS: monitoring suppliers of the selected solutions during the construction phase, creating interfacing components, implementing cloud infrastructure, coordinating Orange IS teams involved in the project, defining and monitoring data migration and business acceptance phases until the launch of operations.
The IS solution allows TOTEM to replicate the same architecture in its subsidiaries and thus have a homogeneous IS. The use of highly configurable solutions, in SaaS mode and managed infrastructures, guarantees the scalability and the durability of the IS solution.
Sofrecom's contribution to this mission is multiple:
- Its ability to mobilize multidisciplinary experts and consultants: IS design, infrastructure, change coaching, etc. .... Sofrecom allowed TOTEM teams to have an end-to-end vision, with shared objectives and roadmap.
- Its own experience of subsidiary as well as its experience in creating subsidiaries. Indeed, since its creation, Sofrecom has managed the creation of about ten subsidiaries on its own behalf with an end-to-end vision of the legal, tax, HR, IS, and operational rules…
- Sofrecom teams have contributed to various acquisition operations of Orange subsidiaries or non-Group operators and have thus developed an expertise in this field of merger/acquisition, master plan or/and enterprise architecture plans.
One of the lessons learned from this mission is the importance of the Project Manager Officer (PMO) to ensure continuity throughout the different phases of the project. In fact, over time, the focus of governance shifted from financial to technical projects. The PMO, ensuring the end-to-end vision of the project and its various sites, has been the guardian of the overall progress of the project and the various actions arising from it.