Lawal Dania

We sat down with Lawal Dania, on managing the development of Voice products from concept to market as a contractor in Enterprise our B2B division.

Tell us about your role and what you do here at BT?

My role as Managed Voice Product Manager within Enterprise (B2B division) is dynamic and multi-faceted involving working closely with various teams across the BT business to develop Managed Services for Voice products. My focus at BT has been managing cross-functional teams to create managed services that align with regulatory and public sector frameworks and desired customer outcomes around the Voice solutions offered to our customers. At BT, we understand the complex needs of our customers and we are often challenged with ensuring that we can support our customers evolving business needs. In developing our Voice propositions, I look at how we can be more agile with our development to launch our new Managed Service capabilities into the corporate and public sector market in a timely manner that enables us to seize the market opportunity and add significant value to our customers business. The impact of Covid on how we work today and, in the future, has already seen a surge in the adoption of Unified Collaboration tools and my role covers working across the BT business to launch Managed Services that meet the needs of a growing UK Unified Collaboration market.

What was it like joining BT ten months ago, how has your journey been so far?

Joining BT for me has been the most exciting, I work with skilled, bright, and smart colleagues that are accustomed to navigating through the complexities of our systems, processes, and business structures whilst at the same time creating a fun place to work. I joined as we were moving into our new offices in One Braham London and enhancing the way we collaborate. This was fun to see as BT adopted and consumed unified collaboration technologies and practices that we also offered to customers as part of our product portfolio. In creating Managed Voice products, I could always refer to how we consume the same products. In the last 10 months, I have deep dived into a host of platforms and tools that we use to deliver everything from the basic to high-end solutions for more sophisticated customers. It has also been interesting pushing the envelope a bit in opening up conversations on how we can approach things better. There is always a listening ear. I am also glad to see that BT embraces diversity and inclusion and that this is a forming part of the culture. It feels like change and transformation is actively happening across the BT business.  

What are some key projects you have had the chance to work on?

I work on Managed Services for Voice products. In doing so, I manage the development and launch of these products from concept to market. So far, my project focus is on Managed Services for Cloud Work, MiCloud and MS Teams working with business leads to ensure the development of capabilities across our business so that we in-house the Managed Services components and pass on the subsequent cost reduction from doing so as a benefit to our customers whilst also ensuring standardisation and repeatability to see BT put forward more competitive bid responses to customer tenders. My current work on Managed Services for MiCloud has seen us enhance our proposition, develop new Customer journeys and User experiences, think differently in the utilisation of Supplier tools in accelerating our Go-To-Market and open up conversations with the wider BT organisation on supporting migrations onto the new strategic value IT technology stack. 

How do you work and engage with different departments to create the products you need?

My initial work is with the senior team to socialise the product concept and objectives and get early engagement of resource time. Off the back of this, we build a cross-functional team, engage project management, and focus on design and development activities required to build out the Managed Service. Creating the service from concept to market takes an array of skills mostly succinct communication, soft and hard negotiation, knowing what you can compromise on and the ability to challenge status quo when needed to drive change. It is important to be measured but focused as the custodian of the product vision, as different teams see the same thing from different lenses. It can be tough at times however when it results in people buying into to common vision and working towards a common goal, it makes it all worth it.

What advice would you give to those looking to join your team?

Be ready for a challenging but fulfilling journey. Firstly, hardly will you mobilise a cross-functional team that are all on the same page from the first day. In joining my team, you will need to be prepared to engage effectively with multiple stakeholders across the business, understand their concerns and position products in a manner that helps them to visualise the customer value, strategic business alignment and key customer outcomes. This will be closely followed by driving for product success by building each component of your product with sufficient value-adds embedded into it that creates the right customer outcomes.

What is it like being a contractor for BT?

Being a contractor for BT for me has kept me focused squarely on achieving the business goals and targets for the development of Managed Services for Voice products from concept to market. I am able bring onboard my many years of experience across IT and telecommunications sector into driving for product success. This includes shaping new product development approaches around how BT can achieve more with less and within a very competitive telecommunications landscape.

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