Innovation, Leadership

Lighting The Way for Innovation – Payam Motallebi

Published 23 Sep 2019 by Isabelle Yuen

Payam Motallebi was working for Optus in Australia for many years, before he made the move to Singapore to join Singtel in 2017. In his two and a half years here with us, he shares his experiences and takeaways from leading the IP Network Engineering team here. As the Head of the IPNE team, Payam’s focus is on the improvement of the core internet platforms for users all over Singapore.

Q. What made you apply for a job in Singtel?

A. I had been in Australia and with Optus for many years and really desired to gain some experience working in a different country, and in a different culture, to learn and adapt and to stretch myself. Hence I asked for the opportunity to be assigned to Singapore or one of the affiliates, and when the opportunity with Singtel happened, I jumped at it!

Q. Can you share more about your team and the work you do? 

A. The IP Network Engineering team deliver a number of key functions for Singtel. 

The primary service we deliver is the core internet platforms which deliver internet access for all of our mobile, home and business customers. Whether you are watching Netflix or YouTube, reading the Straits Times website or staying in touch with your friends with WhatsApp or Instagram, your access to all these platforms is facilitated by the IP Network Engineering team!

In addition to ensuring the internet works for all our customers, IPNE also delivers the transport networks across Singapore, connecting all of the networks to our homes, businesses and mobiles to the core services we offer.

Could you tell us more about some of the projects you worked on with the IPNE team? What were your takeaways?

A. One project that IPNE has been working on for a couple of years is the consolidation of core-internet network. It is one of the key transformations that we have put in place, and we are running the project over the next couple of years. It is being presently delivered, with next year to complete the delivery of the rest of it. What consolidation entails is that we are in the process of collapsing two networks together, the corporate network and the consumer network, in order to simplify them at work. It is a project that I am proud of and I intend to see it through to its completion.

Another project we worked on last year was our Network Professionals’ Day. Historically it had been a mobile event, but last year we brought included broadband services as well, and tried to integrate it into the agenda for the day. We did this by offering the public complimentary consultations on broadband and mobile connectivity with our Network professionals. The Networks team really put their all into the execution, and it was encouraging to see them all participating so actively. The greatest takeaway for the event was connecting with the public, where we could reach out to the customers and share the contributions of our network professionals with everyone.

In my two and a half years of being here, there have been many interesting and exciting opportunities for me. The IPNE team has embarked upon a number of transformation activities, consolidating and simplifying our Internet network, as well as transforming the national network connecting our exchanges to all of Singtel’s mobile sites, delivering for our growth and getting ready for 5G. In addition to our network transformation initiatives, I have also had the opportunity this year to step in and help lead our Cybersecurity program in Networks. With the essential and critical services we provide as a telecommunications company, the security of our network and the services we deliver is essential. We have to learn from the events we see in Singapore and around the world, and ensure we have a secure and reliable network our customers can continue to trust.

What are your aspirations for the IPNE team?

A. In IPNE we are learning about how we can do things we previously couldn’t through automation. We are looking at how we use smart tools to automate tasks which have historically not been done, as the time taken would prove impractical. This is an area which has huge potential for our team in continuing to improve the network. I aspire to lead the IPNE division in Singtel, to collaborate across the organisation, and deliver on Singtel’s goals and for our customers. We will never be successful in silo’s, and we need to work together to make real differences, be it to improve things internally, or make a real change for our customers.

How would you describe the team culture of the IPNE team?

A. The IPNE team has a great group of individuals to work with. We are a small team, but a team with a lot of responsibility. The team takes their work seriously – and aims to deliver outputs of high quality – constantly looking to improve the work we do and bring new technology or approaches to our work. Whenever there is important or urgent work which must be done, the team focuses, joins hands, and all work together to get to the outcome. 

Interested in joining our Singtel Networks team? Come on down to Singtel@8George for a Networks event on 17 October, 6pm to start a conversation with us. Register for the event here by 06 Oct 2019.

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