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Alfa Telecom is a Cellular Communication Service and Major GSM mobile phone operator in Lebanon. Alfa started under the name of Cellis. In 1993, a French committee, charged of designing cellular network and radio stations, made a BOT (Build Operate and Transfer). Two licenses emerged. One for FTML (France Telecom), under the name of Cellis, and another as Libancell. Operations initiated in 1994; though the work was still made on site – very basic, no hierarchy, no real company structure, an MSC (Mobile Switch Center) located in Burj Abu Hayder in Beirut. Initial network formation was designed to handle only 100,000 subscribers back then. In 1995, the whole structure was finalized and designated at Chevrolet Crossing. Where also a headquarter building came out, which is the technical area at Mkallis. Recruiting was on expansion plus subscribers, despite of the high tariffs and fees. In 2002, a series of clashes broke out between the two companies and the Ministry of Communication, thus the latter accusing Cellis and Libancell not declaring their annual revenues. The Ministry of Communication back then decided to give both companies a fixed managerial fee of $7Bn. This went on until the year 2004 when the contract was breached and the golden era of Cellis came to an end. After that, a contract of 4 years was signed with “FalDete” and lasted until 2008. The company was renamed as “Alfa” as FTML claimed Cellis as propriety brand name for France Telecom. In December 2008, the MoT took the management of Alfa (MIC1) – Mobile Interine Company 1, until year 2009 when the bids where unfolded, “Zain Group” remained on the management of “Mtc”, while Alfa was taken over by “Orascom”, an Egyptian Holding, with more than 80,000,000 subscribers worldwide. Both Zain and Orascom have contracts valid until 2013.
What is the nature of the business?
Alfa is the brand name of the Lebanese mobile network managed by "Orascom Telecom Holding" (OTH) since February 2009. It is a Lebanese state-owned mobile operator. Alfa capitalizes on Orascom Telecom wide experience and expertise in the telecom field in order to deliver a global and professional solution for the GSM sector in Lebanon. Alfa has over 1.4 million subscribers.
Alfa is a company that ignites with a uncompromising survival strategy and believes in : Low cost/benefit quotient, Mass marketing, Product/Service Innovation (New attributes & line extension), Strategic growth focus ( Building resources), Innovation, technological innovation, process Innovation, Business Innovation, hence adaptableness, creation of new business models, radical innovations, building distinctive capabilities, core competencies and flexibility. Alfa Company is a competitor-oriented. It pursues the right competitive strategy – avoids strengths of its competitors and looks for weak points in their positions and then launches marketing attacks against those weak points. The ability of Alfa to integrate between its business processes and the Information Technology is what makes it that tough on the spot. In addition to its ability to build its Sustainable Competitive Advantage; what I mean by Sustainable competitive advantage is the prolonged benefit of implementing some unique value-creating strategy based on unique combination of internal organizational resources and capabilities that cannot be replicated by competitors (Technology 2011).
The executives’ job at Alfa is to see the big picture. “Don't manage every detail. Don't get caught up in the minutiae or obsess over every detail, but instead inspire others to execute of your vision. Surround yourself with great people and trust them to do their job and contribute their best to the organization. Involve everyone and welcome great ideas from everywhere. Anyone can be a leader, just so long as they contribute, and the most meaningful way for anyone to contribute is to come up with a good idea. Business is all about getting the best ideas from everyone. New ideas are the lifeblood of the organization, the fuel that makes it run. The hero is the person with a new idea. There is simply nothing more important to an organization than expressing ideas and creating a vision.” (Engineer Dr. Frederick Eid, a Core and Network Engineer at Alfa).
In this paper, I will use the Value Chain to manifest the competitive success of Alfa. The Value Chain is a systematic approach to examining the development of competitive advantage. The chain consists of a series of activities that create and build value. They culminate in the total value delivered by an organization.
Why is the chosen business successful in the highly competitive market?
Here goods are received from a company's suppliers. They are stored until they are needed on the production/assembly line. Goods are moved around the organization. So basically in Alfa, goods and services are not imported like other companies, Alfa deliver services and goods to the layman and provide the necessary supplies of tangible and intangible services.
This is where the core and networking aspect of the company lays, through SMSC, SMS Center. This is where all operations and phone transactions are held. Here is the brain of the company and its hub. It is in the operations where all new projects are innovated and created and written. It’s where programmers reside and each and every conflict in a SMS or a phone call or a credit transfer transaction or a coverage breakdown etc. Here is the biggest responsibility and leadership recline.
In outbound logistics, the services are provided to the consumer, meaning the individual. Services range from cellular lines, to offers, to alfa website etc. Those finished goods and ready to be sold, and especially phone lines, whether fixed or prepaid.
D-Marketing and Sales:
In true customer orientated fashion, at this stage the organization prepares the offering to meet the needs of targeted customers. This area focuses strongly upon marketing communications and the promotions mix.
In alfa, the marketing department has a great deal of importance and plays a major role as it relates and associates with the operations and networking and also IT department in order to deliver the Operations Department, their projects and innovative ideas so the latter can study if can or cannot be implemented or if it is possible or not, and, most of the time, operations work together as a groupon so many projects. The marketing departments also operate the alfa website and engineer its structure and everything related to it.
Alfa’s Customer Service Representatives are pleased to be at your service all year round, 7 days a week from 7:00 am till 1:00 am, through our free of charge Helpline (111). You are always welcome at any of Alfa’s Points of Service. Alfa’s office hours are: from Monday till Friday (8:00 am until 5:00 pm) and on Saturdays (8:00 am until 1:00pm) except for national official holidays, where offices will be closed.
You may find below our Points of Service addresses:
- Beirut: Palm Center, Chevrolet Round About.
- Tripoli: Maarad Rachid Karameh walk, Abraj al-Saaidi, opposite to Al-Nini hospital.
- Chtaura: El-Hayek center, Main Street, next to Green's Café.
- Saida: Al-Sharki walk, Next to Municipality Roundabout Al-Tajhiz Wa El-Bena'a building.
- Jounieh : Jounieh Highway, Nehman Center near PHD
- Halba: Maronites Street, Makhoul Building, Near Ogero
- Nabatieh: Habbouch highway, Haidar Building, Near FNB
N.B: POS Chtaura and POS Saida close their doors from Monday to Friday from 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM. For all kinds of transactions; Alfa’s Cashiers will be pleased to assist you from Monday till Friday from 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM, and on Saturday from 8:00 AM till 1:00 PM.
BlackBerry Service from Alfa
Keeping on top of your web email when you’re on the move can be hard work. You cannot always get to a PC and if you’ve got more than one email account it’s often difficult to check them all. With BlackBerry from Alfa your email finds you, wherever you are. You can reply, rather than waiting until you’re back in the office. Or you could just use your BlackBerry Smartphone to make and receive calls, access the Web, enjoy Instant Communication & Chatting and make upon that, on the spot decisions.
Why BlackBerry from Alfa?
The BlackBerry solution from Alfa gives mobile users access to email, phone, data, applications, games and the Internet from a Smartphone. The solution can be tailored made to meet the needs of one person or an entire enterprise, to any scale, in any industry. If you’re looking to gain a competitive edge, increase your productivity and save time, the BlackBerry Solution from Alfa is the wireless connectivity solutions to help keep you in-the-loop when it really matters. And of course our Call Center ready to respond to any kind of services on the phone and free of charge…
Alfa Business Service:
In business everything simmers down to communication. Whether you're communicating with the exterior world or within your corporation, efficient and effective communication is primeval. Alfa Business service is the ultimate business solution that meets your business communication needs on every level, merely because it was developed by proficient for proficient. No one knows your business the way you do. That's why Alfa is giving you the opportunity to become accustomed with your private network to your needs. With Alfa Business you are able to set your own specifications for each and every line in your network. For instance, you could set a maximum consumption ceiling or limit outgoing calls. You can even choose to include your fixed lines in your private network. By being this flexible, Alfa Business puts you in control. And so many other services that alfa provides, such as control over your communication bill, preferential tariffs on your calls, free corporate services, mobile internet etc (Malik & Ruwadi 2011).
Alfa’s aim here is to deliver efficiency and effectiveness. Meaning that it has and is successful in delivering and providing the least tariffs and prices, thus generating the best quality at the same time.
In Alfa, Technology is an important source of competitive advantage. Companies need to innovate to reduce costs and to protect and sustain competitive advantage. This could include production technology, Internet marketing activities, lean manufacturing, Customer Relationship Management, and many other technological developments.
H-Human Resource Management:
Alfa continuously seeks to recruit qualified, devoted, motivated professionals who are providers of innovative quality solutions.
To apply for an employment opportunity at Alfa, you can send your resume or CV to:
What problems could “chosen business” faces in the current economic
Management, Organization and Technology play a major role in Alfa Mobile Company. On an organization level, the company separates between business functions, thus comprehending Sales and Marketing, Human Resources, Finance and Accounting, Production and Manufacturing, each given separately the weight it deserves. Alfa always seek to have the most unique business processes, culture and politics.
Management-wise, Alfa exhibits the most preeminent and proficient managers who are able to indulge and project into unstructured decisions that may encounter the company, whether locally or externally. Alfa has proactive directors who possess the ultimate creativity, visioning, and experience to set organizational and competitive strategies to respond to the various business challenges out there in the world. Example on Organizational dimension of Alfa includes monitoring service levels and costs; improving performance, help change agents to effectively explore, understand and communicate about organizations; Improve coverage etc. According to Frederick, Alfa strives to provide effective information systems, technology and services in support of the company’s survival.
Alfa does not miss out any business opportunity as a result of its approach to IT. Alfa always seeks the long view approach that incorporates future change by projecting current economic, political, and technological drivers into futures scenarios and understanding emerging technologies. Alfa is proactive, not reactive, this means anticipating problems and designing strategies to resolve them before they occur. The organization’s vision is not being limited to catching up with what exists in the developed world. This will simply guaranteee the propagation of the gap between other companies and Alfa. Secondly, it will perpetuate problems of appropriateness, adaptability, etc., perennial issues which will continue to eat up Alfa’s meager resources.
From a technical approach, Alfa has the disciplines that are indispensable to the company, such as Computer Science, Management Science and Operations Research, in which we pay an ample attention to each and every factor of those three. For example on a computer science discipline, Alfa is involved in theories of computability, methods of computation, and methods of efficient data storage and access within the company. On a management science level, Alfa emphasizes the development of models for decision-making and management practices and at length, the operations research discipline focuses on mathematical techniques for optimizing selected parameters of organizations such as transportation, inventory control, and transaction costs (Storbacka, K, Polsa, P, & Sääkjärvi 2011).
On the other hand, Alfa’s behavioral approach plays an essential part in its information systems that arise in the development and long-term maintenance of information technology. Issues such as strategic business integration, design, implementation, utilization, and management, all need a proper and successful cognitive approach to be usefully explored. Economists, marketing and sales personnel, businessmen and many others etc. study information systems with an interest in what impact systems have on control and cost structures within the firm and within markets.
One of the mostly crucial and prudent aspect that characterizes Alfa does not expose itself to sudden change or cyclical change, meaning that it seeks and eyes and even pursues the best there is and the most sophisticated there is and the most difficult there is, even if it have to pay a very high price, just to be safe and not vulnerable in the face of business challenges that force some to change. In Alfa, employees are highly trained on all levels, and set to any type of barrier that may cause a transition of any kind. So the workers’ keen and persistent efforts to constantly bring about immunity and embrace a very much flexible IT Infrastructure, put Alfa on the track of capable to any further distracting outlook of any kind (Girotra, K, & Netessine 2011).
Factors that hinder Alfa from attaining its goals are:
- Lack of harmony across senior management/key stakeholders on business goals & objectives.
- Lack of coalition between business goals/objectives and programs/projects, Resource availability.
- Lack of metrics to calculate progress against achieving objectives, Subjective, political or influence-driven work prioritization.
- Upper management that is ignorant to the fundamentals of the business.
- Taxes and other legislative/government officialdom.
- · Internal attributes that hinder the achievement of the desired goal.
- · Lack of understanding about the goal-setting process.
- · Lack of commitment to the goal.
- · Inactivity.
- · Lack of a real destination.
What are the lessons to be learnt from a “similar business environment”
to that of your chosen one?
There are copious reasons for as far as change is concerned, and as further and deeper we dig into this company, we came to realize how tremendously up-to-date alfa is, keeping in mind that it is actually managed by one of the world top leading telecom companies, Orascom Telecom –Egypt. According to Eng. Frederick and to many others from top to bottom, and according to the company’s prolific profile and record, and based on what the company had achieved and still achieving and still yet to come, change has no room whatsoever in alfa for hundreds of valid and radical reasons. Alfa currently uses the most sophisticated technology in addition to the finest and most paramount expertise out there, whether in training its employees extensively in Ericsson or Nokia or even all around the globe. According to Eng. Eid, alfa is always in pursue of the newest, the latest and the most evolved within the market, keeping its foundation on all levels alert, responsive, willing, adaptive and ready to whatever challenge or change that may occur, thus not impacting any of its department due to its stern and flexible immunity of always being up-to-date and competitive and ahead of any rival. And in fact, and on the ground, we are talking about one of Lebanon’s pioneer firm, managed by one of the world’s pioneer firm. And even upon a necessary change in a system, staff, employees and each and every residence within the company is used to such environment and trained a way before applying any new stuff. Alfa is a widely customer-oriented organization that encourages leadership, decision making all across its functional areas and levels in addition to being a fortress of motivation and challenge(Storbacka, K, Polsa, P, & Sääkjärvi 2011).
Alfa is a major and fundamental company in the core of the Lebanese telecommunication. I run out of words when I want to anticipate any recommendation for the company, because as I mentioned before, and as it is broadly known, Alfa possesses an ultimate knowledge and insight of sufficient focus centered on innovations that are indispensable to bring about future growth and expansion in addition to future worth and value. Leadership teams in Alfa comprise of a vast sophisticated pioneer and paramount indicators and assessments to support the build-up of successful and effective strategic investments in innovations, and are able to step up growth beyond any projected performance of their foundational operations and networks. Future-value quality breakdown can enumerate the market's prospects of whether a firm has a constructive or negative growth improvement in relation to its peers. I advise Alfa to proceed with its intensive and booming work flow, and always recommend the executives and officials to constantly integrate IT with the company’s business processes in order to maintain a long-term sustainable growth that can always keep the business one step ahead of its rivals and competitors. Alfa is always embracing novel and disorderly ideas, and leveraging open innovation and straight sourcing techniques that join suppliers, workers and management together.
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