Hi everyone, how are you? I’m Sharon, and I work on the Telecoms team. Thought it was about time I introduced myself.
By day, my job title is Head of Telecoms Product. For giffgaff, that means that we’re the buffer between giffgaff and the charging system, where the information about your goodybag is held, so that when you make a call or send a text - the network asks the charging system if you can do what you want to do, and the part that I look after is responsible for making sure it all links up correctly. Without the Telecoms team, when you looked at your dashboard, you wouldn’t be able to see the up to date information about your goodybag - and neither would your phone, to give you the right service.
By night, one of the things I’ve been doing recently is stand-up comedy. I did it to bolster my public speaking skills at giffgaff, as we present every month about what our teams are doing and it can be a bit nerve-wracking. At the end of the course we performed at the Komedia in Brighton. It’s like it is in the movies, where you just have the lights coming at you and you can only see the first few rows, but during the soundcheck I was asked to take my glasses off, so I couldn’t see anyone! Nonetheless it was brilliant, and I’m now working on a full five minute set to try out at new act nights. And I’m definitely confident when presenting to the team!
I worked at giffgaff as a business analyst before it was born - the name was chosen when I was first here. My job was to take the long propositions document that defined giffgaff and make sure that every requirement in there made it into some kind of system that it needed to. By the time I was done, giffgaff.com was a proper transactional website instead of just on Wordpress - I remember counting the number of members going up. Nowadays it’s hard to keep track! It was nice to be working in that startup culture - just a small group of people getting stuff done. These days it’s a lot more people - and a lot more stuff getting done.
When you have as many members as we do, billions of records (yes, with a B) come out of the charging system, run by one of our partners, about the things that you do each day. We’ve been involved in building a really smart system that means that other teams around the business can make use of that information as they need to. If you’ve ever needed to contact one of the agents, for example, they use the systems we build to make sure they can get your issue sorted.
What’s in the future? Well, a lot of what we do, you might not ever see. The Telecoms team works in the background to make sure all the things that you expect to work, work. Just rest assured the big changes you do see have got us in the background making sure it’s rock solid.
One of the changes that will be coming in soon is one of those invisible ones for an enhancement to the charging system. It’ll allow us to make it work better in a way that hopefully won’t be noticeable to members, but that’ll give us a lot more flexibility on what kind of things we can offer. If you fancy testing something like that, watch this space 🙂
I’d love to get to know you better so that we can involve you in the work we’re doing. You know about my stand-up - what have you started learning recently?