Lisa Dewar is the new director of SaskTel National, a team that’s spread out across western Canada delivering SaskTel services to businesses beyond the borders of Saskatchewan. We asked her how she felt about introducing SaskTel to the rest of the country.
Are you excited?
I was on the phone yesterday with a partner who literally had no clue what we do. It was an eye-opening moment and to me that’s exciting – having those moments where people go wow, I didn’t even know. That to me is really the driving force behind everything that we’re doing right now – to let people know SaskTel is not just a Saskatchewan telephone company.
What are you looking forward to the most?
All these organizations – whether they be enterprise, mid-market, or small – have never really had the opportunity to understand what SaskTel does. Now I've got this great team that I can take out and go to market and build out that knowledge base within our customers. I think of SaskTel as the best kept secret in Canada – actually, the best kept secret globally.
What size of business will SaskTel National focus on?
We have some customers that are enterprise level customers. We’re taking care of those customers for their enterprise products and services and then we’re also very focused on mid-market and small organizations. We have a mixture, but I would say that our sweet spot is that mid-market.
What are the biggest challenges they’re facing?
A lot of people today are just trying to figure out how to grow in this new digital world. When we look at organizations that are in a small space, they don't necessarily have the expertise in-house to be able to grow their business digitally and compete with their larger competitors. Mid-market businesses are really looking for innovation, but at a decent price point. They aren't necessarily able to put together a big data centre and support the applications they need. And then from an enterprise perspective, again innovation, looking for ways to transform their business and grow at the same time, all while shrinking their internal footprint.
What does SaskTel have to offer that others don’t?
Think about three circles: one is stability. We’ve been around for 100 years. The second circle is agility. Our competitors are big ships and it’s hard to turn a big ship. We’re still agile enough. The third is accountability. We’re local. Put those three circles on a whiteboard and put the customer right in the middle – that’s a very big differentiator.
What makes SaskTel stand out as the best supplier of these services?
Our competitors are very focused on the enterprise customer; everybody's fighting for those same top 20 customers in Canada. We're taking that same level of focus, innovation, and customer care to the mid-market and even some small customers. Our competitors don’t have that kind of flexibility. They’ve developed a product and they're going to fit you into that, whereas we do the opposite. We fit our products into our customer’s businesses to satisfy their needs.
How else does SaskTel go above and beyond?
In areas where we don't necessarily have the knowledge or the product, we’ll bring in our partners and put together packages that work for our customers. It's very flexible, very honest. There’s a lot of integrity in everything we do.
What makes you proud about working with SaskTel?
I'm happy to be a part of something innovative. When you look at some of the things we're doing today, we're focused on things like smart cities and bringing innovation and digital transformation to cities across the country. That could be IoT or anything to do with business analytics. We’re doing data centre optimization or migration to the cloud for organizations that don't have backups, redundancies, or georedundancy.
Streamlined communications is another focus – giving someone with a desk phone the ability to transfer things to their cell phone, giving them hunt groups and call forwarding. It's about sitting down with our customers and understanding their challenges and developing solutions.
Why do you think customers like working with SaskTel?
We’re born and bred on the prairies and that mentality comes through as we deal with our customers. We’re very much next-door neighbour type people.
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