TalkTalk Group plc

2009 - 2012

Disciplining go to market processes

Max needed some help. Nine months after acquiring Tiscali for its broadband base, TalkTalk had decided to capitalise on the Emmy-award winning design talent in the Tiscali TV team by launching television to the full TalkTalk base, changing the nature of the business from dual to triple play. The market was excited. The company was investing in what is now known as YouView, a JV of seven parties looking to change the face of TV in the UK. Max was Executive Director of TV, and it was his job to get it done.

​We hit it off when we met over lunch, and I started immediately. Recruiting internal talent who understood the myriad systems built over years of acquisition, building a cross-business seconded team to ensure we had full coverage of all areas to be impacted, designing and socialising the largest set of requirements the business had ever seen. Launches hadn’t gone so smoothly in the past, and TV had to be different.

​Over the next three years, I led the programme that designed, built and brought to market TalkTalk’s capability to sell, provide, operate and support TV. My team defined and integrated changes in networks, CRM systems, provisioning systems, the TalkTalk player, online sales and self-help, product management, pricing, business processes, knowledge base, customer communications and frontline systems. We consulted with, pushed, and were pushed by our JV colleagues to ensure we all got across the finish line together with a great product.

​We changed the way TalkTalk launched new products by introducing staged testing, live validation, and large scale trials. We found and resolved over 200 major defects before go-live. I sat at the table with and was challenged by the Executive team, and challenged them back​ – and we delivered the smoothest launch in the company’s history.

Susan drove a … programme with multilevel complexity, extensive stakeholders, fractious governance and very high profile external partners for over three years to smooth and successful completion. She can operate at almost any level, from domain specific detail to strategic synthesis, and is a strong manager, building and leading a very high quality delivery team. She needs very little guidance, … her commitment and energy is beyond reproach.

Max Alexander, former TalkTalk Executive Director of TV and CEO of Secret Cinema