LØRN.TECH #0419 - Modernizing Telenor and society–technology as engine -


#0419 – Modernizing Telenor and society–technology as engine

Expørt: Ruza Sabanovic

Group CTO

fra Telenor Group

Med lørner Silvija Seres

How do you globalize technology that will fit both Norway and Myanmar? And how do Telenor balance the new corporate landscape which is constantly changing? In this episode of #LØRN Silvija talks to Group CTO at Telenor Group, Ruza Sabanovic, about how technology is changing the way we work and why culture begins with the customers.

Noen kjappe med ekspørt Ruza Sabanovic

Master of Engineering

Walking, nephew- Vanja,  Niece –Anika, rolacosters family tim

Who are you and how did you become interested in technology?
I am Montenegrin and have lived, worked and studied in countries all over the world. I’m a civil engineer and teacher and have been living in Norway for seven years now. I have always aspired to build bridges – connect people physically and now through wireless communication to wherever they are. Most importantly, I am the proud aunt of my sister’s two kids, Vanja and Anika. 

 I have a passion for exploring and expanding our horizons, challenging the status quo, and creating value for business and society. The pace of technological advancements motivates me to always take the next step. 

What is your role at work?
Collaboration, setting the direction, engaging with people, and being hands on in the key initiatives. I need to be encouraging and motivating, get the right capabilities in place and remove obstacles.   

What are the most important concepts in your technology/sub-branch?
We believe that we are both the driver and enabler of Telenor’s modernization journey. We work with partners to drive innovation and efficiency through joint projects, procurement and incorporating security in everything we do (security by design). Developing and implementing new operating models that foster global collaboration and accountability is key. 

Why is this exciting?
Because it all starts and ends with technology. And the good thing is it never stops. New opportunities emerge all the time. And you get immediate feedback – good and bad.  All the elements of our value chain are being exposed to competitors, which is good – as we need to move faster and improve to remain relevant. There are lots of new and exciting things happening, such as cloud computing, 5G, AI, etc. 

What do you think are the most interesting controversies?
Controversies are commonly related to ‘how fast’, ‘how relevant’, ‘how much’ and ‘how we do it’. How much effort should we plan for and how fast should we change? For Telenor, as a multinational company, we also have to strike the right balance between global standards and local solutions. 

What is your own favourit example of this technology?
We are currently modernizing our systems and deploying security by design and procurement, which involves working closely with partners and businesses and across functions. We own two strategic programmes – 5G readiness and technology enablers for digital technology – and we are contributing to others.  

Can you name any other good examplesnationally or internationally?
We are also preparing for 5G, introducing cloud, staying true to our API first policy and providing partner interfaces and collaboration. Guided by our customers, we are changing the way people work and the culture they work in. 

What do you think is the most relevant knowledge for the future?
For any engineer, it’s important to put the solution into a business context and to explain how it solves customers’ problems. We have to understand and drive value for our customers. We also need solid insight into all the various technical areas, such as radio, cloud, artificial intelligence and service design. 

Is there anything unique about what we do in this field here in Norway
Exploring is in the Norwegian DNA – a unique Viking trait. Norway has a long history of exploring, constantly challenging the status quo, asking “Why is it like this?”, and then testing the options and finding the solution. 


What do you think is the most important takeaway from our conversation?
Follow the principles of life, keep exploring and learning, believe in dreams and yourself, and never give up. Dare to challenge and take risks. In difficult times, stay the course. Own the dream and work hard!  

Dette lørner du:

Private and public sector collaboration
The power of understanding

Anbefalt litteratur:

‘’Who moved my cheese’’  

Everything starts and ends with technology. And the good thing is it never stops. It continues, and when you take actions, you immediately get feedback from that action, good or bad. This direct feedback leaves you always striving for more.

Ruza Sabanovic


Why is it important for large, global companies like Telenor to elicit global agreements across borders when each country is unique in its requirements and use of telecommunications networks?

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