A1 Xplore TV and A1 Xplore TV Streaming were developed in one of the largest projects of the A1 product world. It took 1200 days to launch A1 Xplore TV, one could say it was the longest product development project ever – but in fact, it was the transformation from a classical project to a constant development product organization. Listen to Martin Waiss and Yuliya Daineko, two of our A1 Xplore TV experts as they share their experiences with us.

A1 Xplore TV is a great example, where project management is distributed over all countries under the lead of A1 Group. With the focus on local skills and resources, it’s one or the other country that leads several activities. For example, Bulgaria took full leadership for Smart TV applications, Croatia for monitoring tools and Austria for 3rd party contracting and advertising. The one product approach allows that the time frame from onboarding to launch constantly decreases with each country that becomes part of the project.

On behalf of the entire team, Martin Waiss and Yuliya Daineko tell us about their experiences in this project and about collaboration challenges in Corona times. Martin is the product owner for A1 Xplore TV in Austria and was the A1 Group Xplore TV Product Owner for over 2 years as well. To him, Xplore TV is not just another TV service, but a rich home entertainment system covering all needs. Yuliya is business owner within the project and Head of Digital Products at A1 Group. Her favorite features are multiscreen and 3rd party integration.

Martin Waiss

What were the challenges of the project and how did you overcome them?

Martin: The main challenge is the very nature of the product – TV and Video Entertainment is meant for the whole family – for the juniors and the seniors, for the zappers and the streamers, for the 4-inch mobile screens and the 70-inch big screen televisions at the same time. To overcome this huge gap we had to cut it down to the basic needs and build on top of that always focusing on customer’s convenience first.

 


»That there is no challenge that cannot be mastered with a committed and dedicated team.«


Yuliya Daineko

Yuliya: I still think that the main challenge in a project of that size and co-creation set up with the vendor is to find a balance between various market needs and market maturities. It is also a challenge to maintain a positive mood and successful collaboration. I learned a lot about people, cultures, markets and company styles.

What is special about this project?

Yuliya: A1 Xplore TV is an example of project that is run in an agile mode, with, of course, certain adjustments due to specifics of markets set up.

Martin: My main goal is to bring happiness into millions of homes.

What are you proud of?

Martin: The privilege to be the one delivering joy to every home, every day.

Yuliya: I see that in several markets we launched a product that is quite outstanding from customer experience, features and quality. For example, the product NetPromotorScore (NPS) in Bulgaria after 6 month was really high and proves the great potential of our A1 Xplore TV platform. (fair enough to mention, that at the same time we unfortunately also have markets with different results. But this is our motivation for fast improvements!).

How do you describe the teamwork in this project?

Yuliya: It was not built from day 1 and it is a result of both tight everyday work to create a product and also a tight everyday work to create a team. It is also big fun to work on this project.


»A1 Xplore TV is a definitely team work.«


Martin: Challenging, exciting, inspiring.

How do you motivate yourself?

Martin: Unfortunately, I am a terrible perfectionist; I cannot rest until everything is in place, as I would like to have it for myself. That keeps me going.

Yuliya: I am a very positive thinker and that way to look on life gives me a lot of energy and courage to do things.

What do you like to see when switching on Xplore TV?

Yuliya: As a foreigner (coming from Belarus) in the country I cannot experience local shows and channels in full due to language barrier, but I have a list of different opportunities. My preferences are news and music channels for myself, educational programs for my kids and YouTube and Amazon Prime video for a family time.

Martin: Selected content perfectly tailored to my own taste. Something new every day.

What is it that customers really want from A1 Xplore TV?

Martin: Our customers expect the freedom to watch any content on any device, wherever and whenever they want. An entertainment platform that suits every customer need without any hassle. A1 Xplore TV is exactly that.


»TV is the primary source of leisure.«


What are your expectations regarding the upcoming rollout?

Yuliya: We have very ambitious targets in rolling out new markets as well as new platforms. To name most important: prepare TV solution for another country with a new Set Top Box, first releases of Fire TV, smart TV app for LG and Samsung.

Working during the Corona lockdown wasn’t easy for anyone. Like others, also the A1 Xplore TV team had to reorganize its meetings and agile sprints. Seems the virtual version also worked out, if you ask the team members ;-)