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Customer story

Lights, Camera, Action: KPN Takes a Star Turn in Digital Transformation

Rotterdam-based telecom company levels costs andempowers employees to innovate through Agile working methods

Related services
Agile

Industry
Technology, Telecom and Media

Company
Xebia

Rotterdam-based telecom company KPN considers itself a very Dutch company. Indeed, the largest telecommunications provider in the Netherlands started as part of the Dutch postal system in 1752, which later combined with telephone services. When the system was privatized in 1997, the name KPN (Koninklijke PTT Nederland ) was officially born. KPN provides landline, mobile, internet, and video services throughout Europe under various brand names. Its landline service numbers 6 million customers in the Netherlands alone. Its mobile service operates in Belgium, Germany, France, the Netherlands, and Spain with 33 million users. Since 2015, KPN has operated with 100% climate neutrality using only green energy while continuously striving towards sustainable growth. By 2025, the goal is to reach 100% reusable materials.

Why
Remain uniquely competitive and digitally relevant
What
Ensure effective, smart launch of products
How
Autonomous teams work in an Agile way towards a common goal

Accelerate Digital Impact

Unilever approached Xebia with a clear ask: to respond to changing market dynamics more quickly and adequately. Competition is increasing, and we need to stand out. Consumers are very demanding, and we need a product range that can meet continually changing customer needs, which requires flexibility and adaptability. We also need to be able to launch new products quickly, for example, healthy ice creams or soft drinks. In short, we need to do more with the same amount of people. How? By improving project capacity. We need to run our business as effectively as possible, with a full focus on growth. To achieve this, we need to change the way we work.

Cutting Edge, Responsive, Agile

For KPN, one of the main challenges was to remain digitally relevant. Keeping up with digital demands, changing viewing habits, faster product releases, and the rise of other media companies, essentially meant reframing the plot. KPN needed to focus on elevating products to meet the habits of consumers. They needed to keep customers dialed into their mobile, television, and internet offerings. And they needed to be fast. Innovation was essential in products and services. Innovation that could only work with a different approach to the process. Xebia brought in a new Agile way of working, with a faster turnaround leaving more time for new ideas and moving KPN in line with its competition.

“One part of the dynamic is within the chapters, small clubs with specific expertise, the leaders rose up themselves or were designated. In this way, you’re sure the best rise up, and the commitment to doing things and resolving any difficulties become much bigger.”
Bas van Vlierden KPN product manager

Eliminate Wasteful Work

Working in an Agile way meant working in smaller iterations. Receiving feedback from customers in smaller blocks was paramount in moving forward and adjusting to the rapid pace of the market. Teams could focus their efforts all together on one thing and build upon that without lag time. Gone was the red tape and lack of communication. Instead, a group dynamic meant everyone had an overview. There was more communication and oversight. As manager Menno van Eekelen put it: “Transforming is not only a goal but also a skill to develop. You don’t give people fish, you teach them how to fish.” Combining Agile with a DevOps approach helped KPN cut costs and transform into a digital leader.

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