A. Neocleus: The development of the Cyta network, the goal until the end of 2023 and the message in view of the Digital Agenda
Few companies realize that their success and credibility depend on their ability to innovate and deliver.
By Maria Herakleous
Changes are achieved through actions, emphasizes Cyta CEO Andreas Neokleous, describing the difference between information and social media noise. Through his interview with “K”, Mr. Neokleus emphasizes that it is with the projects that any change and development will occur, mainly in the field of innovation and technology, while he gives a glimpse of the content of his presentation at the Digital conference Agenda Cyprus Summit to be held on October 17 in Nicosia.
-In a world where communication and announcements dominate, what is the importance for businesses, to focus on deeds instead of words? Do businesses realize this?
-The biggest survival bet is change. In the age of disruption, criticism on social media is immediate and relentless, while hyper-information and misinformation are everywhere. It is, therefore, vital to distinguish promises from deeds, and intentions from works. The essence is not in how much we say but in the measurable value of the projects we implement. Communication is certainly important for information, but it only matters when there are results. Over-promising that goes unfulfilled destroys trust and guarantees commercial failure. Back to your question, do companies realize the importance of moving from words to action. Few do. One of them is Apple, which we all understand is a company that shows the way. Companies like Apple understand that their credibility and success depend on their ability to innovate and deliver. They understand that in a world awash with big words and promises, the businesses that really stand out are those that prioritize projects and results. Without comparing sizes, we at Cyta have always invested a significant part of our profitability in essential infrastructure projects and the development of innovative services, creating real value for our customers and society.
-Could you give an example from Cyta? What is the result?
-In 2019, Cyta planned the development of its all-Cypriot fiber optic network, Cyta Fiber, over a 10-year horizon. He then made 200 connections a month. Seeing the rapid pace at which technology evolves and listening to the demands of our customers, my partners and I decided to make the changes we needed and accelerate its completion in half, that is, to 5 years. I note that the project is huge, with significant investments and many changes to be made. This decision was considered heretical for the pace and data of the Organization, but we made a bet with ourselves that we would change. And instead of grandiose public announcements and promises, we chose a different path. We focused on the implementation of the project, with minimal communication actions. Our team worked hard on the goal, utilizing cutting edge technologies and international benchmarks. As a result of this silent but determined effort, Cyta has managed to increase its numbers, from 200 connections per month in 2019 to 200 connections per day in 2023, and by the end of the year the Fiber network will be available to 340,000 homes and businesses . Our customers now enjoy faster and more stable internet connections, improved quality and fewer service interruptions. This means higher customer satisfaction and a stronger competitive position in the market. It also means available infrastructure for the immediate transition of Cyprus to the digital age. This is a work that speaks louder than words. By prioritizing implementation and letting our success speak for itself, we've been able to prove that we mean what we say and that, rightly so, our meaning is to deliver real value to our customers. This not only strengthens our credibility, but also our position in the market.
The importance of criticism
-How can businesses achieve the balance between necessary information and the noise of pointless discussion?
– Those who know me, know that I am a man of numbers. I recognize that effective communication is extremely critical, as is transparency between businesses and their customers. But it is equally important that it aligns with each company's strategy, goals and aspirations. Every message and announcement must be linked to tangible results. In an age where social media noise covers almost everything, honesty and pragmatism are especially important. At the same time that we highlight our successes, we should make sure that we also recognize the challenges that we face. Today when the customer freely chooses any company or service they want with a simple click on their mobile phone, it is important to seek the opinions and criticism of our customers in order to become better. CEOs must be the first to set the example by what we achieve and not by what we say, thus setting the tone for the entire organization. This approach fosters a culture of accountability and ensures that communication remains rooted in reality and progress.
-Do you think the noise of pointless conversation is related to the evolution of technology?
– The noise is disconcerting, often confusing and certainly disorienting. When we as companies overpromise without meeting our customers' core needs, we create skepticism and doubt, which quickly derails the conversation, distracts us, and ultimately slows real innovation. So it is critical to maintaining our credibility that we only speak when we have something to say. And certainly to avoid impressive but empty claims.
Balance between innovation and implementation of strategic projects
-How do you ensure that Cyta adapts to the new data?
-We live in the era of permacrisis, which primarily requires business logic in the management of any financial, operational or technological challenges, always based on the principles of corporate governance, transparency and good management. For Cyta, the key to maintaining our competitive advantage lies in the balance between innovation and the implementation of our strategic projects. Innovation, you know, is not limited to grand gestures, but can equally involve small, incremental improvements that add up to success. In this context, we have redesigned the organizational structure and simplified our operational functions. We are implementing a new system of staff advancement, pioneering for the Public Service, where performance is evaluated on the basis of measurable objectives, strengthening meritocracy and resulting in the morale, confidence and performance of our staff. We encourage creative thinking and delegate the exploration of emerging technologies to expanded teams from across the Agency. At the same time, we invest in the development of projects that make our strategic goals a reality, ensuring that any innovation is firstly, functional and secondly, improves our services and the daily life of our customers. At the same time, we develop external partnerships with startups, technology companies and research institutions that give us access to new know-how and help us stay up-to-date and relevant to market trends. Above all, we actively listen to our customers and prioritize understanding their needs to tailor our services to meet or exceed their expectations. Customers drive our decisions and actions, and the power of our people allows us to adapt, innovate and create a better world where no one is left behind. This is what differentiates us in the perception of the world. Cyta does not develop infrastructure and services to put them in its collection or to improve EU indicators. Every new infrastructure and every new service is for us an opportunity for change for the better, the change we talked about at the beginning. Many times our way is difficult and painful. But when we succeed, the achievement has a big impact not only for Cyta, but primarily for our customers. Above all, it has special weight for our own country. We are determined to confidently continue to lead the digital development of Cyprus and to contribute catalytically to building a country that makes us all proud.
-What are the next steps for Cyta in its part innovation, and what are the investments in this direction?
-Putting into practice what I have already said, I reserve the right to answer you when we have something concrete to announce.
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