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#0417: New Digital Products

Gjest: Swati Sharma

Head of Digital Product Development

Telenor Norway

Med Vert Silvija Seres

In this episode of #LØRN, Silvija talks to the Head of Digital Product Development in Telenor Norway. Services, Innovation, and Projects unit, Swati Sharma, about how they explore new areas to develop digital products by looking at both the technology side and the user side. Swati heads a product group focusing on families in Telenor Norway and they work on developing new digital products for the Norwegian family. Swati hails from India and says her favorite thing about working at Telenor is 'being able to try new things without being afraid.

Who are you and how did you become interested in technology?
I am Swati and I head up a product group focusing on families in Telenor Norway. My interest in technology started early, when I was introduced to programming in school. And I later completed a bachelor’s degree in Electronics and Communication.

What is your role at work?
We work on developing new digital products for the Norwegian family.

What are you focusing on in this area?
We focus on the consumer, which informs how we think about technology. We have a few different products, including Min Familie (meaning “My Family” in Norwegian) which makes everyday family life easier, and Min Fotball (“My Football”) which is a collaboration with the Norwegian Football Federation (NFF) and has over 250,000 MAU (monthly active users). We are also developing a new product that provides voice assistance, called Tia, which is a bit special.

Why is this exciting?
Tia is interesting because it’s spearheading a completely new area, both from a technology and an end-user perspective. The next decade is expected to be the decade of voice assistants and this technology is evolving fast. Amazon, Apple and Google are all competing to be in your homes. However, it’s still unclear what the use cases will look like. Tia is Telenor’s answer to creating a voice ecosystem, which connects different Telenor and partner services to the voice assistants.

What do you think are the most interesting controversies?
There are so many. The discussions in the US around breaking up giants like Amazon and Facebook are very interesting. So is the rising interest in user consent and data security. I believe data security will become a differentiator for products.

Can you name any other good examples, nationally or internationally?
Nationally, Tibber. It gives the user the lowest-priced electricity at any given time. Internationally, we are now using AI and AR for things like talking to people who are no longer alive. 

What do you think is the most relevant knowledge for the future?
That’s a bit broad. I think it’s important to always remember that the user need comes first, and only then should we create the technology required to solve that need.

Do you have a favorite quote?
The Martian: “You solve one problem... and you solve the next one... and then the next. And If you solve enough problems, you get to come home.”


This is what you will learn:

My family
Voice assistants
Smart homes

We are focusing on the consumer, which informs how we think about technology. We have a few different products which set out to makes everyday life easier for families.

- Swati Sharma

Recommended literature:
Lean start up Innovator’s dilemma

This is Telenor Norway

Telenor Norway is a telecommunications company that develops and delivers mobile, fixed line, and internet services to customers and businesses. Telenor's wholly owned Norwegian mobile operation is the country's leading telecommunications operator. Telenor's service portfolio in Norway includes fixed and mobile telephony, broadband and data communication services for residential and business customers, as well as a broad range of wholesale services.