When Antoine Galea stepped into the role of Chief Technology & Information Officer at Epic, little did he anticipate that this would bring changes to his personal routine. As he discusses his journey, it becomes apparent that this role isn't just about transforming technology infrastructure, but about leading the convergence of technology and IT. From spearheading the rebuilding of Malta’s connectivity infrastructure to venturing into the business space, Antoine’s Epic journey unfolds as a compelling blend of professional innovation and personal adjustment.

Bridging technology and IT

Antoine highlights the diverse landscape he navigates as Chief Technology & Information Officer. With the integration of the technology team under his leadership, he talks about the crucial task of bridging the gap between technology and IT infrastructure, emphasising that technology encompasses not just abstract concepts but also a tangible physical structure vital for its operation. From managing high-performance tech to overseeing civil works for trenching, Antoine's responsibilities now extend to coordinating with various teams, including those who start working earlier than the traditional 9am start. Reflecting on the transition, he humorously remarks on how he found himself adapting to an earlier 6am start, a change prompted by his newfound collaboration with field service teams.

“Understanding and harnessing this synergy has been exciting, as is driving the whole technology and IT teams towards a common goal. It is also resulting in creating more integrated and efficient systems.”

Leveraging his leadership

Looking back to his first year in this C-suite position, Antoine says, "The first year in any C-suite position is characterised by adaptation, learning, and setting the trajectory for the future.”

The unique set of challenges that have helped shape his leadership and strategic acumen, began during Epic’s first six months. He recalls, "One of the major milestones was the rebranding of the company within a tight six-month period. It required a significant technical input but also a comprehensive strategy to ensure a seamless transition for our customers' experience." Another significant task, he says, was managing and completing in record time the process of building our new technical setup, which was crucial to Epic's independent operational capabilities. 

Keeping the team motivated and high performing during this transition, in context of the pandemic, was also tough. He is quick to say that these challenges helped reshape the team, increasing efficiency and modernizing business processes. "This was the start of our transformation journey as a lean and agile model, a far cry from traditional telecom models, but essential in our rapid transformation," he says, referring to the need to be proficient in quick decision-making and taking calculated risks. He is also justifiably pleased that key learnings are now part of Epic’s DNA. Interestingly he finds that this approach is also helping retain Epic’s talent, as well as setting a precedent for future operations. 

Malta’s fastest network

Epic has not only maintained its status as Malta's favourite mobile network but has also pushed the boundaries of technological excellence. This was recently confirmed by the Ookla® Speedtest Awards, which crowned Epic as the fastest network in Malta. What lies behind this accolade is a three-year journey of rigorous network upgrades and technological advancements. "Building Epic's strongest network isn’t just about hardware upgrades, it involves coordinating, logistical challenges, and constant adaptation to the ever-changing local physical landscape, introducing signal interference and coverage challenges,” he explains.

“Completing the network upgrade was already a very rewarding achievement after months of work. To then get recognised as Malta’s Fastest Network, by Ookla® Speedtest award, is the proverbial cherry on the cake,” he says, and a testament to the teams’ dedication and determination to continue to lead in connecting Malta to the future. “It’s also a well-deserved morale booster to the entire team," he adds, explaining that this badge of certification will require Epic to maintain the exacting standards reached.

Going beyond mobile into the home and business space

The past three years have also seen Epic expand its offerings to both businesses and consumers. In the home space, the operator launched a 2000Mbps offering, the fastest home connection in Malta, as well as Epic TV resulting in a more robust product offering. 

Looking towards the future, Antoine Galea sees further transformation, not just for Epic but for the entire telecommunications sector.Looking towards the future, Antoine Galea sees further transformation, not just for Epic but for the entire telecommunications sector.

Shifting his focus to Epic for Business, Epic's dedicated business offering, Antoine explains how increasingly digital businesses require more complex connectivity solutions, such as greater mobility, tighter security and faster speeds. “Business customers are looking to us to enable them to harness all the latest technology shifts to drive their own digital transformations and deliver end-to-end solutions.” 

Epic's investment in an enhanced state-of-the-art infrastructure, and expansion in the fixed space is particularly important for businesses, he says.

“We've focused on strengthening our fibre connectivity in key business districts, ensuring premium connectivity for our business clients," he explains. He also attributes merit to the dedicated team, skilled in providing end-to-end connectivity solutions. 

Shaping the future of connectivity in Malta

Looking towards the future, Antoine sees further transformation, not just for Epic but for the entire telecommunications sector. "The pace of technology is unrelenting. This digital shift, which began with how we entertain ourselves and then transformed our workplace, is now permeating every aspect of our lives," he reflects.

For Epic, this means a responsibility that goes beyond mere connectivity. As telecom companies will increasingly become the tech architects of a larger part of the global communications infrastructure, Antoine is unequivocal that, "We are entering an era where telecom companies like Epic are not just service providers but enablers  of a digitally driven world." “Ultimately,” he says,

“Epic’s own journey aligns with this and has always been about anticipating and shaping the future.” 

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