‘It’s a fine art giving everything 100% dedication’

Melissa Doré, Chief Operating Officer at Ori

Dedication. Dedication. Dedication. According to the Cambridge Dictionary, dedication is “the willingness to give a lot of time and energy to something because it is important”.

For Millennials, dedicating themselves to something is easier than most think. The key Is that companies understand the needs of the new generation and give them things such as flexibility, transparency and an opportunity to grow.

Melissa Doré, Chief Operating Officer at on-demand multi-access edge computing platform Ori, talks to João Marques Lima on her experience as a Millennial, the company that is transforming edge ecosystems and what the future holds.


What is your view of the industry you are in?

The telecoms industry provides the very backbone of everything that connects us, and yet it is invisible.

I think it is precisely because it is somewhat invisible that we expect all the more of it: instant, reliable connectivity is something we take for granted, and flaws in quality of service are a major source of frustration for users.

It is the underpinning telecoms technology that has enabled innovation in other industries and yet, the industry itself has recently struggled with commercial innovation.

I found it difficult at first to understand why things moved slowly – I soon came to terms with the fact that running a major operation in telecoms means big teams.

And with big teams come long processes, sometimes (more often than not) leaving little room for agility or flexibility.

However, I have also found my way into the telecommunications industry during a time of change, with exciting discussions around 5G rollouts, low latency communication and edge computing.

Edge Computing is the particular area of the industry Ori is focused on, and my view is simply that it’s an exciting time to be working in the space.

As a complimentary extension to cloud computing, the development of the mobile edge could prove to be integral to a number of exciting possibilities in smart cities and industrial IoT.

There’s plenty of innovation bubbling away beneath the surface.


What has been your major accomplishment to date?

Delivering my first 5G project at Room One within three months of first hearing the term “5G”.

Before Ori, I joined Room One, a technology lab that specialised in building use cases and projects for 5G, straight out of finishing a Masters in Art Theory.

Let’s just say I was a little unprepared for understanding how networks even work, let alone know how to design and deliver a compelling 5G use case.


 As a COO, what are the main challenges you face?

Every COO becomes what the company needs them to be, and this involves jumping between being reactive and proactive.

In parallel to supporting wider strategy, roadmaps and project delivery, I’m dealing with NDAs, financial records, preparing annual accounts and VAT returns, which demands consistent multitasking.

It’s a fine art giving everything 100% dedication: there’s a lot to be done to deliver full functionality of the business and drive extensive growth.


 What do companies need to know about millennials?

Telecoms has long neglected the millennials by denying them flexibility.

Meanwhile, millennials have redefined customer expectations and rewritten the rules of what it means to be a consumer.

Millennials expect transparency and flexibility.

We’re accustomed to usercentric offerings; we expect value, and quickly.

We’re also very inclined to make decisions based on word of mouth.

Having said that, loyalty can be lost as quickly as it is gained.

Melissa Doré, Chief Operating Officer at Ori

Deloitte states that millennials are innovation orientated: a truly good offering is contagious, and for that offering to stand out, it is usually going to be changing the status quo.

I believe there is something to be learned from millennials from a business operations perspective.

Monolithic business models don’t allow for quick failures.

Failure needs to become an option: it enables companies to move straight to the next iteration and rapidly improve – this is ingrained in the way millennials work.

Companies need to be aware that millennials aren’t just their customers, they’re also employees.

Throw people and departments together who might not otherwise cross paths and see what comes of it.

Test, review, build often.


 What do you expect from the industry and its future?

Like all longstanding industries, it will adapt or die.

Technical breakthroughs are only relevant if they drive commercial innovation: commercial innovation is something that’s been missing for telecoms for a while, and that needs to change.

The industry is on the path to digital.

With the promise of future networks delivering scalability, efficiency, flexibility and better use of resources, 5G is poised to be the saviour of the telcos.

The telecoms industry understands it needs to change though, and we’ll see a huge shift in the next 5 years driven by technical capabilities such as edge computing and virtualisation, but we’ll also see disruption in the value chain.

It is crucial that the physical infrastructure roadmap is closely aligned with the network requirements of tomorrow, in order to deliver and respond to the explosion of technology demands.

In response to this, we see a push for digital innovation to bring services forward, and closer to the user.

Multi-access Edge Computing is going to play a significant role in shaping the next growth period in the industry.

Moving compute power closer to the network edge affords the instantaneous, uninterrupted connection we demand.

Once operators and innovative internet brands realise how they can collaborate and monetise the technology, some really exciting use cases will emerge.

The future of the industry will be truly defined by how we build the ecosystems of tomorrow, with the edge being the key to delivering the promise of 5G.


 Where do you want to be in 10 years time?

I want to have taken Ori to the level where it has truly made an impact on the telecommunications industry: by enabling external innovation, we’re opening networks up and redefining access to connectivity.

In ten years, I see this as having been the catalyst for truly seamless communication.

On a personal note, women in the industry are becoming increasingly vocal and influential: I intend to be a driving force within that.