Academic Projects


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The Portal is a tablet application that allows enterprise clients to manage their Portugal Telecom services away from their desktop computer.

This project is a colloborative effort between five masters students in the Masters of Human-Computer Interaction (MHCI) program at Carnegie Mellon University and the University Of Madeira, and PT SI.

The Challenge

Portugal Telecom (PT), the largest telecom company in Portugal, has distinct looks and identities for each of the brands that make up its internet, landline, mobile, and IP TV divisions. As of now, business subscribers have to log in a separate portal to access each service. In order to improve a customer’s experience in accessing services online, PT charged the team with developing an enterprise portal that brings the brand identities together into one cohesive and uniform site. PT was doing parallel development of an enterprise portal, but wanted to harness the team’s expertise in conducting user research to bring fresh ideas and the voice of PT’s customers to the table.

The Solution

The Portal is a tablet application that allows enterprise clients to manage their Portugal Telecom services away from their desktop computer. It is an integrated entryway for enterprise clients to manage bills, usage and repair requests—as well as purchase new services and equipment. With the Portal application, enterprise clients can perform these important telecom management functions at a meeting, in a colleague’s office, or anywhere their job takes them. User testing allowed the team to validate ideas about the best requests to automate in the PT Portal. Some functions the team wanted to include go far beyond the capabilities of PT or the customer’s equipment or systems, and would not likely be implemented. Thus, the team decided to pare down some functionality, and keep what is more possible for inclusion in a rollout of the application. The final design offers an easy, three-step request process; transparency about requests, PT processes, and charges; and an intuitive organization of a manager’s services. Telecom managers will call a client manager less as they become accustomed to completing bill disputes, repair orders, and buying services in three steps in the portal. Managers will see that they can easily check the status of requests in the Portal, and no longer need to call customer service or the client manager with a ticket number. The Portal frees client managers to focus on the tasks like negotiation of a complex service package, which truly require their expertise, and are facilitated by a more personal interaction with the client. As iPads are being rapidly adopted into businesses, the PT Portal provides a novel and exciting way for managers to interact with PT. Telecom managers are no longer bound to their desks to do their work. They can take the Portal app’s powerful functionality to a meeting, to a colleague’s desk, to another business site or anywhere their job takes them. The PT Portal represents the future of business telecom management.

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