Salesforce enabled us to deliver an incredible outcome and one that’s sustainable as we move into the new norm.”

Nathan Bell | Chief Digital Officer, M1

M1 reinvents itself to become a digital first telco

Now in its 25th year, M1 is a vibrant and dynamic digital network operator that has brought numerous innovations and achieved many firsts in the Singapore market. Since the launch of its commercial services in 1997, M1 has become one of the first operators to be awarded one of Singapore’s two nationwide 5G standalone network licenses. It is also the first operator to offer nationwide 4G services as well as ultra high-speed fixed broadband, fixed voice and other services on the Next Generation Nationwide Broadband Network (NGNBN). M1 also successfully rolled out 5G services for its consumers, offering access to 5G services for all.  

In 2019, M1 was privatised and became a key pillar of Keppel Corporation’s (Keppel) connectivity business, which includes tapping M1’s digital solutions and 5G network to enhance the Group’s suite of solutions for sustainable urbanisation. Working closely with Keppel, M1 embarked on a digital transformation to digitally overhaul all M1’s processes and offerings, with a customer-first approach.  

“Our vision is to become a digital first telco and provide new made-to-measure personalised experiences for our customers. This will involve driving new digital capabilities into the business and reimagining our ways of working so that we can add more value to every interaction. We also want to set a new standard for what a digital experience looks like in our industry, ” said Nathan Bell, Chief Digital Officer, M1. 

With the hyperspeed deployment of Salesforce, M1 is on the path to achieving these goals and deepening engagement with its 1,500 employees and more than 2 million customers.

Making life easier and safer

M1 set out on its transformation believing that it would be a gradual journey, but as COVID-19 began to spread, the urgency increased. “In the current climate, digital transformation is essential rather than a choice. We needed to provide these digital experiences not only to make life easier for customers and employees, but to make things safer,” said Bell. 

Going paperless became a priority and M1 partnered with Salesforce to accelerate the move to ebills and digitise contracts and invoicing. Salesforce Industries (formerly Vlocity) offered an ideal solution right out of the box, incorporating product catalogue, order management, and quoting with CPQ. 

The digitalisation of its activities and offerings means that there are no manual checks required or need for employees to rekey data between systems. M1 is also able to ensure that teams are only handling tasks by exception, rather than handling all orders from verification to validation and order creation. 

Additional results of the digitalisation include an increased percentage of self-service transactions. M1 expects this to grow from between 15-20% currently to around 90%. M1 is also automating the complex order provisioning process and estimates an 85% reduction in human touch. Bell said this means teams can focus more on managing order fallouts or failure, as opposed to the repetitive, uninteresting task of cranking the handle for every single order in every single way.

“When implementing new technologies, adoption is typically a push exercise and you have to convince people why they should get onboard. In this case, it was different. Everyone wanted to know what they could do to help get this out to our customers fast. Salesforce enabled us to deliver an incredible outcome and one that’s sustainable as we move into the new norm,” said Bell.


Omni-channel is being redefined and we see increasing fluidity between channels with customers moving more frequently from one to the next. Salesforce will help us keep pace with our customers and ensure a consistent experience, no matter which blend of channels they use.”

Nathan Bell, Chief Digital Officer, M1

Creating consistency in every interaction

To remain continually relevant in this rapidly changing market, M1 knows that it needs to be relevant to its customers and provide customers with a great service experience, no matter what channel they want to engage on. Consistency is key and M1 is using Salesforce to connect different touchpoints to hyper-personalise the customer experience. 

M1 has rolled out Sales Cloud to B2B sales reps and is using Service Cloud in its contact centre. It is using Tableau CRM to empower its business teams with rich data insights that they can use to provide customers with personalised recommendations.

Tableau also allows teams to self-service their own analysis and surface insights in real-time rather than waiting days for reports from data analysts. This enables teams to act on data insights and make decisions faster. 

This move to self-service has involved a journey of enablement, with workshops and support to help the business team gradually become more self-sufficient. As this journey comes to completion, the data analytics team will be freed up to focus on identifying patterns in data that other teams may not have realised. M1 will therefore be able to realise the right balance between empowering the business and leveraging analysts’ time and expertise to tackle new analytics challenges rather than creating repetitive reports. 

Most importantly, this outcome will support M1 in always seeking to improve the way it serves customers, enabling business teams to accelerate decision making and increase relevance while realising its goal to be a digital first telco.  

With a goal to become a fully cloud-enabled digital services provider, M1 also plans to leverage Marketing Cloud to provide customers with hyper-personalised offers and promotions. Combined with Datorama, this will also empower its team with real-time insights so that it can adapt campaigns based on the changing needs of the market and customers’ individual interests.

Maximising innovation

To realise the full potential of its digitalisation, M1 has used MuleSoft to integrate Salesforce with its Operations Support System and other technologies such as its billing system. Future integrations will support M1 as it works to break down data silos and consolidate 150 legacy applications down to 30. This will ultimately enable a 360 degree view of the customer and more connected customer experience. It will also increase standardisation and scalability across its systems. 

“Omni-channel is being redefined and we see increasing fluidity between channels with customers moving more frequently from one to the next. Salesforce will help us keep pace with our customers and ensure a consistent experience, no matter which blend of channels they use,” said Bell. 

The digital transformation journey at M1 was supported by its partnership with the Salesforce Professional Services team, who helped the telco innovate faster by making the right design decisions at crucial stages. Planning for long term success was always part of the strategy, with an early adoption of best practices to make it easy to maintain, scale, and grow into the future. 

“At M1, our new brand and promise of providing hyper personalised experiences and services for our customers is supported by our digital transformation. With our partners, we want to focus on building an innovative and forward-looking technology infrastructure to keep M1 at the forefront of building Singapore’s digital economy while driving real value to our customers,” said Bell.

Of course all of this innovation would not be possible if not for M1’s employees, and it has helped them to expand their skills by delivering training programs with Salesforce and promoting self-learning on the Trailhead platform. It is also establishing new capabilities in data proficiency and coding, and encouraging employees to embrace more agile ways of working. This drive towards a culture of continuous learning supports the complete digital transformation project. 

As the transformation reaches maturity, customers will look to M1 as a source of innovation as they themselves prepare to take the next step of their digital journey. 

“More and more of our customers are looking for solutions that they can procure remotely and are available as and when they need them. We want our customers and also our partners to know that we are there to support them in their time of need and that we can evolve to meet their ongoing requirements and exceed their expectations,” said Bell.


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