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The Changing Face of the Telecom Industry

By Chee Leng Loy, Regional Vice President, Asia Pacific and Middle East (APME), Infinite Convergence Solutions

The Changing Face of the Telecom Industry

Chee Leng Loy, Regional Vice President, Asia Pacific and Middle East (APME), Infinite Convergence Solutions

The telecommunications sector has grown at a pace beyond imagination and is changing rapidly. If an organization does not embrace new technologies in telecom, they will eventually lose competitive advantage and customers in the long run. While new technologies are not possible in all industries (e.g. human craftsmanship is required in many industries and cannot be replaced with machines), it can still be a force multiplier for many organizations in customer engagement, operational efficiencies, new service creations, and service quality.

Perks of Telecom Industry

Many CIOs and CEOs do not understand how new developments in telecommunications can be a transformative force within their organizations. For example, despite the growth of Smartphone penetration and the mobile app space, many companies have failed to come up with a comprehensive mobile strategy.  The more strategic and forward thinking companies will, however, look at how they can leverage the user experiences and preferences in IM communications to enhance business and customer communications.IM services, such as Whatsapp and WeChat, have transformed SMS messaging on smartphones. 

About 5 years ago, SMS was the de rigueur messaging solution for the population.

"The more strategic and forward thinking companies will, however, look at how they can leverage the user experiences and preferences in IM communications to enhance business and customer communications"

As an example of innovating in this area, we saw personal messaging was moving on to IM apps but we also saw the huge potential for enterprises to utilize SMS/MMS.  The integration of SMS/MMS into enterprise applications enables organizations to send alerts, notifications, One-Time-Passwords, and interactive 2 way messages etc to its customers. The robustness and immediacy of SMS delivery from business applications to customers provide new opportunities for wireless solution providers to grow from platform-based product companies to a more service-based companies.  By realizing this, we were able to make great strides in our wireless offerings.

I believe, an organization can certainly reap the benefits of the Telecommunications industry in a much improved manner, but it can only be done with strategic support from top management. This also means the organizations will have to expand its IT employees’ skills and cultivate mindsets to think more strategically about telecommunications developments. To do this, those at the top of the organization need to lead the charge with integrity. A leader without integrity will not win the trust of the people under his or her leadership.

Future Endeavors of the Industry

For the Telecommunications industry as a whole, we are seeing three dominant trends emerge and continue to flourish:

  1. Mobility: Growth of mobile connectivity has surpassed the growth of fixed line connectivity.  Globally, what’s driving this mobility growth further is the accelerated availability of cheap Smartphones in developing countries.   With more capable Smartphones, businesses and organizations must now look at how to reach out to their stakeholders or customers with new mobile-centric business models, services and applications.
     
  2. IoT (Internet of Things): The clear implication of this trend is that all of these devices will contribute to an astronomical growth in data volumes. The data growth will create opportunities for the providers to enable not only IoT services but also to create more value added IoT services (e.g. assisted-living devices that inter-connect with each other to help the elderly.)
     
  3. Big Data: The ability to perform swift analyses of  Big Data to improve customer experience, or drive revenues from new services, or to enhance operational efficiencies, will be critical for companies. Companies need to understand customers’ wants, usage patterns, locations and preferences to deliver a superior interactive experience in a mobile world. 

The Telecommunications industry is on the cusp of something new and great, and all companies and providers must be prepared to innovate and accept this new wave of growth.

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