- dtac’s Value-Added Service team must predict the future of connected devices 3-5 years from now, and deploy the necessary technology accordingly.
- Their dtac Call application disrupts our traditional view of phone numbers attached to SIM cards, allowing up to five dtac numbers to operate from a single phone over any carrier in the world.
- It’s part of the VAS team’s goal to achieve seamless connectivity, which will eventually extend to our clothes, vehicles, homes and healthcare.
- Their precision farming solutions can bridge the digital divide between farmers and the country’s Thailand 4.0 ambitions.
- The ultimate goal of VAS team is to improve our digital experience in line with the three major tech trends they have identified: connected, automatic and personalized.
What’s your responsibility?
We take care of dtac’s existing products and services, from SMS to ringtones. But we also search for innovative services to meet the needs and behaviors of tomorrow’s consumers.
Our strategy is to offer increasingly digital services to provide a better customer experience. And to do that, we need to look at future trends in the next 3-5 years.
Which of your projects have already transformed their users’ lives?
There are three major achievements for us: our customer care chat bot, the dtac Call application and our precision farming solutions.
The chat bot already handles 30 percent of SMS queries and has helped ease call center queues and improve both the customer experience of those who can get an instant answer via SMS and those who need help from the call center.
As for dtac Call, we initially developed dtac Wi-Fi Calling to bundle several numbers in one device, but it worked only on Wi-Fi and only on advanced models, such as the Samsung S7, iPhone 6 and later devices. Nor did it work on other carriers, such as a SIM you might purchase for a trip abroad.
The dtac Call app got rid of those limitations, allowing all Android smartphone users to install the app. Many of our customers own several numbers, including a personal number, office number, a “Lucky Number” and so on. This allows them to operate all those numbers from within a single phone.
What about the precision farming project?
While dtac’s sustainability team has been working to help enhance farmers’ lives by offering training courses on digital marketing, we think it’s the right time to boost up farming capabilities by introducing Internet of Things (IoT) technology.
Often farmers’ attitudes regarding risk are based on their personal feelings rather than data, leading to low-quality products. Routinely, they overuse resources compared to what is the actual required, i.e. too much watering, too many workers, etc. Thus, we developed technology to mitigate risks and prevent crop loss. The solutions can measure a more precise degree of temperatures using sensors embedded into the device.
What we are doing now is beyond data monitoring, but includes automated farming techniques. Smart farming solutions will be filled with connected facilities, making farmers’ lives easier, more convenient and more comfortable. While humans are still needed for the sake of control, freeing up farmers’ time allows them to focus on their other jobs, especially marketing and sales.
Why does IoT matter?
It makes our lives easier! Currently, the internet remains a communication approach between human and human. But in the future, devices will talk to one another, too. For example, your home will be filled with connected devices. You could switch the air conditioner on or off even you are outside your home via an application.
In the past, who would have imagined the internet would become a vital part of the agricultural sector? But we need to acknowledge that technology develops at a rapid pace and that our lives will be changed through IoT.
Do people understand your work?
Many users misunderstand it. They just can’t conceptualize the many uses for the new technologies available. That technological illiteracy extends to cyber-security, too. Most people are concerned about the leak of private data, which leads to fears of trying something new created by technology. For dtac, data privacy and protection is a top priority. We put a lot of effort into it so our customers can feel confident adopting new technologies.
The third issue is regulation. SIM registration is a good example of outdated regulations that haven’t kept up with progress. Buying things should be run digitally from end-to-end. You shouldn’t have to to a shop with your ID. It doesn’t make sense when technology can do better and more efficient ID verification.
What are the coming trends?
The three major trends we can see are: connected, automatic and personalized.
As I mentioned, connection will not just be human to human but human to object and object to objects. We won’t even notice that these connections are taking place. And it will lead to increased virtualization, such as the use of five phone numbers on any phone, no matter what SIM you’re using.
By automatic, I mean things will be connected seamlessly. With everything stored in the cloud, you’ll be able to resume your game or movie or that presentation you’re writing from any device. While Google Docs and Netflix offer features akin to this, the whole experience should be much smoother than today.
And finally, with the multiplication of products and services, customers will expect those offers to be increasingly personalized to help them find what is best for them.
How will these trends reshape our lives?
Technology will be much more seamless. Your home, car, clothes and healthcare will all be connected to one another. Your home’s lighting, heating, ventilation, air conditioning and home appliances will function with minimal input. Clothing will go beyond aesthetics, it can also measure your movement and body temperature. Medicine and food will be traceable for greater safety. These things are already happening right now here and there, but they will become much more widespread soon and they will be linked to one another.
What products are you developing?
dtac smart farming solutions will become smarter, with a full automation system, which will help farmers increase their productivity through a shared wireless network in a very short span of time. It can largely reduce the manpower utilized in a farm, track equipment and manage agricultural inventory as the whole system is automated via internet.
Additionally, we are developing a voice command function, aimed at making dtac’s customers’ lives easier, easing the workload for our call center. And a lot more exciting innovation is coming soon.