- B2B empowers enterprise clients by offering cutting-edge technology and solutions to stay competitive in an increasingly digitalized landscape.
- There are 4 products and services B2B offers: SIM connectivity, Software as a Service, Messaging Media and Internet of Things (IoT).
- Applying new, project-based ways of working increases effectiveness, shortening time spent on product development from months to weeks.
- B2B is considered a new growth engine for dtac with the goal of doubling its contribution to the total company revenue by 2020.
One of the big challenges telecom operators are facing is to create new revenue streams with innovative services. The service market is also evolving with new business models, convergent technology and rapid changes in consumer behavior.
Digital disruption affects many industries, including telcos. However, telcos are also uniquely positioned to support other business’s digital transformation, meaning business-to-business (B2B) transactions have taken renewed importance for dtac.
Rajiv Bawa, Head of Corporate Affairs & Business Development at dtac said the core function of B2B division is to make efficiency gains for business customers by offering internet-based technologies, which still remain dtac’s core proposition. The B2B division functions like a smaller replica of the company as a whole. It has its own marketing, sales and call center team, who collaborate to seek out new products that meet their customers’s rapidly changing needs.
“Under the company’s vision of ‘Empowering Societies’, we (B2B) focus on potential areas to build a strong digital infrastructure. First, we provide seamless and efficient connectivity. Secondly, we offer new digital solutions to support our customers’s digitalization,” said Mr. Rajiv.
“For instance, amidst the intense competition in the hospitality industry and lower capital expenditure (CaPex), digital technology has become a key want to differentiate otherwise similar offers. Smartphones are not only to make a phone call or surf social media sites, but it can be a tool for check-in, check-out, food order or even can be a travel guide and pocket Wi-Fi. It has the power to bring a business into the new era of digital technology,” said Mr. Rajiv.
“The customer market is focused on satisfying end-users, who care about value on money, data consumption, etc. The business market is different. It aims to add more value to a business’s core product.”Towards a digital solution provider
dtac’s B2B functions are divided into four areas:
- Sim Connectivity: The wholesale of phone numbers for companies or enterprises given to their employees as a free benefit.
- Software as a Service: The solutions and products to help businesses thrive in the digital arena, such as cyber-security systems, responsive USSD messages, and mobile applications.
- Messaging media: dtac provides messaging platforms for financial services, such one-time passwords (OTPs) and payment reminders. The other service is location-based advertisement for more precise and personalized marketing.
- Internet of Things (IoT): A cognitive system that learns from, and infuses intelligence into the physical world. Credit card terminals are an example of IoT device that can be seen currently but could be expanded to offer more advanced customer insights.
“The cutting-edge technology will be expanding its use across industries, creating a more connected life. Cars can be tracked or even controlled by fleet localization software from a trusted leader in the telematics industry, allowing businesses to seamlessly monitor and manage their entire mobile workforce. In agriculture, we can monitor and analyze data to increase yields thanks to our smart farming solutions,” said Mr. Rajiv.
“We will focus only on impactful areas, which are agriculture, industry and service sector. They are worth more than a hundred billion baht,” said Mr. Rajiv.
B2B – a new engine of growth in telcos
Global leading consultant firm Bain and Company predicts that the consumer market will continue to grow at a slower pace, about 0.6% annually. While the B2B market is growing rapidly, largely due to the demand for mobile data and addressable IT services. This is a major trend of telecom industry globally.
The ongoing trend is also taking place in Thailand, where the B2B market is growing at 10% annually, fueled by the growing numbers of SMEs, which are in dire need of technology to empower their businesses.
“B2B is considered a new growth engine of Thailand and dtac,” said Mr. Rajiv.
B2B contributes 5% of dtac’s current revenue and it aims to make a 10% contribution by 2020.
Presently, corporate clients expect additional services and solutions from dtac, not only an ordinary connectivity. For instance, mom and pop stores require retail management software to systematically manage stock, use e-payment or sell online. While restaurant owners also want a cost-effective computerized cash register that keeps their inventory costs down, reduces theft and saves time.
“Partner management is a new area we are going to explore, connecting the dots between our clients and third-party partners based on our core business of providing internet services,” said Mr. Rajiv.
Moreover, with more than 20 million subscribers with dtac, there is potential to use big data and machine learning to personalize new services for other industries, such as banking and insurance.
We are here to HELP
“’We are here to help,’ is B2B’s working philosophy. To achieve our goal and philosophy, the team applies elements of the agile method to serve customers’ needs. The trick is to find balance between traditional execution-oriented management and the way to cope with uncertainty – ‘the blue way and red way,'” said Mr. Rajiv.
In a dynamic market, a red way of working looks for unexplored opportunities or radically new ideas to be more creative and shorten product development cycles. The project life cycle starts from discover, design, testing, release and feedback. While the blue way is usually used when coping with scalability and feasibility.
“After embracing the red way for a while, we’ve obviously seen a huge difference, especially the time spent on product launches, which is reduced from months to weeks,” said Mr. Rajiv.
Obviously, the landscape of telcos is rapidly changed. B2B needs to be adaptive by offering services beyond traditional wholesale sales. Instead, it must add more “value” to customers based on innovative services. Hence, dtac must no longer simply be an internet service provider, but also a trusted customer partner.