NCS Has Moved Out of Singtel Group Enterprise and Doubled Down on Digital Services

S. Soh

Summary Bullets:

  • NCS is investing in digital services, expanding its operations in China and Australia, and targeting key industry verticals.
  • NCS has gained greater autonomy moving out of Singtel Group Enterprise, to strengthen its regional capabilities in delivering digital solutions.

NCS, formerly National Computer Systems, was founded in 1981 to support the Singapore government’s initiatives related to IT implementation. It was acquired by Singtel in 1997, and it remains a key business within Singtel, delivering ICT solutions for enterprise customers both in Singapore and across Asia. According to Singtel, NCS has delivered revenue growth for seven years running. However, most of the business is generated in Singapore and especially within the public sector. NCS operated as a business unit within Singtel Group Enterprise for several years, but it has never been fully integrated with Singtel. The company has retained its brand name, and it has different capabilities than Singtel (e.g., consulting, business application services, AI, and automation) as well as a different business model (e.g., project-based, industry-focused, and bespoke solutions). Continue reading “NCS Has Moved Out of Singtel Group Enterprise and Doubled Down on Digital Services”

COVID-19: The Contact Center Takes the Spotlight

G. Willsky

Summary Bullets:

• The COVID-19 pandemic has generated a seismic shift in contact centers on multiple fronts.

• Almost overnight, the strategic role contact centers play in supporting the customer experience has entered the spotlight.

The COVID-19 pandemic has generated a seismic shift in contact centers on multiple fronts. First, almost overnight contact centers have transformed from physical locations filled with agents and their supervisors to having a virtual presence where all staff work remotely. Second, now contact centers are the result of an evolution from voice-centric call centers as they handle multiple channels. Third, with options for in-person service limited or unavailable, contact centers have become central to managing the customer experience. How has the metamorphosis of contact centers transpired? That question will be examined in this post.

Continue reading “COVID-19: The Contact Center Takes the Spotlight”

RingCentral Jumps on the Freemium Bandwagon with RingCentral Glip Pro

G. Willsky

Summary Bullets:

  • RingCentral is playing catch-up to competitors such as Zoom, Slack, and Microsoft, which already offer freemium plans.
  • Offering a freemium plan is a double-edged sword, but there are steps RingCentral can take to avoid pitfalls.

RingCentral just introduced RingCentral Glip Pro, a freemium version of RingCentral Glip. RingCentral Glip Pro combines RingCentral Video videoconferencing introduced in April with team messaging, file sharing, contact, task, and calendar management capabilities. Offering a freemium plan enables RingCentral to close a gap with competitors. However, providing a freemium offer also presents potential pitfalls. Fortunately, there are steps RingCentral can take to avoid mishaps. Continue reading “RingCentral Jumps on the Freemium Bandwagon with RingCentral Glip Pro”

Collaboration: We Can Work It Out – or Can We?

G. Willsky

Summary Bullets:

  • The unprecedented size of the work-from-home (WFH) population has made ‘collaboration’ a marketing buzzword virtually overnight.
  • To compete in the collaboration space, service providers and vendors will soon need to offer a critical mass of specific capabilities.

A monumental byproduct of the COVID-19 pandemic is a WFH population of unprecedented size. Eager to preserve pre-pandemic productivity levels, companies everywhere are seeking to mimic the in-office work environment. Service providers and vendors have answered the call with an abundance of integrated tools intended to facilitate team collaboration. Virtually overnight, ‘collaboration’ has become a marketing buzzword. Continue reading “Collaboration: We Can Work It Out – or Can We?”

Telco SD-WAN in ASEAN: Significant Development, but What’s Next?

A. Amir

Summary Bullets:

  • The SD-WAN market landscape in ASEAN has evolved. Many telcos have added SD-WAN as part of their enterprise ICT portfolio.
  • The ASEAN telcos could consider multi-vendor offerings and overlay-underlay integration as the next steps.

There are two types of telcos. The first type is telcos that are aware of the increase in SD-WAN demand and leverage the technology to drive their network services. This type often comes from a consumer heritage and is looking to expand into an adjacent market. In most cases, they are alternative providers. These telcos have accepted the fact that the MPLS market is on a downtrend and will continue to decline. They position SD-WAN as a value-add to complement their existing connectivity services. There are also cellular telcos with small/no revenue from the fixed-line services which see SD-WAN as a new market opportunity. These telcos have been aggressive in driving the market and leveraging their brand and connectivity advantages to differentiate against non-telco competitors. The second type is telcos that are also aware of the growing SD-WAN demand, but see it as a threat to their connectivity business. These are often the incumbent telcos with a large portion of revenue from legacy connectivity services. Most of them still believe that the declining MPLS revenue is because of competition, not due to lower market demand. These telcos also often do not have any SDN/NFV capabilities. Some of them offer the service quietly/selectively with a below-the-line marketing strategy. Continue reading “Telco SD-WAN in ASEAN: Significant Development, but What’s Next?”

Outlook for 5G-Enabled Enterprise Solutions in 2021: The Potential Telco Game Plans

S. Soh

Summary Bullets:

  • While 5G-enabled enterprise solutions offer new revenue streams for telecom operators, they need new capabilities to develop and sell the full solutions, not just the carriage component.
  • Telecom operators will look to partnerships and/or acquisitions to gain the necessary competence to help customers in key industry verticals to transform their business operations.

Telecommunications companies (telcos) are at a crossroads as they rollout 5G and looking at how to monetize this investment. While they can continue to focus on selling carriage services, with the saturation of mobile subscription and competitive pressure, the hope of increasing ARPU from 5G connectivity remains elusive. Instead, many telcos are looking to enterprise solutions as a way to open up new revenue streams, leveraging 5G’s unique capabilities around ultra-low latency, reliability, and significantly higher throughput. Some will go even further and set new performance parameters with 5G. This shift inevitably involves moving into new territories for the telcos, including IoT, data analytics, cloud services, cybersecurity, etc., and bringing these capabilities together to solve business problems and prove outcomes. Emerging 5G enterprise solutions also tend to target specific use cases across various industries (e.g., smart factory, port automation, and connected utilities). Most enterprises do not know how 5G can help to transform their business and they rely on their technology partners to advise and show them the possibilities. Continue reading “Outlook for 5G-Enabled Enterprise Solutions in 2021: The Potential Telco Game Plans”

Salesforce and Slack to Form a More Perfect Union

G. Willsky

Summary Bullets:

  • Salesforce’s announced acquisition of Slack came as a surprise, especially given the $28 billion price tag.
  • Although Salesforce and Slack make a natural union, the deal suffers significant drawbacks. Salesforce raised eyebrows last week by revealing its intention to acquire Slack. Careful deliberation of the journey which led to the announcement reveals what likely lies ahead for the pairing.

Slack came from humble beginnings as the in-house messaging tool for a company called Tiny Speck. In August 2013, the tool became widely distributed under the name ‘Slack’ and its parent was renamed Slack Technologies. Slack is an e-mail alternative centralizing people, information, and tools into ‘channels,’ thus making teams more productive.

Today, Slack Technologies goes by ‘Slack’ and has risen to new heights on the shoulders of platform enhancements, partner relationships, and fresh blood in the management ranks. Slack has drawn a global, loyal following of 12 million+ daily active users across 750,000 organizations. Despite its allure, Slack finds itself searching for profitability and in need of a well-funded suitor to rescue it. Just in time perhaps, Salesforce has come along. Continue reading “Salesforce and Slack to Form a More Perfect Union”

TM ONE Leap Summit 2020: Accelerating Digital Transformation in Malaysia Through Expanded Capabilities

A. Amir

Summary Bullets:

  • TM ONE has expanded its ICT portfolio and strengthened its professional service capabilities.
  • However, there is still a gap in its partner ecosystem compared to other providers.

TM ONE held its third LEAP Summit virtually in November 2020.  At the event, the provider shared various initiatives not only in enhancing the country network infrastructure in line with the government’s plan, but also in expanding its portfolio and capabilities as a digital transformation partner to Malaysian enterprises.  Its focus is on the future of work (e.g., robotics, automation AI), digital competency or skillset, agile working, and Industrial Revolution 4.0 (IR4.0).  The provider also shared several actual use cases and showcased its portfolio and capabilities in cloud, cybersecurity, 5G and IoT, and data analytics.  This post discusses TM ONE strengths and gaps in the market as well as recommendations for the provider and buyers in the country. Continue reading “TM ONE Leap Summit 2020: Accelerating Digital Transformation in Malaysia Through Expanded Capabilities”

Today’s Desk Phone Has Evolved, but Is It Clutter or the Future of Working from Home?

G. Willsky

Summary Bullets:

  • The increasingly ignored deck phone is being revamped by vendors such as Avaya and may offer an enhanced experience in the work-from-home (WFH) world.
  • Those employees who miss their office phones or need an occasional extra screen may benefit, but desk phones can also be expensive clutter.

The COVID-19 pandemic has transformed the practice of ‘remote working’ from corporate perk to corporate imperative.  Virtually overnight, WFH has become the norm.

Although the WFH population will shrink once the COVID-19 pandemic has passed, it will still exceed pre-pandemic numbers.  Not all employers are planning to return to the office, and even many who are will offer WFH to employees as a permanent option. Continue reading “Today’s Desk Phone Has Evolved, but Is It Clutter or the Future of Working from Home?”

Slack Has Blossomed Rapidly, but is Threatened by a Major Obstacle

G. Willsky

Summary Bullets:

• Slack has been quite busy lately enhancing its platform, forging alliances and strengthening internal operations. However, a major obstacle threatens to derail those efforts.

• Slack must determine a way to convert the vast majority of its customers from free plans to paid plans.

Slack comes from humble beginnings as an internal communication tool at a small company. Since then, the platform has evolved into one of the most prominent in the market. A flurry of recent activity including feature rollouts, deal making, management changes, and judicial action has propelled Slack by great lengths in a brief period of time. However, the company is challenged by a scarcity of customers on paid plans. Continue reading “Slack Has Blossomed Rapidly, but is Threatened by a Major Obstacle”