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SingTel forum: Living in a volatile world

Ross Milburn | June 11, 2013
Exploiting information intelligence to achieve business productivity and agility was on the agenda at the i.luminate 2013, one of Hong Kong's largest ICT shows.

Social media is changing the world. When Burrus made a marketing visit to a senior manager at Lockheed Martin, which employs over 30,000 engineers, he was warned not to mention social media, because the manager didn't want his engineers Twittering their time away. "That told me what to focus on," said Burrus. "I advised them to adopt an internal, corporate version of social media that engineers could use to share the problems they were trying to solve and get some collaboration. It turned out one the best investments in their history."

Burrus gave a second example: "A US company offered a famous music rapper $10,000 to do a two-sentence Tweet about a product. That sounds like he was over-paid," said Burrus, "but sales of the product went up by $159 million—I now reckon he was under-paid."

The future is big for visual communications thinks Burrus. "I don't mean video conferencing—that's expensive and for executives. Systems like Skype on your smartphone or tablet are free and they enable us to see how people react to what we say, whether they are confused, bored, or distracted by a TV programme. Why aren't you using it with customers right now?"

The future is about relationships, so never teach people to distrust you, advised Burrus. "In the USA, nobody trusts cable TV companies. What about phone companies? If you threaten to terminate the service, they give you a lower price offer—so you know they've been over-charging you. That's the opposite of trust."

Speakers and panellists at SingTel i.luminate
Photo: Speakers and panellists at SingTel i.luminate

Deutsche Telekom and SingTel are strong partners in providing device-independent enterprise mobility solutions and security. Dr Elias Drakopoulos, Senior VP, Business Excellence, Deutsche Telekom, explained some current issues. "At present, mobilisation means email and calendar are transited from desktop to laptops and then to tablets," he said, "But we also need mobilisation of the business applications, especially sales, customer service, with reporting and approvals processes, and this is the stage where real business value is realised."

Virtualisation provides a gain in efficiency by separating applications from specific devices, enabling the agility to share across devices and users. Business applications are increasingly becoming available from an app store. But security and efficient management are also needed.

Another trend is globalisation, which demands central governance and partners for global delivery of services. "Research shows that in two to five years, the majority of Asia Pacific enterprises will adopt a global procurement and sourcing strategies," said Drakopoulos.

With consumerisation of smartphones and tablets, the borders between work and leisure disappear. Consumerisation increases the diversity and complexity of the business environment, but cannot be allowed to compromise security. The trend to consumerisation means that smartphones and tablets are added to Blackberries and Apple devices, and Windows 8 devices will follow.


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