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The state of telcos in Asia

Zafar Anjum | June 3, 2014
Interview with Suresh Bhatt, Head of Telecoms in South East Asia, Tech Mahindra

"Tech Mahindra has been formally in the integration business," says Bhatt on the evolution of the PAAS model. "Over the last five six years we have evolved from that into a game-plan where we touch all the CXO touch points including the CMO, the CIO, the CFO, the CTO. We have end-to-end offerings for them. Cutting across all of these we have invested in Platform-as-a-service. We have developed about seven platforms today. All of them have at least one deployment in some part of the globe. The platforms are built with a specific purpose. They would take away certain amount of investment that the customer would have to do otherwise to have the flexibility in their services to meet the challenges and needs of any offerings that they would launch. For example, current structures are built for either voice or data and they can't deal with the OTT services."

"Our platforms are broken down into several component so that it is easier to install and run them," he continues. "In the region itself, we have done one social media implementation which has just gone live in Philippines and that's turning out to be a great story."

Tech Mahindra's Social Media platform provides tools for social listening, tracking of customers, crisis management and pre-emption, campaigning and product development and analytics.

One of the components of PAAS is Lead to cash cycle under which enquiries for telco services or hardware such as handphones (leads) can be converted into cash (paying subscriptions) through a set of services provided by the IT services provider and partner. "This is a platform that Tech M has perfected over several years," says Bhatt. "It involves setting up of IT enabling services for telcos in a quick time frame and with great efficiency, converting leads into cash."

On Machine-to-Machine (M2M) connectivity, Bhatt sees a lot of potential for revenue generation for telcos. While M2M has been adopted in developed economies (armament tracking, tracking of old age people, and of course, tracking of logistics and fleet management, smart metering) there are vast opportunities tap in markets such as Indonesia and Philippines. For example, chips/SIM cards could be embedded into taxis and utility meters which can then beam back usage rates, data and geo-location information to the head offices. But he knows that these are still early days.




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