Coronavirus has impacted businesses of all verticals across India. Employees have been working from home for the last 2 months and there is still uncertainty about offices will resume work. But at the same time many tech companies are helping the SMBs/SMEs in business continuity with the help of innovative technology solutions. Tata Teleservices, one of the leading players in connectivity solutions has come out with innovative solutions to help organizations in managing work from home model. Tata Teleservices is enabling employees to work with more productivity with its innovative connectivity solutions. Rajeev Ranjan, Editor, and Publisher, Digital Terminal had an insightful interaction with Joyjeet Bose, Senior Vice President – SME Operations, Tata Teleservices Limited to know about their business strategy during COVID-19. He spoke about the impact of COVID-19, TTBS’s accountability in data security of clients and channel strength in India. Read below the excerpts from this recent interaction-

Rajeev: How has the COVID-19 pandemic pushed SMBs / SMEs to adopt new technology solutions to maintain business continuity?  

Joyjeet: The ‘new normal’ that is being created as a result of the pandemic, is going to be an inflection point for the digitally enabled environments and workplace transformation. Technology is the key pivot that has helped businesses to run remotely during this crisis and this role would only intensify now. As it is quite evident that enterprises which had invested in digital tools and ecosystem earlier have been able to adapt to this new normal quickly and slightly better than the others. The pandemic has made digitalization a boardroom imperative as business heads chalk out their survival plans. They have come to realise that technology is and will remain a key differentiator as they look for new ways of operating their businesses, building resilience in their supply chains and making their distributed work force more secure and collaborate effectively. 

Rajeev: Which are the key segments/sectors whom you are targeting majorly in the current situation? Also brief about the solutions you offer to them. 

Joyjeet: During the current global crisis, almost every business is going through a phase of digital transformation.  Large and small enterprises and start-ups across sectors such as BFSI, IT/ITeS, Logistics, EdTech, Fintech, Health, Manufacturing, Energy, E-commerce & utilities; all require a digital roadmap and efficient connectivity to maintain business continuity. Our strength is in the fact that we have expertise across all these industry segments and understand our customers’ requirements and this thought is manifested in our product innovations and service deliveries. 

Being the leading enabler of connectivity and communication solutions for businesses in India, we are enabling ‘Business as Usual’ for our customers through advanced connectivity solutions to streamline their workflow and operations during the pandemic. Our teams have been working round the clock to ensure service upgrades and support to our customers and all institutions like healthcare that are at the forefront of fighting this pandemic.  

As remote working becomes the new normal, our customers want solutions that enable their employees to connect securely from their homes and collaborate effectively with their colleagues who are also working remotely. Seeing this imminent need, we have extended our suite of work from home solutions that empower these enterprises with robust, end-to-end connectivity solutions with secure access, collaboration and back-office operations. These solutions help them maintain business continuity while improving their efficiency and productivity as their employees work through dispersed geographies. Additionally, our solution experts are constantly holding interactive consultative sessions with customers to help them smoothly integrate these solutions within their existing technological framework with minimum disruptions. 

Some of these solutions include Hosted IVR, which allows enterprises to quickly set up distributed call center and enable agents to work from home, Audio and Web conferencing solutions which enable collaboration across employees, partners and customers, International Bridging Services that allow business to remain globally connected and Secure Document and Data Management solutions that address security concerns arising out of a distributed and remote working environment. Hosted OBD automated outbound dialing campaign solution without investing in onsite infrastructure, Hosted PBX best solution to help enterprises’ employees connect with their customers and vendors from their home using existing office lines, Clean Internet and Remote VPN with resilient and secured connectivity.  

We are also supporting the SMBs and start-ups with our award winning product SmartOfficeTM . It is literally an office in a box, which integrates voice, data, storage and applications in one device and saves a customer the time, effort and complexity of working with multiple service providers in setting up an office. 

Being the pioneers of SIP Trunk technology for advanced voice connectivity in India, we provide 99.5% SLA on voice with a fiber last mile that allows customer to ensure business continuity without worrying about their connectivity. It also comes with two last miles connections that ensures a secondary backup in the rare case of primary failure. 

In addition to this, we continue to engage digitally with prospect customers through our Do Big Forums to address their ICT requirements and help them chart their digital journey. Tata Tele Business Services (TTBS) will continue to focus on bringing to market, innovative solutions that would help our customers address this new normal. 

Rajeev: How do you ensure the safety and reliability in order to protect the critical data/information of enterprises who are using your services or solutions? 

Joyjeet: TTBS provides complete managed security services with its products. So, we have a multi-layered, integrated and trusted security framework that defends Enterprise from attacks on networks, endpoints, applications, data, identity, and infrastructure and which is constantly managed and monitored by our solutions expert teams 24/7/365 for proactive protection. Just to give an example, our Smart VPN service privatizes a public cloud network, extending it with the security of a private network; faster data transfers that help data-heavy Enterprise applications operate with ease, and offer a seamless end-user experience. 

Rajeev: How do you work closely with governments to deploy innovative connectivity solutions? 

Joyjeet: We have been working with many state agencies and supporting them in their Digital India projects. Since the Government of India announced the Smart Cities Mission in 2015 which includes safety and public communication, we have been collaborating with our partners to develop solutions which can be deployed for these projects. We have been involved in several projects related to CCTV Surveillance, Traffic signal management, APDRP for DISCOMs, Police vehicle tracking etc. for example in major Cities of Gujarat, we have given City surveillance and Intelligent traffic Management system where we have provided the complete connectivity solutions. 

For COIVID19 support to government, we have been collaborating with our partners, other agencies and provided our SIP connectivity to implement interactive OBD communication platform which enables Govt to initiate automated outbound dialing to address and collect basic data from the citizens. 

Rajeev: How do you see the long-term impact of COVID-19 on SMEs in Indian market? How do you plan to extend your support to this market in scaling down the post-COVID impact? 

Joyjeet: In the post-COVID world, the digital adoption and transformation may start to progress even more rapidly as India becomes the largest work from home market. Enterprises will go for solutions that are capex and asset light and boost their productivity while being controlled remotely with minimal human intervention. There would be an increase in adoption of Cloud based solutions, Collaboration solutions, IoT and Data Management solutions that would allow enterprises to grow in the market. 

At TTBS, we have always been at the forefront of providing solutions to enable the digital transformation of SMEs. We anticipate the speed of digital transformation to accelerate across SMEs in 2020 given their experience during the pandemic. We shall continue to play the role of technology enabler to SMBs and will further strengthen our portfolio of services especially in the areas of SaaS, IaaS, IOT and Cloud. Our objective is to provide products and services that significantly impact the competitiveness of our customers and enable them to DO BIG. 

Rajeev: What are your upcoming plans to grow your market share in new emerging trends (IoT / Cloud) among large enterprises? 

Joyjeet: Today, enterprises are realizing the need for an early adoption of IoT, Cloud and AI into their operations to gain competitive edge through increased productivity and process efficiencies, thereby ensuing significant cost reductions and sustainable long-term growth. IoT especially, is viewed as a key enabler, driving digital transformation to unlock operational efficiencies. Artificial Intelligence (AI), coupled with ubiquitous connectivity, is enabling exponential value being generated by IoT. 

IoT and AI,  being scalable solutions, will continue to thrive and enable large and small enterprises to develop new intelligent and digitally agile business models – be it with regard to augmented real-time interaction with customers, precise insights, improved inventory management, enhanced employee productivity, better resource allocation, effective forecasting resulting in more efficient business decisions. 

TTBS has developed its IoT portfolio focused on Location Based Services like Asset Tracking, Workforce Tracking etc. We will continue to strengthen our IoT services in addition to the Location Based Services portfolio we already have in place. 

TTBS is offering Business Continuity Enterprise Solutions which can mitigate current challenges by offering solutions based on hosted / cloud platform. We have expanded our cloud computing capacity to manage the surge in the data demand during the lockdown. Our customized and scalable solutions ensure ‘Secure Connect’ to the cloud, making a public cloud private and help in managing end to end business encryptions.  Since analytics is going to be a major draw for digital enterprises to enhance business intelligence, cloud’s strategic support in scaling small business gives them a rationale to leverage this technology. 

Rajeev: Please brief about your distribution model in India. How do you see the role of traditional channel partners in helping you to reach large customer base across India?  

Joyjeet: Apart from product innovation and customer centricity, much of our growth has come from having a wide network of our channel partners spread across the length and breadth of country and their strong integration in our go to market and route to market strategy. This has helped us in creating a long-term sustenance and a robust partner model—perhaps the largest in the industry. We have the right mix of partners who addresses various industrial segments. We have pure telecom partners, System integrators, data security experts, software selling partners and even non-ICT partners who has better reach across traditional SMB segments. We also focus on single city and multicity operational partners. These partners drive sales for us PAN India with support services for critical and complex solutions being managed by our solutions architect team centrally. 

We cover every part of the addressable market wherever SMEs are based. We make sure that our partners get the right skills and stay updated about our products and solutions. This enables our channel partners to drive adoption, ongoing customer experience and the ability to upsell and cross-sell. For that we have various levels of training for partner and their team to enhance their capability as an ICT solution provider. We keep on organizing immersive training programs on sales skills, opportunity identification and critical solutions using advanced digital tools. We have dedicated teams who work closely with all partners and help them to improve working efficiency, productivity & ROI.