Proven as one of the most critical factors during COVID-19, Telecom infrastructure enabled the vast population to continue to not only work productively but also shop, learn and access healthcare easily, securely, safely. This pandemic has shifted the perception for the network connectivity to ‘must-have’ and ‘essential’ category. Covid-19 has shown our preparedness on our crisis management capabilities and demonstrated that innovation, flexibility, agility, and resilience are the critical core capabilities of this new era. Telecom operators are focusing on network resilience and reliability to provide seamless and continuous connectivity to their customers. In this global crisis, a secure & inclusive digital shield can help operators navigate uncertainty and become more resilient.
COVID-19 has compelled organisations to change the way they work as remote working is no longer a trend. Operators need to activate a resilient, flexible workforce who can access their trusted enterprise applications across devices, anytime, anywhere. Service providers need to shift their attention to providing better remote-working solutions and applications. By delivering voice, video, VPN and application tools to remote workers, employee productivity is ensured, which in turn accelerates the implementation of Business Continuity Plan(BCP). As remote working is the primary way of working for most of the employees, telcos can explore creating broadband and LTE packages that offer expected Quality of Experience(QoE) for a remote worker. This approach would suit the needs of a teleworker with better resiliency, consistent throughput for sensitive applications like voice and video.
Another most crucial aspect of enabling workers is to ensure they get proper application performance for seamless working experience. For these, implementing application-aware solutions in Software-Defined platforms is vital. While Software-Defined platforms are primarily deployed in corporate branches, new solutions have emerged like Software-Defined Home(SD-Home) and software-only solutions.
Before COVID-19, the mobile networks saw traffic peaks during lunchtime and late afternoons or night times during the weekdays and flatter curves during the weekend. With the current lockdown and work-from-home scenario, network usage has gone up. Hence, mobile operators need to ensure network capacity for the whole day, not only during specific spikes. With automation, operators can manage the high demands as they will be able to deploy and implement solutions quickly and efficiently. In such unprecedented times, creating no or low touch processes for external customer-facing and internal tasks will play a key role in empowering the digital workforce.
Timelines for returning to a pre-COVID situation is anyone’s guess. So, telcos should consider this time as an opportunity to digitise the business processes right from the quote to cash, partner/vendor management, supply chain, billing/payments and customer experience for both consumers as well as enterprise segments. For example, customer experience can be significantly improved by automation and omnichannel customer support.
As organisations over the world rigging up to return to normalcy post the COVID-19 lockdowns, wellbeing and security of all employees remain a primary concern. Guaranteeing that the workforce is safe, follows social distancing as prescribed and is productive at these times is currently a prime focus of all enterprises. Employees’ vitals like skin temperature and heart rate for alerts on health and safety issues can be monitored with IoT-enabled devices like Smart Watches to ensure employees’ health and wellness. With social distancing and zero-touch as the critical antidotes to contain the widespread of COVID-19, governments can avoid sending technicians in the field to collect home water and electricity measurements by using IoT enabled water and electricity meters to collect data remotely. This would help prevent possible communal transmission of COVID-19. With proximity alerts, social distancing can be assured by detecting workers in close proximity to each other. Contact tracing can be enabled by tracking movement history through personnel’s historical movement data across zones in work locations. Considering a variety of use cases that IoT offers, it has become a valuable tool during these difficult times.
Security of businesses is affected by COVID-19. During the past couple of weeks, one of the Global Tech giant’s AI tools had flagged 18 million daily malware and phishing attempts related to Covid-19 across the globe, in addition to over 240 million COVID-related spam messages. Widespread adoption of remote working has taken priority, and business decision-makers believe this shift during this crisis has increased the likelihood of a cyber-breach and made it harder for companies to maintain security and business continuity. Enterprises want to run business operations without worrying about cyberattacks and enable employees to work from anywhere securely. While enabling remote workers, enterprises need to maintain application performance and ensure information security by adhering to security policies.
During such uncertain times, when the requirement & dependency of Internet Availability & Bandwidth has amplified as more and more people are working from home, Telecom operators’ responsibility has also increased. We, at Tata Communications Transformation Services (TCTS), believe that transformation is not always associated with technology alone. People, culture & willingness to go that extra mile plays an equally important role in the transformation journey.
Tata Communications Transformation Services (TCTS) offers the unique multi-domain, multivendor, neutral player and a ‘Partner of Choice’ while delivering transformation projects. TCTS’ unique platform approach, coupled with product partnerships and professional services makes TCTS offerings a compelling solution offering to telcos. TCTS delivers operational efficiency, cost transformation and revenue acceleration solutions for all the stages of the carrier process lifecycle. With our Telco DNA, we are aware of the complex challenges you are facing and have pulled together a suite of solutions – A Digital Shield- to help you build resilience during these challenging times. Read more
Head - NGN Platforms -Product Management & Product Marketing, Tata Communications Transformation Services (TCTS)
Prabakaran is currently heading Next Generation Networks Platforms’ Product Management and Product Marketing. He is a seasoned executive with more than two decades of experience in Next Generation services like Unified Communications and Collaboration, Networks, Cloud and Security services with extensive Product Management, Product Marketing, Global Channels Sales & Alliances experience.