Sunday, 25 August 2019

The key to success: Airtel Business nominated for a swathe of Carriers World awards

An interview with Airtel Business
Monday 12 August 19

The 2019 Carriers World awards take place on the 11th September in London and the voting is hotting up. The winners are decided by a global industry wide vote that saw over 35,000 votes in 2018 alone.   With the voting open until Friday 30th August, Total Telecom caught up with Airtel Business who have been shortlisted for an incredible 6 awards in 2019.  Airtel Nxtra Cloud is a next-generation cloud infrastructure provider. How has it helped organizations reduce operating expenditure, boost business agility and deliver on customer experience? Airtel Nxtra Cloud is a next-generation cloud infrastructure provider that offers a dynamic, scalable enterprise-grade cloud platform to customers across the globe via a public, private or hybrid model. With robust partnerships with hyper-scale cloud providers such as AWS and Microsoft Azure, Airtel Nxtra can cater to any multi-cloud workload solution and this truly positions us as one-stop shop ‘cloud transformation partner’ to our customers. Airtel Nxtra Cloud offers a resilient, fully-managed state-of-the-art cloud infrastructure to customers at a fraction of the cost, coupled with our proven experience across multiple cloud services such as performance management, software-defined networks, security and virtualization. These cloud services allows companies to harness the benefits of on-demand CPU, RAM and storage quickly & efficiently, without having to setup an On-premise data center and invest in expensive resources for its maintenance…

The 2019 Carriers World awards take place on the 11th September in London and the voting is hotting up. The winners are decided by a global industry wide vote that saw over 35,000 votes in 2018 alone.  

With the voting open until Friday 30th August, Total Telecom caught up with Airtel Business who have been shortlisted for an incredible 6 awards in 2019. 

Airtel Nxtra Cloud is a next-generation cloud infrastructure provider. How has it helped organizations reduce operating expenditure, boost business agility and deliver on customer experience?

Airtel Nxtra Cloud is a next-generation cloud infrastructure provider that offers a dynamic, scalable enterprise-grade cloud platform to customers across the globe via a public, private or hybrid model. With robust partnerships with hyper-scale cloud providers such as AWS and Microsoft Azure, Airtel Nxtra can cater to any multi-cloud workload solution and this truly positions us as one-stop shop ‘cloud transformation partner’ to our customers. Airtel Nxtra Cloud offers a resilient, fully-managed state-of-the-art cloud infrastructure to customers at a fraction of the cost, coupled with our proven experience across multiple cloud services such as performance management, software-defined networks, security and virtualization. These cloud services allows companies to harness the benefits of on-demand CPU, RAM and storage quickly & efficiently, without having to setup an On-premise data center and invest in expensive resources for its maintenance, hence reducing the overall operating expenditure. Also, the leading-edge SDN and NFV capabilities in Airtel Nxtra cloud infrastructure help businesses reduce time-to-market for new applications and services hence helping them boost the business agility and gain a sustainable competitive advantage. 

We have simplified the purchase and consumption process with an intuitive, user-friendly self-service online portal which empowers the consumer to host and access their applications and data from anywhere, anytime, thus resulting in better customer experience.  Also, Airtel Nxtra Cloud acts as a one stop shop for all complete cloud life cycle management services such as consulting, implementation, migration, hybrid integration, application delivery automation, disaster recovery and backup As-a-service. This again results in a better customer experience.

Airtel Business has a global network across a variety of regions. What have been some of your key highlights over the last year and how do you differentiate yourself from your competitors? 

Airtel Business is a leading telecommunication provider with global network across USA, Europe, Africa, Middle East, Asia-Pacific, India and SAARC regions. With strategically located submarine cables and satellite network running across 250,000 Rkms across 50 countries and 5 continents, we deliver cutting edge communication solutions designed for 360-degree digital transformation. Our year-on-year revenue growth is a testament to our success in this space. Last year, we achieved net revenue growth in double digits. Other highlights from the year are as follows: 

  • Phenomenal Data business growth in double digits
  • Whopping increase in international SMS business and domestic SMS net revenue
  • Phenomenal double digit growth in Emerging (Africa, SAARC, and Middle East) and Developed (USA) markets  

Global Network Highlights: - 1200+ Global Partnerships, 403+ Million Subscriber Base, 250000 RKMs of Global Submarine Network, 65 Global PoPs, and 7 Submarine Cable Systems.

To further differentiate ourselves, we concentrate on understanding the industry technological advancements and voice of the customer and improving overall experience, using – Next Generation Solutions, Strategic Investments and Partnerships.

Next Generation Solutions: Airtel Business is now offering a connected approach for these new age business requirements by expanding products and solutions portfolio in areas such as: IoT, Data Center and Cloud, Security, SD-WAN, Unified Collaboration, and Online Voice Portal. Apart from offering the next generation solutions, we continue to invest in our Core Products such as Voice and Mobile solutions and Data Connectivity solutions. Thus, creating a holistic product portfolio which caters the dynamic needs of customers based on changing business demands.

Strategic Investments and Partnerships: Airtel Business did multiple investments and partnerships over the last year to further strengthen the network reach and services. 

  • Partnership with Intelsat to offer C-band satellite capacity to all OPCOs in Africa
  • Setting up of O3B earth stations within different towns of DRC (Democratic Republic of Congo) to further improve the reliability and speed for broadband internet and mobile LTE
  • Partnership with Telecom Egypt to create a diversified new route to Western Europe and the rest of the world. This resulted in major capacity creation on MENA, TE North, AAE-1, and SMW5 cable system.

Can you tell us a little more about Airtel™s IoT Connectivity Management Platform (CMP)?

Airtel’s IoT Connectivity Management Platform (CMP), allows users to create the basis for their IoT success. With Airtel’s platform users can manage their IoT solutions centrally, while being completely in control of the devices, connections and costs at all time – no matter the volume of SIMs and devices. Currently, supporting around millions of SIMs across a wide array of use cases, Airtel IoT CMP is helping customer create new applications across industry segments. The platform caters to industry specific requirements such as ability to support lifecycle of multiple APNs for automotive OEMs, or providing real-time session diagnostics and reports for smart meters. With flexible price plans and comprehensive features, it lays the foundation for more efficient workflows in order to optimize costs or create new applications. Being developed in-house, Airtel IoT CMP is completely integrated with all OSS and BSS systems, thus, giving users complete control on all aspects of SIM lifecycle – provisioning, billing, network configuration, issue management and support. Developed on top of Airtel’s existing telecom infrastructure accords, the platform offers the unique capability to provide business impacting intelligence, insights and analytics. Being fully in-house developed and completely market customized platform, Airtel IoT CMP is uniquely positioned to adapt and evolve nimbly, and help customers be fully compliant to all regulatory frameworks.

While global in outlook, you also have a strong regional focus. Can you share some of your successes at a regional level, for example in Africa? 

Airtel Business is a leading telecommunication provider with global network across USA, Europe, Africa, Middle East, Asia-Pacific, India and SAARC regions. Last year, we have witnessed phenomenal double digit business growth in Emerging and Developed markets. 

If I specifically talk about Africa region - Airtel takes pride in having Millions of subscribers in Africa. PFB other region highlights:

  • Microwave/BTS site network - Connecting customers with thousands of BTS sites
  • Fiber Network - Extending last mile fiber connectivity through thousands of Kms metro & backbone rings to multi-tenant buildings.
  • Submarine Cables - Providing internet & network connectivity services to MNC through multiple submarine cables 
  • IP PoPs enabling service convergence of multiple services to customers on a single connection
  • iWAN Network – Hundreds of point-to-multipoint hubs allow us to provide last-mile microwave services to customers
  • Partnership with Intelsat to offer C-band satellite capacity to all OPCOs in Africa.  
  • Partnership with Telecom Egypt to create a diversified new route to Western Europe and the rest of the world. This resulted in major capacity creation on MENA, TE North, AAE-1, and SMW5 cable system.
  • Implementation of O3b Earth Stations to deliver reliable connectivity (broadband internet and mobile LTE) with high throughput and low latency, across different countries in Africa

Our local and global presence coupled with innovative solutions gives us a significant reach in Africa and a brand name, which is synonymous with reliability & flexibility.

Airtel Business are well known for their cybersecurity services. How would you describe your approach to Cybersecurity and what trends are you seeing in the industry? 

With increase in Internet penetration and a smartphone in every hand has changed all the systems whether it’s B2B or B2C or even G2C. Internet data consumption is on 100% growth every quarter. Every organization is building systems which are agile and always available. Corporates have their data on own premise, on cloud and with users. New governing laws like GDPR enforces corporates to relook at data handling. All of the above changing paradigm in cyber world needs all segments of industry to be Cyber aware and a stronger and mature security solution and governance.  Currently, there are more than 80 OEMs and double the number of SIs who sell point products. 

Airtel business provides cyber security services under own brand “Airtel Secure”. It offers solutions approach to customer rather than being reseller of any OEM. Our partnership with multiple OEMs at the backend allows us to choose most suitable mix of products formed to create appropriate solution for customers. Also our security services is build on next Generation SOAR (Security Orchestration Automation and Response) platform. Our cyber security approach follows NIST framework of identify- Protect-Detect-Respond- Recover. With one of Asia’s largest integrated Network Operation center (NOC)-Security Operation center (SOC) facility, we offer comprehensive cyber security monitoring. 

You rolled out your Carrier Digital Platform globally for Wholesale Voice Business in May 2018. What kind of impact has that had?

Airtel Business rolled out an innovative, scalable ‘Carrier Digital Platform’ globally for Wholesale Voice Business in May 2018. This online platform is one step forward to develop next generation wholesale voice business model through digital transformation and automation. It enables international and local wholesale carriers to do business with Airtel at the click of a button. This results in improved transparency, agility, reliability and ease of doing Wholesale Voice business across the globe.  Since the launch in May 2018, we have seen multifold growth in platform adoption because of the following business transformation benefits that it offers:

1. Faster Time to Market

  • Signup & Contract Time: Reduced to 1 day from 15 days
  • Quick Interconnect: Reduced to 1 day from 7 days

2. Improved Visibility and Customer Experience

  • Real time visibility and analytics into all traffic, rates, revenue and payment related metrics
  • High customer satisfaction as the platform is entirely automated and self-service based

3. Growth in Business

  • A single pane of glass for Carriers to reach out to untapped geographies and markets quickly at their convenience
  • Enables all types of carriers to seamlessly interconnect with Airtel and take benefits of its global reach and services

4. Ease of doing business

  • Carriers now can easily negotiate rates online using “Propose Rates” feature
  • View and track best rates, wallet Balance at click of a button
  • Raise various requests (Add IP, Increase capacity etc.) online, in quick time

To vote for Airtel Business or any of the other shortlisted companies, please click here

 

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