Digital transformation has been on the agenda of organizations for several years and we are witnessing its implementation across industries. AI, machine learning and IoT are key pillars to this transformation and all neighboring countries seem to have already started implementing a digital-first approach, with Lebanon is on its way. Even though there is no clear strategy in place to enable the country’s digital transformation, Numbase, as an international mobile VAS provider, has been making efforts to develop cutting-edge technologies to boost Lebanon’s position between countries.

Telecom Review secured an exclusive interview with Ayman Jomaa, CEO of Numbase, to get his views on the evolution of digital transformation in Lebanon and how it is fulfilling customers’ needs.

How do you describe the role of Numbase in Lebanon’s digital transformation journey?

Numbase currently employs more than 100 professionals in Lebanon serving most of its footprint in the MENA, Europe and South East Asia regions. Unfortunately, there hasn’t been a clear and serious “Digital Transformation” strategy by the Lebanese government; yet, Numbase has been continuously striving to contribute to an “unplanned” and “per-project” digital transformation. We hope that the new cabinet is serious about this matter, and we are putting a lot of hopes in the new Minister of Telecommunications and the state minister of Information Technology.

Competition in the VAS field is fierce in Lebanon and the region. How do you manage to differentiate your company?

Competition by itself can be a very tricky word. Competition in VAS should be directed towards competing on innovation, not on price and influence. Unfortunately, VAS is taking a very dangerous turn where MNOs and people who have influence on these MNOs are trying to commoditize the VAS industry, thus turning it into a price war. All serious VAS companies should resist this turn to preserve the value, and create more value rather than becoming another “pipeline”.

Numbase’s mission is to deliver customers’ needs through AI capabilities, big data analysis and advanced profiling techniques. In your opinion, how important are these three elements for enterprises to meet customers’ needs?

We strongly believe that this vision can be the savior of the telecom industry, and day after day, it is becoming a “need” and not just “nice to have”. During MWC this year, I joked with one of our partners that every company we visit will mention: AI, machine learning and IoT - and I was right, although very few actually are! As mentioned before, we strongly believe in this vision on a condition that it is seriously worked on, and not transformed into another commodity or cliché title.

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