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COVID-19 has imposed new living and working conditions that highlighted the need for uninterrupted connectivity. Tata Communications has been helping its customers survive this difficult period. Vaneet Mehta, associate vice president and region head, Middle East, Central Asia & Africa, Tata Communications

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, how did Tata Communications help its customers to overcome the ensuing challenges?

With COVID-19, remote working has become the new norm for employees across the globe. As customers implemented their own work from home measures and looked to shift workloads seamlessly across borders as part of their own business continuity plans, a much higher amount of IT and network resources started being consumed, due to employees video-conferencing customers and colleagues, and accessing large data files stored on the cloud.

The IT infrastructures across most organisations globally were not designed for this level of usage. Enterprise platforms and collaboration applications were overburdened. They made urgent upgrade requests to service providers, cloud/content service providers and OTTs to cope with the usage spikes. Some content providers and ISPs even tried to intentionally adjust HQ multimedia content to a lower quality to meet the demand.

Tata Communications witnessed an increased demand for network capacity, together with requirements for bespoke solutions that enabled efficient and secure remote working. By March 2020, we delivered over 650 customers orders, and 1.35 TBPS of additionally provisioned bandwidth – signifying a higher demand for data bandwidth. We also saw a 30% growth in internet traffic on our network in March compared to January 2020. Tata Communications has been supporting tens of thousands of users to work from home, collaborate seamlessly, improve employee productivity, and maintain business continuity during this time - truly enabling borderless collaboration.

In your opinion, how did customers’ behavior change during COVID-19 times? And how did this change impact your business?

The global pandemic has introduced radical changes on both professional and personal fronts and has forced tens of millions of people to adopt remote working almost overnight. As the world bounces back, it is unlikely to go back to the way it functioned pre-COVID.

While COVID-19 has disrupted businesses, customers’ reliance on our services have only increased. During times of crises, customers seek guidance and support from their trusted brands more than ever. Brands across sectors need to deliver a superior and uninterrupted experience to the customer digitally by video connect, allowing a seamless familiar relationship experience to take place as most customers are unable to walk into stores or car dealerships as freely as they were able to before. This is true for sectors across retail, banking, healthcare and more. Growing digital customer interactions and the need for automation have led to an innovations such as conversational bots which are a confluence of technologies like voice recognition, natural language processing and artificial intelligence.

To help enterprises adapt to this new normal, and future-proof themselves, Tata Communications launched its Secure Connected Digital Experience (SCDx) proposition to enable enterprises to harness the power of digital technologies and drive seamless experience for employees, customers, and partners.

Our Digital Customer Experience Platform is helping recreate the in-store experience online for B2C companies, with the next generation of enterprise commerce and video collaboration solutions for superior digital customer engagement. It integrates different technologies such as cloud, artificial intelligence (AI), video streaming and hosting to create a secure and stable experience. The platform combines the intelligence of software, application, and telecom connectivity to provide a near-real experience to customers right from browsing to the end purchase.

How can Tata Communications ensure a seamless work experience, especially in the current work conditions?

Tata Communications Secure Connected Digital Workplace solution enables employees (those typically working from the office as well as those working in the field) to work seamlessly and securely from anywhere through industrialised, scalable and high performance remote workplace solutions for complete workplace readiness.                         

The three key aspects of the solution include:

·         Empowering employees with secure access to enterprise applications over public internet by enabling zero-trust secure connectivity to cloud or data centres.

·         Empowering employees with our omni-channel collaboration solutions. With a robust Global SIP, enterprises can now enable a secure agent and customer experiences seamlessly.

·         Employees will be able to work seamlessly by enabling conditional access to their workplaces. Our IoT connected-worker offering will be able to ensure the safety of customers’ workforce is never compromised.

These solutions have shown positive results across industries, and enterprises are now looking to further leverage it to increase resource efficiency.

What are the key success factors of Tata Communications?

What sets Tata Communications apart is its ability to continuously transform itself and innovate to stay ahead of customer and market requirements.

Today, Tata Communications is a global digital ecosystem enabler, bringing together for its customers, the entire technology ecosystem that plays a role in digital transformation. We work alongside our customers to re-imagine their business strategy and technology landscape to adapt to the emerging challenges and scenarios by adopting a digital first model to provide a seamless experience for their employees, customers, and partners.

Our lineage of the old telco world, coupled with our knowledge of the new digital world, sets us apart from other players in this digital ecosystem. We understand the nuances of connectivity and networking, combined with our expertise in cloud, UCC, mobility, IoT and security, and extensive partnerships means that we are a long-term partner in our customers’ digital transformation journey as an enabler of this ecosystem.

Our zero-trust network access (ZTNA) partnership with NetFoundry (a subsidiary of Tata Communications) ensures that employees enjoy secure access to applications and data in the cloud, regardless of location, device or broadband connectivity, with 3-10X performance acceleration.

On sensitive and critical business applications that cannot be hosted on Cloud, but are homed in enterprise Data Centres, Tata Communications' Global Secure Internet Gateway Service (GSIGS), Managed Authentication (mAuth), Secure Web Gateway (SWG) and Privilege Access Management solutions enable end user with access, control and policy compliance, along with seamless user experience to manage and deliver work as usual.

We’ve had an incredible journey for the past two decades and I am very excited to continue to be part of the next phase of our growth – both in the region and globally.

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