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Mastering Evolution in the New World

27 January 2023

Panelists:

Paul Nicholls, Digital Transformation Practice Leader, Telstra Purple
Matthew Pearson, Chief Executive Officer & Founder, Airspeeder
Jeremy Chong, Finance Director, Bata Shoe Singapore Pte Ltd

Moderator:

Ching-Fong (CF) Ong, Managing Director and Senior Partner, Boston Consulting Group

In the first panel discussion during our LEAP Summit 2022, we saw Mr Ching-Fong (CF) Ong from Boston Consulting Group (BCG) moderate a discussion between Paul Nicholls from Telstra Purple, Matthew Pearson from Airspeeder and Jeremy Chong from Bata Singapore Pte Ltd. The panelists shared how their companies’ mastered evolution in the new world, by harnessing the powers of digital transformation through partnerships with telcos. This article summarises their discussion with tips on how other companies can achieve the same benefits they experienced through digital transformation.

A Composable Business is the Key to Digital Evolution

As technology continues to prove itself as an essential core to today’s operations and organisations, businesses that have not started digitalising are now racing to get on the bandwagon. Besides streamlining operations, digital transformation has been found to drive customer centricity, create new value pools, and highlight new business opportunities. In short, incorporating smart solutions has helped countless businesses evolve and remain relevant in their respective industries.

Quoting Ching-Fong, “Companies that fail to digitally transform will face an existential trap”.

Paul Nicholls shared a common attribute among the thriving businesses of today – composability.  A composable business is shaped by flexibility, agility and resilience, through systems and processes that are designed to be easily, quickly, and effectively interchanged when necessary; a trait which enables businesses to immediately adapt to its’ changing landscapes.

A composable business can be considered in three parts, all of which play a role in enabling available technology to be independently scaled or maintained:

  • A composable mindset: businesses and its’ employees require a forward-thinking flexibility to be able to adapt to customers’ changing needs. This mindset thrives in a culture that encourages entrepreneurial innovation for businesses to seize upcoming opportunities.
  • A composable business architecture: designing business models, operating models and talent systems around flexibility and resiliency is key to adapting to new changes quickly.
  • Composable technology: businesses should choose platforms, solutions and partners that prioritise reusability, flexibility and adaptability to effectively serve customers while improving efficiency of business infrastructure.

Digital Collaborations with Experts are Key to Successful Digital Transformations

While embodying composability is a necessary value for businesses, there is a sense of reluctance or hesitance among business owners. Harnessing composability in a business is not as easy as it sounds. As technology continues to evolve at breakneck speed, the struggle to learn and effectively integrate the right smart solutions into businesses becomes ever harder.

In alleviating the struggle, collaborations and finding the right support are now paramount to success. Even experts within Telstra Purple have experienced this same issue, but have combined their telecommunications capabilities with other larger technology services organisations such as AWS and Microsoft. Rounding off their services through partnerships has not only improved Telstra Purple’s capabilities, but has helped scale the telco’s business by opening doors to working with larger organisations and federal government agencies.

However, the potential for transformational scalability through partnerships can be reaped by any business with the intention to digitise. The key lies in selecting partners who can provide the correct expertise that can effectively address specific business problems. An example of a successful collaboration would be one between Airspeeder and Telstra Purple. Airspeeder was born out of realising the dream of flying cars and has since evolved into producing an electric flying vehicle racing series. However, in developing the racing series, Airspeeder was faced with the task of developing top-of-the-range infrastructure for a previously unknown form of racing. Challenges such as pilot tracking and location, and connectivity on the track felt insurmountable without adequate support.

Telstra Purple’s Paul Nicholls shared how the telco stepped in by bringing in Augmented Reality (AR) capabilities for Airspeeder to virtually build their desired race track in the sky and low latency streaming services for them to build their audience. This partnership has subsequently unlocked Airspeeder’s business and capabilities by combining the right infrastructure with a composable architecture to enable adaptability and scalability as Airspeeder began to gain traction.

Another example of successful digital collaborations would be between the well-known footwear and apparel manufacturer, Bata, and Telstra Purple. Bata’s Finance Director, Jeremy, shared the experience of upgrading Bata’s legacy systems with Telstra Purple.

As a 125-year-old company, Bata’s digital architecture was heavily siloed and greatly hampered communication across establishments and counterparts across the world. With Telstra’s help, their communications architecture was streamlined and has drastically improved work productivity, while also reducing cost – a huge benefit that helped the company weather the COVID lockdowns.

By turning to Telstra Purple’s expertise, Bata was able to successfully reorient their telecommunication and cloud services towards composability, effectively improving the multinational’s transformation roadmap for the next 2 years.

Providing the Right Solutions to Fit Different Business Requirements for Digital Transformation

While it is crucial for businesses to recognise the need for support from the experts, it is equally important to note that there is no one-size-fits-all approach towards an effective digital transformation process.

For Airspeeder to grow and scale their business, Telstra Purple suggested integrating tech from other industries to better suit Airspeeder’s connectivity needs. Lower latency, 5G connectivity, and edge computing were highlighted as the top priorities of the company in order for them to operate their business seamlessly and efficiently.  

Switching over to Bata, changes needed to occur in Bata’s systems by upgrading and streamlining their systems in seven areas:

  • Improving the segmentation of systems with help from cloud ERP solution.
  • Asset management via online methods for ease of operations for Bata to oversee their properties and operations worldwide.
  • Improving data management to generate actionable insights for Bata to transform into a data driven organisation.
  • Fixing warehouse management to ensure the supply chain operates smoothly and prevents sale loss.
  • Cloud modernization has eased internal communication with international franchises, making it easy to expand the business.
  • Productivity has improved since Bata spends more time making decisions for the company and improving their customer experience instead of collecting data.
  • By delving into mobile engagement has increased Bata’s online presence for even a legendary company like Bata.

From leading-edge companies like Airspeeder to traditional companies like Bata, Telstra Purple provided the tools and expertise required to solve the diverse issues faced by these two very different companies. But how has Telstra Purple developed and scaled these capabilities?   Paul shared the three components that have helped the telco build their capabilities:

  • Knowing that people give purpose to tech. Telstra Purple heavily invests in the tech professionals who build and run their solutions through training, learning and development initiatives and driving diversity which builds a culture of tech refinement and purpose.
  • Understanding the importance of partnerships. Telstra Purple also relies heavily on partnerships with other organisations to complement their expertise and elevate their weaknesses within certain practices.  Currently, Telstra Purple is completing a joint venture with and Australian company to boost their analytics and Machine Learning capabilities.
  • Utilising engineering power by understanding a gap for a smart solution and deploying them when it fits. Telstra Purple rolled out a smart solution for Victorian ambulances where the drivers can locate the nearest and available (in terms of beds, equipment, manpower, etc.) hospital in real-time.

As technological solutions continue to evolve and cement its’ way into the business landscape, it is clear that business infrastructure and architecture must have the capability to evolve along with it. The key to this critical evolution is in designing systems that are flexible enough to be adapted and remodelled. However, businesses often need a little boost to be able to do this effectively. As shown by Airspeeder and Bata, establishing partnerships with providers with the right technology, expertise and knowledge can go a long way in helping businesses achieve this mission. The right smart solution is out there, capable in resolving many issues for businesses across various industries. It is merely a matter of finding the right fit for your business.

Visit www.tmone.com.my for more information on how TMOne’s digital and smart solutions can enable and accelerate your Next business transformation

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