“India has one of the cheapest data subscription rates in the world”

According to Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), India’s enterprise Mobile Value-Added Services (MVAS) space constitutes about 15% of the Rs 26,000 crore (2012). What is the future that you foresee for this space and for your company too?
The growing trend of remote and mobile workforce demands anytime out of office connectivity and availability of business information on 24×7 basis. The availability of high speed networks (3G/4G) is enabling enterprises to roll out mobile solutions to all stakeholders in the value chain. The smart mobile devices have more computing power, high storage capacity and speed than ever before. With an all pervasive network, the enterprise applications will work better and faster on these mobiles. The availability of high speed access, the enrichment of experience brought by smarter devices, and the demand for better work life balance is leading to a surge in enterprise mobile VAS and enterprise mobility.

The future holds a good promise with higher ARPU VAS solutions in relation to-

  • Mobile Commerce: Enterprises will look to leveraging mobile commerce (mobile money) as a vehicle of more efficient cash distribution.
  • Dual persona: Lines between personal and professional lives are increasingly blurred. Applications and content relevant to both personas need to be provided on the same device. Innovative solutions to keep these separate and provide security and control at the same to enterprise CIO would be a key development.
  • Security of devices: Ensuring security and compliance owing to consumption of enterprise information on 24×7 basis. Telcos are uniquely positioned to address the opportunity today. 
  • Location based Analytics: Leverage location analytics for segmentation and business planning. 
  • Managed Services: End to end provision of services to enterprises on a managed services model will be a key offering from telcos. This will help drive up the ARPUs. We will see the crossover of cloud payment models (pay per user and pay as you use) into many of enterprise mobile vas services.

The penetration of enterprise VAS in India is still low when compared to western countries. What are your company’s plans to target this market?
India has one of the cheapest data subscription rates in the world. However the market still does not offer affordable HSPA and LTE mobile devices to capitalise on the cheaper data. Also the rate of adoption of tablets and handheld computing devices has been slow compared to the mature western markets.

  • Enterprises use VAS for the following key reasons: 
  • Improvement in productivity 
  • Improve customer responsiveness and 
  • Gain efficiency

Enterprises today leverage multiple mobile solutions to achieve these benefits. SMS, GPRS, USSD, voice and video are the common channels. Short code services for enabling end customer transactions and information, mobile applications, caller tunes are the some of the most often used services by enterprises.

Our offerings are aligned to empower enterprises realize the aforementioned benefits. Our key offerings include-

  • SMS based services – Transactional SMS and Global Virtual Number
  • Application Mobility – sales force automation, field force automation
  • Location based services tracking of fleet, workforce by leveraging
  • Vodafone Meet Anywhere – our unique smartphone application for audio conferencing 
  • Corporate Ring Back (Caller) Tone
  • Mobile Email ( Blackberry, Android, iPhone, Windows Mobile)

Any particular trends that you would like to highlight?
Vodafone Business Services strives to be a Total Communications Partner for Businesses. It is towards this goal that we introduced a full portfolio of wireline services for our business customers – MPLS VPN, Internet, Leased Circuits, Managed Services and Voice (PRI) to complement our mobility business. The next big wave in mobility we see is in the Machine to Machine space where we are the global pioneer. Also with the BYOD phenomenon (Bring Your Own Device) on the rise, there is going to be high demand for mobile security solutions.

Any challenges that that could pose a hurdle?
Some of the the other major challenges associated with enterprise VAS are low awareness among enterprises about the potential of mobility solutions and low affordability of smart devices.

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