Plans to be more proactive and create the demand, instead of 'waiting for the demand to happen'
Will see more bundled services unveiled moving forward
FOR VADS Berhad chief executive officer (CEO) Ahmad Azhar Yahya (pic), 2014 will be one of his most exciting years, as he embarks on a journey to help VADs to realise its full potential.
“Before, we were more about responding to a particular request or demand. Now, we want to be more proactive and create the demand, instead of just waiting for the demand to happen,” said Ahmad Azhar in an interview with Digital News Asia (DNA) in Kuala Lumpur recently.
To achieve that, VADS will be looking at various areas within a particular sector or industry that it can address with its ICT (information and communications technologies) solutions.
“For example, in the banking sector or wealth management services, we could offer solutions that allow both the customers and advisors to have face-to-face communications remotely in a secure manner. In the area of public safety, we could offer security-related solutions,” he said.
VADS, an ICT and business process outsourcing (BPO) services provider wholly-owned by Telekom Malaysia Bhd (TM), managed to register a 10% revenue growth in 2013.
The company, taken private by TM in 2009, declined to reveal how much it exactly makes. However, a look at TM’s 2013 annual report showed that TM’s “other telecommunication related services” revenue rose 11.3% to RM1.48 billion.
The revenue comprises of customer projects, maintenance, broadcasting, restoration of submarine cables, managed ICT, BPO, and enhanced value-added telecommunications services.
“The growth is mainly due to higher revenue from customer projects, ICT and BPO services,” said TM in the annual report.
More bundling and convergence of services
Besides being more proactive, Ahmad Azhar revealed the days of selling individual solutions are numbered as it will increase its focus on offering more 'bundled' services.
He said that typical ICT services involve a few pillars, including connectivity (bandwidth), devices or equipment, as well as the ICT solution.
Ahmad Azhar, citing telepresence as an example, said that the solution’s success comprise of the stability and quality of the bandwidth, the equipment (cameras and display TV), as well as the solution (telepresence platform). The company, in the past, was more focused only on the solution portion.
“Moving forward, we would like to have more convergence into spaces, where the connectivity, solution and ICT portions come together,” he explained.
“Also, things don’t come standalone anymore. If you are an IT manager and your CEO wants a Telepresence service for example, you are not going to spend time to figure out who to buy the camera, TV, connectivity from. You want a one-stop centre.”
He also said that such change is necessary, as the parent company’s future growth sustainability is depended on it.
“People (companies) don’t actually buy connectivity anymore these days. Those needs connectivity would already have it. Unless you are setting up a new business and you don’t have anything.
“The key is how do you put solutions and value add on top of the existing connectivity,” he said.
ICT services to grow faster, but BPO opportunities still aplenty
Ahmad Azhar, who joined VADS in 2012, added that its ICT business will grow at a quicker pace than its BPO services.
“Looking at the current trend, probably ICT is going to grow a lot more bigger, but opportunities for BPO are still aplenty,” he said.
Currently, about 60% of VADS revenue comes from ICT services while the remaining 40% comes from BPO.
“We are currently the largest contact centre provider in the country, with about 5,000 seats. In fact, we are not only growing in Malaysia, but also outside the country.
“Last year, Indonesia recorded a huge growth of 50%. Our workforce almost doubled from 1,000 to about 2,000. We are not even a big player in Indonesia, we are more of a premium provider there,” he said.
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