Thean Eu: My Fave 5 of 2016
By Goh Thean Eu January 4, 2017
- Telcos grabbed most of the attention this year
- Conversations started to change in the enterprise space
2016 has been a very eventful year for the region's digital economy, especially the telecommunications space. We saw webe launched its new services, reallocation of spectrum, as well as changes in management in a few telecommunications service providers.
It was also an unforgetable year for Digital News Asia itself -- whereby we managed to, once again, organised a successful What's Next conference. It was also the year when one of our cofounders A.Asohan has decided to take on a new challenge in a large media organisation.
For me, it was also a year I was exposed to many new topics and companies, and gained valuable insights on various aspects of enterprises' business and digital economy. That's why, when Karamjit Singh asked me and my colleagues to come up with our favourite 5 stories for the year -- I knew the task will not be easy.
Nevertheless, I have managed to shortlist the 5 stories and let's start with the first three stories. Yes, they are telecommunications related.
During the year, DNA has published several articles that highlights the performances of mobile operators. How their revenue market share increased/ decreased over the past year? Did they gain or lose subscriber base? How did their prepaid numbers look like? Did they spend a lot on capital expenditure?
These articles include: Celcom revenue plunges... and 4 more things you should know; Malaysian Telcos' Q3 2016 report card: Who's the winner?; Slugfest: How Malaysia's Big 3 performed in 2015 and others. So, why is this article selected as one of the top 5? Two main reasons actually: the catchy headline, and it was one of my most well-read article for the year.
This was one of the rare OpEds I have written during my 3-4 years stint in DNA. It was one of the OpEd I felt compelled to write as former Celcom Axiata chief executive officer Shazalli Ramly is someone I have been covering for over a decade.
When the Singapore government announced that TPG Telecoms has won the rights to be Singapore's fourth mobile operator -- one of the first question that came into my mind was: Does TPG has what it takes to compete with the big 3?
So, I started spending time looking at TPG very closely, understanding how the company position itself in the telecommunications services space in Australia, how it competes with the incumbents in Australia, etc.
Based on the findings, I have no doubt that TPG will be able to compete fiercely with the Big 3. Question now is: Who will lose the most?
The fourth story is a subject that is also close to my heart -- an activity that I spend a several hours a week on it -- esports.
During my close to two-hour chat with Astro's head of sports Lee Choong Khay in Bangsar, he revealed the company's plan for esports. The channel 808, dubbed eGG (every good game), is only one component of its overall strategy.
Today, Astro not only broadcasts major esports events -- but it also played a role in organising various esports event (may it be professional tournaments or amateur tournaments). The company, via the eGG network, is also sponsoring Team NP for the upcoming ESL One Genting that is set to take place this week (Jan 6, 2017).
The last story was more related to the enterprise space.
Meet BMC Software. It is a company that offers solutions that has helped 82% of Fortune 500 companies in their digital transformation. It has more than 10,000 customers around the world.
Here's the interseting part -- it is a 36 year old company, but it is growing at strong double digits and it has been growing for nine consecutive quarters. These are numbers rarely displayed by large, established, tech firms.
So, when I met with the top executives at BMC in Las Vegas in September, my main mission was: to find out how they manage to grow such numbers. Well, they said that a big part of the success is attributed to the fact that it is a privately-owned company.
By being private, the company is able to invest aggressively on new things, and to invest to get the products into the market quickly.
The company recently appointed a new president and chief executive officer. How will this appointment impact its performance this year? Will it affect its Asian operations? Stay "tuned" to DNA, and we will try our best to get the answers.