The Budapest Business Journal asks László Marton, COO for corporate sales, marketing and customer care at Invitech, about how the company reacted to challenges imposed on the ICT sector by the coronavirus pandemic.
BBJ: What did the ICT sector in general, and Invitech in particular, learn from the pandemic?
László Marton: An important experience for the customers of Infocommunications service providers was that a situation could arise at any time when they had to apply a series of new technological and IT solutions very quickly and en masse in order to survive. So, Invitech had to excel in catering to such needs as rapidly as possible. There were lots of companies that were obviously surprised at how suddenly they needed to provide employees with the infrastructure needed for telecommuting and to create the technical conditions to maintain their business continuity in practice.
This is natural, as this situation we have encountered is basically unprecedented, and the ICT sector has had a huge role to play in proposing and building the most optimal solutions possible by responding quickly to the needs of clients. At Invitech, after switching to working from home in almost a day, we had to serve rapidly increased, massive customer needs, which I think we successfully solved; our systems and business processes performed very well.
The efficiency and speed of my colleagues serving the needs of our partners from their homes surprised even me. The importance of using IT services which are flexible, scalable and have spare capacity, even if it is a classic solution such as a wired data connection, can be a lesson for all economic players.
BBJ: Do you see any evidence that the corporate sector is embracing infocom solutions with greater trust since the lockdown began in March?
LM: We can see that the demand for applications related to teleworking and bandwidth expansion, for example, has become much higher than before. In addition, confidence in services such as cloud solutions, which were still stagnating in many places, is now growing.
An increased number of companies that previously believed it is too early to use cloud services, are now looking at how these services can help their work, how much they support their business success. The epidemic has shown that there is no constantly stable business environment; unexpected events can always occur, and it can be of great help if IT systems can be supported by the knowledge base and infrastructure of a specialized company. So, while in many cases there was a lot of trust placed in in-house systems in the past, the last few months have highlighted the great need for an outside expert service provider in trouble.
BBJ: What is Invitech doing to prepare for a potential second wave of COVID-19?
LM: The first wave has shown that we have everything in our service portfolio that can help a company if it wants to switch almost entirely to teleworking, supported by our Teams Connect solution, for example. However we also have many tools for increased data traffic and cases where working from home requires further IT security solutions.
So we didn’t have to invent and introduce new things: our data center services and cloud solutions are also well scalable. Perhaps it is worth noting that, in preparation for a possible second wave, based on the spring experience, we refined one or two of our workflows, placing even more emphasis on speed, minimizing lead times in case we experience a significant increase in customer demand again.
BBJ: How much more can data traffic grow given the current network if more people want to work from home office and more households need stable, fast internet? Is there latent capacity, or will more investment be needed in infrastructure?
LM: In the spring period, records could be measured in internet traffic; there were periods when there was an increase of up to 25% compared to the weeks before the epidemic. By the way, the domestic network withstood this load very well. Invitech’s own infrastructure was also in place, thanks to our networks which were designed and built to have large reserves. There is also very serious and forward-looking work in progress on capacity expansion, which is why we were able to meet the sudden surge in traffic needs. We want to continue applying this forward-thinking, situation-ready mindset in our network development.
BBJ: What ICT-services do you think will become less popular in the next few years for an integrated provider like Invitech, and which services will see demand grow?
LM: Invitech is an infocommunications solution provider that provides managed services realized on its own infrastructure in areas such as data connectivity, data centers, cloud solutions, IT security and IT outsourcing. In these areas, we cannot see a service that has a declining popularity
We believe that it will continue to be very beneficial for companies to outsource tasks related to infocommunications infrastructure and its operation. The importance and role of IT security is constantly growing, if only because a great number of companies are moving more of their activities to the online space. There will be expansion in other areas as well, as companies will want to relocate more business processes to cloud solutions and rentable IT solutions every year. In these services, Invitech will continue to be a key player and innovator in the market.