The BBJ speaks with Gábor Fülöp, Telenor Hungary’s Business Sales and Marketing Director, about the services the company offers businesses today, and the future of digitalization, Industry 4.0 and 5G.
BBJ: What role does system integration have for Telenor and its business clients? What kind of solutions do you offer?
Gábor Fülöp: System integration at Telenor is primarily related to our mobile and IT services. For example, we offer digital Private Branch Exchange (PBX) services for SMEs and large companies to replace their existing physical PBXs. We offer this as a monthly, highly flexible service, which is also advantageous because it is easy to administer and costs are scalable; these are important factors for businesses. The role of virtualization is becoming ever more important, so Telenor is offering cloud-based services based on Microsoft’s virtualization technology, which means customers don’t have to invest a lot: instead they can upgrade their entire telecommunications or software infrastructure while paying a monthly fee. The popularity of these services is growing as they are plannable, software updates are always available, and since they have access to Telenor’s Hipernet-network, data and information is always available in the cloud at any time.
The IT applications we currently offer include smart metering, which we are planning to develop in the future. Telenor’s SIM cards and solutions are used in remote monitoring/surveillance and fleet tracking systems at many large companies countrywide. This latter allows you to measure important parameters in any truck or haulage system anywhere in the world.
For example, in the case of a drug or grocery shipment, the temperature of the shipment needs to be checked continuously, and to do that the availability of a cellular network connection is essential. This can be life-saving because without measurement, sensitive cargo can be damaged more easily and the drug in question cannot reach the pharmacy at the proper quality.
BBJ: What services do you provide for companies in those business sectors (for example, agriculture) where you are present?
GF: We work with companies from many areas, let me name just two. Through real-time tracking of machine work, advanced mobile technology solutions greatly enhance efficiency and support precision farming, which is one of the most important types of innovation in agriculture today. A successful invention by one of our partners, a satellite fleet tracking system called WayQuest, is already being used on more than 7,000 machines in 300 companies. These communicate with central computers via the Telenor Hipernet network.
Zalaegerszeg-based Zalavíz Zrt., which is responsible for drinking water supply and wastewater treatment at 161 localities in the area, has installed on-line communication and signaling devices that provide real-time data and operational security. Water scarcity in the area has been significantly reduced since the system became operation.
BBJ: What services and products do your business clients need? Which are the services that best facilitate companies’ daily operations? How do they increase efficiency?
GF: In addition to mobile voice and data services, it is important that we provide our clients with IT services by third party partners that they can access through our network. Cloud services are becoming ever more common, there are very few areas that need to be done at a mid- or large-size enterprise through on-premises infrastructure. As demand for cloud services is growing, we are continually introducing products that will enable this beyond Office 365.
We are launching four new products that target the most popular, key business applications in order to provide the most up-to-date platforms possible. One key development area is IT security. We are in constant dialogue with our clients and are exploring how we can make their workflows smoother and more efficient. As time is money, our main goal is to help our partners focus on their core business and provide them with as much added value as possible through our services; it is also our goal that everything we do for them is related to IT or mobile telephony. As a result, in the future our prospective customers may purchase services from Telenor where they might not previously have thought of us as a potential partner.
BBJ: What major developments have taken place this year in the field of digitization?
GF: Over the past year, we have launched a portal for our large company clients, through which they can perform many activities that they were previously able to do only through customer service; it is much more convenient for them and, of course, they can save time. The features available here are constantly being developed and in the future we want to expand it to more segments. Our goal is to ensure that all services and features that do not require human intervention, such as replacing a device or ordering a new device, can be done online by business clients. Account managers should be used only when they need consultative sales, clarification of different needs, or consulting. We have made great strides in digitizing our internal processes also, because without it, external tasks could not be digitized either. Many of our processes are already fully automated, enabling quick decision making and customer service. Extending existing features of the MyTelenor application will also take place to enable business clients in being able to complete important transactions.
BBJ: How are you preparing for 5G transition?
GF: 5G technology will primarily focus on business customers, even enabling them to replace wired technologies in certain areas. 5G will support industry 4.0 and networks. In May, Telenor launched a 5G test network in Győr. Built at Széchenyi István University and in downtown Győr, the system is the first in Hungary to provide the university’s engineering students with the latest mobile network technology. This will not only make the latest technology available, but also give the local 5G and R&D a boost, which we are planning to make available to our clients. We are planning to involve the region’s businesses in the testing process as soon as possible, bringing them closer to the technology of the future.