6D Technologies and AirtelTigo: transforming CX
The telecommunications industry is undergoing a significant global shift, driven by technology adoption, new organisational strategies, and changing customer demand. “Customer expectations are really changing, and carriers can no longer take their customers for granted,” says Manish Arora, Executive Director and Chief Revenue Officer at 6D Technologies. “It's easier than ever for customers to move to a different provider, so the industry is becoming more competitive than ever as a result. There's a huge amount of pressure affecting the ways that service providers position themselves globally - and Ghana is no exception.”
Founded in 2002, 6D Technologies has spent the past two decades helping companies throughout the telecommunication space leverage the power of digital transformation to adapt, survive, and thrive in a constantly evolving industry. “In the 19 years since we were founded, we have built partnerships with 150+ tier one, tier two, and tier three telcos, as well as MNVEs, MVNOs, network equipment providers, network equipment integrators, and over 300 enterprises,” says Arora. Today, 6D Technologies has customers in more than 70 countries across six continents, leveraging the strength of its proprietary tech stack and consultancy approach in order to help its customers transform their operations through its Digital360 Initiative.
“We are not only enabling telcos to make the B2C part of their business future-proof and profitable, but also facilitating the adoption of emerging and truly transformational B2B2X business models for them,” Arora explains. “One area where we stand out is that we enable digital journeys and experience, not only for subscribers, but for the complete telco ecosystem. All the services delivered under the 6D umbrella are developed in-house, which really gives us a unique level of flexibility in terms of business models, and in customising our approach to suit individual customer requirements.”
6D Technologies has been a part of AirtelTigo Ghana’s journey since before the historic merger of Airtel Ghana and Tigo Millicom in 2017. Having worked on a business-wide unification of Tigo Millicom’s messaging platform that helped “personalise the interaction between customer and Tigo, helping the company reach out to its customers at the right time, using the right channel, within the right context,” 6D Technologies was already a key partner when it came time to integrate Tigo and Airtel’s operations in 2018.
“It was a very interesting scenario,” recalls Arora. “There was a choice to be made: which elements of Tigo's IT stack should go into the unified setup versus Airtel's own components. On the Airtel side, there were much bigger brand names doing the same things for Airtel that we were doing for Millicom.” The strength of 6D Technologies’ tech stack, and the interoperability offered by the company’s platform, resulted in 6D Technologies winning out against more-established tech brands to become an increasingly key part of the new telecom giant’s IT structure.
Prince Sarpong, CIO at AirtelTigo Ghana, recalls: “Our relationship with 6D Technologies has paid off in a big way. In this industry, it's your value added services that make or break you as a company, so you need a partner that understands that.”
The relationship between 6D Technologies and AirtelTigo Ghana continues to evolve. In April of 2021, the Ghanaian government announced plans to acquire a 100% stake in the carrier, transforming the privately-owned firm into a state-owned operator. For Sarpong and Arora, it’s an exciting time, filled with potential to drive economic impact throughout Ghana, create more meaningful customer journeys, and leverage cutting edge technologies in order to drive the carrier’s digital transformation.
“We really look forward to the exciting times ahead and to the role we have to play alongside AirtelTigo's development,” says Arora.
Nybl: Saudi Startup to Expand AI Solutions
According to co-founder Nour Alnahhas, nybl was formed for the greater good. A visual data mining and machine learning platform, the platform will help organisations streamline their operations. ‘We wanted to centralise our vision around AI and machine learning’, said Alnahhas. ‘Something not just for profit, but added value. Conscious capitalism’.
Nybl aims to democratise artificial intelligence by making it possible for anyone to build an AI solution. What website builders like Wix and Squarespace did for site design, nybl will do for AI—allowing even non-coders to feel comfortable creating solutions. In fact, Alnahhas calls it a ‘Shopify of AI’, or a third-party platform that helps businesses deliver better service.
With hubs in Kuwait, the UAE, North America, and India, nybl is focused on launching operations in Saudi Arabia, Alnahhas’s home country. When the company first launched, it was difficult to convince Saudi Arabian businesses to work with a startup. Yet now, nybl has proven itself. ‘We had support in the UAE, so now we’re coming back’, said Alnahhas.
Alnahhas has launched a pilot with Saudi Aramco and has slowly built partnerships with paper, heating, HVAC air conditioning, and manufacturing companies. In addition, the Saudi government has started to invest in the Kingdom’s National Strategy for Data and AI, which means that nbyl, as a tech startup, has finally gained credibility.
No War for Talent
One of the most critical parts of nybl’s expansion will be hiring the right individuals. Thankfully, there’s a current surplus of talented researchers, developers, and data scientists within the Kingdom. Like nybl’s Alnahhas—educated at the University of Houston, the Wharton School of Business, and INSEAD— many Saudi Arabians have benefited from government-sponsored education abroad.
Last year, Saudi Arabia signed several partnerships with tech firms to advance the Kingdom’s skills in artificial intelligence. ‘It’s exciting to be in Saudi Arabia where there’s alignment and support’, Alnahhas concluded. ‘You’re getting an increasing talent pool. And even old and big family conglomerates are finally changing to use AI’.