How IP video is reshaping corporate communications
Sub-Saharan Africa is ripe with potential. Advancements in mobile technology have transformed the region, turning it into a competitive market, particularly for the corporate sector. The region is rich in cultural and linguistic diversity, which means employers need to deliver unified communications to ensure they have a unified workforce.
As Africa’s corporate world continues to grow, organisations need to ensure they implement an effective communications strategy in order to remain successful. A key addition to any company’s internal communications strategy is video, as it provides them with an effective way to deliver high-quality information and training, as well as fostering collaboration and engagement.
What is IP video and why should businesses use it?
The rise of the internet – and more recently of connected devices – has reshaped the corporate landscape in Africa. The infrastructure in the region has significantly improved in recent years, which has increased the demand for IPTV, which essentially means the ability to deliver live and recorded TV or video to any device, via an organisation’s existing IP network.
An IP video system enables staff to keep up-to-date with company news in real time by delivering live news and corporate updates to communal area screens, as well as each member of staff’s PC and mobile device. It also facilitates staff training by archiving learning materials and corporate updates for on-demand playback, which employees can view at their convenience.
Across sub-Saharan Africa, we are experiencing a greater demand for IP video solutions, particularly in sectors such as banking and healthcare. Our work in the region and around the world has also enabled us to identify three key ways IP video will help shape corporate communications in sub-Saharan Africa over the coming years:
1) Improving decision-making
Over the past decade, the financial sector in Africa has grown substantially, turning it into a significant player in emerging market banking. It is forecast to continue growing, primarily driven by economic growth, the demand for financial services and the rapid uptake of mobile technology.
In order for banks to remain competitive, it is crucial that employees are able to react quickly to fluctuating markets. IP video provides bankers with an invaluable tool to receive breaking news at their desks and act in real time to ensure that their investment strategy adapts to a fast-paced market.
The Exterity IP video solution is already in use at Bank of China (Hong Kong), the world’s fifth largest bank with over 13,000 staff. The IP video system delivers a number of financial news feeds directly to bankers’ desks, which enables staff to evaluate transaction risks and keep track of the latest financial trends and regulations in real time. Information impacting the whole group is distributed to screens in public areas, enabling the bank to maintain the highest standards of service.
2) Adapting business strategies to new trends
Healthcare in Sub-Saharan Africa is a high-growth market worth an estimated $21 billion; this figure is expected to double over the next decade. This will lead to an increase in demand for more tailored services, particularly in private healthcare, where patients expect in-room entertainment and to use their own mobile devices during their stay
Pharmaceutical giant Sanofi understands the role that enterprise IP video can play in its strategy, and uses it to provide valuable information to its 20 R&D sites and three separate business units across Paris, where it controls its global communications. IP video enables it to quickly distribute medical news and vital updates to staff across all its premises. This empowers staff, who can now quickly access the latest research and news, enabling Sanofi’s R&D teams to learn about new diseases and strains in detail, and equipping its client liaison staff with qualified responses to questions related to new viruses, or increased resistance to traditional medicine.
3) Catering to a continent of young people
By 2030, Sub-Saharan Africa’s contribution to the global workplace will exceed that of the world combined. In many African states, more than half of the population is under 25 years of age, which has led to it being called “the continent of young people”. Millennials and Generation Z’s in Africa have grown up with a strong mobile culture, and as this tech-savvy generation crosses the threshold into the workplace, it will expect employers to be digitally-savvy and embrace flexibility.
Businesses need to respond to the smartphone era by extending the reach and availability of relevant digital content, which empowers employees to view information at their convenience, stay up-to-date with corporate information and better engage with an organisation’s culture. This is all key for businesses looking to attract and retain the next generation of talent.
It has also led to remote working gaining momentum, with a study finding that one third of workers in South Africa work outside of their company headquarters for half the week or more, and 62 percent work remotely at least some of the time. By integrating IP video into their communications strategy, organisations can cater to a mobile workforce by giving them access to corporate information and news on-the-go. This leads to faster decision-making, better engagement rates and a feeling of belonging.
The future is video
Over the coming years, the African market will continue to evolve rapidly as more organisations start investing in the region and more young people enter the workplace. In order for businesses to remain competitive, they need to ensure employee productivity is high and members of staff are engaged with the organisation’s business and culture. We anticipate that IP video will be the route most businesses will take when implementing an effective communications strategy and welcome the opportunity to see the world’s youngest continent embrace technology further.
Colin Farquhar is the CEO of Exterity, a global leader in enterprise IP video technology.
NetNumber: Time for a cloud-native transformation
NetNumber is accelerating the transition in the telecom industry to 5G as it starts a shift to cloud-native architecture to address the fast-paced demands of global subscribers and businesses.
NetNumber is offering the industry’s first cloud-native platform designed to ensure InterGENerational™ network performance addresses both the legacy and next-generation requirements of telecom networks.
“NetNumber has developed the industry’s most robust cloud-native, InterGENerational platform that addresses both the legacy and 5G requirements of telcos,” said Matt Rosenberg, Chief Revenue Officer of NetNumber.
The platform provides vertical and horizontal scale-out with low latency, coupled with a suite of data replication capabilities, which provide flexible architectural options that can evolve with the changing network over time.
“Cloud-based solutions from other vendors tend to be limited in terms of supporting particular network generations or protocols. We’ve created our latest platform TITAN.IUM to allow customers to take any generation of applications, any generation of legacy services and protocols and move them into the new world of cloud-native architecture,” said Rosenberg.
“This is a really important part for a carrier to harmonise their network, bring data services together, bring legacy with new together in order to make a more effective and efficient network, as well as reduce their cost as they scale forward,” he said.
Established in 1999, NetNumber has fostered a strong team environment that leverages the industry’s best skills to offer software solutions tailored for carriers of all dimensions. Based outside of Boston and with presence in over 20 countries, the company delivers a range of products that address all generations (2G, 3G, 4G, 5G) of network functions in the core network, deep rooted security products and services, STIR/ SHAKEN and set of options around data services in more than 90 countries.
Steeped in experience in building telecom solutions, software, protocol stacks, and integration of third party tools, the company’s development organisation has proven to supply to the industry with the most reliable and flexible solutions on the market.
“At NetNumber, we focus on our core competencies – we are dedicated to providing industry expertise in signaling, routing, security, subscriber management and data services. We provide customers a strong ROI through platform-based solutions that reduce Capex and Opex in the long-term,” commented Rosenberg.
Five reasons why customers choose NetNumber:
- Expertise - NetNumber has experts with deep knowledge in signaling/routing, security, and subscriber database management.
- Integration - An industry-first platform brings together domain services, applications, security, and global data services.
- Scale - NetNumber has the ability to seamlessly increase network efficiency using vertical and horizontal scaling.
- Speed - World-class solutions have the power to help companies create new service offerings and accelerate time to ROI.
- Savings - Customers enjoy significant savings in capex and opex, flexible deployment models, and investment protection.
NetNumber and Virgin Mobile MEA
“We're very proud of our partnership with Virgin Mobile MEA as they've taken the concept of the InterGENerational platform into their regional network strategy,” commented Rosenberg. “That’s accelerated how they develop exceptional services across the Middle East and Africa region.
“We work with them hand-in-hand to deliver multiple applications onto our platform which has enabled them to provide exceptional, advanced and innovative services to their customers across the Middle East, who demand high quality services.
“What they've really taken advantage of is scale. What I mean by that is they are putting multiple generations of applications and services onto the same platform and distributing that data across their network. That has resulted in an advantageous position of time to market and operational savings.
“Rather than having different applications for many different vendors that cause operational chaos, they've been able to consolidate that and reduce their operating costs by having everything on one common architecture. We’ve had a long-term relationship with Virgin Mobile in Saudi Arabia, and recently signed an agreement with Virgin Mobile in Kuwait.”
Rosenberg says that with these solutions, Virgin Mobile MEA can take advantage of getting to the market much quicker and faster—which is what today’s discerning customer demands.