In anticipation of next week’s ConnecTech Asia in Singapore, we sat down with Michael Winkler and Juergen Stoettinger from our Partner and Alliances team to discuss their expectations for the upcoming event.
What makes the Asian tech market special? How do you think the digital transformation process is progressing differently when compared to other parts of the world?
Michael: We’ve been keeping a close eye on developments in Asia and, in many ways, the Asian market seems to be quicker to adopt and integrate new technologies. User acceptance towards mobile devices is even more widespread than in Europe, so telcos can build on a great user base across all demographics. This means there are fewer barriers to overcome, as CSPs introduce new processes using advanced technology.
Juergen: Demographics like digital natives and early adopters, which are particularly interesting in the context of digital business transformation, seem to have a very strong voice in the Asian market. New trends are often taking over more rapidly, some trends even emerge in relative isolation from other markets. For us, it’s a great opportunity to learn first-hand from innovation leaders in Asia.
Juergen: Customers in Asia are very tech savvy, so telcos are more inclined to explore in the early stages of developing trends because they know that their customers will react with curiosity rather than distancing themselves. Asian countries also have a history of being deeply invested in advancing technologies and internet infrastructure, recognizing the potential of promoting the development of expertise early on.
Michael: Robotic assistants as greeters in telco stores are a great example. We’ve been actively pursuing this idea and turned it into an award-winning prototype – which we showcased at this year’s Digital Transformation World – but found that it took a while for operators in Europe to get behind the idea. On the other end of the spectrum, Hong Kong based operator SmarTone introduced robotic greeters to their stores back in February of 2017. While use cases relying on AI are still in the very early stages, we’ll be very curious how vendors and operators are trying to bring them to the Asian market.
What are you most excited about leading into the event?
Michael: We’re curious to see what current challenges Asian telco operators have identified specifically and how they approach them. Of course, implementations of AI and Machine Learning are still a big thing and as exciting as ever. We can’t wait to see what kinds of new use cases the exhibitors are going to present in that regard. More often than not, the learning process goes both ways. While the European market may be slower to adapt to some trends, we still view it as an incredibly diverse and powerful representation of things to come in the telco world.
You are mostly going to focus on two sub events - CommunicAsia and NXTAsia. What do you expect from those events?
Juergen: CommunicAsia is a great platform to learn from one another, as thought leaders from the telecommunications industry get together to exchange ideas. We’ll be looking to widen our perspective and learn which issues drive Asian telcos. NXTAsia is set to give a perspective on what a more distant future in the telco world is going to look like. Emerging technologies like Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality or the Internet of Things are going to be discussed from the perspective of leading telcos. For us at NTS Retail, these insights are invaluable in the process of shaping our new generation of innovative solutions.
What are your expectations regarding new strategic partnerships for NTS Retail?
Michael: Events like ConnecTechAsia give us a great opportunity to meet potential partners and connect with existing ones. Our goal is to identify thought leaders and synergies in the Asian telco market, where NTS Retail can be of great value with our products and our expertise.
Both, Juergen and Michael are attending ConnecTechAsia and will be bringing along a showcase of our product portfolio and offer a perspective on where NTS Retail is headed in the future. Arrange a meeting using our contact form or connect with them directly via LinkedIn (Michael Winkler & Juergen Stoettinger).