Today more than 26 million subscribers use Kyivstar services. In 2019, the company established the unit responsible for developing new business directions. Ilya Polshakov, New Business Director at Kyivstar, told us what business tasks and what products the new team is going to evolve.
Ilya, you lead the new unit at Kyivstar. What exactly is your team focused on in its operations?
Being a forward-looking company, Kyivstar recognizes great prospects in development of the new non-telco products and services for business clients. It is driven by the global telecommunication trends: a share of indirect profit in the total income structure of the global telecommunication companies is demonstrating sustainable growth. Thus, from traditional telecom operator we are turning into the provider of integrated, complementary and convergent services that solve global and strategic business tasks. There are four key directions within the unit: Big Data tools, mobile financial services (MFS), cloud solutions (ICT) and Internet of Things (IoT). The team work on three main tasks: satisfy customers’ needs in highly-intelligent services, resolve customers’ business tasks by means of unique convergent products and develop long-term relations with its partners. Let me list several tactical priorities: network elements for smart cities, M2M technologies for industrial enterprises, Big Data tools, creation of customised data bases, and smartphone payment tools. In other words, additionally to connectivity services Kyivstar provides business customers with breakthrough technologies to help be competitive – engineering, retail, financial, industrial enterprises, cities. At the same time we not only resolve business customer’s tasks, but also provide convenience and comfort for our end consumers - Ukrainians.
While talking about the unit priorities, you mentioned partnership development. What partners are important to enter into partnership and why?
If you consider the telecommunication industry, you can clearly trace the evolution of the mobile operators: TELCO 1.0 – mobile operator → TELCO 2.0 – solutions operator → TELCO 3.0 – eco-system, services and partnership. In order to establish the partnership eco-system, we need support from the large industry players, from municipalities to international suppliers of cloud solutions: Microsoft, Amazon, Google. Obviously, Kyivstar is the biggest supplier of mobile connection in the country that considered to be key driver for many economies. Thus, we tend to contribute to digital transformation in Ukraine. A month ago, Kyivstar and Microsoft signed the Memorandum of Understanding to evolve convergent solutions. Such partnership is unique for Ukraine due to the integration of telecommunication products: connectivity, Internet, data centre, Internet of Things, Big Data and cloud computing technologies by Microsoft. Both companies intend to create, develop and deploy cloud technologies and propose ready-made solutions to the Ukrainian business, which is ready to use cloud solutions according to our estimates.
What products and services do you offer municipalities and city administrations?
A Municipality may use Big Data tools to optimise the transport infrastructure, analyse the tourism capacity and inform of emergencies. This year, we have implemented the project together with the Lviv City Administration: Kyivstar has analysed migration of the population in the separate districts of Lviv through collected Big Data, and the City Administration uses the results of the analysis in order to improve the living conditions in the city. Another example is when mobile operators take part in the digital population census – project that government initiated. For example, by the request of the State Statistics Service of Ukraine, the Ministry of Economic Development, Trade and Agriculture or city mayor’s offices our experts make regular analytical cross-section of the population that use mobile services. It enables state authorities to forecast migration of the population during the vacation season and to plan traffic load in different parts of the day for instance. I must say that received information does not apply to certain users.
Could you tell us more about the plans for developing new areas in 2020?
In 2020, our priorities will be focused on four above-mentioned areas: Big Data tools, mobile financial services (MFS), cloud solutions (ICT) and Internet of Things (IoT).
Let me briefly highlight the development of IoT industrial solutions. It is a long-term game for us: we concentrate on development of the IoT eco-system that is based on 4G network for smart devices, devices to transmit data and the cloud platform to collect and analyse data in real time. Today, we already have 19 IT business partners that implement the unique IoT solutions together with us, from testing to deployment at the customer’s facility. We will continue our cooperation agenda with Microsoft: it is an important strategic step in development of IoT eco-system and partnership solutions.
What main achievements of your direction in 2019 you may highlight?
Talking about Mobile Financial Services (MFS), we have achieved 25% of profit in 2019 in comparison to 2018; average number of mobile payments within Kyivstar network has grown 2,5 in Q3 compared to Q1 in 2019. We have launched more than 1000 new Mobile Financial Services. Finally, we have commenced SMS payment service in public traffic in 7 Ukraine cities.
In 2019 Big Data solutions in Kyivstar have grown 73% in profit compared to the last year by such products as Big Data Solution – platform that enables to send targeted SMS to end consumers based on their customer behavior analysis; by analytical services, scoring models for banks. To grow in-house expertise in Big Data we conduct Kyivstar Big Data School – educational intensive course, that occurred in 2019 for the fourth time.
Within ICT we are proud to sign Memorandum of Understanding with Microsoft and work jointly on ICT infrastructure design and development. At the same time, we look for new partnerships with big IT suppliers and vendors which help us develop and integrate complex ICT solutions for middle and small enterprises.
To your mind, how can a company succeed against the background of changes and evolving technologies?
According to the international experts, the average life expectancy of the companies has reduced from 33 years in 1965 down to 20 years in 2000. The analysts estimate that it will reach 14 years by 2025. The innovative technologies can fundamentally change companies’ positions on the market and affect their competitiveness.
In order to succeed in the era of changes and ever-developing technologies, the company have to monitor the changing trends and respond to the changes in the timely manner, transform its business processes accordingly and develop the portfolio. In other words, the business has to be flexible and adaptive in order to get ahead.