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Thursday, November 26, 2020

Airtel steps into $1Bn cloud communications market with “Airtel IQ”

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On Monday, Bharti Airtel, Sunil Mittal led leading telecom major, announced that it has jumped into the fast-growing cloud communications market. This news came with the launch of Airtel IQ on the same day.

Airtel IQ, a cloud-based omnichannel communications platform, enables user brands to dwell deeper in engagement with their customers. This has been made possible through secure and timely communication.

India’s several popular brands such as Urban Company, Swiggy, Justdial, Havells, Rapido and Dr Lal Path Labs signed up as customers for Airtel IQ during the beta phase.

While making this huge announcement, the company said that Airtel IQ would eliminate the complexity of using cumbersome and complicated multiple communication platforms for different channels as businesses will now be able to embed communication services such as Voice, SMS, IVR in their applications and digital properties across mobile and desktop, all through a unified platform with just a slice of code.

In a filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange, Bharti Airtel said, “A true game-changer in the Indian enterprise communication segment, Airtel IQ eliminates the need for multiple communication platforms for different channels and with just a slice of code, businesses can embed communication services such as SMS, IVR, Voice, in their applications and digital properties across desktop and mobile, all through a unified platform”.

The telecom firm cited an example of a customer ordering food through an online platform wherein he called the delivery agent to find out the status of the order. The organization said that over Airtel IQ, the entire communication of this kind is orchestrated seamlessly and securely with full encryption and masking of all mobile numbers.

The platform has been fully developed by Airtel’s in-house engineering teams. Airtel IQ reflects upon and brings into spotlight the growing digital prowess of Bharti Airtel to deliver world-class solutions to its customers. Moreover, the new venture is natively integrated into telco-grade infrastructure and is secure, cost-efficient, robust, and intuitive.

Vivek Sunder, COO, Swiggy, commented on the developments by Airtel by stating, “Seamless and secure communication between our customers, delivery partners and partner restaurants is key to our service enablement. With Airtel IQ, we have been able to deliver seamless and highly intuitive communication between all parties across our platform in privacy contained and simplified fashion.”

Chief Product Officer at Bharti Airtel, Adarsh Nair, also announced that Airtel is obsessed with solving customer problems and Airtel IQ is a step in that particular direction only; The first amongst severel game-changing products that will be delivered by airtel in the near future. He also said, “So, the next time you enjoy shopping online, ordering food from your favourite restaurant or hailing a ride, remember there’s a bit of Airtel IQ in there making it happen seamlessly and safely.”

Director and Chief Executive Officer at Airtel Business, Ajay Chitkara, also commented that this new and unique platform holds the potential to translate into 30-40 per cent cost reduction for enterprises as against the traditional models.

According to several reviews and features reported by the company, the platform is supposed to have the advantage of distribution, customer data, network, and payments already so it can leverage all and attract more and more people to grow this business. A large call centre ecosystem, start-ups, banks e-commerce and Internet companies, and those into manufacturing and distribution are expected to be the early adopters of the newly launched platform.

In the current technology-driven world businesses across all domains are increasingly looking to cloud-based digital platforms in order to get involved with consumers in a more effective and efficient manner. According to the company, Airtel IQ is built to raise the bar of standard affordable tech help platforms when it comes to brands delighting consumers.

Currently, the cloud communications market in the Indian subcontinent is estimated to be worth $1 billion. It rapidly and robustly growing at a rate of as much as 20 per cent per annum. Airtel claims to be India’s largest player in the Business to Business (or B2B) connectivity space. The firm also claims serving over one million businesses with an integrated portfolio that is inclusive of security, connectivity, cloud, and collaboration and data centre solutions and that it is uniquely and strategically positioned to capture this fruitful emerging opportunity to develop as a leading player in the cloud communications segment.

On Monday, the same day when this new announcement was made, the stock of Bharti Airtel dropped down by 0.07 per cent or Rs 0.30 per share to close at Rs 434.05 per share on the Bombay Stock Exchange in comparison to a 1.33 decline in the benchmark index. The company has recorded the 52-week high at Rs 611.70 and its 52-week low is Rs 350.50 on BSE.

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