SMEs Are Getting More And More Connected

Hany Fahmy Aly, Executive Vice President of Enterprise Business at du talks about SMEs' opportunities in connectivity.

du Business Help Roadshow for SMEs in 2014

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"Customers have told us that they want simplicity, innovation, flexibility, and service. These key pillars underpin both our short and long-term plan, plus more importantly, everything we do," says Hany Fahmy Aly, Executive Vice President of Enterprise Business at du. SMEs take their connectivity needs seriously, and for 2015, small and medium enterprises are a huge area of concentration for the UAE-based telco.

"Our focus is on SME customers; they are key to our business and our role is to deliver their communications and connectivity requirements. We are committed to exceed customer expectations by providing them with simpler solutions which enable businesses in the UAE to focus on their business while we deliver their telecommunications as their trusted partner of choice." One notable endeavor is du's Business Help Roadshow an undertaking that allows their enterprise client base to sit one-on-one with a representative to get personalized service and ask for tailored recommendations suited to the scale and needs of the SME. "Business Help Roadshow gives SME customers the opportunity to meet face to face with du's experts, for advice and rapid query resolutions. It allows the attendees to share their issues, challenges and questions in the areas of billing, technical, and sales for both mobile and fixed services towards faster resolutions on the spot. From each roadshow we were able to resolve 75% of customer issues."

The Business Roadshow toured different Emirates throughout 2014, and according to Aly, will continue to do so in the year ahead. Currently, the SME client makes up 40% of du's enterprise customer base, and is showing good increases. Another connectivity enterprise trend is that more SMBs are adopting cloud computing, and Aly points out that the benefits revolve around flexibility. If you haven't already looked at it as an option for your enterprise, you might want to consider the business without borders perspective of cloud computing.

"There are three key benefits to cloud computing: a global workforce, improved accessibility and disaster recovery." Basically, going with cloud computing for your business means that you aren't restricted by geography when onboarding talent simply because everyone has access simultaneously "to critical data anytime, anywhere and having the data secured addresses the business demands. Sharing, storing and reproduction of data can't be easier, and finally, [there's] no need for complex disaster recovery plans. Cloud computing providers take care of most issues, and they do it faster than physical server engineers.

Hany Fahmy Aly, Executive Vice President. Enterprise Business, du


What value-adds should entrepreneurs be looking for in enterprise plans with their providers?
"We believe that entrepreneurs and smes should focus on improving their communication channels with their clients, enhance ability to operate their office anywhere anytime, ensure security of their transactions and last but not the least – look for added value on their roaming and data needs. At du, we have many different value added services which we can customize plans to suit each customer's needs, like more data, national or international minutes. We also have a number of leading edge managed services that provide additional services for any sized SME. This starts from security solutions, hardware and bespoke offerings with a dedicated team- this is a huge growth area."

What connectivity trends do you expect this year?
"Globally there is a shift towards digital, online and cloud applications, and we expect customers within the UAE will also be focused on new ways of working, new channels to their customers. some key trends are SOHO and SME- customers can now access corporate grade solutions at affordable prices with the move towards cloud based solutions which is a great benefit to this ever growing segment. Also, there is a clear move away from CAPEX and heavy IT investment to a more OPEX-driven per seat approach and solutions are now device-agnostic. you can access all of your important documents, email and shared files from your mobile, laptop or desk computer and they all link together for an easy to use customer experience– all with corporate grade security for peace of mind. for example, through our partnership with Microsoft on Office 365, SMEs can get all of their email, calendar, excel and other solutions on any device for the price of a cup of coffee per month."

What is the most popular current business plan for du's SME clients?
"The Business Advantage Plan is a popular plan among smes as it comes with a built in loyalty and value for money offering. It was designed specifically to address the needs of the UAE's SME-heavy community. The Business Advantage Plan rewards customers with more benefits as their subscription matures. So, the longer they use the plan, the more added value they enjoy with monthly fees reduced on a yearly basis, plus additional bundled national and international minutes, over five years of incremental benefits."

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