VEON Georgia Head of Digital and Innovations on the Latest Digital Tendencies

Telecommunication services are of crucial importance in the 21st century, requiring the permanent development of companies and suppliers operating in the field. Georgia spares no effort to come hand-in-hand with latest developments in the digital sector and introduces world’s leading players on the local market. Part of the world-renown company VEON Group, Veon Georgia (brand Beeline) is undoubtedly among them, which entered the telecommunication sector of Georgia several years ago and has already strongly established itself. GEORGIA TODAY sat down with Tamar Jikia, Head of Digital and Innovations, Veon Georgia, to discuss the tendencies observed in the mobile industry, challenges of the field, as well as the plans for the future.

Tell us about the latest digital tendencies in the contemporary mobile industry and the strategies applied by Veon Georgia to offer the clientele the best services.

Digital is currently challenging sectors in all industries and society. Moving towards digital drives telco businesses not only to provide their own digital products or services but also the essential connectivity infrastructure that allows other sectors to function and grow in the digital economy. This trend requires a fundamental shift in business model and processes to provide customers with a superior digital experience. Key tendencies of telco industry are the Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), cloud computing, 5G, Big Data and real-time insights that deliver a truly exceptional customer experience.

Veon Georgia’s key focus is to deliver a superior digital experience. We enrich our digital channels with new features and capabilities meeting customer expectations. Developing innovative products for our customers and B2B partners is a top priority. In addition, we are actively working with local and international companies to deliver new products and services which best satisfy customers and eases their everyday lives.

Share your views about Artificial Intelligence.

By definition, Artificial Intelligence is the simulation of human intelligence processes by machines. The process involves learning, reasoning and self-correction.

AI is expected to change industries and experiences for the customers as AI is incorporated into a variety of different types of technologies, such as system or process function robotic automation, machine learning science of getting a computer to act without programming thought of as the automation of predictive analytics; machine vision, the science of allowing computers to see, natural language processing (NLP); robotics focused on the design and manufacturing of robots, self-driving cars and more.

AI will change the way customer service is delivered and internal processes are managed. It is expected to enhance service personalization and more automation through advanced analytics to drive significant benefits and better crossing opportunities.

AI nowadays has various implications on healthcare, business, education, finance, law and etc.

The telecommunications sector is one of the industries that will be dramatically transformed, as the combination of AI, 5G and IoT will create an environment of ‘Intelligent Connectivity.’ This will enable AI-driven algorithms to anticipate and determine users’ intent, and create new services and customer solutions.

What are the main challenges impacting the global telecom industry today?

The key challenge of the global telecom industry is the competition from OTT services. Nowadays, customers use at least one messaging/voice app in everyday communication. These apps are popular as they deliver a great customer experience. Telco operators should not compete with OTT providers but find effective ways of collaboration in order to enable customers use the services they want in an effective manner.

Which technologies will have the most impact on the mobile ecosystem in 2020?

The top impact for the next year on mobile eco system will come from the development of AI, IoT and cloud services in correspondence with BIG data. This will have the biggest impact on the mobile ecosystem in 2020

Tell us about the advantages and disadvantages of mobile payments, which have become an inseparable part of our lives.

Mobile payment is designed to allow users to make online payments for goods and services through a mobile phone device or to use it in physical stores. The biggest advantage is that it makes it easier for customers to pay you. Instead of having credit cards or cash, mobile payments support contactless payments via their smartphones.

Mobile payments make it possible to integrate loyalty and reward programs since customer information is stored in the app, enabling customers to be sent targeted offers.

Mobile payments can also provide customer data, such as how frequently they shop at your business, how much they spend, and what their preferred payment method is.

Considerable disadvantages of mobile payment services are that there are many stores that do not support this payment method. In addition, not all the devices support the Near Field Communication (NFC), technology enabling transaction data to be sent to the payment terminal. There is a risk of transactions being performed in case of the phone theft. Security is a top concern.

Does VEON Georgia have any country-specific digital projects set for the near future?

Digital development and providing innovative products to customers is among the core strategies of Beeline. We actively work on enrichment and modernization of existing digital channels. In the near future, we plan to launch several new digital projects delivering new digital experience for our customers and B2B clients. Virtual assistant, modern self-service virtual offices, as well as other innovations will be introduced.

What do you think the mobile industry will look like in 10 years’ time?

In 10 years, 5G with a combination of AI will have reshaped not only mobile but also all other industries. Development of new directions: smart houses and cities, transports without pilots, robotics, digital hospital services and more, is to be expected. This in turn will change the way organizations operate.

By Ketevan Kvaratskheliya

21 October 2019 18:14