“Digital services are all about the customer experience and as customers are driving digital lifestyle today, we have transformed SLT into a completely customer-centric organisation”
“Year 2019 was a turning point for SLT. The Company has been undergoing a shift of sorts; we started the year with the strategy where we metamorphosised from communications service provider (CSP) to a digital service provider (DSP), which has been a monumental task.”
Digital services are all about the customer experience and as customers are driving the digital lifestyle today, we have transformed SLT into a completely customer-centric organisation. Digital lifestyle is emerging and therefore society is demanding more than the needs. Understanding the wants of customer who is struggling to fit in to the requirements of the society by exploiting the digital lifecycle is an untapped market opportunity for SLT. Therefore, SLT had to transform themselves into a complete customer-centric organisation to understand the customer, his requirements and to delight him in capitalising digital market opportunities during the transformation as a digital service provider to the nation.
We had to rearchitect our IT and network structure, recognising that this was essential to our transformation to becoming a DSP. Whereas previously our IT support would primarily focus around system integration and support, it now has to take into consideration supporting business and customer applications. We brought in a DevOps culture to ensure that we are capable of addressing customer requirements through innovative applications to support a digital lifestyle. The change in the culture at SLT has also empowered our employees to better serve our customers. We ensure that our employees have everything that they need for leadership in driving a customer-centric culture at SLT. This has led to the rise of innovation and creativity, frontline employees that can respond swiftly and effectively to customer concerns, thereby improving the customer experience significantly.
This is why we set about giving a new face to our front offices and Teleshops, reallocating sales demarcation zones, and increasing our presence through new regional offices, some of which were converted from Outside Plant Maintenance Centres (OPMCs). SLT believes that strong partnerships are key to delivering a better service, so we are leaning more into the franchising of our Teleshops and effectively making our dealers part of our frontline and increasing our presence.
We have also taken a different approach to who we consider our customers; whereas an SLT customer would previously have been defined as someone who subscribes to at least one of our services, we now consider that anyone could be an SLT customer. This is all part of our transition into becoming a provider of digital services, and we did just that in 2019 through some innovative services and apps. With our SLTgo Community Wi-Fi, anyone with a smart device can connect to our network from any local SLTgo Wi-Fi hotspot or over 23 million Fon Community Wi-Fi hotspots around the world and reduce their mobile data costs. With our SLT Voice app, customers can connect their smartphone device to their SLT landline and use it to make and receive calls with their SLT phone number. This year, we plan to allow any PEO TV subscriber to watch PEO TV on the go through the PEO TV Go app on any network anywhere in the country.
“SLT is capable enough to enter the global wholesale market, which is what we did when we launched the Xyntac global business unit in 2019”
We feel that this is just one of the ways that digitalisation has been a real game changer for SLT.
Of course, SLT has had to encounter a fair share of challenges in 2019. Tragic events had a tremendous impact on the country and businesses that use our services. We faced challenges internally and from the environment. The incredibly ambitious accelerated fibre initiative is also a huge logistical challenge. The sourcing of funds has been a longstanding challenge, one that we are trying to address through sympathetic investors and increasing our dollar revenues. Fortunately, our strategies are paying off and our restructuring has seen all resources ideally placed to successfully achieve our strategic objectives.
Our achievements are outstanding – SLT has truly made its mark on the global level. We are connected to the world through five submarine cables and working towards connecting the nextgen SEA-ME-WE 6. We have the capability of servicing and repairing these cables with the Galle Submarine Cable Depot. We have 1+2 redundancy and can switch to a backup cable within 50 milliseconds, ensuring the country never experiences a blackout. All this means that SLT is capable enough to enter the global wholesale market, which is what we did when we launched the Xyntac global business unit in 2019. Sri Lanka is well on its way to becoming a hub for global communications.
M B P Fernandez
Chief Operating Officer
3 June 2020