Every modern business depends on sophisticated IT systems and complex communication networks, and those which can achieve greater convergence between the two are likely to have a distinct competitive edge.
Now, with the emergence of Internet Protocol (IP) telephony services, there has been a major step forward, offering new options for customers and the prospect of high returns on investment for companies equipped to provide the latest products and services.
"This breakthrough has been welcomed by customers and will have a big impact on the overall market," says Vincent Ma, executive director, commercial, Wharf T&T Limited. The company obtained its fixed-line operating licence in 1995 and has grown to be a leading provider of telecom and IT solutions with over HK$5 billion invested in its fibre-optic telecommunications grid.
A further advance came in January 2006 with the announcement of its business integration with COL, which is Hong Kong's market leader in offering a full range of IT services, something recognised by numerous industry accreditations. At present, COL's data centre and business continuity solutions have an 80 per cent market share in the financial services industry and the multinational sector. The process of integration has created a level of synergy which has made it possible to maintain a lead over the competition and provide comprehensive one-stop IT and telecom solutions for clients.
The telecommunications industry acts like a thermometer for the economy
"IP telephony which is IT-oriented appeals to the market because, when computer-based activities are combined with ordinary phone functions, many new applications and services can be offered," says Magdala Hoi, Wharf T&T's vice president for business market.
She adds that, as the only fixed telecommunications network service (FTNS) operator in Hong Kong focusing on the business sector, the company has nearly 60,000 customer accounts, including government departments, investment banks, and enterprises of all sizes.
"We are dedicated to helping customers drive their business performance by providing services and products of impeccable quality," says Mr Ma. "That means keeping abreast of developments and having our finger on the pulse to ensure we remain on the cutting edge."
This year there has been special emphasis on enhancing data protection and achieving international standards and ISO certification for key management procedures. With that, major clients can have fewer concerns about security or disaster recovery in the event of an emergency. In addition, the company has recently won a major IT outsourcing project.
"It would not have been possible without the strategic convergence of IT advances and our established network strengths," says Ms Hoi, who stresses that sales ability was also a key factor in securing the contract. "We make sure that our sales staff possess the expertise and intelligence to meet customer expectations," she adds.
Potential recruits should therefore show commitment to the industry, knowledge of the main products, enthusiasm, willingness to learn, maturity and excellent interpersonal skills. The company will arrange all the necessary training and back-office support for members of the sales team, while demanding a high level of integrity and closely monitoring individual performance and the terms agreed in new customer contracts.
"The telecommunications industry acts like a thermometer for the economy," says Mr Ma. "It is very competitive, but the business outlook is promising, so we encourage people to join us and share in what the next generation of technology brings."
- Robust and diverse telecom solutions with bandwidth options including point-to-point and point-to-multipoint services
- Data centre and business continuity solutions able to redirect traffic to a back-up site in the event of a disaster, equipment failure or planned outage at the primary site
- Renowned professional service and sophisticated networking capabilities
- tomised IT and telecom solutions to address different customer requirements
- IT convergence is a major advantage in the telecommunications industry
- Focus on business customers with high-quality services
- Special emphasis on data protection and security to give customers greater peace of mind
- ecruits who meet the selection criteria will receive extensive training in products and services