2020 Data Impact Award Winner Spotlight: Telkomsel

2020 is a year that’s been defined by transformation. The way we work, how businesses operate, and even serve customers have all transformed in order to cope with the challenges that have been thrown our way. Amongst the chaos, some organizations have excelled. The Industry Transformation category at our Data Impact Awards celebrates these organizations— the ones that have looked digital transformation in the eye and said “bring it on!” 

The competition for this year’s category was fierce. So many of our customers moved their businesses to the next level and disrupted their industries through the use of new technologies, applying new skills, and operationalizing processes. However, one entrant stood out head and shoulders above the rest, and that was Telkomsel. A subsidiary of Telkom Indonesia and Singapore Telecom Mobile, Telkomsel is the largest provider of network coverage in the country. It serves more than 158 million customers, of which 104 million are users of data, creating more than 10 billion customer activities in a day. The telecommunications company recognized that in order to best serve its customers and keep up with their needs, it had to get to grips with data. Instead of shying away from the challenge, Telkomsel tackled digital transformation head-on and has reaped the benefits. Let’s explore exactly what made its entry standout!

After experiencing negative growth in 2018, Telkomsel made the strategic decision to focus solely on becoming a trusted provider of mobile, digital lifestyle, services, and solutions. With access to vast amounts of data from its customer base, the company knew its ability to mine this data would be a key driver of positive transformation. However, it was locked into an expensive legacy data warehouse which resulted in high operational costs and the inability to perform exploratory analytics. With more than 25TB ingested from over 200+ different data sources, Telkomsel knew an agile and cost-efficient infrastructure was key to pursuing a digital-first strategy. 

A digital telco: the transformation 

To kick start its mission to become a digital telco company, it turned to Cloudera to enable more cost-effective data storage. In doing so, Telkomsel instantly realized an 80% cost reduction, compared to its previous technology stack. With billions of events daily, the telecom operator also needed a central data platform that could store data, for as long as possible, to allow the analytics needed to better understand its customer base. Leveraging Cloudera’s Data Science Workbench gave Telkomsel the ability to perform exploratory data science and get additional value from open-source technologies. The Cloudera data platform became a single source of truth, making it possible to provide advanced customer analytics, such as predictions around the likelihood of purchase or churn, personalization through recommendation engines, operational improvement, and near real-time customer care support. All of this was achieved with secured implementation, that aligned with data governance regulations, to ensure customer data protection.

Rebounding to positive revenue 

Telkomsel’s data-driven strategy has taken years of continuous improvement to get it to where it is today so that it can provide advanced digital services to the Indonesian market. The new strategy helped it to rebound to positive revenue growth in 2019, and accelerated growth for digital service revenue +29% year on year. However, it’s transformation isn’t over yet. Telkomsel recognizes the value unlocking transformation has brought to it and its employees, and because of this, it launched its Expert Development Program. The program provides training for new skills in data science. So far more than 80 employees have passed the data science training in a year. More programs are being planned in the form of internships, to drive business intelligence, pricing analytics, and human-centric design — putting data at the heart of everything it does. 

Telkomsel stood out for our judges this year because of how it approached digital transformation. Not only did it build a single digital platform to drive data-driven decision making, it is also taking its people on this digital journey. We’d love to once again share our warmest congratulations with the team on their achievement and we can’t wait to see what 2021 brings for this innovative business. 

If you’ve been inspired by everything Telkomsel has achieved and would like for your business to be recognized in the same way, we’d love for you to apply for next year’s Data Impact Awards. Next year we’ll be on the lookout for businesses that have taken a holistic view to transformation, bringing together all types of data sets to provide new insights and sustainable, positive business change. If you think your organization delivers on this, we’d be delighted to have you there. We truly believe the possibilities for transformation are endless, and can’t wait to hear from a new batch of entrants — good luck! 

To learn more about Telkomsel’s work with Cloudera visit: https://www.cloudera.com/about/news-and-blogs/press-releases/2015-04-07-telkomsel-selects-cloudera.html. Alternatively, if you want to find out more about the Data Impact Awards, our judging panel and winners please visit: https://www.cloudera.com/about/customers/data-impact-awards.html 

Cindy Maike
Cindy Maike

VP Industry Solutions

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