PCCW’s Ronnie Klingner on industry trends, success and life

Written by on March 8, 2016 in Features with 0 Comments

Ronnie KlingnerRonnie Klingner is one brave, energetic and passionate lady. She recently left her position as President of Wholesale Voice at PCCW Global to tackle the exciting challenge of leading a new group which will grow their mobility, security and digital communication solutions. The learning curve is steep, but it is all part of the game when you work in the current telecom environment.

During our latest discussion, she shared with me how she thinks wholesalers need to evolve, how PCCW is positioning itself in the current fluid business environment and finally, her secret for success both in life and in business. The following article will give you a glimpse into Ronnie’s vision.


What is your view of the future of the telecom industry?

I think the telecom market has changed more in the last decade than it has in its entire history. Customers are now addicted to connectivity and speed, feeding a massive growth in data traffic and OTT applications, which is putting pressure on traditional voice traffic and revenue.

But, more importantly, we are seeing a major technology shift, especially with the younger generation, which is changing the way we communicate and consume media. Now everything is about cloud and applications, and traditional ways of communicating are disappearing. Telecom and media consumption is moving from traditional devices such as telephones, televisions and radios for example, towards smart devices.

This is having a significant impact on our business, and we will have to reinvent ourselves to address this move towards automation, virtualization and cloud. This shift should help wholesalers facilitate rapid service delivery to better meet customers’ needs, while enabling them to minimize cost, optimize their businesses’ agility, speed of innovation and flexibility.


What are the key trends currently impacting telecom operators?

At the end of the day, there are four key trends that are influencing the telecom industry. The first one is globalisation, with the majority of businesses now operating in a global environment that requires high performance and global connectivity.

The second trend is the rapid uptake of smart devices and the move to cloud, which are bringing unpredictable growth in the telecom space, which then requires a lot of flexibility and scalability from the telecom operators.

The third trend, and I think one that will grow in importance, is Cybersecurity. As organizations become more digitized and automated, this opens an opportunity for hackers to access critical data and therefore attacks are becoming more frequent, sophisticated and extremely damaging. Telecom operators have a crucial role to play here to alleviate this threat.

Finally, the fourth trend is the explosion of video, which now accounts for about 70% of global data traffic. The growth in smart mobile devices with high speed broadband, even in emerging markets such as Africa, is changing the viewing habits of consumers. For example, video applications are exploding all around the world, with live TV streaming over mobile devices becoming the norm, and this is creating opportunities for telecom operators able to position themselves as enablers, rather than just bit carriers, in this new ecosystem.


How is PCCW Global evolving its business to position itself as a partner for success in this new world?

PCCW is very much involved in virtualizing its network. All the core products that we presently offer, over time, will become cloud-based and automated, so that customers can self-provision and use an automated ordering process.

In addition to this core shift in how we conduct our wholesale business, we are aiming at integrating services above and beyond connectivity to our portfolio, such as mobility, security and media, to climb up the value chain. We recently created a group, which I am heading, that is solely focussing on these more innovative applications.

On the security front, we acquired a cybersecurity and analytics company called Cryptia that gives us the sophistication and ability to analyse fraud trends on a global scale and enables us to correlate information to better mitigate attacks.

When it comes to media, we recently launched a platform to target the consumer market in South Africa, called OnTap TV. This best of breed media platform complements our connectivity, our global television network and, combined with our quad play expertise in Hong Kong, will be offered as an end-to-end solution to telecom operators that want to enter the OTT content space.

This is the final piece of the puzzle that fits into our strategic objective of not only offering value added services, but also of repositioning PCCW Global as an innovative end-to-end solution provider.


What is the key to success in international business?

For sure the key to success in our current environment is to be fast and agile. But more importantly, it is also to provide a personalized customer experience. In the international wholesale environment, this can only be achieved by having true global presence, not only in terms of connectivity, but also in terms of people and cultural awareness.

We have to develop close personal relationships and build trust with our customers and take the time to understand their culture and who they are outside of the work environment. This will enable us to not only communicate in a way that resonates with them personally, based on their life reality, but also to understand their specific requirements better.

As a woman, in the current environment, it is therefore a great asset to be able to be sensitive and use female intuition to better interact with customers and co-workers alike. It enables us to understand or predict their needs, and to perceive the subtle specificities of different cultures and personalities. This is a very valuable skill.


What’s the best advice you wish to pass on to our readers to be successful in life?

At the end of the day, work and life in general is all about personal relationships and balancing the time you spend at work, with your family and your friends.

You get a lot back from people you value in your life and that bring you positive energy and making sure to spend quality time with them will always make you very happy. If you are able to do that, you will have everything that you need to succeed in all parts of your life, in and outside of work.

It is easy to get lost in our busy lives and to forget about what is most important, but happiness and success is all about leading a balanced life!

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About the Author

About the Author: Isabelle has worked for over 20 years in the telecoms industry. Her personal experience ranges from international Wholesale through to Business Strategy, Marketing and Product Management, along with extensive research and consulting experience. She has worked across all continents and has lived in North America, Europe and Asia. .


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