Spark backs 'alliance' model to deliver a one-stop transformation shop

Spark backs 'alliance' model to deliver a one-stop transformation shop

Customers needed help as their business continuity plans struggled under the impact of COVID-19

Grant McBeath (Spark)

Grant McBeath (Spark)

Credit: Supplied

"Right through the COVID process, we only ever looked at the next four weeks of level four or the next two weeks of level three and how we are showing up for our customers and what’s the role we could play," McBeath said.

The company clearly took some hits, with the inevitable loss of almost all of its roaming revenue and the closure of its retail network.

Out of the other side of lockdown, however, McBeath said it was great to to see customers driving back to embrace that retail environment.

Many of the challenges businesses have and will continue to face have only served to heighten the drive for transformation and the relevance of new waves of technology such as cloud, automation, analytics and IoT as well as managed services and cyber security.

"So cloud transformation is clearly a massive opportunity for all organisations and it is quite a big shift in capability in general," McBeath said.

In addition to helping lower costs, improve flexibility and access new technology capabilities to support new business models, more than anything else it delivered speed – speed of upgrades, releases and the ability to change to stay ahead of customers and competitors.

There was also a lot of interest among customers about Spark's own agile journey, after it rolled out "agile at scale" two years ago, McBeath said.

"We have certainly enjoyed the benefits of that and talk to customers about that. It has been a great tool in our belt when we look at remote working, for example."

It has become commonplace to hear that COVID-19 has magnified the strength of businesses and accentuated their weaknesses. 

"A lot of organisations are living with the legacy infrastructure decisions they made over the last five or ten years, independent of where they are in their change programme, it inhibits their ability to move rapidly," McBeath said.

Leaven, Spark's cloud consultancy, had been incredibly busy through lockdown helping customers adjust.

"It's not only assessing where they are at in their journey but giving them the roadmap to help them get from where they  are today to where they want to be based on their strategy, their posture around cost and their posture around compliance," he said. 

"That’s been very popular for us and has flowed through to cloud managed services with CCL, which is becoming very relevant."

Qrious was also going really well with regards the scale of the initiatives they were undertaking, he said. 

There's a lot around AI and machine learning, precision marketing, churn propensity models, next best conversation, interaction driver analysis – all focused on data driven business models that make organisations much more efficient. 

"Digital and data transformation goes along side cloud transformation."

McBeath welcomed the arrival of a Microsoft cloud region in-country, saying it only reinforced Spark's firm belief that both public and modern hybrid cloud would become more and more popular and that would be amplified by the COVID-19 experience.

"It reinforces our belief that cloud and digital transformation are crucial to future success," he said.

So, is Spark's portfolio of digital businesses now complete?

"We will always be evolving and looking at the market to see where we can be more relevant to out customers," McBeath said.

"So we look at the value chain of our organisation end to end as well as adjacencies to see other pockets of value we can unlock."

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