The Country Managing Director for Telstra Indonesia, Erik Meijer, gave a short presentation at Telstra Vantage 2017 about Telstra’s work in the growing Indonesian market through Telkomtelstra — a joint venture between Telstra and Telkom Indonesia.
Meijer pointed to Indonesia as a huge growth market in the technology industry. It has a population of 262 million people — 10 times that of Australia — and a fast-growing Internet penetration of 55 percent. Technology adoption is on a steep rise, too. Most people skip older, more established technologies, such as fixed-line broadband, in favour of new wireless options. Indonesia now has 370 million active mobile subscriptions, which is how most Indonesians access the Internet, and two-fifths of the population is active on social media.
The Internet has become a central part of life for many Indonesians. Average Internet use per day per user is three hours, and — while there are only eight million credit cards in circulation — over 100 million people, or 41 percent of the population, have bought something online.
This digital savviness of the consumer market makes it increasingly important for businesses in Indonesia to follow suit. Indonesia is maturing into a global economic powerhouse. If the current GDP growth rate of 5 percent every year continues, it will have one of the 10 largest economies in the world in 2020.
Older Indonesian companies are lagging behind consumers in take-up of digital technologies, however, and brick and mortar stores have traditionally seen online as competition rather than an opportunity for growth. This presents international companies with an opportunity to expand into Indonesia, especially if they can connect online and offline worlds.
Meijer said the big growth areas at the moment for business are in financial technology (also known as fintech), e-commerce, software as a service (SaaS), and on-demand/service marketplaces. And the main trend is a move into cloud connectivity, although this is more complicated in Indonesia because of regulatory restrictions on data sovereignty.
Telkomtelstra is currently the only company that offers a hybrid cloud service to businesses that’s in line with these regulations. Telkomtelstra can also manage a company’s data and network security and infrastructure, and it can provide managed unified communications (a complicated thing in a country of 17,000 islands), SaaS customer engagement solutions, and vital insights into the Indonesian market that help forecast risk for expansion into the territory.
In the three years since telkomtelstra began operation, the joint venture has grown to manage about 13,000 business sites for more than 100 customers. Meijer said there are 130 Telkomtelstra employees on the ground in Indonesia to help serve business customers. Besides on-site support, they have a cloud contact centre, a network operations centre that runs around the clock, and a customer portal that displays the status of all network components in real-time.
The real value of all these services, Meijer emphasised, is that they allow businesses to “outsource all your boring stuff” on the technology side so that IT teams can focus on innovation and on driving the business forward.