GBS World News | Week 3 | August 2021

In the U.S., video call giant Zoom Video Communications Inc. has acquired Five9, a cloud-based call operator, for US$14,7 billion. The deal is seen as a diversification strategy by Zoom to sustain its incremental growth rate it has experienced since the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic. With normalisation setting in due to rapid vaccinations and return to office-based work in some industries, Zoom has realised the need to create an additional product offering outside of video calling. Under Armour, Lululemon Athletica Inc and Olympus Corp are some of the 2,000 clients that Five9 serviced.

In European news, Saxo Bank, one of the continent’s largest online bank, has partnered with global technology consultancy giant, Thoughtworks, as part of the bank’s strategy to democratise data to enhance customer experience (CX). Thoughtworks will be assisting Saxo Bank in building high quality data assets that can empower teams within the bank to make strategic decisions; therefore, creating a ‘’decentralisation of decision making’’ across departments. As a result, problems can be solved rapidly and efficiently, meeting Saxo Bank’s key objectives.

Bell’s Canadian division, Bell Canada, and Google Cloud have announced a strategic partnership, which aims to enable a sustainable future for Bell Canada through complete digital transformation, as well as the enhancement its network and IT infrastructure. Google’s multicloud technology, data analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) will be combined with Bell Canada’s 5G network leadership to deliver next-generation experiences for Bell’s customers in Canada.

In Asia, leading Indian business process outsourcing (BPO) organisation, WNS, have extended their partnership with Centrica plc, an international energy services and solutions company. WNS have been assisting Centrica plc transform its CX delivery. WNS has successfully delivered unified CX across all of Centrica plc’s channels and maximised First Contact Resolutions, reducing costs and vastly improving customer retention.

In Africa, SEACOM, a pan-African ICT service provider, will be bringing its software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN) services to Kenya, which will result in reduced connectivity costs, increased security, and enhanced speed for the country’s businesses. Further to this, Kenyan businesses will no longer be constrained by its traditional networks, which have been severely pressurised by increasing demands. Increased adoption of cloud applications, mobile workforces, and voice and video communications have been the primary factors in overloading Kenya’s current networks. SEACOM’s new SD-WAN services will remedy this.

In general news, a Future Market Insights report has revealed that there will be significant growth in the document outsourcing industry between the forecast period of 2020 and 2030. It is expected that document outsourcing segment will grow to 1.5x the current market value by 2030, equalling a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3%. SMEs are rapidly adopting this segment, to increase efficiency and transparency, resulting in cost savings. Due to a huge increase in document volumes, the global healthcare sector is expected to see an increase in document outsourcing.

In other general news, despite companies placing pressure on Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) for news sales growth, CMOs continue receiving lean marketing budgets compared to what they were receiving a year ago. This is according to Gartner’s annual CMO Spend survey of nearly 400 marketing leaders. The report found that marketing budgets as a percentage of revenue have dropped from 11% in 2020 to 6.4% in 2021. The challenge here is that companies are optimistic on near-future growth; however, that growth is determined by the company’s marketing capabilities.

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