To live better and work smarter, all we need are like-minded partners
"We open up a world of digital opportunities, so people live better and work smarter". That's the mission of Proximus. But what does that actually mean? From speeding up the fiber roll-out to detecting weeds with drones, "better" and "smarter" can take many shapes. But one thing's a given: we can't do it without the right partners.
Cloud Service Center Division Lead
Any type of innovation stems from a big idea. But to execute that idea – to turn it into reality – you need a big network of partners. Experts from all kinds of fields who know how to do the (leg)work. When Ford invented the first car, he wouldn't have gotten far on his own. Only with the help of experienced mechanics, engineers, investors, and factory workers, did he manage to build an empire. Which is why we - as a company - rely on partnerships to accelerate innovation.
Partnerships for … digital inclusion
One of our biggest priorities is to expand our fiber network in Belgium, as much as we can and as fast as we can. Given the magnitude of this task, we created two joint ventures to speed up the implementation and cover at least 4.2 million Belgian homes and businesses by 2028.
In Brussels, we focus on helping young people without degrees to find a job. We support them with our products and services and provide lectures to enrich their coding and digital marketing skills.
... for better health
Partnerships also enable us to bring more relevant content and innovative services to our customers. In this context, we started working with Doktor.se. This Swedish company puts patients in remote contact with medical specialists. This kind of assistance has been particularly important in COVID times.
… for a more sustainable society
In agriculture, we flew a drone over the fields, sending images to the data center over 5G, which enabled us to distinguish between crops and weeds. That data was recomposed, and an algorithm sent to the tractor, so it only applies pesticides to weeds, reducing pesticide use by up to 80%.
… for safer traffic
Recently, we demonstrated a 5G application for Saroléa electric motorbikes in Belgium – with ML6, which specializes in AI services – that could contribute to safer traffic. Working with our partners, we added a dashcam and AI that constantly analyzes data to detect potholes or pedestrians crossing the street and displays information onto the motorcyclist's dashboard.
… for better customer service
To us, being a digital company means we both make use of digital services for our own operations and enable them for others. For example, we work with our customers in open collaboration. We installed the 5G Innovation Lab so customers can carry out tests without having to set up costly 5G environments for themselves.
Apart from that, we co-develop processes with our customers. We discuss our proposals with them and make the necessary adjustments. Moreover, we constantly take into account feedback from customer surveys – 40,000 to 50,000 a month – to embed in our culture that everything we do, we check with our customers.
… for more security in the cloud
Since we don't have our own R&D department and don't develop technology ourselves, we work closely with partners such as Red Hat to ensure we have the necessary technology to support our business agility and service innovation. The Red Hat end customers and their partner ecosystems are the ones developing open-source software. Red Hat adds value to it and makes sure it's secure.
Like about 80% of our customers, we chose for a hybrid, secure multi-cloud approach, meaning we have different platforms on different private and public clouds. Our architecture comprises many private clouds, including the major one we created with Red Hat, because European regulations is even more stringent when it comes to using public clouds for telecom services. We recently entered a partnership with HCL Technologies and, in collaboration with our team, they will manage our private clouds using different technologies.
We will cloudify as much of our applications as we can. At this stage, we're ready to move workloads to public clouds – in a very controlled way and always in line with regulation. We're sure that one day, we will find the magic trick to move more into the public clouds.
To us, it's more than clear that partnerships will continue to drive us forward – and the examples above prove that. Is your company doing the same? Has working with partners been beneficial for your business? What are your thoughts on the matter?
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