One of Australia’s closest neighbours, Indonesia is also one of our most important trading partners. It represents a booming market for Australian businesses, particularly those that can meet the technological needs of Indonesia’s rapidly digitising consumers.
"Indonesia is the place to be – it’s a massive market, growing by more than 5 per cent each year. It might not seem like the easiest place to do business, but with all the partners you can draw on, such as telkomtelstra, it is the place to be if you want to grow your business.”Erik Meijer, President and CEO, telkomtelstra
For Australian businesses in Asian markets such as Indonesia, reliable networks are essential for business success. According to Gartner’s Critical Capabilities for Network Services, Asia/Pacific 2017 report, more than half of communications service providers are willing to support extended local connectivity in these emerging markets, offering more choice for enterprise.
However, their ability, experience and service offerings can differ substantially, particularly for businesses unfamiliar with the market.
“It’s a massive country, there simply isn’t reliable fibre everywhere,” says Erik Meijer, the President and CEO of telkomtelstra, a joint venture between Telstra and Telkom Indonesia.
If you’re not used to doing business in Indonesia, Meijer says, it’s important to find a reliable local ICT partner, as “it takes a lot of time and effort to find out who to call when something goes wrong”.
Meijer says it’s important to find a partner who conducts proactive network monitoring as this can reduce internet outages from 10 hours to just one .
Make the most of the cloud
Taking advantage of cloud connectivity in Indonesia can help businesses bypass the problems that may arise from poor regional internet services.
However, Indonesia’s data sovereignty laws, particularly Government Regulation No. 82/2012 (which stipulates that Indonesia’s “public services” must store data within Indonesia) have prevented organisations from fully leveraging many hybrid and public cloud solutions, as the country lacked local data centres.
In August 2017, telkomtelstra announced the launch of the country’s first locally hosted hybrid cloud solution based on the Microsoft Azure stack, representing a breakthrough in the nation’s digital landscape.
Digital customers and transformation
When designing digital services for such a demographically diverse market, properly segmenting and understanding your potential customers is a crucial step. Since the average Indonesian citizen is just 28 years of age, it’s important to have a strategy to connect with the country’s digital natives.
“On a consumer level, fibre-optic internet has basically passed Indonesia by and they go mobile-first,” says Meijer. “The consumers have made that transition to digital.
“The problem is, the companies which serve them have been lagging behind. For a lot of firms, it’s a big step to choose the right technology, to serve the needs of their digital customers. They’re all afraid of choosing the wrong technology and wasting capital expenditure – they honestly don’t know what to do.”
Meijer advises businesses without a strong understanding of the country’s unique digital landscape to look at leveraging local partners to help make those tough choices.
“Most companies have not yet made the transformation to become truly digital,” he says. “But to meet the expectations of their consumers, they know they have to.”
Partnerships are critical to succeeding in Asia. Managed network services, such as software-defined, wide-area network services (SD-WAN) can be used to connect enterprise networks, including branch offices and data centres, over large geographic distances.
When choosing a regional partner, it’s vital to consider how their capabilities strategically align with your company’s in terms of technology, cultural competence and local connections.
“Indonesia is the place to be,” Meijer says. “It’s a massive market, growing by more than 5 per cent every year. It might not seem like the easiest place to do business, but with all the partners you can draw on, such as telkomtelstra, it is the place to be if you want to grow your business.”
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