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Customer experience, people, change and innovation are the main pillars of digital transformation, according to Elias Saab, managing director, Sofrecom Middle East. In an interview with Telecom Review, Saab explained those four pillars in addition to the importance of mobile money in fostering financial inclusion.

In your opinion, what are the main pillars of digital transformation?

Today digital is omnipresent, leading companies to reshape their traditional organization into new agile models but simultaneously to rethink their business approach in an ever changing market. They must adapt with nimbleness to disruptive consumer behaviors in order to fit to the new customer expectations.

The customer experience is, thus, the first pillar of digital transformation: companies must first and foremost understand the customer journey and new needs before investing in technology. This customer acumen should drive the strategy of investment.

People should be therefore at the heart of digital transformation. Leaders need to place employees first, to emphasize the nurturing of people. Companies which invest in their people and encourage their development will succeed quicker and with more agility their change management, because every employee will feel included in the process. The key is to use this technology to create meaningful experiences that reach employees, customers, and others on a deeper level – connecting human to human.

One cannot force change if you don’t encompass your employees by providing them with the working environment and necessary means. Companies should foster this digital acculturation and help their employees to build their capabilities to embrace and succeed this change.

Last pillar to Digital transformation must be innovation. An innovative thinking from the top management throughout the whole organization is key to success. To do so, companies shall leave a space for open communication, team collaboration and freedom to create. Innovation should drive the digital transformation in response to the customer’s new aspirations.

 

One of Sofrecom’s main fields of expertise is mobile money. According to you, how can it promote financial inclusion? And how are you promoting this type of service in the MENA region?

The digital sector benefits to microfinance and contributes to its dual financial and social inclusion. The implementation of more favorable regulatory frameworks will enable the sector to continue to develop. This involves reaching more customers in remote areas at a lower cost, as well as securing transactions and improving their transparency.

The growth of mobile financial services (MFS) sector makes day-to-day life easier and helps households and businesses to anticipate the financing of long-term objectives and to handle unforeseen events. The digital mobile money can therefore secure transactions and improve their transparency and, if driven by government with an enabling regulatory framework, it can easily become a factor of inclusion and an undeniable source of economic growth and development.

 

For several years, Sofrecom has developed strong expertise in the main areas of MFS: marketing and distribution, regulatory, partnerships, process and organization and technical solutions. Through our support of governments, our experts share the best practices of MFS as a vector for financial inclusion. We cooperate and assist several international institutions in promoting MFS solutions and deploying them to the MENA region.

Sofrecom has been expanding its footprint. How important is it to expand your operations? Are you planning on expanding to new regions in the near future?

Sofrecom has settled in the United Arab Emirates back in 2008 to address the Gulf Countries.  Since then, Sofrecom is continuing to expand its footprint in the Middle East region including Pakistan, Egypt and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia more recently because, we strongly believe in our mission to build a connected world by providing advice and operational solutions to our customers mainly by helping them benefit from the expertise of our 2,500 consultants and experts, as well as from Orange Group innovation. 

Our completed and ongoing projects in the region are opening up many opportunities. For instance, we are proud to announce that Sofrecom has opened, this month, a new office in Riyadh, in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to be closer to its Saudi customers and to contribute to the Vision 2030 transformation program. 

In 2019, Sofrecom will continue to expand its footprint by mutualizing its major affiliates’ resources and services centers from Morocco, Tunisia and Indonesia to support its clients with its international experts through their digital transformation strategy.

 

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