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Accenture is a company that is renowned for its experience, knowledge and expertise in providing professional consulting services across a whole range of different industries worldwide. However, it has also now positioned itself as a leader in helping enterprises and organizations embrace digital transformation, as emerging technologies continue to majorly disrupt almost every industry on a global scale.

Matteo Maga, managing director, Communications and Media Industry Lead (AAPAC) at Accenture, has played a key role in the phenomenal success the company has enjoyed in the Middle East. Under his dynamic leadership and vision Accenture has become the go-to consultancy player for enterprises and organizations seeking digital transformation.

As a keynote speaker at the Telecom Review Leaders’ Summit 2018, which was held at The Meydan Hotel, Dubai from Dec 10th-11th, Maga gave an insightful talk on the ability that telecommunication operators’ have to disrupt the consumer and business market at impressive speeds, leading to new economic and business models. 

Telecom Review managed to secure an exclusive interview with the charismatic and engaging Accenture executive after his presentation in an effort to find out more about his own role, how Accenture would continue to shape the digital future for its clients, and what differentiates the company from other global consulting agencies.

During your keynote presentation you said it’s time to throw away the rulebook and invest in digital, and that telcos can disrupt the consumer and business market at an incredible speed. Can you elaborate on what you meant when you said this?

This was a key point that I wanted to convey during my presentation. I think the main point I was attempting to illustrate was that technology will always evolve. Innovation, transformation and disruption have been traditionally slow in the telecommunications industry, but the emergence of OTTs has disrupted the entire industry. Digital transformation is necessary for operators in order for them to survive, but it’s not about what we should do, it’s about how we do it.

Operators need to focus more on brand value and customer experience. I think delivering customer experiences is the new way to look at technology from an operators’ perspective. This will help telcos become a digital lifestyle enabler. Becoming customer-centric and developing a digital platform that will transform the experiences it provides for its customers will generate new revenue streams for operators. However, to achieve that you need to change the existing systems you have in place for how you operate.

What can operators here in the Middle East learn from operators in Asia who digitalized their operations in a hugely successful way as you highlighted in your presentation?

From my point of view I think Asia is one of the most interesting regions in terms of looking at disruption and innovation. I think in Asia there is a combination of very different markets, and I’ve been examining low value and high volume markets. That’s why during my detailed presentation I provided examples from Indonesia and Africa. I think it’s very important to learn from these markets, and I think it’s very useful for operators in the Middle East and in more mature markets globally to learn how Asia operators have embraced digitalization and transformed their entire business model and operations.

Can you outline to us what your primary roles and responsibilities are as managing director, communications and media industry lead for Accenture?

I’m responsible for the communications and media industry across Africa, Asia Pacific, Middle East and Turkey. As I outlined during my keynote presentation, I consider this to be a personal success. I’ve been working in the Middle East for the last ten years now, and during that period of time Accenture has achieved great success here and consolidated its position as a leader in professional consulting services. Accenture has worked closely with all the major players from the telecommunications industry here in the Middle East, and I think the level of innovation we’ve achieved with our clients here in the region has been outstanding. It’s my primary role to export the innovation and what we’ve been working on here in an effort to translate it across to our African and Asian markets.

Accenture is a huge company and is a real global leader in terms of providing professional consulting services across a range of industries. However, what is about Accenture that differentiates it from its competitors?

I think the major success factor of Accenture and key differentiator between us and our rivals, is that we’ve been able to transform ourselves in the digital space very successfully over the last ten years. We’re now exporting our expertise in the digital space to our clients, and they trust us because of our knowledge in helping them achieve their digital transformation aspirations and objectives. As I aforementioned in my panel discussion I think in the telecommunications market especially, we’re very successful in promoting two key components.

One of these is the digital factory, and the other is the brain. We work with our clients in relation to both these components in an effort to establish what the common goals are. The digital factory is all about fostering innovative skills that we merge together in an agile way with cloud, and the brain is about analytics, machine learning and AI.

What is it about the Telecom Review Leaders’ Summit that differentiates it from other ICT events?

It’s an absolute pleasure to be here at the Telecom Review Leaders’ Summit, and be amongst technology leaders from the telecommunications industry in the Middle East. Accenture attends this event every year in an effort to measure the pace of innovation in the ICT sector in the region. The event attracts ideas and expertise from global technology leaders. This year, as per-norm, the panel discussions and keynote presentations have been of a very high-quality. As a result, a lot of interesting insights and predictions has emerged around 5G and how to take the innovation components from new technologies and put them into business models.

You were in attendance for all the keynote presentations and panel discussions at the Telecom Review Leaders’ Summit. However, from your perspective, what have been the most interesting insights and viewpoints that have emerged?

I found the whole discussion about 5G to be very interesting in terms of how operators need to find the right balance and compromise when leveraging their investment from a CAPEX perspective. Revenues for 5G are still to be proven, or let’s say defined, but it was very informative to hear the discussions around what are the key use cases that operators think will generate the most value. Is the value about latency or is about speed? There are many 5G use-cases, and as I said above there is no clear revenue stream established for 5G as of yet, but that was the same when 3G and 4G was first introduced. However, unlike 3G and 4G, I think that 5G will completely revolutionize and change our world.

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