Exclusive interaction – Ruth Rowan, CMO, NTT Ltd

Ruth Rowan, Chief Marketing Officer, NTT Ltd spoke to us about the marketing strategies for India in 2020 on the occasion of Tour De France.

Can you elaborate on NTT Ltd’s marketing strategies and prospects in 2020, for the India? 

India is a very important market for NTT Ltd globally, both in terms of the business that we do and its overall revenue contribution. We are privileged to be working with many large Indian companies as well International clients that have substantial footprint in India. We provide services across the technology stack for India’s biggest banks, financial services, and telecom companies. We also have a large employee base in India, servicing our clients, along with a Global Capability Centre with analytical expertise.

2020 has been a very interesting year for all of us and has been no different for NTT Ltd. As the virus spread through Asia and India, our understanding of the disruption caused in Europe and USA helped us prepare accordingly. Our priority was to protect our own people, communicate with our 40,000 employees around the world, ensuring their safety. Secondly, we had to ensure that we continued to provide services to our clients, delivering on their Business Continuity requirements. We had to react to new demands such as home working, secure remote working, and global clients needing collaborative platforms. We provided these services to clients across sectors, including new entrants such as healthcare and education.

From a marketing standpoint, we were articulating our value proposition clearly, making sure we were communicating to our clients on how we could help them. We were capturing their interest and enabling our sales colleagues to deliver our integrated proposition, enabling them to sell in a virtual environment.

More recently, in every country, organisations are starting to think about how they can run their businesses in the long term, and how their future work environment needs to be. We are working closely with them to drive a more rapid adoption of digital transformation, as they continue to use this as an opportunity to transform their business. Our newly formed Go-to-Market business provides accountability for sales performance, solution practices, and alliance partnership across the Asia Pacific. This will help us enhance sales and deliver end-to-end solutions to the market that are strategically aligned with the organization’s sales capability and its key partner ecosystem.

Have you had to face any challenges and how have you met these challenges in 2020? 

The impact of COVID-19 has been unforeseen and unprecedented. It demanded urgent attention to Business Continuity plans, especially in providing essential services to our clients. To ensure services remained uninterrupted throughout the lockdown, we promptly developed a response and approach plan, to enable continuity for all our clients and employees. A full stack of products and services ensured minimum disruption, while a suite of communication solutions helped address the needs of crisis communication, employee town halls and customer/ partner events. These customised, modelled, and integrated solutions were available through multiple commercial models like SaaS, outcome-based services and consumption-based cloud delivery models that could be activated in a matter of days.

This financial year also required some radical changes in our strategies. With digital outreach medium becoming more pervasive and potent, it is helping us create awareness around our brand and offerings.  NTT Ltd is gearing up to enter an exciting new era to build a connected, and more sustainable tomorrow, where technology is being used for the greater good. We are further fine-tuning ourselves to align with the global objective of NTT Ltd. and accelerate our growth in the APAC region.

What is the nature of NTT Ltd’s partnership with the A.S.O. for the Tour de France? 

We have worked with the A.S.O over the last five years on their digital transformation journey to build the Tour de France experience for fans. We are responsible for delivering this digital fan experience, from an infrastructure and security perspective all the way to sharing the data insights you see about the riders and the race on social media and broadcast TV.  This year the A.S.O has continued working with us on its business transformation under unique circumstances. Sport is so important for people and their morale, and we want to ensure that despite the challenges for so many people this year the Tour de France continues to bring people together, even if they can’t gather at the roadsides in France.

The partnership is also a testbed for new emerging technology trends such as the Internet of Things and machine learning. We encourage our employees to come up with innovative ideas that can inform the future of the Tour de France through our hack fest competition. We are true partners adding momentum to their ambition to digitally transform their business.

What are the technologies you are leveraging this year at the Tour de France? 

This year we have had to create a digital ‘global stadium’ for fans who cannot be at the roadside due to the pandemic. We are using advanced, real-time, data analytics capabilities to bring the experience to fans in a new way.  Sensors are mounted beneath the saddle of every rider in the Tour de France to provide real-time data on speed and GPS location every second. This is transmitted using a moving mesh-network through gateways on the television motorbikes, helicopters, and aircraft, where it is multiplexed with the broadcast video and transmitted to the finish line. There is a Virtual Zone Technique we have created, which acts as a communication and control centre, streaming the live data to the NTT Cloud, and to the television graphics. Our cloud based real time analytics platform processes millions of data points a minute, organising and distributing it to a global team of technologists, data scientists, and marketers to create the stories that have come to define the Tour de France viewing experience. Our data produces real-time data insight into the race situation, team tactics and individual’s performances. The NTT Predictor machine learning engine makes live race predictions such as stage favourites, catch the break predictions, and estimated time of arrival for the peloton at any point on the course. Through data storytelling, we provide an immersive viewing experience across broadcast, social and digital channels attracting a new demographic of fans to the sport.



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