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China Broadband Communications: Innovation and technology with a human touch

China Broadband Communications's success lies in its flexibility and cloud-first strategy, according to chief customer officer Ming Yow.

When Wilmar International – one of Asia’s leading integrated agribusiness companies – encountered challenges in its digital transformation strategy in China, it knew it needed help from a company that could meet all of its technical needs and more.

China Broadband Communications (CBC) exceeded Wilmar’s expectations, and allowed the company to successfully revamp its tech infrastructure and implement its global digitalisation plans.

Chief customer officer and executive director of CBC, Ming Yow, shares her thoughts on what sets the telecommunications provider apart from the competition, as well as what it has in store for the future.

What do you think sets CBC apart from other telecommunications solutions providers?
CBC sets itself apart in three key areas: innovation and technology, customer experience, and people and culture.

Headquartered in Beijing China, CBC started off in 2008 as a fully licensed network service provider to a leader now in Cloud, Software-Defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN) and InfoComm Technology (ICT) in Greater China and beyond. With a combination of start-up mindset and market experience, we continue to evolve our services with our R&D team to adapt to the changing needs of our customers.

Chief customer officer Ming Yow.

Chief customer officer Ming Yow.

We are early adopters of New Generation Network (NGN) and we focus on developing NGN. Whether it is Cloud, Software Defined Network, or Secure Access Service Edge (SASE), CBC is always on the forefront of technology.

In addition to being an innovative technology leader, CBC is also focused on delighting customers throughout our end-to-end engagement and experience journey. That’s just in our DNA.

In 2019, CBC embarked on a digital transformation journey by firstly streamlining our organisation to focus on further delighting customers by collapsing all customer-fronting teams into one team called the Customer Experience (CX) team. CBC is one of the very few telecommunications service providers which appointed a chief customer officer (CCO) to lead all of CBC customer-fronting roles, from sales, solution architect and sales support, to product, marketing, delivery and customer service management.

Breaking down the walls and bringing people together with one common goal was a great way to move forward in our customer-centric and customer experience transformation journey. All these roles and functions have direct touch point and engagement with customers hence critical to be fully aligned and agile to support day-to-day operations in delighting customers.

In CBC, we embrace change. We continuously strive for areas to improve by streamlining processes to delight our customers. We focus on people and culture. People are the heart of our operations. Our team selflessly demonstrates superhuman efforts in getting things done, going over and beyond their core duties.

What are some of the key unique and innovative solutions that CBC has?
We have established and invested in our own research and development team. Over the past few years, we have developed a unique and innovative SD-WAN solution that adapts to the China market as well as our customer’s requirement.

This involves innovations in service features, offerings and ecosystem development. For example, we provide a differentiated SD-WAN solution adapted to the Chinese market. We developed a unique failover feature that allowed our 4G backup to switch between the three Chinese operators’ eSIM. Our SD-WAN solution is not just an over-the-top solution (like what many vendors are offering), but is also fully integrated with our SD-WAN fabric which is built on our network.

Furthermore, we have a complete ecosystem of technology, service providers, and cloud provider partners within and beyond China that allows us to extend our SD-WAN fabric via the different public clouds and service provider partners. Our coverage is worldwide, with a wide coverage in China through direct connections with top Chinese clouds such as Alicloud and Tencent. Globally, we are connected to AWS, Microsoft Azure and Google.

CBC at the official launch of eNet Connect.

CBC at the official launch of eNet Connect.

CBC has been said to be the “Grab of Telecommunications” as it is asset light. How important is this factor for staying agile in this industry?
Being asset light and service heavy has enabled CBC to fully focus on what is important – to serve and delight customers the best possible way. It has kept us nimble, agile, and swift so we can pivot our strategies whenever necessary. We are able to thoroughly analyse, make decisions, and execute plans swiftly without having too much legacy to drag us down.

Case in point: CBC won Wilmar’s Global Wide Area Network (WAN) by fully understanding its business drivers and technical needs. Our team goes above and beyond to provide outstanding customer experience to Wilmar in Singapore, the Asia Pacific region, China and globally. CBC is a highly customer focused service aggregator. Without owning the network, CBC won over Wilmar’s incumbent provider to be Wilmar’s Global WAN provider. In China, CBC won over three incumbent Chinese telecommunications companies to become Wilmar China’s WAN provider.

What were some of the challenges faced by CBC when working with Wilmar and how did it overcome them?
We have an extremely aligned culture with Wilmar. In many aspects, we have a similar mindset and approach in how things are executed.

CBC has been extremely efficient at delivering services as promised. Our account team is very engaging, dedicated and helpful in all areas in order to support Wilmar’s day-to-day business operations as well as growth and expansion. The CBC Program Management team managed to set the right expectations to meet Wilmar’s tight timelines in challenging locations.

We continuously kept a very close relationship and provided regular communications with Wilmar’s key stakeholders through our regular service review meetings and interlocks.

What does it mean for CBC to be conferred The Peak Tech Laureates’ Solutions award for Connectivity?
Winning this prestigious award means a lot to CBC. We have been working tirelessly over the past 12 years to serve our customers with our innovative technology solutions coupled with high quality of service excellence. Winning The Peak Tech Laureates Award gives us the affirmation that we are doing the right things to serve our customers and that we are on the right trajectory for our future growth.

What are CBC’s plans for the future?
We will continue to proactively engage and listen to our customers and the ecosystem to understand their evolving needs. We want to empower them, to enable them and to serve them in meeting their business demands and growth. We are constantly looking at ways to improve and develop new technologies and innovative solutions, creating new business models, and building and strengthening collaborations and partnership models to collaboratively serve our customers.