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How Telkomsel reworked to succeed in digital-first customers

By 2024, if all goes in response to plan, a pair of submarine cables will join the west coast of the USA with Indonesia for the primary time. Constructed by Fb with assist from Google, the cables may increase knowledge capability to southeast Asia’s largest financial system by 70 p.c.

The undertaking, which continues to be topic to authorities approval, could be a boon to Indonesia’s linked customers, who’re among the many savviest within the area and past. Indonesians shopping for and promoting items and providers on-line account for some $32 billion yearly, forming a sector that has emerged as a serious driver of native manufacturing and jobs. At the moment, the nation contains the fastest-growing inhabitants of smartphone customers on the earth.

Indonesians shopping for and promoting items and providers on-line account for some $32 billion yearly, forming a sector that has emerged as a serious driver of native manufacturing and jobs.


Telkomsel has been an engine of that progress. The world’s seventh-largest cell operator and the biggest in Southeast Asia, the mobile-communications supplier has been central to the creation of a sustainable, inclusive digital financial system for Indonesia’s practically 200 million web customers. It has dramatically elevated Indonesia’s broadband entry, helped small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) digitize, and led the nation’s transition from 3G to 4G earlier than changing into the primary operator to launch 5G there in Might 2021.

Telkomsel has lengthy acknowledged the worth of steady innovation. When it seemed to make sure its platform would stay the first manner its prospects interact with the world—and win a brand new technology of shoppers—the 26-year-old incumbent determined to embark on a giant, daring transformation.

A plan to remodel

The transfer wouldn’t be simple, however Telkomsel felt it had an obligation to its prospects, who had come to depend on the supplier’s potential to fulfill their digital calls for. So the group known as on a cross-functional group of data-domain consultants from QuantumBlack and enterprise builders, designers, and technique consultants from Leap by McKinsey to provoke a large-scale digital program aimed toward reinventing the best way prospects expertise Telkomsel in every day life.


Because it laid its analytics basis, Telkomsel knew it needed to interact and strengthen its relevance with Indonesia’s Gen Z, the nation’s second-largest shopper phase. The common data-hungry Gen Z shopper in Indonesia spends 8.5 hours a day on their cellphone, utilizing it to digitally meet numerous life-style wants.


This system was constructed on three core pillars. Telkomsel needed to construct a brand new knowledge analytics platform to raised perceive its prospects and drive personalization; create and launch new companies to succeed in underserved customers; and launch a brand new digital channel that will streamline and simplify the best way prospects interact with Telkomsel’s providers.

Understanding prospects

Telkomsel’s leaders knew that offering prospects with the perfect services and products would require placing knowledge to good use. The corporate developed new analytics capabilities that allowed it to boost prospects’ experiences and begin the journey towards hyper-personalizing its providers.

Telkomsel started by constructing a brand new platform that accommodates greater than 9,000 knowledge factors for every shopper, which was totally modular and reusable throughout enterprise models. This gave the corporate a single, near-real-time view of buyer conduct that may very well be used to enhance expertise throughout your complete shopper journey, from advertising and customer support to community operations, back-office assist, and extra.

The platform was supplemented by AI-driven instruments to assist higher perceive customers’ wants and priorities throughout hundreds of buyer microsegments.


In addition they moved from handbook knowledge uploads to automated knowledge pipelines and high quality checks, which improved knowledge high quality and pace, and enabled extra correct and sooner decision-making.

The platform was supplemented by AI-driven instruments to assist higher perceive customers’ wants and priorities throughout hundreds of buyer microsegments. Each month, Telkomsel runs greater than 50 analytical fashions, based mostly on supervised and unsupervised machine studying methods, to establish the correct strategy to work together with their prospects and supply them propositions which might be most related to them.

The transfer towards hyper-personalization has allowed Telkomsel to raised tailor their affords for patrons. At the moment, these providers and choices already account for 50 p.c of the telco’s total revenues.

Launching new companies

Because it laid its analytics basis, Telkomsel moved to have interaction and strengthen its relevance with new shopper segments. For example, the corporate wanted to boost its relevance to these underserved by conventional dwelling broadband infrastructure. In addition they needed to succeed in Indonesia’s Gen Z, the nation’s second-largest shopper viewers, which spends 8.5 hours a day on their cellphone to digitally meet numerous life-style wants.

As a way to transfer at their desired pace, Telkomsel would wish to launch new manufacturers and worth propositions, which might require them to embrace a unique tradition, agile methods of working, and a fit-for-purpose technological stack by way of new business-building. Ultimately, they launched two new manufacturers.

Orbit: Increasing connectivity for underserved segments

Designed for simplicity and effectivity, Orbit affords knowledge packages with out long-term subscriptions, creating extra financial flexibility.


Whilst Indonesia quickly digitized, fastened broadband entry was not uniform, with simply 15 p.c of households utilizing it to get on-line. To supply wi-fi connectivity to those that lacked fastened broadband, Telkomsel constructed and launched a brand new enterprise known as Orbit, which supplies prospects with a house router that makes use of 4G cell mobile providers as an alternative of fiber optics.

Designed for simplicity and effectivity, Orbit affords knowledge packages with out long-term subscriptions, creating extra financial flexibility. It features a cell app to test utilization, high up on knowledge, and handle router settings, akin to parental controls.

Orbit has doubled its one-year buyer acquisition objective, with greater than 35 p.c of shoppers becoming a member of from its referral program, a testomony to its reputation and market demand. At the moment, Orbit is seeing 20 p.c month-over-month progress.

By.U: Reaching Technology Z

Fifteen months after launch, by.U had practically 2 million subscribers, was delivering elevated buyer satisfaction, and had a market-leading net-promotor rating.


Telkomsel didn’t have the form of model affiliation among the many digital natives it needed to serve and delight. A cross-functional group of product managers, buyer design consultants and enterprise builders developed, constructed, and launched by.U, an all-digital telco expertise. The platform permits customers to pick out a pre-paid SIM card that arrives at their doorstep, activate their quantity remotely, handle top-ups and quotas, make funds, and extra.

By.U was constructed at tempo. The group created a sequence of social-media exams to look at click-through charges on sure options, which allowed the group to develop and tune the minimum-viable product rapidly. When Telkomsel beta-launched the model, they rapidly had 30,000 prospects be a part of the waitlist.

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A have a look at by.U, which reached its one-year buyer acquisition objective in six months.


The model reached its one-year buyer acquisition objective in half that point. Fifteen months after launch, by.U had practically 2 million subscribers, was delivering elevated buyer satisfaction, and had a market-leading net-promotor rating. And to assist guarantee innovation continued post-launch, the by.U group established an agile-organization construction.

Simplifying and enhancing engagement

The app has 24 million month-to-month lively customers (MAU), a tenfold enhance over the earlier app.


The objective of Telkomsel’s third pillar may very well be merely acknowledged: to make prospects’ interactions with the corporate as seamless, handy, and personalised as doable. But it surely was difficult to attain.

Telkomsel already had a self-serve cell app, and the group initially got down to make modifications there to enhance the client journey. Nonetheless, as buyer expectations for what an app may do rose—digital funds and loyalty applications, for instance—so did strain on the app’s infrastructure. It quickly grew to become clear that there was extra worth available in beginning contemporary.

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MyTelkomsel enabled entry to new digital providers, together with video and gaming.


Delivering a brand new app is all the time complicated. On this case, a core expertise transition to a micro-services-based structure proved to be the unlock. It additionally meant shaping a rigorous product-development technique and creating a brand new business technique to encourage uptake.

But it surely was all price it. With the launch of the award-winning MyTelkomsel, the corporate was in a position to supply prospects extra transparency round their utilization, going from SMS-triggered alerts to a right away, real-time view, in addition to present personalised packages tailor-made to their wants.

Buyer expertise round digital funds grew to become seamless, whereas an ecosystem with digital-retail companions let Telkomsel prospects redeem loyalty factors for merchandise. Elsewhere, gamification mechanics allowed prospects to earn badges that certified them without spending a dime knowledge allowances. The app additionally enabled entry to new digital providers, together with video and gaming, and simpler entry to e-payment choices by way of providers like LinkAja, GoPay, OVO, Dana, and ShopeePay.

All of this meant serving prospects in additional dynamic, thrilling, and tailor-made methods. At the moment the app has 24 million month-to-month lively customers (MAU), a tenfold enhance over the earlier app.




Tradition, capabilities, and resilience

Inside the corporate, its most enduring returns can also be amongst its least tangible: An rising tradition of innovation and agility; new capabilities and competencies; a brand new confidence in taking daring leaps by way of new ventures; and a dedication to long-term, sustainable transformation.

Such traits, for instance, enabled Telkomsel to assist its prospects by way of COVID-19. They rapidly ensured their prospects had fully-remote, digital providers at their fingertips, they usually have been in a position to supply new packages that have been tailor-made to what their prospects wanted and will afford at any given time.

The telco trade is important to our fashionable economies, enabling practically each aspect of distant connectivity, from on-line conferences to e-commerce to telehealth. It’s a sector through which it may possibly really feel like there’s little room for failure—and maybe not all the time sufficient room for innovation.

Telkomsel’s story is proof that innovation isn’t just helpful however important; and that it may possibly repay when a company commits to transformation at each stage. Its digital journey has touched the lives of lots of of hundreds of thousands of Indonesians, by way of personalization at-scale to boost the expertise of all its prospects, new manufacturers tailor-made to its digital-first customers, and a brand new app that provides comfort to prospects’ every day lives.