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Bharti Airtel hopes its cloud-based omnichannel communications platform IQ, aimed at enterprise and SMEs, will grab India's lucrative cloud comms market.

Gagandeep Kaur

October 26, 2020

3 Min Read
India's Airtel launches cloud comms platform Airtel IQ

India's second-largest service provider, Bharti Airtel, has launched Airtel IQ, a cloud-based omnichannel communications platform for enterprise and SMEs.

With this, the operator hopes to capture part of the Indian cloud communications market, which is growing at a rate of 20% every year and worth $1 billion, according to Airtel. The company claims to be the only service provider to come up with a solution for this market.

Essentially, Airtel IQ allows enterprises to do away with the need for multiple communication platforms for different channels.

Figure 1: Working 9 to 5: Airtel is aiming grab the enterprise communications market by offering an all-in-one solution. (Source: Raj Rana on Unsplash) Working 9 to 5: Airtel is aiming grab the enterprise communications market by offering an all-in-one solution.
(Source: Raj Rana on Unsplash)

Businesses can embed communication services like voice, SMS, IVR in applications and digital properties across desktop and mobile, all through a unified platform.

The company also hopes to launch workforce management and other tools as part of the platform portfolio, according to media reports.

Intelligent communication

Airtel recently picked up a stake in Waybeo, a startup focused on artificial intelligence (AI)-based analytics for cloud telephony. The company has played a crucial role in the development of the omnichannel communications platform.

With more than 2,000 large enterprises, and over a million small and midsized firms as customers, Airtel has a dominating presence in the Indian enterprise space. Its portfolio includes connectivity, cloud, security, collaboration and data center solutions.

Recently it launched the Blue Jeans videoconferencing solution in collaboration with Verizon. Airtel has also partnered with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to sell a range of AWS products as part of Airtel Cloud to enterprises of all sizes. This was in response to Jio's collaboration with Microsoft Azure.

The service provider has also teamed up with Google Cloud to provide G Suite services to small and midsized businesses.

Airtel's security intelligence center recently launched with an investment of INR1 billion ($13.5 million), while the operator partnered with vendors including Cisco, Radware and VMware to provide advanced cybersecurity solutions for enterprise customers.

Take your corners

The competition between Airtel and arch-rival Reliance Jio is heating up the enterprise market.

Both firms are trying to get the maximum share of the business segment because the margins are better than the retail market.

Want to know more about cloud-native networks and NFV? Check out our dedicated cloud-native networks and NFV content channel here on Light Reading.

Added to this, the COVID-19 pandemic is fueling growth in the enterprise segment.

Social distancing and lockdown rules are forcing businesses to move to online platforms, stimulating growth in this sector. This accelerated business transformation is pushing telcos to come up with new products and services to capitalize on the situation.

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— Gagandeep Kaur, contributing editor, special to Light Reading

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About the Author(s)

Gagandeep Kaur

Contributing Editor

With more than a decade of experience, Gagandeep Kaur Sodhi has worked for the most prominent Indian communications industry publications including Dataquest, Business Standard, The Times of India, and Voice&Data, as well as for Light Reading. Delhi-based Kaur, who has knowledge of and covers a broad range of telecom industry developments, regularly interacts with the senior management of companies in India's telecom sector and has been directly responsible for delegate and speaker acquisition for prominent events such as Mobile Broadband Summit, 4G World India, and Next Generation Packet Transport Network.

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