NCS has unveiled a bold new go-to-market strategy amid plans to transition from a traditional service provider to a digital leader, underpinned by regional expansion, 2000 new hires and an enhanced brand identity.
Unveiled to an in-person and virtual audience at Sands Expo and Convention Centre in Singapore, the move has been heralded as a “pivotal moment” in the history of NCS, one which spans four decades and sees the business realise potential as a “new growth engine” for the wider Singtel Group.
Motivated by a desire to maximise 5G opportunities, the “strategic reset” aims to enhance digital services, scale government and telco business segments and capture new growth opportunities in the enterprise sector, with a specific focus on the key markets of Singapore, Australia and Greater China.
“There isn’t a more opportune time for us to make the pivot from a traditional ICT service provider to a digital and technology services firm in Asia Pacific,” said Ng Kuo Pin, CEO of NCS.
“COVID-19 and the mass migration online have put digital transformation on everyone’s agenda, and we intend to leverage our strengths in the public and telco sectors to capitalise on this opportunity to redefine and grow our company.”
According to Kuo Pin, the move is in direct response to digital economies experiencing a “global growth spurt”, accelerated in part by COVID-19 which has in turn created an “unprecedented surge” in demand for digital and technology services.
“We will be ramping up our offering of digital services as we reposition ourselves to capture new business from the enterprise sector and expand into the high-growth markets of Australia and Greater China where we have presence and synergies,” he added.
Central to such efforts is NCS NEXT, a separate service organisation created to drive the company’s new focus on digital, cloud and platform services.
As outlined by Kuo Pin, NEXT will complement NCS’ other core service offerings in applications, infrastructure, engineering and cyber security, providing a “differentiated and comprehensive” suite of end-to-end technology services in the process.
During the past 12 months, NCS launched NEXT Shenzhen Innovation Centre and acquired 2359 Media, a Singapore-based mobile app digital consultancy. This is in addition to facilitating the integration of DataSpark, Singtel’s analytics unit which offers big data and mobility intelligence services in Singapore and Australia.
As reported by Channel Asia, NCS also recently partnered C3 AI, a leader in enterprise artificial intelligence (AI) from the US, to take enterprise AI solutions to Asia Pacific.
Expansion on the agenda
As part of plans to expedite expansion into the enterprise sector, Kuo Pin identified healthcare, transportation, financial services, industrial, commercial, communications, media and technology as priority industry verticals.
Meanwhile, regional expansion across Asia Pacific will be targeted, focusing on the high-growth markets of Singapore, Australia and Greater China.
The move comes more than six months after NCS officially launched NEXT in Australia, partnering with sister organisation Optus Enterprise to deliver end-to-end technology and digital services to the local enterprise market.
According to Kuo Pin, NCS will expand presence in Australia through a combination of “organic and inorganic means”, alongside building up digital capabilities in cloud and AI.
In Greater China -- which comprises both the mainland China and Hong Kong markets -- NCS will concentrate on growing the enterprise business in core industry sectors while building digital capabilities in 5G, digital twin and blockchain.
Delving deeper, plans are also in place to “double down” on public sector capabilities through the creation of Gov+, designed to build digital government portfolio offerings across Asia Pacific.
A second strategic business group is Telco+, billed as a joint initiative between Singtel and NCS to help telecom companies transform digitally. The goal is to help telcos improve operational efficiencies while leveraging data driven insights to deliver enhanced customer experiences via 5G and digital technologies.
“The ‘plus’ in Gov+ and Telco+ signifies our intent to double down on the government and telco sectors, leveraging our expertise in servicing the public sector and the right to play in the telco sector as part of the Singtel Group,” Kuo Pin added.
“We are committed to work even more closely with government agencies and will invest in building deep digital government capabilities to support their digital and innovation needs. Similarly, working off synergies with the Singtel Group, we stand ready to help telcos digitalise their operations so that they can go to market competitively and innovatively.”
Commitment to bolstering tech talent ranks
Supporting such bold ambitions is an intention to hire up to 2000 new employees within the space of the next two years.
Based on "individual preference, performance and aptitude", Kuo Pin said technology professionals in NCS will have opportunities to move across specialisations, working in different regions and industries, in addition to engaging with different customers and ecosystem partners.
NCS also plans to launch an "immersive learning academy and platform" -- NCS Dojo -- within the year, a place where the 10,000-strong NCS team can come together to share knowledge from real world projects through an apprentice-style practice-based approach.
“For NCS to play well in the bigger league of technology services firms in Asia Pacific, we must be committed to grow our people, our diversity of talent, and offer them exciting and rewarding careers and opportunities,” Kuo Pin added.
“We have launched a people transformation programme surrounding culture, skill specialisation and becoming a learning organisation. This is a top priority for us.”
The unveiling of a revamped NCS was further supported by the unveiling of a new brand identity and campaign.