We recently had great pleasure in hosting an exclusive event for enterprises in the prestigious London Stock Exchange, to discuss the increasing demand on businesses in the City to remain competitive and how important networks are for this. It proved to be an exciting and insightful event with attendees from across the technology, banking and financial industries.
Throughout the presentations, it was obvious there was one clear consensus of opinion from the event – disruption and change is constant.
Much of the disruption transforming the modern day financial services sector is connected to the internet and the range of devices we use. For example, Kevin Hanley, Director of Innovation at RBS, highlighted how there are now three billion humans online, that the app economy is now bigger than Hollywood, and that the Chinese economy has overtaken the US, fueled by digital success stories such as Alibaba. Customer behaviour is also changing, the way we consume data is evolving, and this has huge implications on the underlying telecoms networks.
And it’s not just the finance sector that’s experiencing significant disruption. The energy industry is also facing political and regulatory uncertainty, increased market competition and challenges posed by emerging technologies. SSE’s Managing Director of Finance, Brandon Rennet, was on hand to discuss how our energy business is responding to evolving market needs, with the help of SSE Enterprise Telecoms. While the telecoms arm of SSE has long worked quietly in the background to ‘keep the lights on’, our high-capacity network has been instrumental to the Group as it navigates a rapidly changing marketplace. Indeed, SSE Group has continually invested in the telecoms business and network infrastructure; we really are a ‘safe pair of hands’.
Not only do the best networks offer more than just rock-solid reliability, they also provide competitive advantage. For banks and the financial services sector, regulation, such as the current account switching guarantee, is encouraging competition and lowering the barriers to entry for new start-ups and digital-only banks. Chris Lewis, an analyst from LewisInsight highlighted that, to survive, organisations need to offer the best experience and service. They rely on a fast, low-latency network to enable them to roll-out new digital services as soon as the opportunity arises.
For larger banks, the challenge is often innovation at scale, and it increasingly cannot be done alone. Kevin discussed how the banking industry can be likened to Lego bricks. Banks used to own all their Lego to build their businesses, but that’s no longer the case. Banking services have become much more modular; integration and collaboration with other businesses and industries are now much more important than they used to be. For innovation to happen across the industry, businesses need to be both technically able and culturally willing to work in partnership across departments and with industries such as telecoms.
To that end, here at SSE Enterprise Telecoms, we’re ripping up the rule book on how we deliver telecoms. Our flagship Project Edge expansion plan is ongoing, as we continue to invest strategically in our network – such as introducing industry leading delivery times such as with our LIGHTNOW solution – in order to ensure our growing customer base can connect seamlessly to their customers.
Another example of this is our recent partnership with the London Stock Exchange to deliver connectivity to its clients as an Accredited Connectivity Partner. In addition to our groundbreaking fixed line network sharing deal with Capita plc, Updata Infrastructure, which will see our Ethernet network footprint double from 250,000 business postcodes to more than 500,000.
In the words of our Managing Director, Colin Sempill, ‘disruption is very much here to stay, innovation is the right response’.
We’re already changing the way we think about telecoms; watch the video about our latest project in the City to find out more.