During the pandemic, businesses turned to the cloud to empower employees to stay connected and productive while working remotely. The increase in the demand for cloud communication offered new and exciting opportunities to cloud providers to ride on this trend.
EnableX.io, a cloud communications platform provider that witnessed meteoric growth during the pandemic has been constantly innovating and investing in new-age technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) to cater to the dynamic business needs of customers. Pankaj Gupta, the CEO and Founder of EnableX.io and an IT and telecom veteran tells CXOToday why the cloud communications industry will continue to experience explosive growth in the coming months.
Cloud communications and innovation
Explaining how the cloud communications space evolved in the last couple of years, Gupta says, “Emerging technologies and a total rejig of business models have sparked serious upheaval and revolution in the communications industry during the last few years. The intersection of connectivity and the Cloud has only accelerated, particularly in the wake of the recent COVID-19 pandemic and the enormous shift towards digital. As a result, key communication service providers, whether pure-play telcos, or cloud communication platform providers, have fast-tracked innovation with a view to offer competitive services and stay ahead of the curve,” says Gupta.
EnableX was founded in August 2017 in Singapore, and now has a team of more than 40 full-time engineering, marketing and sales professionals. With the global headquarters in Singapore, EnableX has engineering teams in Delhi NCR and Bengaluru, and sales offices in Singapore, India, and Japan.
While enterprise grade communication has always been expensive, inflexible, and not easily customized to meet the unique needs of each organization, Gupta intended to build the next-generation communication platform as a service. His idea was around a platform that would enable developers and product companies to embed communication capabilities within their applications and solutions, without having to invest in costly proprietary hardware.
Video collaboration to change the world
According to Gupta, the most notable shift has been the transition to video communication. “From individuals to businesses, schools and universities, banks and financial institutions, doctors, and major MNCs – all have turned to video as a mode to communicate and foster collaboration in a highly remote environment.”
He believes, it has emerged as the alternative to in-person interactions or other modes of communication such as Voice or messaging which are often lesser-engaging.
Consequently, service providers’ new and innovative offerings are centered on video communication involving the use of new-age technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, machine learning, and virtual reality, etc. to make video conversations more meaningful and engaging.
Nonetheless, Gupta asserts that while the company was founded in 2017, we only started hitting the market in 2020 because the initial years were spent on building the product. In the aftermath of the pandemic, thriving through customer-centricity became the new business continuity and success mantra with all companies jumping onto the digital bandwagon. As a result, the adoption of video collaboration solutions rose unprecedentedly.
“The rise of digital transformation, as well as people’s growing comfort with remote collaboration solutions across verticals, has created a favorable environment for us. Virtual has become the new standard, and as time goes on, this shift and adoption will only accelerate. This has resulted in exponential growth for us. We witnessed meteoric growth in the financial year 2020-2021 clocking over 10X growth in revenue over the last fiscal. We are now seeing the adoption of live videos across different industries and verticals,” he says.
To put it into perspective, many healthcare service providers have started using video chat features to connect with physicians, nurses, pharmacists, and patients. For the retailers, we see using live video for product demos and giving a virtual walk-through of their stores. Such changes have resulted in a superior personalized experience, higher customer service ROI and customer satisfaction. It would be safe to say that Live Video adoption will only increase, and for us, the ‘new normal’ is an exciting time and place to be in.
5G to usher new innovation
Gupta is also upbeat on the 5G revolution, which according to him will usher in a new, no-buffering era of data consumption in India. Businesses are increasingly inclined to deploy live high-definition video interactions. With 5G capabilities, cloud communications service providers have the opportunity to create rich experiences in live video communication between a business and its customers, giving them the ability to enjoy seamless, immersive VR experiences, ultra-low latency live broadcasts, high-speed mobile video communications and so on. 5G can provide reliable data in real-time that can help an organization make better decisions.
Technology providers can ride the 5G wave to integrate real-time communication, i.e., video calling, into mobile applications and workflows. Given that 5G has already witnessed successful implementation in many countries in Asia, it is only a matter of time when India jumps on the wagon too. The impact of COVID-19—limiting face to face interactions but driving the digital adoption, will accelerate the rollout of more innovative and compelling live video conversation solutions to fill in the gap. The bottom line is that everyone should fasten their seat belts to embrace a lively world of live video meetings.
5G will also take the ability to enable real-time communication in villages & small towns in a way never done before. This will bring its own set of opportunities where we will be able to facilitate & enable better education & healthcare in these areas.
The growth momentum to continue
In a short span of time, the company has established a strong foothold across APAC and Europe, serving customers from an array of industries such as healthcare, BFSI, education, retail/e-commerce, human Resource (HR), et al. Gupta informs, “Today we have more than 10000 developers on our platform from more than 50 countries who are using our API’s & SDK’s to build & deliver solutions. While the major customer base is from the APAC region, we are starting to see a lot of traction from more mature markets of Europe and the US with more than 30% of our customer base and revenues coming from outside India. ”
While cloud communication can offer a boon to the enterprise, Gupta highlights that the platform provider must take a comprehensive approach to security risk. The security practice must span across customer’s data at ‘rest’ as well as the real-time communication data. Securing network infrastructure to enable cloud communication from any kind of network breaches, multi-tenancy to manage different customers from a common platform, and an audit trail to track down any potential security breaches, all of these should be a crucial part of the security practices.
Talking about the company’s effort in this area, he says, “We have implemented best of industry practices including ISO 270001 standards to ensure we offer best in class security to our customers. Our teams have implemented multiple levels of security including Firewalls & Gateways, data & media encryption and regular audit practice across the organization. We also conduct regular internal and third party testing to ensure the highest levels of security across the board.
“We expect significant growth in the number of additional uses of AI and other technologies in the near future, particularly as the world becomes more hyper-connected and 5G networks become more capable of addressing the issues of adopting these technologies on a large scale. The cloud communications market will be significantly disrupted and revolutionized when all of these forces come together,” Gupta sums up.