Enterprise 2.0: Airtel's Journey from iSMS to Automation


In this era of staying connected and doing everything on mobile, the device has taken a new avatar. It has become our man-Friday, helping us manage mails, office and the calendar, while simultaneously entertaining us by enabling content consumption. However, there was a time not too long ago when data connectivity was not ubiquitously available and even today, majority of users do not use smart phones. At this juncture, what did we do when users demanded access to applications in the field?

As a service provider, we leveraged interactive SMS as an access channel to get applications like Facebook and Twitter to masses by using simple SMS logins. In addition, we converted this medium from being a one-way communication to to-and-fro messaging. The message thread that we see in smart phones today was launched by Airtel three years ago as an interactive service called iSMS. Enabling self-care on SMS and USSD for the customers was another first by Airtel.

Making life simpler has been our motto for our customers and employees. It's a well-known fact that as the organizations become big in scale and size, the manual processes become more cumbersome. As an enabler of technology in this environment, we have constantly innovated to ease the working environment. 

For example, we integrated SMS with the corporate applications like leave management systems, employee reimbursement etc. so that employees could take care of these processes on the move. They did not have to be logged on to their systems or come to office for carrying out these business-as-usual activities. 

Another innovation in this field was making the catering system mobile enabled such that employees could use their access cards to place orders and get informed through SMS when the food was ready to be served. Payment was made directly through the payroll system.

We have been able to provide empowerment and convenience using the power of mobile at Airtel.

Categories: Technology

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Amrita Gangotra

Amrita Gangotra is Director IT and CIO (India and South Asia) at Bharti Airtel. She is responsible for IT engagement, ...

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