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Today we have opportunity to interview Mr. Teerapan Luengnaruemitchai, Managing Director of TCC Technology (TCCtech).  He shares insight about how to respond to the COVID-19 situation, the priorities of business, the applied Technology during WFH, how the crisis has impact stakeholders & industry, and how he foresees the upcoming trend.

How to respond to the situation
TCC Technology Group has had Business Continuity Planning (BCP coverage) in place and Disaster Recovery (DR) Services Offering to customers since the commencement of business.  These are established with the purpose to help customers mitigate risk.  Thus this is their expertise area, based on lots of lessons learnt from many events, such as how to manage operation during the major flood.  

Business Continuity Planning is mandatory for their business. Moreover, TCCtech is also certified under ISO 27001, which focuses on information security processes, including Business / Service Continuity scope. Multiple risks and scenarios are considered and planned for, including a pandemic illness case.  This was developed years prior to this corona situation.  In emergency cases critical steps then only involve review and adjustment for the specific situation (e.g. corona versus influenza), with more immediate responses like the classification of the team to align with the outbreak prevention guideline; team assignment; plan activation and communication.  That review and planning occurred in March, related to prior pandemic planning application to this COVID-19 case.

They continue to monitor & evaluate the situation and keep customers updated.   Once the situation progresses beyond the predefined threshold, TCC Technology Group’s BCP has been activated immediately to ensure their people and customers the safe working environment and maintenance of essential operation. 

The priorities of business 
TCC Technology Group puts focus on people’s safety & business continuity for their customers. 

Under the situation, most staff are assigned to Work From Home (WFH). They can leverage the property within the group to serve as alternative sites when needed,  and try to minimize the number of staffs necessary to Work From Office (WFO).  This is to reduce risk and apply a social distancing approach.  The accommodations for staffs  are available to stay at site, or close to office in the walking distance, and to be ready even in case of the country’s lock down. 

At this moment, the priority of most IT companies, including TCCtech, is the effort to support customers in every way and every area under their expertise.  Most customers require quick response and advice. Their mission critical support teams are, mandated to stay safely separated from others, to ensure continuous 24x7 delivery of services. They can manage well even with high expectations from customers for business to run smoothly, even under this circumstance, with no impact to customers. 

TCC Technology Group’s professional pool, can assure customers the long-term value of being a true business partner in both good times and bad.  They are here to stay, support, advise, and reassure when the need arises. 

The applied Technology during WFH
Technology is the key components being utilized to take care of their customers and themselves. The majority of their own process is online so it’s easy to access to information anytime, anywhere. They only have to ensure secured access to information.  Tools, which they use among technology group companies, are quite standardized, such as SAP on cloud for the backend, and MS Teams for Video Conferencing.

They support customers by bursting connectivity without charge, and offer special prices for solutions like WFH. Moreover, the technologies, which they offer to customers, are from various partners, for example: Non-traditional File Sharing/Storage/Backup -email O365, Collaboration tools like Teams/ Zoom, the core application for back office management by SAP, Analytics tools from Microsoft, SAP, IBM, Connectivity/Bandwidth/ Virtual Private Network (VPN) to access more secured application such as SAP Hosting., IP Phone use helps customers to not on office phones by enabling the call forwarding, especially for critical functions like service desk. Additional Hardware serves customers’ demands, such as DELLEMC.

How the crisis has impacted key stakeholders 
We need to admit that the situation is very intense and unlike any previous crisis. It has impact more or less to all companies around the world.  This is including the companies within their ecosystem e.g. vendors, customers, and even ourselves.  Infected disease: causes the immediate consideration for many companies to go online.  TCCtech has both prepared and unprepared customers/potential customers.

The 1st group can adapt quicker and may only need support e.g. additional space on cloud, activating the alternative (Disaster Recovery) sites, WFH solutions e.g. Zoom, O365, connectivity to support more workload, VPN access to their servers in the case that they have to prepare for BCP activation or work remotely.  

The 2nd group may need more effort, e.g. early stage of cloud adoption, or require training & some more attention in term of customer services. These first two groups result in a surge in short-term demand.

The 3rd  group may face extremely adverse impact from the COVID-19 situation due to their nature of business relying on physical context rather than digital.  Thus, they are unable to adopt technology like WFH right away. Many organizations are expected to tighten their belts, delay in decision making & payment, and require some discount. Some may also experience more impact from loss of revenue from the instability of their customer base, or may be downsizing or shutting down their business, such as in the publishing sector. Others, like some retail businesses, may be affected from City Hall’s order to close shopping malls.  This group may lead to the churn rate. 

“We understand our customers' situation very well and work to meet their expectations, even if we have to utilize extra technology resources to help customers run their businesses smoothly in order to help our customer pass this difficult situation.  We view this as a challenge, which should be manageable with our experienced workforce and growth mindset”, stated by Mr. Teerapan Luengruamitchai, Managing Director of TCC Technology. 

How he foresees the upcoming trend
Technology adoption is much faster than expected. The IT market experiences the surge in demand for some technology requirements, e.g. remote collaborative application & cloud platform, and secured connectivity, etc.

However, many challenging factors, from the delay of decision and payment, could result in deterioration of revenue. Even their majority of revenue is “As a Service” model offering resulting in the “recurring” revenue for TCCtech. There are some programs launched to relieve suffering from the crisis Thus they should encounter some but not much impact in term of revenue from the crisis in short term.  The size of impact will depend on how long the situation will persist and how well they cope with the situation.   

According to IDC* (International Data Corporation)*, (pessimistic scenario), IT spending in the 1st quarter of 2020 in Asia/Pacific excluding Japan and China (APEJC) is expected to decline to 1.2% growth instead of previous forecast with the growth of over 5.2% These growth forecasts are predicted to further decline due to the extended uncertainty period and rising impact of COVID-19,
*Source: https://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=prAP46159120

If the current COVID-19 situation prolongs to  a quarter or year, some challenging points, which may impact on business performance in the medium-term are: 
  • the disruption to supply chains may impact in higher expenses due to the delayed timeline of service delivery for customers.
  • the opportunity loss from potential of delayed initiatives and missed partnership opportunities as informal networking becomes more difficult.
  • the weakening customer base & potential / slow down in Tech spending/ overall market sentiment
  • some projects for which businesses postpone investment, slowing execution of projects in delivery phase, or even cancel the services.  

Any Light at the End of the Tunnel
During this COVID-19 situation, people automatically adopt technology.   More businesses are getting ready for digital transformation and prepare well to encounter this kind of situation in the future.  They may look for some IT solutions such as WFH  Suite, including technology to track employees while working at home.  The businesses may require less dedicated space and need some tools to manage the co-working space for their staffs instead.
This should be a positive factor which helps accelerate growth in the technology market, especially in the areas of cloud infrastructure and business enabled applications over the long-term.  The financial performance will depend on how well they can help customers to transform and invest in digital area in the future.