Home Global-ICTGlobal-ICT 2014 Turning data into benefit for all

Turning data into benefit for all

by Administrator
Süreyya Ciliv Issue: Global-ICT 2014
Article no.: 9
Topic: Turning data into benefit for all
Author: Süreyya Ciliv
Title: CEO
Organisation: Turkcell
PDF size: 212KB

About author

Sureyya Ciliv- Turkcell CEO
Sureyya Ciliv was born in Zonguldak, Turkey in 1958. His passion for computer engineering took him to the United States, where he got his Bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering and Industrial Engineering from the University of Michigan. After completing his MBA at Harvard University in 1983, he got his first job at Metagraphics Company in Massachusets as a software development engineer. He was promoted to the position of International Sales and Marketing Director at the same company. In 1987, he established his own company Novasoft Systems, serving as the CEO and Chairman of the Board for 10 years. He returned to Turkey in 1997 as the Country CEO of Microsoft Turkey. In 2000, he was appointed to Microsoft Global’s HQ in the United States where he served at various managerial positions in the Sales, Marketing and Services Group. In 2007, he returned to Turkey for a second time as the CEO of Turkcell, Turkey’s leading communications and technology company.

Article abstract

Turkey has had to learn how to live with the reality of earthquakes and minimize the loss of human lives. Mobile technology has helped immensely.
In the immediate aftermath of a 7.2 magnitude earthquake which struck the city of Van in Eastern Turkey in October 2011, the consumption patterns in that region of the country changed dramatically. Our data analytics teams quickly realized that a larger than usual number of messages were being sent on our network. Tracing those messages, our teams helped rescue workers locate the survivors. Mobile technology helped save the lives of 65 people who were trapped in the rubble .

Full Article

“Know your customer” is my first advice to everyone who is in the business of providing technology solutions. When I uttered those words in a meeting in January 2007, I was just stepping into my current role – we were still more than a year away from Google Suggest ,which was going to evolve into autocomplete , and texting fridge was far from being a part of our daily technology conversation. Technology “spoke” to people in a less direct way but identifying – even predicting – the needs of our customers was just as valuable. Knowing our customers better, and coming up with products and services that really addressed their needs was the right strategy then – as it is now. It is the approach that makes lives easier, more enjoyable and and most importantly, more secure. It creates value for the economy and for the environment. It saves lives.
As mobile operators, we are uniquely positioned to provide access to communication and information technologies. In a world where fixed phone coverage is in decline, mobile technologies reach people with an astonishing speed, delivering not only the possibility for voice communication but also opening up new opportunities through data. Faced this fast-growing demand, mobile operators have to make sure that their networks are robust and capable of carrying the ever-increasing traffic, and that their services are available to large segments of the population. The GSM coverage in our home country Turkey is at the very top of international rankings in terms of population coverage : More than 99 percent of Turkey’s population are covered in 2G while more than 86 percent are coveredin 3G.
However, a robust infrastructure is not enough to ensure excellent quality of service. The ubiquity of information and communication technologies raised the bar for customers’ expectations. Given the vast demand, operators have to invest heavily in network optimization and making sure that technology is used with optimum quality by the people who need it the most. This is one of the areas where operators’ use of data analytics can benefit the consumer ,and even save lives.
The continuity of mobile communication is essential in the most dire circumstances – one example is disaster response. As a country on multiple active faultlines, Turkey has had to learn how to live with the reality of earthquakes and minimize the loss of human lives. Mobile technology has helped immensely.
In the immediate aftermath of a 7.2 magnitude earthquake which struck the city of Van in Eastern Turkey in October 2011, the consumption patterns in that region of the country changed dramatically. Our data analytics teams quickly realized that a larger than usual number of messages were being sent on our network. Tracing those messages, our teams helped rescue workers locate the survivors. Mobile technology helped save the lives of 65 people who were trapped in the rubble .
Learning from experiences like these can lead operators to devise strategies that help emergency responders and ultimately the people who are affected by the disaster. Using data analysis, mobile operators can share location information of children with parents, send alerts to customers in the affected zone and prioritize phone calls coming the disaster zone. In Van, the rescuing of 65 people has been made possible by combining human devotion and intelligence with the data analysis tools that enable us to see the trends and the outliers. Operators need those tools to do their jobs well, and a job well done in the mobile communication business can change the the course of life at times. This is why the world’s top development agencies –including the UNDP – focus on the possibilities provided by mobile technologies to power development. This is also why I was particularly honored to receive UN’s recognition as our company became the organization’s technology partner for our efforts in Van. The life-saving potential of mobile communications also explains the enthusiasm for mobile health technologies. Mobile service providers are capable ofreaching communities and individuals in remote areas which might well be miles away from the nearest medical facility. There is a huge potential for projects that successfully integrate mobile operators and medical professionals, and, as operators, we must be more committed to this sector where we can truly make a difference.
According to GSMA’s m-health initiative, there are currently more than 900 m-health products and services globally. In a study carried out in 2012, the organization evaluated more than 700 products and services, and came to the conclusion that less than 1% of those create significant outcomes .
Turkey is a country where 30% of the population lives with at least one chronic disease, yet it is far below the EU average in terms of the number of doctors per 100 thousand people despite the recent improvements in the healthcare system. According to Turkish Ministry of Health statistics, in Turkey, there are only 96 active doctors per 100 thousand people while the EU average is 267 . Given these numbers, one area that seems to be very promising is helping doctors efficiently track their patients’ routine health information with a system that does not require regular visits to a care facility. Efficient tracking of patients and making sense of the data to identify the norms and the outliers can boost the healthcare systems’ ability to treat more patients and motivate the patients for an active involvement in improving their own health.
Initiation of the tracking by a medical professional and continuation of the process within the framework of full doctor-patient confidentiality would ensure that the opportunities provided by mobile technologies are not just a technology hype but a real solution to a real problem.
Reducing our environmental footprint is another area where data analysis can benefit the society – and the planet. Data measurement, tracking and optimization are indispensible in our energy-dependent societies. When you think about our collective enviromental impact, the fridge that alerts you when you run out of milk, or the car that connects to your home AC system are not the “luxuries” of a dystopian world where all of us are measured all the time. Through similar technologies, companies manage cold storage systems and minimize the loss of food, monitor energy consumption and maximize productivity.
In Turkey we have witnessed the dramatic impact that these M2M-empowered products and services can have on the economy and the environment. Turkey has a sizeable domestic and international logistics sector and fleet management is a top priority. Smart vehicle systems help logistics companies monitor real-time traffic, optimize their routes and follow speed limits. According to our calculations, this system currently allows each vehicle to save about 20% on fuel costs adding up to considerable sums in savings – not only for the company that operates the fleet but also for the environment and the country’s economy in general. We helped Turkish economy save roughly 500 million dollars in 2013 through smart vehicle services and products – and that is just one operator’s contribution.
Another area that M2M technologies and data analytics can help save energy is through smart water and electricity measurement systems. In the case of our home country Turkey, energy loss on the national electricity grid amounts to a sizeable 14%. 46% of water is lost between source and end consumer. Smartmeters help companies use sources efficiently by optimizing consumption, and that can go a long way in preventing this loss.
Operators who decide to contribute to the society in these ways need to position themselves not only as infrastructure companies but also as mobile solutions companies. Taking this direction adds greater importance to knowing who our customers are and what they need. Having access to data that would help customize mobile solutions comes with a responsibility to protect customers’privacy. I believe that well-established service providers, who are bound by laws and transparency requirements, and who have earned their customers’ trust over the years, are better positioned to turn big data into individual and collective benefit for all.

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