THE NATION Monday, April 27, 2009 5B
GREEN & CSR PROFILES AVAYA’S country director Wichai Subvitayanond says more local firms are turning to his company to upgrade their communications system to compete effectively in today’s digital world.
C O M M U N I C AT I O N S
AVAYA’S WICHAI WARNS OF LOST OPPORTUNITIES AMID UNREST As Vietnam roars ahead after years of war, Thailand stumbles backward ITTHI C TAN THE NATION
he business world of the coming decade may be as unrecognisable to us today as that of Bangkok 30 years ago, says Wichai Subvithayanond, country director of Avaya Asia Pacific. “I remember going to technical college in Bang Mod across the river in Thon Buri. It was green, full of orchards, rice fields and forests,” Wichai reminisces. “The campus and farming community knew each other well, and we always helped each other.” Wichai, a 10-year veteran with Siemens before joining the local unit of the US communications firm, misses the easy pace. “My college days were full of happy moments. People were cheerful, friendly and supportive of each other. There was none of the bitterness we have witnessed in the past few weeks.” Clearly Wichai believes the past
may hold some of the solutions to today’s woes. “Today Bang Mod is all condominiums and housing estates and thick with cars and trucks.” The orchards and farms are gone, replaced by congested highways and exhaust fumes. But to Wichai, a native of Sadao in the south who later migrated to Bangkok, the changes he experienced have taught the importance of learning to cope with challenges that come with an increasingly automated and efficient work environment. It is important not to lose your way. Thailand was the darling of global investors from 1987 to 1997, when the stock market index rocketed from 150 to more than 1,750. Today it is at 474. “Vietnam is today the fastestgrowing economy in Southeast Asia and one of Avaya’s most dynamic markets,” says Wichai. “It is important for our business community to appreciate the challenges and competition coming from next door.” Vietnam is hungry for growth, investment and opportunities after suffering more than half a century of war, strife and communism. In contrast, some quarters here may be so blinded by decades of prosperity that they are able to toy with the idea that civil strife is tolerable
even as the country sinks deeper into the red. But Wichai is optimistic. “In a way, we have to be balanced. Consider a few years ago when all the media ran was the daily killings in the South.” Today that’s largely forgotten, overshadowed by coloured shirts. When competing, Thailand has many advantages still, he says. “Our banking and trade system is more developed, and our infrastructure is also in better shape. “The key is now is to return to harmony.” Avaya’s outlook here was improving before the state of emergency was announced. That scuttled everything, and it takes time to rebuild, he says. “Our annual revenues are about Bt400 million, and we believe the trend of the market remains positive next year.” Once a subsidiary of AT&T under Lucent, Avaya is now a leader in voice technology.
With more companies and organisations seeking practical ways to reduce their impact on the environment, Avaya is enabling them to go green by investing in more efficient systems, he says. “For instance most major banks, domestic and foreign, are our key customers,” he says. “We provide them with call-centre systems and services that are key to their operations 24 hours a day.” If you lose your credit card or ATM cards, it is likely you will be using its technology to obtain a new one. “More medium-sized firms are looking to us to upgrade their systems.” The recent global financial crisis is forcing companies to trim expenses while increasing output. One way to achieve these goals is to employ technology and products that cut down on time and expenditure. “Our conferencing and VOIP [voice-over Internet protocol] serv-
ices can reduce costs in many ways,” he says. “By allowing voice conferencing, executives can communicate with their provincial counterparts without having to fly there, book hotels and spend hours at airports.” Less travelling, less driving and more tele-conferencing: this is probably what the future of business in Thailand will look like. It is already looking like that in many parts of the world. To help businesses determine how much energy they can save, the company recently launched a new green website and an energysavings calculator. The tool reckons savings in kilowatt energy, carbon emissions and petrol consumption. One way is to decrease the amount of hardware needed for communications. Vanke, one of the largest property-developers in China, consolidated its communications infra-
structure by eliminating standalone PBXs at each of its 20 branch offices. Instead it centralised core communications operations at its headquarters and extended a system over an IP Telephony network to these branches. “That reduced the requirements for administration, maintenance and power consumption while enabling faster, more consistent service, increasing collaboration and improving business continuity,” he says. Meanwhile, Avaya’s “Communication Manager” telephony software makes it possible to build an efficient communications foundation that supports up to 36,000 endpoints across hundreds of locations with a single pair of centralised servers. Also, its work-at-home programme is solving staffing and business issues in a fast-changing business environment.
SONY THAILAND recently organised ‘Young Creative by Sony Season 2’, where 80 junior high-school students with interest in entertainment technology and TV programming were taken on a one-day trip to RS Studio for direct experience and trials.
SAHAVIRIYA GROUP organised an environment training programme for over 50 health volunteers in Bang Saphan. They were taken to a green park in Cha-Am and expected to share the knowledge with other villagers in their home.
T H E N AT I O N
ONE OF Avaya’s communications products that generate about Bt400 million a year in the local market.
F O R E I G N E X C H A N G E R AT E BANGKOK BANK CURRENCY
JET AIRWAYS, led by Thailand manager Lackana Wantaywin, took 50 children from the Foundation For The Better Life of Children to watch the animated movie Bal Ganesh, inspiring them with Ganesh’s tale of never giving up.
CHAO PHYA Hospital recently organised a grooming session for would-be parents, where applied yoga was demonstrated for the happiness of the parents and their children.
PITAK PRUITTISARIKORN, 4th left, director of Honda Automobile (Thailand), presented the company’s financial assistance to the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation to provide shelters and working equipment during disasters. The donation was a part of Honda’s support to help reduce road accidents during the Songkran festival in the ‘Bon Voyage – Be More Conscious…Be More Safe’ campaign.
ADIREK SRIPRATAK, president and CEO of Charoen Pokphand Foods, recently presented 375,000 eggs worth Bt900,000 to Bangkok Governor MR Sukhumbhand Paribatra in ‘Dried wastes to exchange for CP fresh egg’ at Khlong Toey community. For the second consecutive year, the project aims to encourage people in 25 communities to be concerned about their living environment as well as provide them good nutrition by consuming quality eggs.
USD1 USD : 1 USD5 USD : 5-20 USD50 USD : 50-100 GBP UNITED KINGDOM EUR EURO ZONE JPY JAPAN (:100) HKD HONG KONG MYR MALAYSIA: 10, 50, 100 SGD SINGAPORE BND BRUNEI CNY CHINA IDR INDONESIA (:1000) INR INDIA : 50-1000 KRW KOREA PHP PHILIPPINES TWD TAIWAN AUD AUSTRALIA NZD NEW ZEALAND CHF SWITZERLAND DKK DENMARK NOK NORWAY SEK SWEDEN CAD CANADA RUB RUSSIA VND VIETNAM (:1000) ZAR SOUTH AFRICA AED UNITED ARAB EMIRATE BHD BAHRAIN OMR OMAN QAR QATAR SAR SAUDI ARABIA
BILL & TT & DD
34.24 34.58 35.02 50.61 46.02 35.87 4.45 9.11 23.3 22.78 4.33 1.87 0.61375 0.0221 0.53 0.85 24.7 19.53 30.39 5.98 5.16 4.08 28.35 0.87 1.41 2.71 7.74 63.26 62.42 7.62 7.49
35.62 35.62 35.7 52.52 47.25 37.3 4.64 10.15 24.02 23.92 5.62 4.03 0.75375 0.0367 0.8 1.15 26.26 20.82 31.25 6.32 5.43 4.34 29.21 1.2 2.23 4.95 10.06 94.72 93.16 10.05 10
35.17 51.3225 46.28625 36.2 4.52625 UNQUOTE 23.44875 UNQUOTE 2.91095 24.93 19.6875 30.61 6.19 5.305 4.2475 28.725 -
35.27 51.4575 46.3975 36.285 4.54125 UNQUOTE 23.5125 UNQUOTE 2.94895 25.005 19.75 30.7075 6.2075 5.32125 4.25875 28.79 -
35.52 52.0925 46.995 36.8475 4.59625 UNQUOTE 23.89125 UNQUOTE 3.6581 0.7525 0.745 25.5225 20.1775 31.145 6.305 5.40625 4.32125 29.1525 AS OF APRIL 24, 2009
Published on Apr 27, 2009
Published on Apr 27, 2009
Budget cut: The Internal Trade Department’s opera- tions are expected to suffer next year as the government has abruptly cut its budget by m...