SingTel Optus Pty Limited is an Australian company that is the second largest telecommunications company in the country. Optus was founded in 1981 as AUSSAT and at present, the company is a wholly owned subsidiary of SingTel, which is a company headquartered in Singapore. Some of the services that the company offers are fixed telephony, mobile telephony, internet access, cable television, leased lines and data transmission. The company registered a revenue of A$ 8.93 billion in 2013 and has a workforce of more than 8,700 employees during 2013. The company provides services to end users as well as to certain other companies, such as Exetel and Amaysim. As of today, Optus has also achieved the position of being the largest satellite wholesaler in Australia. The company has also started selling mobile phones to its customers on contractual basis, which is helping the company in expanding its business even further (Optus, n.d.).
Knowledge management is an approach that allows business organisations to use the information available to it as an asset and creating value out of it. Under knowledge management, organisations are able to create, store, access and analyse information and data and use it in meeting tactical and strategic requirements (Hislop, 2013). Most of the leading multinational companies in the world have dedicated departments that collect information from all the departments of the company and analyse it to formulate strategies for the future and take accurate business decisions (Holsapple, 2013). Knowledge management practices and systems can have a number of benefits for business organisations.
First of all, knowledge management makes it easier to take better business decisions by finding relevant information and resources. Secondly, it can help in avoiding duplication of efforts which might be wasted in analysing unnecessary information or data again and again. Thirdly, having a vast warehouse of knowledge and data can prevent a company from making the same mistake twice by looking into the past. Fourthly, it can help in making the information sharing process more smooth. Fifthly, it can help a company in making better use of its resources and expertise (Meihami & Meihami, 2014).
E-commerce is a gift of technology to the humans and is defined as the buying and selling of goods and services or transmitting of funds or data by using an electronic network, primarily the internet. There are different types of transactions that can occur in an e-commerce business, such as business-to-business, business-to-consumer, consumer-to-consumer and consumer-to0business (Andam, 2014). E-commerce has changes the business world to a large extent and has become one of the top modes of carrying out business activities for almost all industries. Some major advantages of using e-commerce for business activities are discussed below:
First of all, e-commerce has made the business world a smaller place and eliminated various barriers that existed between producers and consumers. Secondly, e-commerce has made it easier for the customers to buy the best product at the best price. Thirdly, it has increased the reach of customers as well as of the business organisations. Fourthly, it has eliminated the requirement of having land and building for carrying out business operations. Fifthly, it has allowed the customers to purchase products and services within real time, without having to travel to an outlet and standing in long queues for the billing process (Niranjanamurthy, Kavyashree, S.Jagannath, & Chahar, 2013).
Optus is operating in a highly competitive market. In telecommunication market, even if the barriers to new market entrants is high, the market conditions in the telecommunication industry is vulnerable to a number of factors and the strategies adopted by competitors can have a huge impact on the market position of Optus. In order to ensure a long term survival in the market and to continue to dominate the competitors, it is important for Optus to have a knowledge management system in the organisation and make good use of e-commerce business model.
In the present day business world, the competition has reached a global scale and the internal and external factors to which business organisations have become vulnerable have also increased to an exponential level. In such tough market situations, it is important for companies to use knowledge management and have knowledge management systems in the workplace at all times.
A knowledge management system will definitely provide a competitive edge to Optus in the market because by using the information and data from the past and the present, the company will be able to take important business decisions and will also be able to track the activities of the competitors. Using knowledge management, Optus will also be able to identify market opportunities that are most likely to come up in the future and can prepare itself to make the full use of such opportunities. On the other hand, knowledge management systems can also warn the company about any possible risks that might arise in the future and the company can create contingency plans to deal with the risks and minimise their effect on the organisation.
Storing, accessing and analysing the data and information available from the market will also help the company in finding out the changing customer preferences and what are the problems that the customers are facing with respect to the telecommunication industry. Such important information will greatly help the company in taking business decisions and formulating new strategies that will have higher chances of success. By becoming more customer oriented and by satisfying the needs or demands of the customers, the company will be able to outperform its competitors and achieve a stronger position in the market.
Knowledge management tools can also be used by Optus to manage its human resources. As the management of human resources is becoming increasingly important as well as complicated, companies like Optus that have a large workforce should definitely make use of knowledge management systems to store and analyse information related to their workforce. Using human resource information in business decisions and in formulating new strategies will further provide a competitive edge to the firm and the company will be able to ensure high performance because of efficient human resource management strategies.
For a company like Optus, e-commerce business model is a necessary evil because it can help such a company in increasing its market reach and targeting a larger group of customers. As the company offers multiple services to its customers, such as internet, lease lines, mobile phone services, etc. an e-commerce business model can become a one-step solution to all the customer problems and needs.
Optus can include customer accounts in its e-commerce website where the customers can log into their accounts using their unique ID and password and can view all the services that they are using, their bill plans, monthly rentals and can even add or drop services from their accounts. Such an e-commerce model will help the company in saving the operational costs that it has to invest in maintaining customer care call centres to execute all those operations that the customers can themselves take care of using an e-commerce website.
Further, an e-commerce website will also act as a portfolio of all the services that the company can offer to its clients and can even include a section where the customers can put up requests for new connections. The company can also advertise its e-commerce websites by tying up with digital advertising and marketing companies and can offer special discounts and services to the customers who will put up requests for new connections using the e-commerce website. Optus can also boost up its mobile phone sales by offering mobile phones and Optus telephone connections at discounted rates and special prices to its online customers (ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF ECOMMERCE, n.d.).
Optus can also include a section in the e-commerce website where the customers can chat with customer care representatives using live chat support so that they can get answers to their queries which are unsolved or if they are not being able to manage their account properly using the e-commerce customer account. Such a service will make it easier for the company to serve the clients and provide solutions to their problems as quickly as possible.
Knowledge management and e-commerce business model can go hand-in-hand and can offer a great number of benefits to Optus. Knowledge management will help the company in properly managing the available information and taking the right business decisions at the right time while an e-commerce business model will help the company in increasing its reach in the market and offering better services to the customers. Thus, the company should design and implement knowledge management systems as well as start an e-commerce website to strengthen its business and achieve market competencies.
Optus. (n.d.). About Us. Retrieved May 11, 2017, from www.optus.com.au: https://www.optus.com.au/about Hislop, D. (2013). Knowledge Management in Organizations: A Critical Introduction. Oxford University Press.
Holsapple, C. (2013). Handbook on Knowledge Management 1: Knowledge Matters (Vol. 1). Springer Science & Business Media.
Andam, Z. R. (2014). e-Commerce and e-Business.
Niranjanamurthy, M., Kavyashree, N., S.Jagannath, & Chahar, D. D. (2013). Analysis of E-Commerce and M-Commerce: Advantages, Limitations and Security issues . International Journal of Advanced Research in Computer and Communication Engineering, 2(6).
Meihami, B., & Meihami, H. (2014). Knowledge Management a way to gain a competitive advantage in firms (evidence of manufacturing companies) . International Letters of Social and Humanistic Sciences(14).
ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF ECOMMERCE. (n.d.). Retrieved May 11, 2017, from www.esalestrack.com: https://www.esalestrack.com/blog/2008/09/advantages-and-disadvantages-of.html
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