Robert Varty, the Chief Sales Officer at Workz, speaks to Small Enterprise about the opportunities 2019 presents
How was 2018 for the industry and your company?
2018 was a year of transformation for the industry and we grew with that evolution. Last September’s launch of the iPhone XS/R with the embedded SIM kick-started a flurry of activity in the industry, as a result, of someone the size of Apple making the technology mainstream. We’ve been very much involved in things and have worked on a government smart city project in Africa, launched virtual (embedded) SIMs with an operator in Europe and provided some of the world’s global IoT players with our own embedded SIM chips manufactured here in Dubai.
What sort of opportunities did 2018 bring along?
The Apple launch is the catalyst that is spearheading this new technology towards a hyper-adoption rate. It has given the market great confidence as increased awareness of its capabilities has stimulated huge demand. This, in turn, has given industry players the assurance to accelerate their product roadmaps. Workz is helping both mobile network operators and device manufacturers realise the market potential from this opportunity.
Did you face any challenges in 2018?
We are always learning and improving as we grow. The introduction of something new in a market always presents itself with challenges and we faced that too as an eSIM supplier and Over-The-Air service manager. As the technology and industry changes, we have needed to educate clients and overcome challenges together. Transitioning to new technology not only requires comprehensive testing and training but also integration with existing systems and infrastructure. It is a testament to our technical team that we have managed to successfully launch so many market firsts last year.
What were your key achievements in 2018?
2018 was a good year for us. We became the Middle East and Africa’s first embedded SIM manufacturer and one of only six in the world to be certified by the industry’s regulatory body, the GSMA, for this technology. We also acquired a second certified production facility in Europe to add to our Dubai site. Additionally, we have been able to strengthen our offering through partnerships with strong and innovative IoT players such as ARM and Truphone.
What promises does 2019 bring along?
Without a doubt, 2019 is the year the eSIM market will really take-off. With the increasing prominence of connected devices, we will see an overall growth in automation and data collection which will translate into immense cost savings for businesses.
Do you see opportunities on the market with Dubai Expo 2020 just around the corner?
Absolutely. Dubai is very technologically advanced and has ambitious smart city initiatives and our product offering plays a fundamental role in this concept.
According to you, which technologies will be in demand in 2019?
We are very excited about eSIM technology as the benefits can be massive – smart energy meters, health devices and connected cars will all change our lives irreversibly for the better.
What will be your key focus areas for 2019?
With our European operations now established, our focus for 2019 will be to continue to work with network operators, device manufacturers and technology enablers across Europe, MEA and Asia providing highly secure and cost-efficient SIM technology and Over-The-Air management services.
What milestones have you set for 2019?
We aim to continue to establish ourselves as a leading player in the eSIM and IoT markets.
What would you like to do differently in 2019, when compared with 2018?
We are always looking to improve and evolve what we do – that’s how we’ve lasted over 20 years and it’s what our clients demand to ensure that they remain competitive.
Do you plan to enter new markets or add new products/applications to your portfolio in 2019?
Our objective is to deliver the best, most secure and quickly-deployable mobile and IoT connected solutions to our clients – many of whom we have very long-term relationships with. Product development is fundamental to us and we expect to launch more eSIM and IoT solutions in the coming months.
This is a critical time in the industry with the massive transformation that is taking place (virtualization of the SIM card). It is expected that eSIMs will be the de facto SIM technology with a predicted nine-fold increase in eSIM shipments over the next three years. The future of the industry looks promising and we are excited to be a part of it.