The COVID-19 pandemic has produced a leap in digitisation larger than ever seen before.
And for local small businesses and start-ups in particular, it presents an opportunity to retool technologies and rethink digital strategies.
“We have seen first-hand the surge over the past few months with regards to the demand for capacity and bandwidth, along with the need for reliable IT infrastructure and around-the-clock support,” said Jenson Sylvester, Country Manager, Flow Barbados and Head of B2B for the South Caribbean.
Sylvester was delivering remarks recently at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre as part of events
to mark Small Business Week 2020, which was this year held under the theme The era of digital disruption –
thinking beyond the box.
Flow Business, which was officially launched by C&W Business as a dedicated resource for local small businesses, is a premier sponsor of the Small Business Association of Barbados.
“In fact, there has never been a period of traffic growth like what we are witnessing in the whole history of the Internet, with global traffic growth of 30-60 per cent over the last few months when compared to traditional annual traffic growth,” he said.
“More interesting numbers from around the globe – YouTube traffic is up 13 per cent, Facebook is up 27 per cent, Netflix is up 58 per cent, Skype is up 304 per cent, WhatsApp is up 609 per cent and Zoom is up 800 per cent. As we continue to adapt to our new reality, there’s no doubt this demand for connectivity will continue to grow.”
Sylvester suggested the local small business sector relook their current technologies and connections in order to capitalise on the enormous shift in online traffic.
“The COVID-19 pandemic, perhaps more than any other event in human history, has demonstrated the critical importance that telecoms infrastructure plays, and when we launched Flow Business a little over a year ago, it represented a new and distinct way of engaging with small businesses in Barbados,” he said.
“We did this because we know that small business is big business, so I would urge you to at least relook the connections that you have in place today.
“There may be an opportunity for you engage a wider audience and deepen your relationship with your existing customers. Your customers are online and you need to be as well in a meaningful way.”
Sylvester also paid tribute to smaller companies and individual entrepreneurs who faced increased adversities as a result of the pandemic.
“To the Small Business Association of Barbados, and indeed all the smaller companies and individual entrepreneurs who toil each day, we say thank you for providing us with a platform to show the world our value, and most importantly, our collective worth,” he said.
“We are proud to operate the strongest, fastest and most reliable networks in Barbados and we want you to know that we will be by your side today, tomorrow and for as long as it takes. We are at your service.” (PR)