IT Innovation

Winning Now and Winning New

CIO of the Year | Asia Pacific
2014 Oracle Excellence Awards

Korea’s SK Telecom is leading in market share and technology innovation.

By David A. Kelly

March/April 2015

Winning in the mobile communications field takes a rock-solid, highly scalable communications infrastructure and leading-edge services and capabilities. And oh, by the way, you also need to have outstanding customer service.


Those requirements are a tall order for just about any company. That’s why the success of Korea’s SK Telecom is all the more impressive. Established in 1984, SK Telecom is the largest mobile operator in Korea. It implemented the world’s first fourth-generation (4G) network and has been at the forefront of the continued rapid expansion of mobile data technology. The company has more than 27 million subscribers, US$16.6 billion in revenues, and 50 percent market share as of 2013.

An important part of SK Telecom’s success has been its commitment to enabling continuous innovation within its business and IT systems and delivering innovative and differentiated experiences to its customers. The organization is also constantly investing in future-oriented converged and integrated technologies in areas ranging from enterprise solutions and healthcare to media.

Underneath it all, Oracle technologies and solutions are an increasingly important part of SK Telecom’s foundation for providing both highly reliable and innovative services.

“We have adopted Oracle solutions for almost all our mission-critical systems, including our customer care and billing systems—named U.key—our online and mobile self-service applications, and more,” says Nam-Seuk Han, senior vice president and CIO at SK Telecom and winner of the Oracle Excellence Award for CIO of the Year—Asia Pacific.

Going forward, we will continue to invest and deepen our relationship with Oracle. ”–Nam-Seuk Han,
Senior Vice President and CIO, SK Telecom

Nam-Seuk Han has helped SK Telecom achieve high subscriber service and customer satisfaction numbers based on excellent management of the company’s Oracle Database–based business support and operational support systems. He has also been leading the design and deployment of its next-generation IT architecture.

When it comes to delivering market-leading telecommunications services, reliability and stability are critical. That’s why SK Telecom turns to Oracle to provide a foundation for its solutions. “Service stability is very critical to mobile communications business operation,” says Nam-Seuk Han. “We have enhanced our service stability by adopting Oracle solutions. We trust Oracle on the strength of its accumulated global successes and reliable customer support. We have no doubt that Oracle solutions’ stability, availability, and scalability will ensure seamless expansion and support our business growth.”

To help drive future growth and innovation, SK Telecom has also worked to foster a close relationship with Oracle, which has allowed the company to resolve technical issues when they arise as well as to gain insight on, and provide feedback to, the development and enhancement of Oracle products and services. “Over the years, we have received much technical support and advice from Oracle, and we’ve had a real collaborative relationship on technical seminars, architectural consulting services, and building systems based on cutting-edge technologies,” says Nam-Seuk Han. “Going forward, we will continue to invest and deepen our relationship with Oracle.”

SK Telecom’s Approach to New Technologies

As you might expect, being a leader in the telecommunications market requires the ability to foresee technological changes and to find ways to develop and deliver profitable services. To help do that, SK Telecom has an internal information and communications technologies (ICT) research and development (R&D) center that’s focused on innovation.

“SK Telecom’s ICT R&D Center has helped identify the technologies and skills that SK Telecom needs to be a leader in the information and communications technology field,” says Nam-Seuk Han, senior vice president and CIO at SK Telecom.

As SK Telecom continues to deliver innovative solutions, Nam-Seuk Han sees significant opportunities across multiple new technology areas, including the following:

  • Social media and services. “We’ve developed an internal social media tool that is being used by many divisions in SK Telecom.”
  • Internet of Things. “We’re focusing on both the development of lifeware—wearable devices that provide a range of benefits to our customers—and IoT security, to enable the delivery of safe and secure IoT services to the users.”
  • Cloud computing. “We’re working on the development of cloud computing solutions that will enable us to differentiate SK Telecom’s cloud computing services.”
  • Big data. “Big data technologies will allow us to understand our customers’ needs better and provide more innovative solutions for them.”
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Photography byNick van den Berg,Unsplash