The ambiguities of the pandemic have forced businesses to learn new ways to proactively respond to these uncertain times. As companies try to navigate their operations to wrestle unprecedented challenges, most found themselves making the shift to online and digital to survive, and hopefully thrive, in the new normal, while others, unfortunately, had to close shop.
As numerous companies made the shift and learned to adapt to the digital way of transacting business, e-industries were born or accelerated by necessity. These include eLearning, eCommerce and retail, eBPO, eBFSI, eHealth, eGovernment, eTravel and tourism, and eManufacturing and logistics.
Given the growth of these electronic-based industries, PLDT Enterprise, the B2B arm of the largest and only integrated telecommunications company in the Philippines, pledges its support for these e-Industries by providing fortified digital technologies like end-to-end fixed, wireless, and ICT technologies and services to help businesses cope with the signs of the times.
“We at PLDT Enterprise fully commit to helping future-proof our e-industries today by providing them tailored services and solutions to better address their business and customer needs. Through technology, our goal is not only to make a positive impact on every single business, but also to make our society and the lives of our countrymen better than before,” said Jovy Hernandez, ePLDT President & CEO and SVP & Head for PLDT and Smart Enterprise Business Groups.
Setting the trend to address digital necessities
PLDT Enterprise first led the transformation of e-Industries last year at the height of the disruptions brought about by the COVID-19 crisis with its technological advancements to help fuel the growth and development of e-Industries today. To help e-industries understand the digital transformation, PLDT Enterprise sought the expertise of e-Industry leaders to discuss and present the details in adopting digital innovations into different businesses on Tech Talk On Air, an on-going series launched by PLDT Enterprise where e-industry leaders tackled problems, solutions and opportunities.
During the last quarter of 2020, PLDT Enterprise brought together digital thought leaders and industry pioneers from all over the world at the Philippine Digital Convention (PH Digicon 2020) where the future of digital solutions in the workplace environment were discussed and addressed. PH Digicon 2020 also featured emerging technologies that are set to pave the way for enterprises to pivot towards success in the future of work.
Recalibrating business models with improved technologies
In 2021, digital transformation is even further accelerated, recalibrating business models among organizations. PLDT Enterprise is continuously improving and developing technologies to support the expanding needs of various industries. With the goal to help businesses rediscover and reinvent themselves using technology, PLDT Enterprise will focus on providing tailor-fit digital solutions to the emerging and growing e-industries.
There have been evident transformations in key industries which have set new standards for operations and transactions paving the way, in less than a year, for e-industries to emerge or expand. Topmost on this list is the eHealthcare sector – where every aspect of the healthcare system is seen to evolve into a digital ecosphere.
Addressing the key e-Industries
The local healthcare system was the first to be affected by the pandemic. Healthcare, however, is not one to be dismissed or compromised. It is therefore PLDT’s commitment to prioritize healthcare. In response to this, PLDT Enterprise will soon launch its suite of telemedicine and eHealthcare solutions that will provide easily accessible digital healthcare services to hospitals, doctors and patients.
Telemedicine is a big factor to ease patient access to their doctors and PLDT sees this as the way of the future, enabling doctors to monitor a patient’s medical journey every step of the way. PLDT Enterprise also aims to bring this service available to the barangay-level, accessible and inclusive to all. It is indeed a changing healthcare landscape and PLDT Enterprise is committed to provide the practical solutions that will adapt to the transforming healthcare system and help make lives of Filipinos better.
During PLDT Enterprise’s Tech Talk On air last September 2020, eHealth emerged as one of the most important discussions. Even pre-pandemic, there was already had an estimated shortage of 23,000 nurses. COVID aggravated the situation further as 1,800 health workers were infected by the virus and more than 50 of them had succumbed to its symptoms. To make matters worse, hospitals across the country became full in capacity—leaving the national government and LGUs scrambling to launch quarantine and testing facilities nationwide. The sector was also faced with a shortage of rapid and PCR testing kits, hospital beds and medical equipment like ventilators.
With PLDT Enterprise and ePLDT services, hospitals and medical institutions will be empowered to provide streamlined services to patients through virtual consultations and online booking appointments. And as physical challenges highlight the difficulties in the healthcare industry, technology then helps bridge the gap between medical institutions and millions of Filipinos.
One of the most affected industries during the pandemic is the academe. Ongoing programs of PLDT Enterprise that support e-learning are the Giga Study, BEYOND FIBER, and Microsoft for Education where over 480,000 Microsoft licenses for schools nationwide have been deployed last year.
Initiatives by PLDT Enterprise for eLearning have ramped up, through partnerships with hundreds of schools, universities, colleges, and other learning institutions to make connectivity and digital solutions, eLearning tools and platforms more accessible to the education sector.
This has been part of PLDT Enterprise’s efforts to strengthen digital connectivity for the academe through robust technology solutions. Ensuring the best possible education for students while at the safety of their homes is PLDT’s goal, and its partnership with the education sector is a commitment to provide any technology requirements they need. Providing learning tools with strong and reliable connectivity during the global health crisis enables students and teachers uninterrupted education.
As people had to contend with lockdowns in the beginning of 2020, basic necessities became a difficult, if not impossible commodity to reach. In ecommerce, the transition from closed businesses to partial and full reopening compelled business owners to revisit the platforms they offer consumers, as values and priorities have irreversibly been reshaped.
At PLDT Enterprise’s Tech Talk On Air, changes in values and behavior in the ecommerce industry were discussed, and with this social transformation, insights and takeaways were offered for MSMEs.
PLDT Enterprise has long partnered with ecommerce industry leaders, and the pandemic has inspired them to ensure that the experiences and solutions mentioned are integrated into the digital platforms of these companies, aiming to make a positive impact on every single business.
With the BPO industry enjoying a steady stream of revenues and providing millions of jobs to Filipinos, the global health pandemic of 2020 greatly affected the status of most of the companies under the BPO industry. Many of the call centers were forced to switch to a Work from Home (WFH) setup, with safety and health as top priority, as well as the challenges in transportation for workers. The government-mandated lockdown implemented presented a unique and challenging situation for the Philippine BPO market, with companies altering plans and projections including remaining at the top of its game.
With this surge and continuance of WFH setups, PLDT Enterprise has committed to continue supporting the BPO Industry by offering various connectivity solutions that assure both BPO clients and employees that the shift to WFH does not hinder the continuous premium service that have always been offered to customers.
Since September 2020, PLDT Enterprise worked on migrating over 250,000 of its customers’ existing copper lines to fiber lines for a strengthened, faster connectivity. As it has always supported call centers and the BPO Industry for many years with its connectivity solutions, the global health crisis that saw entrepreneurs across all industries shift to digital technology saw the necessity for a more secure solution. The new normal that all industries are now adapting, and with the growing needs of the BPO sector, the WFH setup demanded a reliable, safe, and secure solutions.
Mitch Locsin, PLDT FVP & Enterprise Revenue Group Head, says that they have always been supportive of and committed to the BPO industry. “We are not just providing connectivity to the BPO sector. We are also providing the BPO industry with various solutions, keeping in mind what these companies need for an uninterrupted business while assuring workers of their jobs being done from the comforts of their homes.”
PLDT has always been a technology and telco provider and active participant and contributor to government initiatives. The need to ensure operational efficiency in the public sector especially with the onset of the global health crisis was critical. Digital solutions were then offered by PLDT to the local government units (LGU) for continued and smooth service to its citizenry.
Workforce planning and the need to test resiliency in working virtually including protection of citizen data was apparent. There was therefore a longer term potential for reshaping government workforce.
There were also the disrupted sectors looking to government to provide adaptive and regulatory models and a longer-term opportunity to reinvent the future of regulation.
Republic Act 11032 or known as Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018 is aimed to establish effective practice and efficient turnaround of the delivery of government services and the prevention of graft and corruption in government.
PLDT has successfully offered solutions for easy access and responsive community engagement to government. These public sector solution suite includes eGovernment Applications and Kiosks, Online payment Gateways, Contact Center Solutions, Citizen ID and Community App, Command Centers, CCTV Surveillance, Traffic Management, Smart Wifi on certain public centers, WFH solutions, and Emergency 911 Dispatch System. The collaboration and operational efficiency enables remote work for government employees and service availability and cybersecurity ensure that critical workloads and records are easily and securely accessed anytime, anywhere.
The pandemic hit the travel and tourism industry hard, suffering a great deal and with many airlines retrenching employees, hotels and restaurants closing, and tourists holding off on travel plans because of the risk in air travel.
In 2019, the Department of Tourism recorded a total 8.3 million inbound tourists, showing a significant contribution of the tourism sector to the Philippine economy. But the 2020 global health crisis has greatly overturned this, thus compelling the tourism industry to work hard and ensure that measures are put in place to mitigate the impact of pandemic.
Focus on new protocols in flying are put in place, with precautions for the airline industry being implemented, such as HEPA filters, proper sanitation, contactless transactions and operations.
Collaborations within the hospitality industry has been vital, where digital technology has been of utmost importance. The term reassurance within the industry resonates, wherein downtime should be used wisely, with business restructuring, investment and industry’s collective responsibility for hygiene, safety and security in place. Strategies are being adjusted accordingly where learnings are adapted and incorporated.
PLDT and Smart created its Traveler Digital Journey, where people are able to digitally travel anytime anywhere, being able to visit Boracay, Batanes, Palawan, and other beautiful spots, virtually. Travelers are able to book through Search Engine Marketing. An interactive map through Google maps allows user navigation. Efficiency is powered through Microsoft bookings, visit, schedule or reschedule. Payment is conveniently accepted through Paymaya or directly from establishments.
For incoming passengers, digital solutions are being adapted, such as use of Stay safe app, Google forms, QR codes all designed for contactless and safe solutions.
All other e-industries are strengthened through PLDT Enterprise Solutions
All other industries remain optimistic that despite the challenges of the pandemic, collaboration, innovation and adaption will help them recover. Manufacturing and logistics, for instance, are also in the forefront of partnering with PLDT Enterprise in ensuring that their industry remain resilient and digitally strengthened and secured.
The Banking and Financial Service Industry also rely on the reliable connectivity of PLDT ensuring customer online transactions and cybersecurity. While globally, digital transactions increased by a mere 26%, in the Philippines, the PayMaya app consumer-volume increased 2.5 times, online bills payment more than three times, and digital government transactions more than ten times. This shows that the country is above the global average when it comes to digitally transferring money to family and friends, although it remains below the global curve in terms of using mobile payment services.
“We want to make a positive impact on every single business by providing the information and communications technology requirements of enterprises across industries that will enable them to become more resilient and prepared for any other future disruption,” concluded Hernandez.
A new ecosystem of business
The importance of shaping a new ecosystem of business is definitely essential for national development after the global pandemic. When industries embrace digital adoption, a resilient ecosystem is created where all industries synergize their capabilities to yield business outcomes that are far greater than what each of these industries could have achieved.
To learn more, watch this video https://youtu.be/rHY8KO7jx-4 or visit pldtenterprise.com