Digital Solutions Designed to Deliver Redefined Customer Experiences Highlighted at PLDT DigiCon 2017


Digital transformation continues to redefine the enterprise experience with a host of solutions now available for key industries that are designed to strengthen the quality and efficiency of the services they offer their consumers. Digital innovations that promise to transform and ‘future-proof’ industry services from different industries, to include Banking & Financial Services, Education, Retail, Hospitality, the Business Workplace, and Government Services, were the highlight of the recently concluded Philippine Digital Convention 2017. 

“The world is changing fast and businesses of all sizes need to adapt in order to survive. It is human nature however to fear change.” said SVP & Head of PLDT and Smart Enterprise Groups, Jovy Hernandez. “We want to inspire fearlessness in our customers and guide them in their digital transformation. Beyond giving access to technology, we want to enable them—using real-life insights—to redefine themselves and fully harness their growth potential.”

Over 1000 delegates composed of business owners and key decision makers from the country’s top corporations attended the two-day 2017 digital conference themed “Redefining the

Enterprise Experience” held June 14 and 15 at the Marriott Grand Ballroom in Newport City.  Now on its third year, the DigiCon was presented by PLDT and ePLDT, the leading telecoms and digital services provider and partner enabler of digital business solutions in the country, in partnership with premier global market intelligence provider International Data Corporation (IDC).

The highlight of the event were six stations that showcased the most recent technology from PLDT partners CISCO, Samsung and Huawei along with the PLDT Group’s (PLDT, e-PLDT, Smart) existing and pipelined digital services that can be adopted by specific industries:  City Services of the Future, Academe of the Future, Bank of the Future, Workplace of the Future, Homes of the Future, Businesses of the Future. A series of breakout sessions tackled discussions on the disruptive innovations and technologies that help enterprises keep up with the evolving needs of their consumers.

Banking and the Future

In the area of banking, the opportunity is to build business resiliency and agility for financial services providers that enables them to keep up with the changing demands of the industry and keep their customers at the core of their businesses. 

“Digital disruption [in this industry] is real. Technology and digitization have made things easy for everyone, and users who do banking online will expect the same from the banking industry. There is the opportunity to create more personal customer experiences, ensuring a secure way to provide these services to them,” said Prem Akella, APJC Marketing Lead, Private Sector Industries, CISCO.

Banking innovation accelerators built on third party platform technologies are key to delivering on that promise.  Showcased at the conference were PLDT Data centers that are built to host large infrastructures to help manage the cloud environment and security of the banks’ servers and networks that are used.

Smart Campuses and Community Partnerships

Technological innovations continue to level up learning at educational institutions. 

“The academe has to learn how it can maximize data to help the industry progress,” explained Jubert Alberto, Head of Operations, IDC. “Some of our most highly skilled teachers are still digital aliens. It is in the industry’s best interest to engage them and ground them on technology for greater productivity. Being connected changes behaviors.”

A digital experience framework can be put in place to address the university’s concerns with investment terms that are scalable. 

Showcased were digital solutions such as e-learning tools and student security solutions that will contribute to the development of ‘smarter’ campuses that address operational silos in universities.  This contributes to greater credibility for local universities in the global education industry, particularly in the area of community partnerships.

Disrupting Technologies in the Hospitality Industry

Digital disruption is also reshaping the hospitality industry.  That the rise of technology has made systems so accessible that an individual can transact in the comfort of his own home presents a challenge to the more established members of the hospitality industry.

For example, online travel agencies (OTA) are now stiff competition for Hoteliers in the race for bookings.  Adam Laker, Area General Manager of Sofitel, shares that 15-20% of hotel bookings are now done through OTAs, as a third unexpected player—AirBnb-- has joined the fray which offers travelers with a more affordable option. 

The startup “Innovation is not always a life switch but it is also keeping up with the current market and their demands,” adds Adam Laker, who explains that AirBnb has changed the game by creating a hotelier out of the average man who owns a spare room.

Consumer Technology in Retail

E-commerce has slowly begun to influence the local shopping experience as more and more people purchase products and services online. The retail industry continues to evolve, particularly in urban areas, as it becomes more deeply rooted in digital excellent customer experiences.

“Brands are facing the challenges of retaining their customers and getting them to come back and spend more,” explained Mike Ghasemi, Research Director for APAC, Retail Insights and

Worldwide Hospitality.  “Businesses today need to have a digital platform that will ensure that their products and services complement not only to customers but also other businesses. If you want to stay relevant to your customers, you need to invest in technology, and you need a partner who can help you start this digital transformation journey.”

Beyond Physical Transformation in the Workplace

While the Philippines has been working on keeping up with global technological advances, experts discussed observations that, in general, the Filipinos’ concept of IT is still very basic. Sudev Bangah, IDC’s Country Manager for Indonesia and Philippines, shared that the attempts of some industries to redefine the experience of their customers and consumers tend to stop at a physical standpoint.

“Devices are still the main area of spending for Filipinos, and the country is gravitating towards a mobile-first workforce culture. Cybersecurity has just become an added value for Filipinos,” he emphasized.

Carlo Ople, PLDT’s VP & Head of Digital Marketing Strategy discussed how the evolution of collaborative technology is necessary in today’s workplace: “Open spaces alone cannot encourage collaboration. We must provide an environment that encourages collaboration by designing a workspace that will allow and foster creative interaction between workers. One must emphasize the company’s culture and embed it even in the littlest detail of the workspace.”

IOT Disruption and Smart Cities

Local government units and public organizations have turned to technology to provide quality and efficient service to Filipinos. Hon. Catalino Cuy, Undersecretary and Officer-in-Charge, Department of Interior and Local Government, shared that private institutions must continue finding and promoting innovative solutions to improve and hasten emergency, police response, and rescue and retrieval operations and services for the public.

Gerald Wang, Head of APAC Government & Education of IDC posed this challenge: “We hear the term ‘big data’ but most people don’t understand its relevance yet. This is why there is a need to cultivate a learning environment that will produce more data scientists. There must be a change in mindset to fully stimulate and maximize our talents in the IT services. Break silos. The road to becoming a smart city requires an environment with increased communication and interagency collaboration.”

Digital innovations are necessary to redefining the enterprise experience in the country. It is every businesses’ responsibility to provide the best customer and consumer experience possible to build trust and earn and retain their loyalty.

To know more about the learnings from Philippine Digital Convention 2017, visit

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