PLDT Enterprise has successfully staged the Philippine Digital Convention 2021, sharing significant insights to entrepreneurs and company decision-makers to leverage on emerging technologies that will help empower their businesses.
Titled “REVOLUTION,” this year’s three-day digital convention that happened from October 6 to 8, presented avenues to explore novel ways of doing business, opportunities to unlock greater possibilities through adopting relevant solutions, and how to successfully pivot amid the current economic and industry conditions.
To fulfill their goal of driving technological enablement to the delegates, PLDT Enterprise invited thought leaders and industry experts to impart perspectives that would catalyze a new wave of revolution, where businesses of all sizes can maximize the power of technology.
Given the exponentially growing business landscape, companies need to assess critical areas in their businesses to remain competitive. It has become pivotal to evolve and elevate their game by proactively identifying new ways that can help them maximize growth opportunities.
It is thus imperative for entrepreneurs to look at trends happening now and be prepared for what’s coming next.
As such, companies need to constantly reinvent themselves to remain relevant with their desired customers and achieve their desired business outcomes through the use of technology.
The Philippine Digital Convention is the most prestigious digital thought leadership event hosted by PLDT Enterprise.
This year’s PH Digicon featured over 120 industry leaders and experts, sharing their expertise on topics such as technology predictions, industry evolution, emerging technologies, among others.
On the first day of the convention, the delegates were welcomed in an interactive virtual platform where they would discover groundbreaking opportunities to reach greater heights in their respective industries during the digital event.
The three-day convention highlighted plenary sessions, which presented a full roster of prominent and esteemed personalities from different companies and industries all around the globe.
PHOTO: ePLDT President & CEO and SVP & Head of PLDT and Smart Enterprise and International Business Groups
Jovy I. Hernandez
ePLDT President & CEO and SVP & Head of PLDT and Smart Enterprise and International Business Groups Jovy I. Hernandez opened the plenary session by introducing what revolution means and how it will impact society moving forward.
“We need to emerge from this crisis stronger. We cannot just rebuild and recover. We have to rediscover and redefine ourselves and our businesses. To harness technology and effectively navigate the new world of business, this revolution is mandating us not only to refresh our strategies but more importantly to rethink and rewire our mindsets and attitudes,” Hernandez shared.
Hernandez added that this period would give birth to more revolutionary technologies such as artificial intelligence, genome editing, 3D printing, autonomous vehicles, and IoT.
“Now is the time to reimagine the world of business as we would like it to be. This is not pure imagination. It is up to all of us to make dreams into reality,” he said.
For the first plenary discussion, the first power panel discussed embracing revolutionary technology as an imperative for companies to thrive amid the shifting needs of customers in the post-pandemic era.
The thought leaders who took part in the plenary session include Manuel V. Pangilinan, Chairman of Metro Pacific Investments Corporation (MPIC); John Harrington, Nokia Senior Vice President, Head of Asia-Pacific and Japan; Nicholas Ma, President of Huawei Asia Pacific Enterprise Business Group; Yasuo Suzuki, President of NTT Global Data Center, and Dave West, President of Cisco Asia Pacific, Japan, And Greater China.
They shared valuable insights on how their respective companies had overcome the challenges of the pandemic and what it means to have a revolutionary leadership to steer businesses and organizations to success.
“In many ways we have to adopt the revolutionary aspects of leadership, adopting abrupt changes in certain areas that are really needed but at the same time maintaining the values that are important to our company, to PLDT and the overall First Pacific Group,” he said.
PH Digicon 2021’s celebrity speaker Charlize Theron also spoke about her experiences in different aspects of life, as an award-winning Hollywood actress, film and TV producer, entrepreneur, and the UN Messenger of Peace.
PHOTO: PH Digicon 2021 celebrity headline speaker Charlize Theron
Theron left a piece of encouraging advice to women leaders since women’s empowerment has been a relevant issue in the business industry.
“Be resilient, find your crew, find your team, find and surround yourself by people who make you better, who challenge you, who push you… And I think understanding the value of leadership is not something that happens in a vacuum; doesn’t happen with one person.”
“It really happens with your village, it happens with constantly being hungry for that voice out there that might be of different than yours… Surround yourself with people who are like-minded but also different people that you can learn from. And never, ever, be too proud to say that you were wrong,” said Theron.
After the first plenary session, there were also tech leadership forums where significant perspectives on top technology trends and advancements in various industries were conferred.
Three of the key themes discussed for the first day of the PH Digicon 2021 include adoption of the Internet of Things (IoT), empowering the retail industry through an all-new digital experience, and enabling the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry through solutions and technologies.
Meanwhile, the second day was opened by key executives from the private sector together with the government in an exclusive roundtable discussion to examine the prospects of priming the Philippines as the next hyperscaler destination and data center hub in the Asia Pacific.
Present during this portion include Department of Trade and Industry Sec. Ramon Lopez, Philippine Bureau of Investments Executive Director Ma. Corazon Halili-Dochosa, MPower Senior Vice President and Head Roberto R. Almazora, Yasuo Suzuki of NTT Data Center, and Structure Research Head of Research Jabez Tan.
They discussed the measures and technology investments currently done by both public and private institutions to lay the digital foundation of the Philippines for its bid to be the next strategic hyperscaler destination in the region.
The panel stressed that the Philippines has consistently increased its attractiveness to hyperscalers with critical investments in submarine cable systems in place, its stable political and business climate, increasing access to renewable energy, and the availability of a highly-educated and talented workforce and its high internet and smartphone penetration.
“The pandemic has pushed us to maximize the use of digital platforms, which accelerated the growth of our data center market. Our country’s digital landscape makes it an ideal setting to support the growth of the hyperscalers as well as data center operations,” said Department of Trade and Industry Secretary Mon Lopez.
PLDT VP and International Facilities Investments Management Head Gene Sanchez, on the other hand, said that PLDT is looking at all the building blocks necessary to make the Philippines the favored hub in Asia.
“The Philippines is already part of the big chain, but we need to make us more favorable. We have embarked on implementing an international submarine network—a plan that would support hyperscaler requirements. That means we will be able to scale up submarine capacity at will,” Sanchez said.
PLDT’s current international cable network comprises 15 global subsea cable systems, which will further be expanded with its investment in additional subsea cables such as Asia Direct Cable, Jupiter, and Apricot that are expected to be operational by the end of this year to 2022.
Moreover, PLDT Group also announced that it is set to build the first hyperscaler data center in the country designed to serve the hyperscale requirements of global tech giants.
Right after the incisive roundtable discussion, the delegates were engaged in the second plenary session where key PLDT executives talked about how industries adapted to the shift brought by the global health crisis and how they stayed resilient amid these unique challenges.
PLDT Enterprise FVP and Enterprise Revenue Group Head Mitch Locsin, PLDT FVP & Enterprise Revenue Group Head Vic Tria, and Vice President and Enterprise Revenue Group Head for PLDT Enterprise Ding V. Villarino highlighted the role of innovation in various industries and how it ultimately advanced the economy forward despite the difficulties that companies had faced.
Furthermore, the panel discussion featured how businesses have successfully outmaneuvered the disruption brought by the pandemic and how they are continuously adapting their business models to facilitate growth and success in the better normal.
Several prominent Filipino tycoons spoke during the discussion, including Penshoppe Group Chairman and CEO Bernie Liu, Jollibee Group Chief Business Officer Joseph Tanbuntiong, JG Summit Holdings Inc. President and CEO Lance Gokongwei, Century Pacific Food, Inc. Executive Chairman Chris Po, and Alliance Global Group Inc. CEO Kevin L. Tan.
PLDT Inc. and Smart Communications President and CEO Al Panlilio also participated during this session and shared his insights and key learnings on what makes a revolutionary leader.
“It’s people-first mindset [for] both employee and customer, making sure they’re healthy, they’re safe, and decisions made around huge considerations for the people. From a leadership point of view, you have to be authentic, clear, and transparent to your people.
“In this pandemic, it is about leading bravely. We can never tell what will happen; thus, we must be more informed and, hopefully, make the right decisions… We have always pushed for a purpose, and that is to remain relevant to our customers,” said Panlilio.
In the afternoon, the tech leadership forums zeroed in on banking and e-commerce and strengthening an organization’s cybersecurity posture to stay resilient amid risks and attacks.
Likewise, key industry leaders also shared how the education sector has been adapting to these challenging times and what they could do to improve the delivery of enriched education experience to the students despite having an all-digital classroom.
The third and final day of the convention focused on the preparations for the next revolution in various industries and several business technologies that would continue to disrupt different market sectors.
The tech forum sessions focused on nurturing intelligent cities and what sustainable practices the public and private institutions must do to successfully transform urban areas into smart cities with ease and efficiency.
In addition, the convention also shared insights with regards to improving the delivery of health care services and how technology can be used to better equip healthcare facilities and healthcare workers to provide efficient, accessible, and inexpensive health care services to patients.
The closing plenary session has taught the delegates the fundamental requirements they should initiate to transform and stay competitive both locally and abroad.
PLDT Enterprise Core Business Solutions FVP & Head Jojo Gendrano underscored that to fully embrace digital transformation, companies need to have a clear and well-communicated strategy to lay the vision of what their customers want and where they want to take them in the company.
“The next step is structuring a team that is fit to transform the organization is important with clear lines of ownership and accountability set. And next is to pick partners that you can trust… On the side, if you want to be a brand and product leader, investments in resources like R&D are needed to achieve that differentiation. And lastly, things will not always go our way and this is where resilience comes in,” Gendrano noted.
Be the Revolution.
For business owners – whether of small or large enterprises – looking to be part of the digital revolution, the Philippine Digital Convention encourages you to step ahead, explore opportunities and learn how you can transform your organization to be at par with global industry leaders.
By consistently searching for insights, learnings, and being willing to embrace digital transformation, you will experience how industry players are incorporating digitalization into their business activities and how it propelled their organizations to succeed.
Relive the three-day convention like no other via the PH Digicon 2021 content on demand exclusively available at phdigicon2021.com. For more information, visit pldtenterprise.com.