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Category: Tech

New Starmobile UNO B208 PH Edition, UNO B308 feature phones proudly assembled in Philippines

Filipino mobile brand Starmobile announced the availability of two new feature phones that are assembled in the Philippines – the affordable UNO B208 PH Edition and the elegantly-looking UNO B308….

Filipino mobile brand Starmobile announced the availability of two new feature phones that are assembled in the Philippines – the affordable UNO B208 PH Edition and the elegantly-looking UNO B308.

The UNO B308 exhibits premium design with big and beautiful TFT screen. Boasting up to 8 days of standby time and 3 hours of talk time, the UNO B308 is also rigged with camera with flash, multimedia player, and LED flashlight. It is sold for P699.

Starmobile UNO B208 Philippine Edition

Starmobile UNO B208 Philippine Edition

The UNO B208 PH Edition, meanwhile, is a dual-SIM feature phone powered with a long battery standby time of up to 5 days or 120 hours. It is equipped with FM radio, camera with flash, and multimedia playback and retails for P599.

These two Starmobile devices are the first models to come out of its factory in Calamba, Laguna since starting operations in June 2017.

Starmobile UNO B308

Starmobile UNO B308

The UNO B208 PH edition and the UNO B308 will be part of Starmobile’s ongoing STAR-Tagal promo. Until December 31, 2017, customers who purchase any Starmobile product can get a chance to win over P4 million worth of prizes, tax-free.

These include hundreds of new Starmobile devices, home appliances, 8 Honda motorcycles, 2 brand-new Toyota cars, or Php1,000,000 in cash.

Learn more about Starmobile devices by visiting facebook.com/starmobilephones, instagram.com/happymanph, twitter.com/happymanph, and www.starmobile.com.ph.

Starmobile UNO B208 PH Edition

 

Starmobile UNO B308 PH Edition

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50% of data traffic to come from LTE network by yearend: Globe

With the steady expansion of the company’s LTE coverage and capacities to improve customers’ mobile experience, Globe Telecom expects around 50% of its mobile data traffic to come from LTE…

With the steady expansion of the company’s LTE coverage and capacities to improve customers’ mobile experience, Globe Telecom expects around 50% of its mobile data traffic to come from LTE network by the end of the year.

Mobile data traffic in the first six months of the year soared 85% to 280 petabytes (PB) from 151 PB in the first six months of last year, amid steady increase in smartphone penetration, currently estimated at around 67% of total mobile subscribers.

Currently, about 43% of the company’s data traffic comes from its LTE network. The company is on an aggressive deployment of LTE sites following its commitment to improve the mobile internet experience in the country, said Joel Agustin, Globe Senior Vice President for Program Governance, Network Technical Group.

Globe LTE sites

Globe now has close to 5,000 LTE sites all over the country, using the 700 MHz, 1800 MHz and 2600 MHz frequencies. It targets to increase this by more than 600 sites by the end of the year, Agustin said.

“Over the years, Globe has been continuously upgrading its network infrastructure and capacities to make us future-ready in anticipation of our customers’ bandwidth requirement. As our LTE network is steadily becoming more and more pervasive, more and more people transacting in LTE will have improve mobile data experience compared to 3G,” Agustin said.

According to him, a significant number of Globe customers are on LTE devices but are using 3G SIMs while many others are using LTE SIMs but are on 3G devices.

Switch to LTE SIM

“We want to encourage our customers especially those that are already using LTE devices to migrate to the LTE network by switching to a LTE SIM for better mobile experience,” he added. Since January this year, Globe has already migrated around 900,000 of customers using LTE devices but were still using a 3G SIM, he said.

He emphasized that migration to LTE network spells a big difference in terms of customer experience as the network provides superior streaming of multi-media content even as they are on the go. The company’s LTE sites are located mostly in Metro Manila and other highly-populated areas, where majority of customers using LTE-based handsets are located.

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Smart Infocast to boost disaster preparedness of Dumanjug

Disaster preparedness efforts of Dumanjug in Cebu will benefit from the SMS advisory platform of Smart Communications Inc., the wireless subsidiary of PLDT. Infocast, a web-based program developed by Smart,…

Disaster preparedness efforts of Dumanjug in Cebu will benefit from the SMS advisory platform of Smart Communications Inc., the wireless subsidiary of PLDT.

Infocast, a web-based program developed by Smart, will enable the Dumanjug local government unit to send news broadcasts, weather bulletins, and other critical information to residents via text messages.

The program allows the sending of free text broadcasts and enables registered subscribers to connect with other Infocast members through a common, unique access code, making it an effective emergency communications solution. Crucial information can be sent to all Infocast subscribers, including the municipality and barangay’s disaster risk reduction and management teams.

SMART Infocast Dumanjug

IN DUMANJUG. Members of the local government and disaster risk reduction and management office hold a mock SIM unit during the turnover of Smart Infocast in Dumanjug, Cebu. Joining the ceremony are Smart representatives led by Public Affairs Head for Visayas and Mindanao Atty. Maria Jane Paredes (5th from left).

Enhancing communications

The system has boosted the communication efforts of its many users, which include LGUs, government agencies, and other organizations, according to Smart Visayas-Mindanao public affairs head Maria Jane Paredes.

“Through Smart Infocast, we hope to be instrumental in enhancing both the communication and disaster preparedness efforts of Dumanjug,” said Paredes, who attended the turnover ceremony together with representatives from the municipal office, the disaster risk reduction and management office, and Smart.

DRRM officer Richel Canete said the program would serve Dumanjuganos well. “This is a great help for the Dumanjuganos, especially in the office of the LDRRMO, in broadcasting weather forecast and other forms of disasters and calamities,” he said.

Serve community better

“It is a great tool for our information, communication, and education dissemination. With this partnership, we can serve the community better,” Canete added.

Under its #SafePH advocacy, Smart promotes the use of technology to help mitigate disaster risk in communities. The company has developed other preparedness programs and solutions, such as the Emergency Cell Broadcast System; the Batingaw emergency app; and the TNT Tropang Ready youth readiness caravans, among other projects, in its efforts to reduce vulnerabilities.

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Send money, pay bills, buy load on Facebook Messenger via PayMaya

Filipinos can now send money to family and friends, pay bills, and buy mobile load and data using Facebook Messenger via PayMaya. “This integration with Messenger represents an exciting new…

Filipinos can now send money to family and friends, pay bills, and buy mobile load and data using Facebook Messenger via PayMaya.

“This integration with Messenger represents an exciting new way to reach the unserved and underserved people and communities in the country by making payments available via social,” said Paolo Azzola, Chief Operating Officer of PayMaya Philippines. “Our mission is to make cashless payments available for all and this new channel via Messenger will help us enable more people.”

PayMaya is a pioneer and the leader in mobile money and digital financial services in the Philippines. It is transforming the mobile phone into a virtual wallet and is continually looking for ways to expand its services. PayMaya recognizes that Facebook Messenger’s community offers a unique opportunity to make PayMaya services available and accessible to even more users.

PayMaya - Facebook Messenger

PAYMAYA, FACEBOOK MESSENGER. Ginger Baker (left), Facebook Product Manager and Paolo Azzola, PayMaya Chief Operating Officer.

New tools, easier way

“We’re excited to work with PayMaya to give people in the Philippines new tools to access their money using Messenger,” said Facebook Product Manager Ginger Baker. “Our goal is to amplify the reach and impact of providers like PayMaya by enabling tools that allow them to connect people with the services and friends they care about.”

Consumers in the Philippines regularly connect with friends and family to send money and pay bills. However, according to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, 86% of Filipino households don’t have a deposit account. As one of the most popular messaging apps in the Philippines, Messenger offers a much easier way for people to create a new account for daily financial transactions.

Through PayMaya’s partnership with Facebook, Filipinos will have an easier option for sending money and paying bills on Messenger, whether they have a bank or a mobile money mobile account or not.

New tools, easier way

Using PayMaya in Messenger is simple. A customer just needs to search for @PayMayaOfficial on Messenger on an Android device to start a transaction. The chatbot will guide the user on the available menu options. New PayMaya users can create their account using Messenger while those who already have the PayMaya app installed on their Android phones can link their wallet to Messenger.

Once in Messenger, they can inquire about their PayMaya wallet balance, pay bills and send money to other Messenger users, regardless if they are already on PayMaya or not. People can also buy mobile load on their phone with a substantial discount anytime, anywhere, directly in Messenger.

Aside from accessing PayMaya in Messenger, PayMaya also comes with a physical card that can be linked to the mobile wallet. This physical card can be ordered through www.paymaya.com/shop free of delivery charges and can be used at any Bancnet ATM nationwide, and anywhere VISA and Mastercard are accepted. PayMaya users can link up to three PayMaya physical cards to their app.

PayMaya loading locations

PayMaya holds the largest network of reloading touchpoints with over 15,000 top up stations nationwide, which include SM Business Centers, Robinsons Department Stores, 7-Eleven with Cliqq Kiosks, Petron stations along NLEX and Ministop outlets with Touchpay Kiosks, Shopwise, Wellcome, 2Go outlets, Smart Padala centers, Palawan Pawnshop branches, UnionBank ATMs, Gaisano Malls, and online banking via BDO and UnionBank.

PayMaya is both an app-first and a card-first prepaid payment service. Users can opt to have the card first and connect it to their app later on for a shared wallet experience, and vice versa. It is telco-agnostic which makes it easy for anyone to create an account regardless of the network provider.

It is also a regulated e-Money Issuer by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.

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Social media make celebrities “more relatable:” Pia Wurtzbach

If you have even the slightest doubt about something you want to share online, don’t post it, said former Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach said during a short talk on social…

If you have even the slightest doubt about something you want to share online, don’t post it, said former Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach said during a short talk on social media during the annual Asian Carriers Conference in Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort and Spa, Cebu.

She said social media make celebrities like her “more relatable” to fans.

“I’m glad that during my year as Miss Universe they were very open with me sharing my thoughts, sharing the real Pia, my true self on social media. They weren’t too strict on what I posted online They weren’t too strict that sometimes there were photos of me with barely any makeup on,” she said in a short press conference held after her talk.

Bashed online

But at the start, she had to adjust to being bashed on social media.

Pia Wurtzbach ACC2017

POWERFUL TOOL. That’s how former Miss Universe Pia Wurtzback describes social media.

“I used to reply to people who did not like me. But I learned with guidance by my trainers that it’s better to avoid negativity and just ignore these. It’s part of the job – there will always be people who are going to have negative opinion about you,” she said.

She described as her worst experience on social media reading bad comments against her during the pageant. It would upset and rattle her throughout the day.

Filipino support online

But it was also during the pageant that she experienced her best in social media, when legions of Filipino fans voted and mobilized support for her online that it crashed the web server.

“But it also really showed Miss Universe that we are number one. We’re its biggest fans and we’ve proven that through statistics, especially during the online voting. That’s why they had the pageant here early this year,” she said.

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DTI leads moves for digital transformation of MSMEs

An online campaign that accompanied an e-commerce mentoring program by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in Cebu generated leads from as far as London for a furniture company….

An online campaign that accompanied an e-commerce mentoring program by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in Cebu generated leads from as far as London for a furniture company.

The fact that potential buyers visited the Cebu-based company to check out its products shows the reach of digital marketing, said DTI Cebu Provincial Director Maria Elena C. Arbon during the Digitize Cebu conference in Cebu last August 30.

As the agency tasked to assist micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), DTI is now focused on getting them to undergo digital transformation.

“Last year, we went into the startup space. We interfaced with them and developed some programs for tech startups. This year, we’re trying to mix together startups and tech communities with brick and mortar MSMEs,” Arbon said.

Digitize Cebu Maria Elena C. Arbon

PROGRAMS. DTI Cebu Provincial Director Maria Elena C. Arbon goes over the different programs for micro to medium enterprises of her office. Key parts of the program revolve around technology tools and digital developments.

Digital transformation programs

DTI has several programs for micro to medium enterprises, three of which revolve around technology tools and digital developments.

These include startup ecosystem development, digital transformation for brick-and-mortar MSMEs, and e-commerce mentoring.

According to Arbon, the e-commerce program is an intense 6-week, 12-module course that aims to get companies online. Close to the end of the training activity, the enterprises are required to undertake a 3-week selling campaign using what they’ve learned from the course.

The ecommerce campaigns have resulted in sales amounting to as much as P2 million for the first batch and P3 million for the second batch of enterprises. Furniture buyers from London also came to visit a furniture company in Cebu when it went online as a consequence of the e-commerce course.

Cebu startup ecosystem

Arbon cited that DTI also just recently held the Slingshot Conference, a tech event that aims to bring together traditional businesses and startups so they get to serve each other’s needs.

Early this year, she said they came up with a startup ecosystem development program. Part of the process involved using existing tools to determine the maturity of the startup environment taking into consideration talent, capital, and infrastructure among other things.

“On a scale of 1 to 5, we’ve determined we’re at 2 plus,” Arbon added. One of the ongoing campaigns of DTI is to create a master list of existing startups in Cebu.

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Tap digital to boost business growth in a mobile-first Philippine market, Google official tells Cebu SMEs

Small business with a strong online presence grow 4 times faster than competitors who are not on digital, said Google Philippines country manager Kenneth Lingan. With 65 million Filipinos now…

Small business with a strong online presence grow 4 times faster than competitors who are not on digital, said Google Philippines country manager Kenneth Lingan.

With 65 million Filipinos now online, going digital should no longer be a question, Lingan said during the Digitize Cebu conference held in Cebu last Wednesday and organized by AdSpark, Globe myBusiness, and Department of Trade and Industry Cebu Province.

“For every single month, half a million Filipinos are going online. That’s really massive. You think about that – in a year, you are adding the population of Singapore online into the Philippines,” he said. “That’s the kind of market potential that we are dealing with here.”

Digitize Cebu Google Philippines country manager Kenneth Lingan

GROWING, MOBILE-FIRST. Most new Filipino users access the internet through mobile devices, said Google Philippines country manager Kenneth Lingan during Wednesday’s Digitize Cebu conference.

Filipinos are mobile-first consumers

But what defines the Filipino internet consumer, he said, “is the fact that we are mobile-first.”

Most new Filipino users access the internet via mobile phones. “In fact that’s really where they spent much of their time,” he said. Filipinos look at their phones 150 times in a day, studies said. People are very engaged on their phones and “it is affecting every aspect of our lives,” he said.

People today do not go online, he said, they “live online” and mostly through their phones.

That can be seen in findings like Filipinos’ growing dependence on services like Waze. While the global usage average is 17 minutes, in Manila Waze is used at an average of 70 minutes per session, he said.

In a world going digital, “small will be the new big,” Lingan said. The internet “could work for big business as much as it could work for small ones.”

He said small businesses are the “backbone of the country,” employing about 60% of the population.

“If you want to drive growth in the Philippines, the only way to really drive that is through empowering small business,” he said. A key driver for this is digitization, Lingan told attendees of the conference.

Digital levels business playing field

In the past, he said business was all about “having big resources.” Digital levels that playing field, Lingan said. With digital tools, business can reach the right customers and at massive scale.

“In the past if you’re a small business, your target market will only be your community. But with the internet, your definition of what your target market is goes beyond your borders,” Lingan said.

With digital advertising, businesses are then able to leverage measurements and tools to make sure their ad spending are getting “the right return of investments.”

He also spoke about the opportunities offered by the emergence of commerce in the country.

Digitize Cebu

DEPENDENT. People are increasingly becoming dependent on their phones to do most tasks.

Opportunities for e-commerce

“I know it’s still small in the Philippines, in fact, it’s just $500 million in terms of value but what we foresee is that the next 10 years this will grow 20X to $10 billion by 2025. And it’s changing consumer habits,” he said.

Among these habits is the practice of researching online via mobile phones even while inside a physical store.

He said people continually engage with phones to find information and these “micro-moments” will become the new battleground for brands.

Lingan said there are 4 types of micro-moments: I want to know, I want to do, I want to go, and I want to buy.

“The path to purchase is changing and evolving. A lot of people now, through that path of purchase, are consulting their smartphones to know more about their services and really making sure that they are better informed and would make the right decisions,” he said.

Influence path to purchase

Lingan said it is important for brands to have a strong digital presence because when Filipinos start researching on purchases, “82% are not absolutely certain of brand choice.”

“It is an opportunity for businesses to influence that decision by making sure that your presence online is strong,” he said. “People would go to their smartphones 6 to 7 times before they make their decisions.”

The role of phones is emphasized by findings that 78% of Filipinos have used a locator or maps app to find a store’s location and 80% have consulted their smartphones while buying in a physical store.

Lingan said the key to influencing the path to purchase and winning in a mobile-first world is to: be seen, be fast, and be smart.

Digitize Cebu

PHYSICAL STORE, ONLINE RESEARCH. Consumer behavior has changed, chief among them is the practive of researching online through mobile phones while buying in a physical store.

Be seen

“If you are not present online, you are saying no to all these people who are online. You are making it impossible for a lot of customers to find you,” he said.

“If I am a foreigner visiting Cebu and if you are not on Google Maps it’s impossible for me to find you,” he said, pointing out how easy it was for businesses to be listed on Google Maps for free.

He also emphasized the importance of online videos, especially on YouTube, in influencing purchase decisions and improving brand perception.

He said “50% of shoppers will more likely seek advice from online videos relating to their purchases.”

Lingan also said that more than 80% say online video “helps convince shoppers to think more positively about a brand.”

“If you have videos, I would encourage you to create a YouTube channel for your business. Every business has a story and videos would be able to tell your story in a much more enriching way,” he said.

Be fast

Demands of customers have changed, they now want things “as fast as possible.”

In a mobile-first world, Lingan said, 53% of users would abandon your website if it loads slower than 3 seconds.

“The important thing about mobile is to be really obsessed about the user experience,” he said.

He cited tools from Google that will help businesses assess their website speed on mobile and offer suggestions to improve this.

Digitize Cebu

BE SMART. Opinions aren’t as important today as data-driven decisions based on analytics.

Be smart

With today’s tools, opinions don’t matter as much as data-driven decisions.

“You now have opportunity for analytics for data. We need more data-driven decisions so that it could tell you what kind of investments have given you ROI,” he said.

He also emphasized the need for businesses to be willing to experiment on digital and use analytics to see if these work.

Online learning resources

Lingan also asked those present to take advantage of online resources to learn about entrepreneurship and tapping digital marketing to boost their businesses.

He cited the following resources as helpful to businesses:

1) YouTube channels for educational videos. He told people to subscribe to Google Small Business and Google for Entrepreneurs.

2) Think With Google website for industry trends and practices.

3) Google Primer, which offers marketing lessons by Google.

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Diamond Rent-A-Car executive: Digital marketing a must for SMEs

When Diamond Rent-A-Car first tried out digital advertising several years ago, it was a relatively new thing in the Philippines. Quincy Buenaflor, the company’s vice president for operations, said he…

When Diamond Rent-A-Car first tried out digital advertising several years ago, it was a relatively new thing in the Philippines.

Quincy Buenaflor, the company’s vice president for operations, said he was able to successfully sign up for Google Adwords just by following the required steps.

“Just a few minutes after our company ad was posted, we already started getting hits,” he shared during Wednesday’s Digitize Cebu conference, which aims to empower small and medium enterprises (SMEs) through digital marketing tools.

The family-owned Diamond Rent-A-Car, which was started by Buenaflor’s parents around 40 years ago, had relied heavily on traditional media like newspapers and billboards for its advertising needs.

Digitize Cebu Google Ads

DIGITAL ADS. Diamond Rent-A-Car vice president for operations Quincy Buenaflor shares his experience on using Google ads to grow their business in a talk with Rebeca Siccardi, strategic partner manager for Google Sales. The case study was among the sessions in today’s Digitize Cebu event.

Digital marketing

Buenaflor said that when they tried digital advertising, specifically through Google ads, they found it to be very effective in reaching out to potential customers. The company now spends 80 percent of its budget on digital platforms and only 20 percent on traditional methods.

“With digital marketing, I reach the right person,” he added, citing that he believes it provides the same opportunity in general to SMEs.

According to him, digital marketing should be part of every company’s advertising campaign. Diamond Rent-A-Car operates 1,600 rental vehicles and manages another 4,000 for various clients.

Google AdWords

The Google AdWords campaign helps with the company’s expansion by reaching the target market in a specific location.

Buenaflor said having AdSpark manage the company’s digital ads made the campaign more effective.

“It’s different working with a group with expertise on digital marketing. With AdSpark, we now have peace of mind. We know that for every little bit we spend, AdSpark makes it work for us,” he added.

AdSpark is a digital and mobile advertising company that’s fully owned by Globe.

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Innovation, not digitization, is key: Mayor Tomas Osmeña

Capitalizing on innovation as the key to digitization, Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña is eyeing an alternative to renewing business permits in the city. Osmeña spoke before an audience at…

Capitalizing on innovation as the key to digitization, Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña is eyeing an alternative to renewing business permits in the city.

Osmeña spoke before an audience at Digitize Cebu held Wednesday at the Cebu City Marriott Hotel.

“It takes two weeks to renew business permit. I gathered a team of experts to study how to renew business permit. Then they told me now it will be 20 minutes. How? They (business owner) don’t need to fill out form. All they have to do is just confirm the information. But what happened since that time? You run around the city to get all the clearances. This must be solved,” said Osmeña.

Problem with government

He admitted having problems with the government because “we are not allowed to innovate”.

“There’s one missing pillar and that’s innovation. Politics has developed a culture of status quo,” said Osmeña. “Digitization is not necessary. The keyword here is innovation.”

Digitize Cebu Mayor Tomas Osmeña

INNOVATION. Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña said they are tapping innovation to improve services at City Hall. He said the challenge with working in government is that “we are not allowed to innovate.”

The mayor shared a story of a logistics company that uses index cards for their operations.

“No computer, just index cards. If you have a question, you write at the index card. The company will write its answer at the back of the index card. And if more than one index card, the company thinks you’re talking so much. You see it’s not computerization but again innovation,” said Osmeña.

Pay taxes

Osmeña pointed out that the City Government will run after businesses not paying taxes.

He further said the role of the Treasurer’s Office is to bring in money. “We can’t bring in money because the sari-sari store cannot secure an SSS clearance.”

Saying that Cebu is trying to innovate, Osmeña said they are looking at issuing certificate that shows the business owner paid taxes.

“If you pay tax, we will do beautiful things for Cebu,” he added.

Digitize Cebu was presented by AdSpark, a Globe-owned digital advertising company, in collaboration with Globe myBusiness and the Department of Trade and Industry-Cebu.

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Geeks on a Beach 2017 opens in Palawan

Some 400 participants from government and the private sector, including successful technology entrepreneurs from Southeast Asia and Silicon Valley, gathered in Puerto Princesa, Palawan for Geeks on a Beach 2017,…

Some 400 participants from government and the private sector, including successful technology entrepreneurs from Southeast Asia and Silicon Valley, gathered in Puerto Princesa, Palawan for Geeks on a Beach 2017, which started today.

For two days, participants will get to listen to valuable insights from big names in the startup and technology community. There will be keynotes, panels, and discussions with separate breakout tracks in between.

Successful Filipino-Americans Yobie Benjamin and Aldo Carrascoso lead the list of the world’s prominent names in the field of startups and technology who arrived at the Princesa Garden Island Resort and Spa Hotel in Puerto Princesa, Palawan.

Navigating startup ecosystem

The first day will open with keynote speeches by Puerto Princesa Mayor Lucilo Bayron, Department of Information and Communications Technology Undersecretary Monchito Ibrahim, Voyager Innovations Vice President and Managing Director Dindo Marzan, and Token.io and ClickSWITCH.com Chief Technology Officer Yobie Benjamin.

This will be followed by the panel “How Founders Can Navigate Treacherous Seas; Path to potential Unicorns in the Philippines” where technopreneurs from Tokien.io, ClickSWITCH.com, GlycoProX Biosciences, Veem, Jukin Media & Verego, Plug and Play Technology Center, InnoVantage, Inc., StartUp Village, and MobKard will display the story of their success.

Another panel entitled “Startup Ecosystem – How to increase the number of successful startups in the Philippines” will highlight speakers from the DICT, Department of Science and Technology – PCIEERD, Department of Trade and Industry, TechTalks.ph, IdeaSpace Foundation, and the Philippine Software Industry Association (PSIA).

Geeks On A Beach

GEEKS ON A BEACH. (From left) Token.io Founder and CEO Emeritus Yobie Benjamin, Plug and Play Technology Center Co-founder and VP Operations Jojo Flores, GOAB Founder/Lead Organizer Tina Amper, Ideaspace Executive Director Diane Eustaquio, Ideaspace President Rene “Butch” Meily, Smart DevNet Co-Founder and Senior Developer Evangelist Paul Pajo, Voyager Innovations Inc. Managing Director and Vice President Dindo Marzan, and PLDT ICT Research and Development Vice President and Head Joey Limjap.

Investor panel

An investor panel which will bring together tech, design, and startup entrepreneurs to brush shoulders with the world’s biggest venture capitalists and investors in the tech world will meanwhile feature Greylock Ventures, North Ridge Partners, Plug and Play, Hatchd Digital, Endeavor Philippines, and Anthill Ventures.

The first day will include the presentation “Startup Nation – The Israel Story” by Sagiv Massad who is the Director of Technology and Cybersecurity for Business Profiles Inc. and Director of the Israel Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines.” Jojo Flores of StartupPH.org will also present “State of the Nation’s Startups: How Competitive can PH Startups Get?”

Corporate digital transformation

The second day will kick-off with keynotes by DOST-PCIEERD Engr. Russell Pilli, Center for International Expositions and Missions Executive Director Clayton Tugonon, and Philippine Chamber of Commerce Engr. Ramon Escueta

The panels for the day include “Corporate Digital Transformation: Becoming Victorious in a Collision between Businesses and Today’s Challenging Digital Forces” featuring Dragonpay Corporation, BlastAsia & Xamun Inc., PLDT Innolab, Philippine Chamber of Commerce, Payoneer, and the Puerto Princesa Chamber of Commerce, “The way of Creatives: Establishing a Sustainable Niche in a Disruptive Economy” with creatives ­ startups GrupoMM, CreateCebu, 22 Tango Records, and Altum, and “Role of Incubators and Accelerators in Growing Mature Startups” with the BNEFIT, NICP, IdeaSpace Foundation, Muru-D Singapore, UP Enterprise, QBO, ASEAN Centre of Entrepreneurship, and MaGIC Malaysia.

GOAB partners

There are also talks on “Boosting FilipinoTrailblazers in Gaming and Animation” by Synergy88 Digital Inc. Managing Director and Co-Founder Jacqueline Chua, “Cultivating Creativity in the Circular Economy” by Altum Director Carlo Delantar, and “Chinese Tech Investment into ASEAN and How Startups in the Philippines Can Leverage On It” by EnterPH Interviews President Atty, Rocky Chan and Kay-Mok Ku of GobiVC.com.

PLDT, Smart, Voyager, PayMaya, ePLDT, Smart DevNet, PLDT Enterprise, PLDT Innolab, Ideaspace, and QBO are supporting GOAB as co-presenters while ASPACE Philippines is co-producer. GOAB is held in partnership with the City Government of Puerto Princesa, Palaweño ICT Association, DOST-PCIEERD, and Mindanao Development Authority. The official airline partner is Philippines Airasia and the official ticketing partner is Ticketbase. The silver sponsors include Payoneer, Zalora, PouchNATION, Istorya.net, Synergy 88 Digital, Uniform Solutions, Temasys, AtoX Solutions, and MaGIC. The bronze sponsors are NXTLVL Academy, LabPH, Spring Valley Corporation, North Ridge Partners, Amazon Web Services, Eastern Communications, Startechup, and Gobi Partners.

The media partners are e27, Tech in Asia, Bohol News Daily by Auza.net, InnoPub Media, Geeks in Cambodia, Asian Journal Publications, Balikbayan Magazine, Mobile Ecosystem Forum, ConnectedWomen.co, QueenCityCebu.com, GMA News Online, MyTV Channel Network, BeFast.TV, Wazzup Pilipinas, TechBlade PH, eMedia Production Network Inc., Inc. Southeast Asia, NU107.COM CO., SnippetMEdia, and Bloomberg TV Philippines. The organizational partners are the Philippine Software Industry Association, National ICT Confederation of the Philippines, UP CeBuinIT, Digital Commerce Association of the Philippines, Developers Connect, Science and Technology Advisory Council – Silicon Valley, Mynimo, Teradoor, Israel Chamber of Commerce Philippines, and the Cloud Security Alliance Philippines. GOAB is supported by Purple Cow, Orange Hub, iSkwelahan.com, DOST-MIMAROPA, Science and Technology Advisory Council Silicon Valley, and Science & Openvate Labs.

First staged in 2013, GOAB is organized by TechTalks.ph, powered by Sym.ph, branding by Happy Garaje, and pr by PRWorks. For further details, visit www.GeeksOnABeach.com, follow on Twitter/Facebook Geeks On A Beach. (Press release)

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Nepal taps eHealth system of Smart as disaster risk reduction tool

SHINE OS+, an electronic medical record and referral system initiated by PLDT wireless unit Smart Communications Inc. (Smart), has been adopted in Nepal as a tool for disaster risk reduction….

SHINE OS+, an electronic medical record and referral system initiated by PLDT wireless unit Smart Communications Inc. (Smart), has been adopted in Nepal as a tool for disaster risk reduction.

Dr. Regina Estuar of Ateneo Java Wireless Competency Center (AJWCC) recently conducted a workshop on the open source platform with the Nursing Association of Nepal in Kathmandu. Smart has worked with AJWCC in developing SHINE OS+, which stands for Secured Health Information Network and Exchange.

Shine OS

TRAINING. Representatives from EpiNurse and the Nursing Association of Nepal pose for photos during the EpiNurse training held in Kathmandu recently. Photo shows (from left) Laxmi KC, general secretary, Nursing Association of Nepal; Sakiko Kanbara, founder, EpiNurse; Ma. Regina Estuar, co-founder, EpiNurse; Tara Pokhrel, project leader, EpiNurse; and Shoko Miyagawa, co-founder, EpiNurse.

Prevent outbreaks, mitigate risk

SHINE OS+ Nepal was developed as a post-disaster surveillance system in 2015. Now called EpiNurse or Epidemiology + Nursing for Disaster Risk Reduction, the program will serve as a public health emergency reduction tool for the country. The program is seen as crucial in preventing disease outbreaks and consequently mitigating disaster risk.

Last May, EpiNurse received the Risk Award at the 2017 Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction in Cancun, Mexico. The award, issued every two years by the Munich Re Foundation, the UN office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) and the Global Risk Forum Davos, honors innovations aimed at disaster risk mitigation.

For its part, SHINE OS+ has received at least three recognitions this year alone: a Silver Anvil at the Anvil Awards of the Public Relations Society of the Philippines; a Merit Award at the Philippine Quill Awards of the International Association of Business Communicators, and the healthcare category winner at the Golden World Awards of the International Public Relations Association.

Holistic approach

According to Estuar, EpiNurse provides a holistic approach by empowering nurses in Nepal not only in care management but also in surveillance reporting during the different phases of a disaster.

Members of the Nursing Association of Nepal undergo training on the SHINE OS+ mobile app.

“EpiNurse will be powered by SHINE OS+ in developing three applications that will allow EpiNurses to collect data at the school and community levels for preparedness, as well as surveillance data during and post-disaster,” she said. “The system will be simple, straightforward and localized so that the language and the design suit the Nepal culture and community.”

Estuar also said it was possible to apply the same technology for public health monitoring here in the Philippines. “EpiNurse aims to provide a global standard in disaster surveillance,” she said.

Patient information

Smart public affairs center head Maria Jane Paredes welcomed the replication of the project in Nepal. “SHINE OS+ has been embraced by medical practitioners here in the Philippines because of how it made patient information more organized and accessible, while keeping the data private. We hope Nepal benefits from this project as well,” she said.

SHINE OS+ is also available as a mobile app for Android and iOS devices to assist health workers on the field. Medical practitioners interested in SHINE OS+ may email inquiry@shine.ph. (Press release)

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AI can displace workers but it can also triple BPO revenues: Banatao

Artificial intelligence (AI) can displace a large number of workers in the Business Process Outsourcing industry, Filipino tech pioneer Dado Banatao warned, but it can also allow the country to…

Artificial intelligence (AI) can displace a large number of workers in the Business Process Outsourcing industry, Filipino tech pioneer Dado Banatao warned, but it can also allow the country to triple revenues in the sector.

If the country does it right, Banatao said, AI will help the Philippines bring BPO revenues to up to $120 billion in just two to three years.

“AI will affect almost all aspects of our lives,” Banatao said during a press conference on Thursday to inaugurate the startup incubator he started with the Asian Institute of Management (AIM).

He said that his group built a basic AI solution that’s “not even the best that we know we can do” and yet it was good enough “to replace their agents in the US doing frontend BPO (services).”

Displacement inevitable

“It does displace a lot of workers but we did this in the US, meaning we displaced agents in the US. If we can do that then we will do it here. Because we don’t want to get attacked by other countries with that same expertise,” Banatao said. “We would rather have Filipinos do that displacement because it is inevitable.”

There is no AI if there is no IA (information architecture) and that will generate data science jobs for those who will be displaced from work, said Banatao.

AIM-Dadao Banatao Incubator

AIM-DADO BANATAO INCUBATOR. AIM President and Dean Jikyeong Kang with Diosdado “Dado” Banatao during a press conference to mark the inauguration of their incubator.

“It means is that there has to be an organization of data. The meaning of data is very important. Data science will address those things to help AI,” he said.

But to be employable for these new jobs, people need to be retrained, Banatao stressed. “In most cases they will have to take at least the first two years of engineering that covers the plain and simple calculus and statistics and so on and go on to the more higher-level learning data science.”

New kinds of jobs

“What is important for us to remember is that yes there will be plenty of jobs that will disappear but then there will be new kind of jobs that will be created,” said AIM President and Dean Jikyeong Kang.

“What AIM is trying to do is just like 49 years ago when we were established as the pioneering management school in the region and produced the region’s top CEOs,” she said.

“We want to do the same kind of role and have the same kind of impact so we will not be looking at a time when the BPO industry is no longer viable in this country. We have already trained the right kind of people with the right kind of toolboxes and skillsets so they will be able to take that industry to the next level.”

We can beat them

Banatao said that as a way to shore up on capabilities, he hired 20 AI engineers in the Philippines. He said one of the AI companies he funded has the fastest engine in the world.

“It is competing against the biggest companies out there, the Googles and Amazons and so on. We can beat their engines. And we had started the process of bringing that here by training some of the scientists and engineers at DOST,” he added.

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Tech pioneer Dado Banatao, AIM launch startup incubator

Bringing together the expertise of successful Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and the management training capabilities of the Asian Institute of Management, an incubator program headlined by Filipino tech innovator Diosdado “Dado”…

Bringing together the expertise of successful Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and the management training capabilities of the Asian Institute of Management, an incubator program headlined by Filipino tech innovator Diosdado “Dado” Banatao seeks to develop early-stage local startups.

The AIM-Dado Banatao Incubator is located in the AIM campus in Makati City and has the physical capacity to host 11 startups of up to 6 people each, said AIM President and Dean Jikyeong Kang during a press conference at the facility last Thursday.

What differentiates their incubator?

“How do we differentiate our incubator? We have a rock star in Dado. Right there we think we make a huge distinction. He is not only an inventor, engineer but he is also an entrepreneur and that makes a huge difference,” Kang said.

Banatao built several companies in Silicon Valley, among them Chips & Technologies, S3 Graphics, SiRF, Marvell, and Inphi. “He is best known for pioneering two technologies that are widely regarded as the cornerstones of today’s PC: chipset and graphics acceleration architecture,” AIM said in a press statement.

Banatao is chairman of the Philippine Development (PhilDev) Foundation, an organization that seeks to boost economic growth in the country “through education, innovation and entrepreneurship.”

AIM-Dado Banatao

AIM-DADO BANATAO INCUBATOR. AIM President and Dean Jikyeong Kang with Diosdado “Dado” Banatao after a press conference to mark the inauguration of their incubator.

Foundation for success

“The combination of business knowledge and innovation is going to be the foundation for success of the incubator,” Banatao said during the event.

The incubator received a P14.8 million grant in initial funding under the Department of Science and Technology Incubator Creation Program.

The program will tap people with “experience in building technology-based, innovative, and very successful companies in Silicon Valley,” he said. But this will always be grounded on “local culture and practices.”

“When we say we’ll be bringing in Silicon Valley experience and expertise, we’re not talking superficial, somebody who was there for a few months or few years. We’re talking about people who are actually successful, who actually made it there and who knows how to make this kind of project work in a national arena,” said Kang.

As example of the type of expertise the facility will tap, Banatao cited how they brought in 6 Google engineers who then wrote software for the incubator to cover all aspects of mentoring.

Science, technology focus

Banatao said the early stages of forming a startup to work on an idea “is the toughest with the highest failure rate.”

“Unless there is help from investors or friendly mentors, founders of the company are either suicidal or “crazy”, putting at risk their life status, family, friends, and future,” he said.

The incubator is looking for startups with science and technology solutions in communications, agriculture, health, artificial intelligence, internet of things, and other deep technology.

AIM-Dado Banatao Incubator

INCUBATOR. Phildev executive director Chips Guevara gives journalists a tour of the AIM-Dado Banatao Incubator located inside the AIM campus in Makati City.

Strong commitment, passion

“They have to be 120 percent committed,” Kang said. “Dado likes to use the expression that they have to be suicidal. We don’t exactly want anybody committing suicide, it means they have to be really, really committed, passionate and have energy to take it all the way.”

Time isn’t a strict criterion for the program, Banatao said. “Along the way, the investors and the people involved will judge as to whether that company can get to the next step, whatever that step maybe. We don’t want to continue to lose money simply because of time.”

Startups can stay until the incubator deems them ready. “Sometimes we may just ask the startup to leave the incubator after just a few months because the idea may not be that good in the first place and we made a mistake in accepting them,” he said.

Mentoring by AIM network

Kang said the incubator “will also take advantage of the fact that this is housed at AIM. It’s a management school, it’s a business school. We will provide them with the mentoring that will come from not only our faculty and distinguished alumni but also businesses and the larger community. That amounts to a huge advantage.”

Phildev executive director Chips Guevara said the incubator will work on a “rolling application with no set deadline.” A startup can apply so long as there is a spot in the program. All applicants must fill out the form on the AIM website at https://aim.edu/dado-banatao-incubator.

In talking about the push for technology startups, Banatao said that “as we did our research, we found out that it’s only through innovation will a country develop its economy. Through economic development we will see significant positive effect on poverty.”

 


What Startups Get

  • World-class mentorship from serial entrepreneurs, top executives, industry experts, including individuals with a successful track record in Silicon Valley
  • Access to the global funding network of Dado Banatao, PhilDev, and AIM
  • Education and training calibrated to the needs of the startup’s founders
  • Resources from selected partners
  • Rent-free, dedicated office space with high-speed Internet connectivity inside the AIM Campus in the heart of the Makati CBD
  • Demo nights and exclusive networking events for business development and investments

 

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Accenture inaugurates 5th facility in Cebu, highlights new and emerging tech in providing solutions

Accenture inaugurated its 5th facility in Cebu on Wednesday with a hologram of one of its officials briefing the guests and handling the ceremonies in the Filinvest Cyberzone at the…

Accenture inaugurated its 5th facility in Cebu on Wednesday with a hologram of one of its officials briefing the guests and handling the ceremonies in the Filinvest Cyberzone at the IT Park in Lahug, Cebu City.

That part of the program was meant to highlight a key character of the facility: a center for agile development and design thinking to produce innovation using “new IT.”

“This floor is very much in ‘the new IT’,” said Accenture managing director Arvin Yason, who hosted the ceremony as a hologram. With a lot of open spaces and movable furniture to allow quick reconfigurations as well as huddle areas and design-thinking spots, “we instill nimbleness and agility in the way we work.”

Accenture in Cebu

HOLOGRAM. Accenture inaugurates its newest facility in Cebu with a hologram of managing director Arvin Yason leading the ceremonies (3rd from left). With Yason are (from left) managing director JP Palpallatoc, Jun Sa-a of CIB.O, and Accenture country managing director Lito Tayag.

Commitment to Cebu

The opening of the new facility is also “a manifestation of our commitment to Cebu,” said Accenture country managing director Lito Tayag. He also said the company is on track to meeting the 1,000 in additional workers it committed to employ at the start of the year to mark their 10th anniversary. He said they’ve already hired an additional 800 workers for Cebu, bringing its workforce here to 5,800.

“Cebu is an integral component, a strategic part of our practice here in the Philippines,” Tayag said. “More than the numbers – and we’re very happy with the numbers so far – it is really the value, the kind of innovative services that we deliver out of our Cebu operations.”

The new facility will showcase technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, augmented reality, and the internet of things.

Cebu talent

“We are very happy about the kind of talent that we have here but just as importantly, we would continue to develop these talents,” Tayag said in a press conference held after the inauguration and facility tour for journalists and members of the academe.

Tayag, Yason and JP Palpallatoc, managing director and Accenture digital lead in the Philippines, led the tour of the facility.

Among the highlights of the event was a demonstration of a parking system that allows people to know ahead, via a mobile app, available spaces in a business such as a mall. The system, built by a Cebu team as part of a company-wide innovation contest, also allows for people to reserve parking slots and even pay digitally.

Another product presented to guests was a crisis response and management system that allows Accenture to keep track of its employees and know whether they are safe or in need of assistance after an emergency like a natural disaster. Alerts can be sent out on various platforms like email, SMS and mobile notifications.

Accenture also showed guests how a redesign of the Qantas website resulted in higher sales. They also demonstrated an augmented reality app that makes print materials such as a map of an amusement park interactive and multi-media as well as overlay ads and information triggered by location data.

Accenture Cebu

PASSION PROJECTS, DESIGN THINKING. JP Palpallatoc, managing director and Accenture digital lead in the Philippines, introduces the team that built a system for parking that uses apps to inform drivers of available spaces and let them reserve locations and pay for it.

Redesign retail experience

More than digital, Accenture also highlighted how they were able to reinvent the physical retail experience for customers of Smart Communications using design thinking and various technologies. This resulted in a 249% increase in foot traffic, 80% reduction in waiting time and 169% increase in store sales in the redesigned stores.

During the tour, officials stressed the design thinking approach into providing solutions to their clients. “To deliver delight consistently at the speed that our clients desire for their customers, we need to start with design thinking and user-centricity,” Yason said.

The way the newly-inaugurated facility is configured also plays a key role in how Accenture is “upskilling, reskilling, cross-skilling and multi-skilling our talent,” he said. From being focused on “classrooms” in teaching workers new skills, Accenture has started to “enable nooks and areas where people, while on break, can start learning new IT in smaller bite-sized formats, whether via video or an app or game that we develop.”

Accenture Cebu

CRISIS COMMUNICATION. This system enables Accenture to keep track of its employees, notify them during emergencies, and get feedback on whether they are safe or not.

Empower workers

Other locations will be retrofitted based on the new facility’s design because workers gave positive feedback that the configuration “empowers them to work in the new IT – working agile, doing standup meetings, being able to collaborate,” said Yason.

The facility helps Accenture “future-proof our people,” Tayag said.

“We’ve grown tremendously in Cebu for the last 10 years. That growth is a reflection not just of Accenture’s capabilities but also the capabilities of the local market in terms of talent, the way the academe has been producing talent for us,” Yason said.

Accenture is among the top tech companies based in Cebu. It has been given that recognition by the Cebu IT-BPM Organization for several years. The company’s other locations in Cebu are in Pioneer House, Robinsons Cybergate Cebu, eBloc Tower 2 and eBloc Tower 3 at the IT Park.

Accenture in Cebu

TREMENDOUS GROWTH IN CEBU. Accenture managing director Arvin Yason (left) and country managing director Lito Tayag after holding a press conference with Cebu journalists shortly after a tour of their 5th facility in the province.

Position as innovation center

Yason said the company is looking for engineers with good grasp of AI, robotics, and analytics to staff their locations.

“Our clients sit on top a lot of data but a lot of that is what we call dark data – they don’t know what they have. We are partnering with them to leverage more and more of that dark data to create revenue where there was no opportunity in the past. (We do this) through the power of data visualization and analytics and eventually AI as well,” Yason said.

Tayag said that what the company wants to foster among its workers is a mindset for innovation as they move up in the “value chain of our services.”

“At the end of the day, we believe that we can position our services here in the Philippines from an innovation standpoint rather than purely from a delivery standpoint,” he added.

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GCash launches GoPay, Philippines’ 1st mobile money QR payment system

GCash has launched the nation’s first QR payments via smartphone, a move expected to change the landscape of how Filipinos pay for their purchases. Dubbed “GoPay”, it is the newest…

GCash has launched the nation’s first QR payments via smartphone, a move expected to change the landscape of how Filipinos pay for their purchases.

Dubbed “GoPay”, it is the newest feature within the GCash app, which allows customers to use their GCash account to pay for goods and services by simply scanning QR codes displayed by merchants and establishments.

For consumers, this eliminates the hassle of bringing money, waiting for change, or getting into misunderstandings over payments. Merchants, on the other hand, would no longer need expensive machines to process mobile money transactions but only QRs with a unique code that is linked to their GCash wallet.

Cashless society

By making QR codes available to anyone, even to ambulant vendors and sari-sari store owners, GCash will be paving the way for a cashless society which means faster, more convenient, and secure transactions for both merchants and consumers.

“Our goal has always been to make finance more inclusive by building a cashless ecosystem. GoPay QR payments solution will close the loop and drive merchants accepting GCash payments. We plan to extend this service from all types of retailers nationwide down to our favorite fishball vendor.” said John Rubio CEO and President of Mynt, a subsidiary of Globe Telecom dedicated to developing payments solutions using GCash.

Mobile money convenience

JM Aujero, Mynt Merchant Acquiring Head added, “With GoPay QR, consumers don’t even need to bring cash when they go shopping or when they eat out. It is the best option for people who do not want to use credit cards but are either wary of having cash with them due to safety reasons or just want the convenience that mobile money offers.”

To use GoPay, a customer with an iPhone or an Android smartphone just needs to download or update to the latest version of the GCash App, register for an account, and fund his GCash wallet at any of over 12,000 GCash Partner Outlets nationwide. Once done, he has to open the GCash App and swipe left on the page. The GCash App will bring up the phone’s camera, at which point he has to “scan” a partner store’s QR code and enter the amount to be paid.

GoPay will be rolled out within the next few weeks at select partner stores. Its introduction is in line with the thrust of Ant Financial, parent company of Alipay and strategic partner of Mynt, to accelerate financial inclusion and upgrade payment services in the Philippines. Alipay popularized QR code payments in China.

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Globe rolls out GoWiFi to boost Cebu connectivity for Ironman triathlon event

When triathletes swim, bike, and run in Cebu tomorrow, spectators will be able to share photos of them in action via fast and reliable internet connection by GoWiFi, the premium…

When triathletes swim, bike, and run in Cebu tomorrow, spectators will be able to share photos of them in action via fast and reliable internet connection by GoWiFi, the premium public WiFi service of Globe.

“Globe supports the triathlon and multisport community, and we want to create an immersive experience for spectators by providing the best Wi-Fi and LTE experience in the area,” said Albert de Larrazabal, Globe Chief Commercial Officer.

Globe will set up several cell sites on wheels, small cells, and Wi-Fi hotspots to augment the network quality at the race venue and allow supporters to share photos and updates about the race. They may also track their favorite athletes in real-time using Athlete Tracker, developed by mobile solutions company Xurpas. Supporters simply need to text TRI (space) to 2600, at PHP 1.00 per update. This service is available to all networks.

Premium WiFi service

GoWiFi is Globe Telecom’s premium WiFi service available in more than 1,000 locations and 10,000 access points around the country, all of which provide high-speed internet connectivity to users. They are available in major transportation hubs like Metro Rail Transit (MRT-3) and select Light Rail Transit (LRT) stations, key airports around the country, and tourist spots. They are also available in hospitals, local government units, schools and universities, as well as malls, convenience stores, coffee shops, and restaurants.

The service is open to everyone regardless of network provider, and is compatible with any WiFi-enabled device. Users are given free minutes daily which they can use to browse social media, check emails, watch videos, and download files.

“Our goal for GoWiFi is to provide our customers fast and reliable internet access, especially in high-traffic locations. And since Ironman is one of biggest sporting events in the country, we want to give everyone, whether you’re a triathlete or a supporter, the chance to connect and share their epic Ironman experience” said de Larrazabal.

Yearly event

The Philippine leg of the world-renowned triathlon began in 2009 with a race in Camarines Sur. It is the local leg of an international triathlon, organized by the World Triathlon Corporation (WTC). The name 70.3 is used for the Half Ironman, and refers to the total distance covered in the race: a 1.2-mile swim, a 56-mile bicycle ride, and a 13.1-mile run.

Each year, thousands of participants take part in the triathlon, including celebrities, politicians, and former champions. This year, more than 2,500 triathletes from 51 countries will join the upcoming race, which will start and end at Shangri-La’s Mactan Resorts and Spa. Last year’s champion, Australian Tim Reed, will be back to defend his title.

COBRA Energy Drink Ironman 70.3 Philippines will take triathletes through the beachfront of Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort and Spa, the Marcelo Fernan bridge, the Cebu International Convention Center, Plaza Independencia, the Cebu South Coastal Road Tunnel, Mactan Newtown, and Punta Engaño.

For more information on GoWiFi, visit the website at http://www.globe.com.ph/gowifi, or check out @GoWiFiPH on Facebook and Twitter.

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Healthcare gets boost from award-winning Smart innovation

A few years ago, workers at the Samboan rural health unit (RHU) in Cebu had to file and search for patient records manually. The practice was time-consuming, especially for patients…

A few years ago, workers at the Samboan rural health unit (RHU) in Cebu had to file and search for patient records manually. The practice was time-consuming, especially for patients who had to wait for their files to be retrieved before seeing a doctor. It also posed a risk of paper records being damaged during disasters, and of handwriting being misread.

Now, the Samboan RHU and selected public health facilities in Cebu, Iloilo, and Quezon City can retrieve files with a few clicks on a laptop, and can thus serve more patients. They can also refer patients to better-equipped health facilities electronically, and remind patients of appointments and medication via SMS. Furthermore, they can submit relevant patient information to the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. for faster processing of claims and health statistics.

All this and more are made possible by SHINE OS+ (Secured Health Information Network and Exchange), an electronic medical record and referral system run by Smart Communications and the Ateneo Java Wireless Competency Center.

Launched in 2011, SHINE OS+ is now being used by a network of 86 RHUs, 44 private hospitals, and 32 public hospitals. It primarily targets RHUs, which use the system for free, as these are mostly situated hours away from tertiary hospitals, which have specialists and more advanced equipment. Paid plug-ins and extensions are also available to private clinics and hospitals.

Recognized here and abroad

SHINE OS+ has been recognized by three local and international awards programs this year alone. It won a Silver Anvil at the Anvil Awards, given by the Public Relations Society of the Philippines; and a Merit Award at the Philippine Quill Awards, organized by the International Association of Business Communicators-Philippines.

More recently, SHINE OS+ was announced as winner in the healthcare category of the Golden World Awards, organized by the International Public Relations Association.

“SHINE OS+ revolutionized how patient health information can be recorded, retrieved, reported to various health agencies, and used for e-referrals to higher health institutions. With just a click of a button, one can search which patients have particular conditions, or check disease burden. Samboan, a town about four hours away from Cebu City, can now send advanced notice to hospitals and other SHINE OS+ users that patients are coming their way,” said Dr. Ianne Jireh Cañizares of Samboan RHU.

Atty. Maria Jane Paredes, Smart public affairs center head, said the digitization of health records could also help policy makers develop more appropriate health programs.

“Because health information is more organized and can be accessed faster, authorities can identify the most common cases in a particular area and can craft health programs accordingly,” she said.

Continuous improvements

Being an open-source platform, SHINE OS+ allows developers from anywhere in the country and the world to create additional features that can fill more gaps in the health sector. It does this while keeping patient records private.

Among the relatively new features created are an electronic prescription module, a disease-tracking and monitoring plug-in, an offline version of the program for those with limited internet access, and Android and iOS+ apps for use of health workers on the field.

Health facilities interested in using SHINE OS+ may send an email to inquiry@shine.ph. (Press release)

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Cebu startup takes on Uber, Grab; signs up Manila taxi operators

Just as global ride-hailing apps Uber and Grab are facing government regulatory problems, a Cebu-based startup today announced an agreement with taxi operators in Manila to expand its service to…

Just as global ride-hailing apps Uber and Grab are facing government regulatory problems, a Cebu-based startup today announced an agreement with taxi operators in Manila to expand its service to more commuters nationwide.

MICAB, a startup that started in Cebu that is now also incorporated in Singapore, today announced an agreement with the Philippine National Taxi Operators Association (PNTOA) and Association of Taxi Operators in Metro Manila (ATOMM).

The agreement expands the service area of MICAB, which is currently operating in Cebu and Iloilo with a fleet of 800 taxi units, said MICAB CEO Eddie Ybañez.

MICAB monthly bookings

He said MICAB currently serves 20,000 passengers with combined monthly bookings of 200,000.

PNTOA and ATOMM, Ybañez said, have a combined network of 20,000 taxi units. He said they plan to launch in Manila with 3,000 taxi units and scale up to 7,000 units by yearend. The company is also planning to expand to Davao.

In terms of application capability, MICAB is similar to Uber and Grab, Ybañez said. They differ in the business model.

Unlike Uber and Grab, MICAB does not directly deal with drivers. It engages with “premium taxi companies” and provides them an app-based system to dispatch units. MICAB works with Ken Taxi in Cebu and Light of Glory in Iloilo.

MICAB Manila

MANILA EXPANSION. MICAB, a ride-hailing app that started in Cebu, has expanded in Manila and signed up operators at the capital. In photo after the signing of the agreement are (from left) Pablo Sarmiento (left) of the Association of Taxi Operators in Metro Manila, MICAB CEO Eddie Ybañez, Atty. Bong Suntay of the Philippine National Taxi Operators Association, and David Vacher of MICAB. (Contributed photo)

No regulatory issues

Because of that, Ybañez does not see any regulatory issues for MiCab .

“We are not really subject to LTFRB’s TVNS regulations as our business model is to partner with taxi companies only. All our taxi operator partners are 100% compliant with LTFRB’s franchising regulations,” he said in an interviews.

The MICAB app functions similarly with both Uber and Grab.

“Application wise it’s the same, we will be adding in more features that is not currently present with Grab and Uber,” Ybañez said.

MICAB, however, does not impose surge pricing and collects only a low booking fee, he said.

Revenue model

The startup does not take a cut from drivers’ revenues. Its business model, Ybañez said, is “targeted geolocation advertising.”

“Our focus for the coming months is to successfully launch MICAB here in Manila, develop customer base, increase brand awareness through excellent customer service and solidify the taxi partner network,” he said.

MICAB started out as among the startups funded in the 2013 batch of IdeaSpace Foundation, the incubator of the Manny V. Pangilinan group of companies.

The startup, however, is looking beyond ride hailing. It is scheduled to launch later this year its MIHEALTH app, in partnership with “one of the largest HMO in the Philippines.” It will also launch MICARGO, in partnership with Gothong Southern Shipping Lines, in August.

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Volunteers get boost from Smart-initiated Operation Smile app

Finding cleft patients has always been one of the biggest challenges for Operation Smile. Most of them are either located in impoverished, remote areas, or some of them are just…

Finding cleft patients has always been one of the biggest challenges for Operation Smile. Most of them are either located in impoverished, remote areas, or some of them are just not confident enough to seek treatment due to their physical appearance.

An initiative by PLDT wireless subsidiary Smart Communications, however, seeks to address this problem. The Operation Smile patient-mapping mobile application, which was conceptualized by Smart for Operation Smile Philippines (OSP), was deployed during a recent medical mission in Bacolod City.

“Most patients are in the provinces. The challenge is how to find them. Another challenge is that when you have a facial deformity, you don’t go out,” said Wiggy Fontanilla, OSP president. “This mapping and tracking system changes the whole endeavor by coming up with a heat map of patients.”

Better access, monitoring

At the Bacolod medical mission, volunteers have recorded cleft patients’ details using the app, as Operation Smile aims to store patient information on the Web for better access and monitoring.

Arleen Antolo, 24, a speech teacher at Hope Foundation and volunteer for Operation Smile, travels for at least two hours from Bacolod to far-flung rural health units and barangay health centers in Negros Occidental to meet with other volunteers and cleft patients for possible inclusion in succeeding medical missions.

Antolo, who has been a volunteer for three years now, said her love for teaching and for children were what drove her to help in Operation Smile. “It feels good to help cleft patients, and see them smile. Being treated will definitely help them have a better future,” she said.

Operation Smile app

Operation Smile volunteer Arleen Antolo (left) takes a photo of a 7-month-old cleft patient using the Operation Smile app in Barangay Bago, Salvador Benedicto, Negros Occidental.

Lessen paperwork

She expressed appreciation for the app, which she used to record patient details during the Bacolod mission. “This will help lessen paperwork—we won’t need to carry folders of patient records, which may get lost or even get wet when the rain comes,” Antolo said.

The Operation Smile app is available as a free download for iOS and Android devices. Anyone can download and use the app—just open an account and follow the instructions on uploading patient information.

Patient details gathered through the app will be uploaded to the central server of Operation Smile, which will use the information to monitor patients’ treatment and plan for the locations of succeeding medical missions.

Closer to communities

“In our efforts to use technology for good, we partner with institutions such as Operation Smile, which seeks to bring healthcare closer to communities. We support Operation Smile as it aims to eradicate the backlog of cleft conditions worldwide,” said Ramon R. Isberto, public affairs group head for PLDT and Smart.

For its part, Operation Smile has expressed its appreciation for Smart’s efforts. “We sincerely appreciate all that [Smart has] done to help us give people with cleft conditions new smiles,” the global Operation Smile unit said on its Twitter account. (Press release)

To support Operation Smile, Smart subscribers may also donate by texting SMILE (space) (amount) to 4483.

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Globe myBusiness Academy brings top industry experts to DTI’s Negosyo Fair

To support the growing number of Filipino entrepreneurs, Globe myBusiness recently joined the Department of Trade and Industry’s (DTI) Negosyo Fair through Globe myBusiness Academy, a free learning session that…

To support the growing number of Filipino entrepreneurs, Globe myBusiness recently joined the Department of Trade and Industry’s (DTI) Negosyo Fair through Globe myBusiness Academy, a free learning session that educates independent business owners on marketing trends, increasing revenues, and discovering new solutions to stay competitive in the digital age.

“Filipinos are naturally enterprising, so it comes to no surprise that many are opting to open their own business instead of working in an office. Globe myBusiness Academy aims to guide them in creating a plan for success and to turn their passion into profits,” said Senior Advisor for Globe myBusiness Derrick Heng.

Globe MyBusiness

BUSINESS TIPS. Globe myBusiness teams up with “My Puhunan” host Karen Davila (right) to discuss business tips for entrepreneurs with (from left) Globe myBusiness Head of Managed Service Grace Anduiza; DTI Assistant Regional Director Teresita De Lima; Ricca Del Rosario of Half the Price; Globe myBusiness Ambassador and owner of Mercato Centrale RJ Ledesma; and Blade Auto Center President Robertson Sy-Tan.

The Negosyo Fair featured different business opportunities entrepreneurs can explore. It also featured talks, business ventures with low capital requirements, franchising opportunities, and tested products and business technologies that are ready for commercialization.

The learning session covered topics fit for aspiring business owners including operational efficiency, customer service, and expanding market reach from industry experts namely VJ Africa, CEO of Product IO, a startup that aims to enable Micro SMEs in the Philippines and the region to “Survive and Thrive” in this digital-dependent society; Joselito Miguel B. Favis, Account Manager for the Public Sector of Mynt, a FinTech startup wholly-owned by Globe Telecom; and Mejcris Lavarias, Associate Director of AdSpark Local, a Globe subsidiary providing digital and mobile marketing services; and Globe myBusiness Head of Managed Service Grace Anduiza.

Globe myBusiness

Product IO CEO VJ Africa, sharing his thoughts on how to operate businesses more efficiently.

Globe myBusiness also held a panel discussion led by Filipino journalist and “My Puhunan” TV Host Karen Davila, together with Globe myBusiness Ambassador RJ Ledesma of Mercato; DTI Assistant Regional Director Teresita De Lima; Ricca Del Rosario of Half the Price; and Blade Autocenter’s Robertson Sy-Tan, where they discussed tips for small – medium business owners, such as starting businesses with minimal capital, and turning simple everyday problems into big opportunities.

Attendees were also introduced to a wide suite of innovative apps that make business easier:

Globe myBusiness

Mynt Account Manager for the Public Sector Miguel B. Favis sharing with the attendees the various ways Mynt can provide financial resources to entrepreneurs.

For operational efficiency, Globe introduced myBusiness Tracker, which allows owners to keep an eye on deliveries and vehicles in real-time; myShopkeeper, which lets owners monitor sales and inventory in real-time; myBusiness Security Bundle for a CCTV package; GSuite and OS365 for easy business and Microsoft Office tools; GCash Powerpay, an automated salary disbursement program; and Fuse, a loan program for business expansions.

For customer service, guests were introduced to digital solutions such as Auto Appointment Reminder, Queuing Solution, and Canvas, which turns paperwork into digital forms. Meanwhile, for market reach, guests learned about Adblast and Auto SMS Blast solution, which lets them reach more customers through SMS; and myWebsite, a website-building tool. Globe myBusiness also offered exclusive mobile, broadband, and bundled packages for event participants.

To learn more about Globe myBusiness, visit the website at mybusiness.globe.com.ph, call the hotline at 730-1010, or visit any Globe store. (Press release)

Globe myBusiness

AdSpark Local Associate Director Mejcris Lavarias talks about the importance of digital marketing and shares her tips given the current Philippine digital landscape.

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