Re/Discovering Cebu, one story at a time

Move to intelligent operations key to do well in business: Accenture

Companies able to tap innovative talent, harness insights from large amounts of data and applied intelligence and tap benefits from the cloud and smart partnerships will be in the best…

Companies able to tap innovative talent, harness insights from large amounts of data and applied intelligence and tap benefits from the cloud and smart partnerships will be in the best position to survive disruption and do well in business, a recent global report said.

The report by HfS Research and Accenture said the future belongs to organizations that have transformed themselves into “intelligent operations”, said Accenture Operations Lead in the Philippines Benedict Hernandez in an interview on Tuesday.

“The future is about taking your business processes to become intelligent operations,” he said. “That is really capitalizing on digital disruption, access to phenomenal amounts of data, and the need to disrupt or improve the customer experience.”

Accenture Benedict Hernandez

MOVING TO INTELLIGENT OPERATIONS. Accenture Operations Lead in the Philippines Benedict Hernandez discusses results of a study that showed the importance of turning processes into intelligent operations in a press briefing in Cebu.

 

Move to intelligent operations

“The move to intelligent operations is fast becoming a make-or-break proposition for organizations, with 80 percent surveyed saying they are concerned with disruption and competitive threats, especially from new digitally savvy entrants.” Accenture said in a report on the study.

“It’s exciting to be looking at what used to be known as BPO (business process outsourcing) or BPS (business process service) and the challenge in front of us is how do we take our clients to an intelligent operations status to actually deliver all these benefits,” Hernandez said.

The research identified 5 essential components of intelligent operations: innovative talent, data-driven backbone, applied intelligence, leveraging the power of the cloud, and a smart partnership ecosystem.

Innovative talent

To move to intelligent operations, businesses need employees skilled in the new IT – data scientists, analysts, and experts on technology such as the cloud, augmented reality, and artificial intelligence.

In the case of Accenture operations, Hernandez said “talent is very important to us” and the company has 11,000 business advisors globally. “These are process experts who understand where is it that we can apply digital enhancements so that the client actually benefits.” The company also has 49,000 cloud practitioners and 4,000 data scientists globally.

“Having said that, you also have your current workforce that you continue to invest in so that they can actually be up-trained and re-skilled,” he said. Training workers to a redefined and changed nature of work is the “heavy lifting that companies need to be doing.”

“Because we’ve been automating so much over the past couple of years, what we have done is majority of the cost savings in automation is actually re-invested in up-training and upskilling everybody,” Hernandez said.

Accenture augmented reality

AUGMENTED REALITY. Members of an Accenture team demonstrate the use of augmented reality that allows people to virtually check out automobile models.

 

Data-driven backbone

Companies accumulate a large volume of data. The challenge for their clients, Hernandez said, is “how are you able to access and harness all of that data and run analytics, whether it’s predictive or prescriptive, so that you can actually improve the way the companies are performing?”

In one of the booths during the internal innovation roadshow at Accenture, a team showed how companies can spot trends in collection of payments by analyzing volumes of historical data.

Applied intelligence

Applied intelligence is using automation, analytics, and AI to improve processes. While many people see cost savings as a big driver for this, Hernandez said automating a process “benefits many other areas.”

“When the process works better, the end-customer experience is better, and there’s less of the routine tasks that people are doing, it allows the employee experience to also be better,” Hernandez said. “Now I don’t have to do all those mundane, repetitive, boring tasks because applied intelligence has already taken care of that. I can now make use of my human talent and skills to do more judgement, creative, problem-solving, more challenging, and more interesting kinds of activities.”

Automation can also eliminate human errors that expose companies to risk and compliance issues.

Leverage the power of the cloud

Companies are already plugging into “what’s available out there and have infrastructure as a service” rather than building their own. This allows them to be agile and flexible in their technology infrastructure.

“Buying and maintaining your own technology infrastructure is very costly and it actually becomes obsolete faster and faster because of just the rate of evolution,” he said.

With cloud companies continuing to evolve their offerings, “you’re able to get to the latest every time, you don’t need to do your own investment for that,” he said.

Accenture innovation roadshow

INNOVATION ROADSHOW. Accenture Operations Lead in the Philippines Benedict Hernandez with employees taking part of the innovation roadshow that highlights new IT like big data analytics, augmented reality, and AI.

 

Smart partnerships

Companies have also realized they “don’t have to be an expert in all areas” and could just tap partners to move to intelligent operations.

“In the case of Accenture, we have about 150 enterprise partners around the world of different technology and services that we work with. In AI alone, we don’t do AI on our own – we do a lot of R&D on AI but we partner a lot with Google, Microsoft, and Amazon Web Services,” Hernandez said. “The main thing about the partnership ecosystem is that you can plug in to who are the best enterprises out there in their particular fields.”

This migration to intelligent operation is well underway and the nature of work that the company is getting from its clients have markedly changed.

“A lot of the companies getting into operations partnerships with Accenture is actually to innovate their operations to become more intelligent operations. And this is an example of a smart partnership ecosystem. Because they realize that I can’t do this alone. I don’t have the expertise, I don’t wanna build all that expertise so I can actually transform myself. Why don’t I work with Accenture so they can take my process to become more intelligent,” he said.

Where next opportunity is

From cost arbitrage years back, clients conversations have moved beyond that into “how do I make my process more digital, how do you allow my operations to save me money, to give me insights so I can actually improve my cash flow position, how I can be more competitive?” he said.

He said the move to intelligent operations “is really where the next opportunity for us and our clients.”

“My hope is when you now say BPO or you think about Accenture and intelligent operations, these becomes the example that comes to mind versus traditionally what we think about in BPO terms.” Hernandez added.

No Comments on Move to intelligent operations key to do well in business: Accenture

Tholons chair: Cebu must embrace, see opportunities in digital disruptions

Cebu needs to improve in the areas of digital credentials and skills to move up to the top 10 in the Super Cities of the World list of Tholons, Inc….

Cebu needs to improve in the areas of digital credentials and skills to move up to the top 10 in the Super Cities of the World list of Tholons, Inc.

Avinash Vashistha, Tholons chairman and chief executive officer (CEO), said Cebu continues to score low in such areas as open innovation, startup culture, cybersecurity, and digital competitiveness.

A Tholons team computed the average scores of the top three and bottom three of the top 20 in the Super Cities list and measured where Cebu fell within the range.

A panel (from L) composed of Jonathan de Luzuriaga, moderator, and resource persons Cebu City Councilor Joy Augustus Young, Symph CEO Dave Overton, Tholons Chair Avinash Vashistha, and Accenture, Inc. Cebu Delivery Center Lead for Technology Arvin Yason discusses Cebu City’s ranking in Super Cities of the World list.

He said Cebu did not fare well in the following areas: 3.5 against a high of 7.2 in digital credentials and 3.8 against a high of 7.14 in quality of life, citing political, social, natural, and commercial risks. Vashistha was one of the speakers of the 2018 Transformation Summit held today, May 16, at Bai Hotel in Mandaue City.

Digital, talent skills

For digital skills and scale, Cebu was in the 4.6 range against the top average score of 8.12. This category looks at the digital talent and evolution of a particular place, also taking into consideration as well the prevalence of mobile and Internet users and patent grants for technology ideas or products.

“All industry in the future will be technology-enabled. We can’t ignore the impact of digital because it is transforming the way business is done,” Vashistha added.

When Cebu thinks about what it needs to do in the area of digital, it has to look at the examples set by Singapore and Seoul. Tholons ranks the two cities as among the top 25 digitally competitive cities throughout the globe.

Compared against the average high score of 8.9, Cebu’s ranking of 6 for talent skills and quality could do with some improvement, according to Vashistha. Cebu rose to seventh place in the list of best outsourcing sites but fell to 12th place in 2017 when Tholons added new digital categories.

New tech opportunities

2018 Transformation Summit Speaker Avinash Vashistha, Tholons, Inc. chair and CEO, talks about what it takes to be part of the top Super Cities of the World list.

He added that Cebu should also focus on the opportunities instead of threats posed by digital disruptions, citing that trillions of dollars in new technology investments from 2013-2022 will result in the creation of more than 200 million jobs. India and the Philippines currently hold close to 5 million jobs in the IT-BPM industry.

These jobs will come in bulk from three main areas, including robotic process automation, big data analytics, and mobile app testing.

Vashistha said during the summit that digital shifts will also require upskilling and reskilling the industry workforce. Degree programs must also include cultivating the culture of innovation in universities through innovation labs and partnerships with industry stakeholders. Other ways will involve utilizing digital media for Cebu’s branding initiatives and collaborating with a global network of startups through mentorship programs.

The 2018 Transformation Summit is organized by the Cebu IT BPM Organization (CIB.O) in partnership with the Cebu City Government and Sykes. Other sponsors include Accenture, Lexmark, and Cognizant.

No Comments on Tholons chair: Cebu must embrace, see opportunities in digital disruptions

PLDT launches P1-billion data center in Cebu

Built from the ground up to withstand an intensity 8 earthquake, secured with 11 layers of protection, powered with electrical capacity enough for 1,600 households, and completed at a cost…

Built from the ground up to withstand an intensity 8 earthquake, secured with 11 layers of protection, powered with electrical capacity enough for 1,600 households, and completed at a cost of P1 billion, the 2nd Vitro data center in Cebu was launched by PLDT yesterday.

The facility was built with quadruple the capacity of the first one that was built in Cebu in 2012, which is now 96% utilized. That, PLDT officials said, illustrates the increasing demand for and embrace of the utility of data centers by businesses, including local enterprises.

Vitro Data Center Cebu 2 illustrates the “stellar rise of the Vitro network and the way it has revolutionized how enterprises from all over the country do business,” said PLDT and Smart Chief Revenue Officer and EPLDT Group President and CEO Eric Alberto. The Vitro network “is now the largest network in the country with 10 locations covering the entire length and breadth of the archipelago. It is internationally recognized and certified.”

PLDT Vitro Cebu 2 lobby

The lobby at PLDT Vitro Cebu 2.

Accelerate digital transformation

“The addition of a second data center in Cebu ensures that even more businesses can gain access to the benefits of having world-class data management,” Alberto said. “All this is in keeping with the vision that started 18 years ago – to accelerate the digital transformation of the Philippines.”

Today’s business environment is marked by heightened risks, said Vice President and Head of PLDT Enterprise Disruptive Business Group Benedict Patrick Alcoseba. He said an an important way to help companies manage business risks is to provide them “digital infrastructure that helps them with business resiliency and continuity.”

PLDT Group EVP and Chief Revenue Officer and ePLDT President and CEO Eric R. Alberto

SUPPORT COMPANIES. PLDT Group EVP and Chief Revenue Officer and ePLDT President and CEO Eric R. Alberto says, “this new state-of-the-art facility is part of the PLDT Group’s nationwide effort to support local organizations and enterprises of all sizes—helping them store, manage and safeguard mission-critical data from cybersecurity threats and physical disasters.”

Alcoseba highlighted key features of the data center launched yesterday – 4 days of uninterrupted full load operations during a power outage and without refuelling, 99.99% service availability, 11 layers of facility security, cyber defense, and a highly resilient configuration in power, cooling, and connectivity.

Stability, reliability, security

“If I were to summarize what Vitro Cebu 2 is all about, it’s about providing business stability, ensuring ultimate reliability, and security of clients. When you talk about security it’s all about peace of mind, knowing that they are in a facility that will allow them to run, regardless of what happens,” Alcoseba said.

PLDT said in a statement that “the second Cebu VITRO Data Center is supported by PLDT’s robust fiber optic network spanning over 187,000 kilometers, enabling the delivery of digital solutions nationwide.”

PLDT Vitro Cebu 2

PLDT officials after a press conference held to launch the new facility. In photo are (from left) ePLDT Chief Information Security Officer Angel Redoble, ePLDT Group Chief Technology Officer Dave Simon, ePLDT Group SVP and Chief Operating Officer Nerisse Ramos, PLDT Group EVP and Chief Revenue Officer and ePLDT President and CEO Eric R. Alberto, PLDT SVP and Head of PLDT & Smart Enterprise Business Groups Jovy Hernandez, and PLDT VP and Head of Disruptive Business Group Benedict Patrick Alcoseba.

The new facility in Cebu has a capacity of 800 server racks, bringing the nationwide network’s capacity to 9,150 racks, said ePLDT Group SVP and Chief Operating Officer Nerisse Ramos. With that addition, total utilization of the entire network is now at 35%, said Alberto.

This increasing adoption contrasts with the tepid initial response of a few years back, said SVP and Head of PLDT & SMART Enterprise Business Groups Jovy Hernandez.

Vitro Cebu data center

“Six years ago when we launched Vitro Cebu 1, the companies weren’t really going into data centers. Over the past 6 years, a lot of companies, even small and medium enterprises, saw the value – why will I put up my own cooling system? I can never make my own cooling system on my own scale similar to the one here. As more companies now rely on their servers, which traditionally were hosted only in my room at the back of my office, we’re seeing a lot more demand,” Hernandez said.

Alberto said the pace of technology adoption has accelerated. “More and more companies are undergoing their own digital transformation where they have to look to technologies to be able to enable their business to be competitive,” he said. “Looking toward the future, I think it is imperative now that you get connected and you expand your market beyond the typical brick and mortar physical sphere of your legacy market.”

PLDT Vitro Cebu 2 security

SECURITY LAYERS. The security monitoring room in PLDT Vitro Cebu 2. The facility is protected by 11 security layers, including finger-vein scanning features, special CCTV cameras, and 24/7 monitoring and surveillance.

“The rapid pace at which technology changes, particularly in hardware and software, is forcing a lot of business owners to rethink their digital transformation strategies. Are we going to spend CAPEX to be able to own this hardware and software or are we going to turn into an expert partner who has the skill, the reach, plus the attendant and necessary connectivity by which to protect me from high CAPEX outlay into an OPEX?” Alberto said.

Adding to the equation is the “managed service that aptly protects me from cyber security attacks that have become more prevalent, more dynamic, and disruptive,” he said.

PLDT Vitro Cebu 2 Benedict Patrick Alcoseba

PEACE OF MIND. “If I were to summarize what Vitro Cebu 2 is all about, it’s about providing business stability, ensuring ultimate reliability, and security of clients,” said Vice President and Head of PLDT Enterprise Disruptive Business Group Benedict Patrick Alcoseba.

PLDT expertise, scale, network

He said businesses that build such facilities on their own have to contend with the rapid technology advances that quickly render systems outdated.

“So are you gonna take the obsolescence risk? And do you have the capability to be able to provide the necessary cooling, the power, the security, the connectivity, plus the cyber security protection? Do you want to own these elements where you don’t have the scale nor the expertise?” Alberto said.

“These are the challenges that we put to the market and we present ourselves in PLDT Group to be the trustworthy and leading partner when you are ready to look at those issues and you are prepared to take on the world through technology,” he said.

PLDT Vitro Cebu 2 cooling towers

The cooling towers at the facility.

“Our expertise, our scale, our buying power, our connectivity, our investments in network connectivity and diversity, our purpose-built data centers with security experts and the managed services experts actually are resources that no one particular company – no matter what the size – will be ever able to scale to,” Alberto said.

Hernandez said their customers are “pretty diverse” in terms of size and location. “More and more companies from our Asian neighbors are actually looking at the Philippines. Before when you talked about data centers in Asia, it was only 2 countries — Singapore and Hong Kong. That’s it. But the Philippines is now being looked at even by international companies as a place for them to co-locate.”

PLDT Vitro Cebu 2

COLOR-CODED. Lines in the facility are color coded – blue for primary and yellow for secondary.

No longer just contingency but business strategy

Ramos said that changes in the business environment encourage them to build capacity. She said that they often ask themselves, “are we over-building?”

“But the reality is whenever we have discussions with our clients, in all industries, even government, dati ang usapan, we need a data center for contingency, but right now that’s not the discussion anymore. The discussion is about the need to be hosted because of risk management, because it’s a business strategy. (It’s no longer) simple contingency but part of a business strategy. This kind of discussion is happening in their boardrooms, not anymore at the IT level,” Ramos said.

Alberto said demand for data center services will increase with the changing business environment. “This is the wave of the future – big data, analytics, AI. Artificial Intelligence is machine learning. It’s growing. And machine learning must be fed with continuous data, historical as far back to be more accurate and current,” he said.

PLDT Vitro Cebu 2

SECURITY LAYER. Entry and exit to the facility include going through this security-controlled turnstile.

No Comments on PLDT launches P1-billion data center in Cebu

Smart, Ateneo to boost Central Visayas health programs with SHINE OS+

The Department of Health Region VII is integrating the SHINE OS+ electronic medical record system of Smart Communications and Ateneo Java Wireless Competency Center with its existing reporting tool to…

The Department of Health Region VII is integrating the SHINE OS+ electronic medical record system of Smart Communications and Ateneo Java Wireless Competency Center with its existing reporting tool to enhance the region’s health programs.

SHINE OS+ or the Secured Health Information Network Exchange open-source system enables health units to submit aggregated medical data directly to the region’s Health Console for faster retrieval of information.

An efficient electronic medical record system redounds to better health care by ensuring that patient information is complete, accurate, and up-to-date. The system also guards against loss of or damage to patient files.

Smart, Ateneo DOH Central Visayas

Signing the memorandum of agreement are (in photo, from left) Smart Visayas-Mindanao public affairs head Attorney Maria Jane Paredes, Regional Health Director Dr. Jaime Bernadas, and AJWCC executive director Ma. Regina Estuar. (Press Release)

No Comments on Smart, Ateneo to boost Central Visayas health programs with SHINE OS+

CCCI forges partnerships, lines up big events for CBM 2018

To help inspire, promote, and grow the business community, the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) partnered with top companies and government agencies and invited high-profile personalities for Cebu…

To help inspire, promote, and grow the business community, the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) partnered with top companies and government agencies and invited high-profile personalities for Cebu Business Month (CBM) 2018.

AirAsia Group chief executive officer (CEO) Tony Fernandes and Utah Valley University president Dr. Astrid S. Tuminez will be among the speakers of the month-long business event scheduled this June 2018.

Benedict Y. Que, CBM 2018 chair, said this year’s business month theme is aimed at helping local companies deal with digital disruptions.

“Today, we see and hear of the paradigm shift facing businesses. On our 22nd year, we align with the needs of companies through the theme Innovate Cebu,” Que, who is also Golden Prince Hotel and Suites president, said during the CBM 2018 Grand Launch last May 10.

CBM 2018 sponsorship

SPONSORSHIP. Marco Polo Plaza Cebu general manager Brian Connelly (center) during the ceremonial signing of the hotel’s sponsorship of Cebu Business Month 2018. With him are (from left) Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) Executive Director May Ybañez, CCCI President Antonio Chiu, CBM 2018 Chair Benny Que, and CBM 2018 Publicity and Ways and Means Chair Lilu Aliño.

Innovation Summit

The Innovation Summit, Tourism Innovation Forum, Grand Chamber Awards, and Lumba’g Laag sa Sugbo are just among the activities throughout June 2018 for Cebu Business Month. Check out the full CBM 2018 schedule here.

Scheduled for June 19-20, the Innovation Summit aims to bring together policy makers, industry business sectors, academe, innovators, and other business support institutions essential to creating an ecosystem that supports enterprise development and increase innovation capabilities of micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

Benny Que

CBM 2018 CHAIR Benny Que speaks during the launch of the event at the Marco Polo Plaza Cebu.

Fernandes, who is behind the highly-successful budget airline company AirAsia, will talk about “Flying Open in the Skies” during the two-day forum. Tuminez, first woman president of Utah Valley University and Microsoft External and Legal Affairs Regional Director for Corporate, will touch on “A Technology Revolution for All.”

Other Innovation Summit speakers: Secretary Fortunato T. dela Peña, Department of Science and Technology (DOST); Research and Development Undersecretary Rowena Cristina L. Guevara, DOST; Dr. Soontorn Piromsartkoon, GlowGlobe Lighting System Co-Inventor; Robert Y. So, President and CEO, Eco-System Technologies, Inc.; Secretary Eliseo M. Rio, Jr., Department of Information, Communication, and Technology (DICT); David Lim, Senior Vice President, Solid Group, Inc.

CBM 2018 sponsors

CCCI forged partnerships with top businesses as well as government units and agencies to bring about a CBM 2018 that will have a huge impact on Cebu businesses especially the small and medium enterprises.

The month-long business event is organized by CCCI in partnership with the Province and City of Cebu and with the support of DOST, Department of Tourism (DOT), and Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

Antonio Chiu

CEBU BUSINESS. CCCI President Antonio Chiu gets interviewed after the ceremonial signing with CBM 2018 sponsors.

CCCI also collaborated with Cebu Holdings, Inc. and Ayala Center Cebu; PLDT Enterprise, Voyager, and Paymaya; Robinsons Land Corporation and Robinsons Galleria Cebu, SM Prime Holdings, Inc.; UnionPay International Southeast Asia; and Waterfront Cebu City Hotel & Casino.

Another sponsor, the Marco Polo Plaza Cebu, will host the Tourism Innovation Forum on June 14, 2018. The event is a venue for tourism industry stakeholders to network, interact, and discuss issues and concerns as well as share relevant information and solutions for the continuous growth of the sector throughout the country. Here is the complete list of CBM 2018 omnibus partners and sponsors.

No Comments on CCCI forges partnerships, lines up big events for CBM 2018

Cebu student teams dominate Smart innovation contest

A system that allows students to set up classes online for special lessons on areas they need help with was picked this year’s winner of the SWEEP (Smart Wireless Engineering…

A system that allows students to set up classes online for special lessons on areas they need help with was picked this year’s winner of the SWEEP (Smart Wireless Engineering Education Program) Innovation and Excellence Awards.

The project, called Team ERYL from the University of San Carlos (USC), won the top prize of P300,000 during the live pitching and final judging held today in Makati City. Sportify by a team from the University of San Jose-Recoletos (USJ-R), and Salvar by another USC team completed the top 3 winners and domination by Cebu of the annual innovation contest.

ERYL is mobile platform that allows students to set up classes online, whether 1-on-1 or by group.

“Students may opt to join existing classes that they are interested in or organize one themselves. When the class is ready, they select from the teacher pool someone they want to handle the lesson. They are then given the teacher’s details, including contact number,” the project brief said.

Smart Sweep winners

CEBU TEAM SWEEPS SWEEP AWARD. The teams from University of San Carlos and University of San Jose-Recoletos with their awards for topping this year’s SWEEP Innovation and Excellence Awards. At left is Mario G. Tamayo, PLDT and Smart Senior Vice President for Network Planning and Engineering. At right is Ramon Isberto, Public Affairs Head of PLDT and Smart. (Photo by @SmartNewsroom)

Four teams from Cebu, 3 from USC and 1 from USJ-R, made it to today’s finals.

When asked about Cebu’s dominance of the contest, Smart Visayas-Mindanao public affairs head Attorney Maria Jane Paredes said she was elated by the turnout.

“Congratulations to USC and USJ-R and all the other winners. The winning projects address specific concerns and have practical uses. The first prize winner bridges the gap between teachers and students and allows students to set up classes online,” Paredes said.

Smart Sweep Team ERYL

Smart SWEEP Innovation and Excellence Awards winners.

Placing 2nd and winning P200,000 is Sportify from USJ-R. It is a web and mobile platform that seeks to connect sports enthusiasts, from players, coaches, to talent scouts. Sportify “gives the opportunity to our aspiring Filipino athletes specially who are located in the provinces and isolated areas, to be discovered and have that chance to be the next big name in sports,” the project brief said.

Completing the triumvirate is Salvar, an application that seeks to address problems on mental health. The app by a USC team allows users to search and set appointments with mental health care professionals. The team won P100,000.

Smart Sweep Sportify

Smart SWEEP Innovation and Excellence Awards 2nd placer.

“The app will allow users to have their therapy done through the application’s video-chat feature. This app will address the problem of accessibility to mental healthcare, mainly the distance, lack of mental healthcare providers within communities, and the stigma that scares people from asking for help by digitizing the mental healthcare process,” according to the project brief.

The SWEEP Awards was started in 2004 as a venue for college students to build applications to address community problems and needs. It is part of SWEEP, a collaboration between Smart and the academe aimed at raising “the standards of engineering and IT education in the country.”

Smart SWEEP Salvar

Smart SWEEP Innovation and Excellence Awards 3rd placers.

No Comments on Cebu student teams dominate Smart innovation contest

4 teams from Cebu in finals of Smart’s innovation competition

Four student teams from Cebu are in the running for the country’s biggest technology competition, the SWEEP (Smart Wireless Engineering Education Program) Innovation and Excellence Awards. Three teams from the…

Four student teams from Cebu are in the running for the country’s biggest technology competition, the SWEEP (Smart Wireless Engineering Education Program) Innovation and Excellence Awards.

Three teams from the University of San Carlos and one from the University of San Jose Recoletos are among the 10 student teams from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao that would battle it out next week in SWEEP.

The other teams are from Adamson University, Ateneo de Manila University, Ateneo de Zamboanga University, Aurora State College of Technology, Davao Central College, and Gordon College in Zambales.

SMART Sweep 2018

SWEEP Awards finalists undergo a two-day boot camp so they could polish their entries in time for judging.

The teams will compete for the P300,000 top prize in the final judging to be held on May 11. The second placer will get P200,000, while the third placer will receive P100,000. Schools of the top three teams will each get a digital campus package from Smart Communications and parent company PLDT.

Smart received more than 300 applications for the 14th SWEEP Awards, which has the theme “#LifeLikeNeverBefore: Digital Innovations for a Better Tomorrow.”

Projects that made the cut include an app that could help farmers reach produce buyers directly, an app that could link sports enthusiasts with each other so they could schedule games, and a chatbot that could enable users to control home appliances remotely via a messaging app.

To help the finalists improve their projects before the judging, Smart introduced them to mentors who, over two days, taught them to validate the existence of problems before creating solutions, the importance of getting feedback from peers and potential customers, and the need to adjust their plan of action based on these feedback.

Smart SWEEP 2018 pitching

Students get a taste of what it’s like to pitch proposals before potential investors, during their presentation to SWEEP Awards judges.

The mentors also taught the finalists how to pitch their proposals to judges and potential investors.

Participant Gian Guerrero said the two-day boot camp helped his team create a business model for its project. “What was very hard was the business model because we’re into IT (information technology) and engineering, so we’re not very knowledgeable about it. But the SWEEP Awards experience proved to be a treasure trove of knowledge. It’s fun, more than I expected, and I’m thankful to be part of it,” he said.

The SWEEP Awards was launched in 2004 to provide college students with the platform to create innovative applications that solve consumer pain points. It is an initiative under SWEEP, a long-running collaboration between Smart and the academe which aims to raise the standards of engineering and IT education in the country.

Because of SWEEP, Smart was cited in 2016 by international magazine Fortune as one of 50 companies that have “changed the world.” For more information on SWEEP and the SWEEP Awards, please visit facebook.com/sweepschools and smartsweep.ph. (Press Release)

No Comments on 4 teams from Cebu in finals of Smart’s innovation competition

Honor 9 Lite: Your perfect wanderlust companion on sale at Shopee today

Our phones have become an integral part of our toolbox to freeze and create our most memorable and cherished memories. They have become our go-to companion for entertainment, connection and…

Our phones have become an integral part of our toolbox to freeze and create our most memorable and cherished memories. They have become our go-to companion for entertainment, connection and relaxation. At no time do we depend on our devices more than during our travels.

Enter a new travel companion: the Honor 9 Lite.

With its professional-grade performance producing the most striking photographs, superb quad-camera technology, and a long-lasting battery, the Honor 9 Lite has won global awards and raves.

The phone is finally available in the Philippines at an exclusive price of P7,990 between 12:00pm to 3:00pm today, May 5, through https://shopee.ph/honor9lite.

Honor 9 Lite dual cameras

The Honor 9 Lite is packed with dual cameras on both the front and rear of the phone: the front camera features a 13MP + 2MP dual-lens system, while the rear boasts of a 13MP+2MP dual-lens camera that features one lens for capturing the image and another for depth detection.

Through the wide-angle panoramic function and the help of an upgraded beauty algorithm, you will be able to capture more stunning, natural portraits, whether with panorama selfie, hand-gesture shooting, fun selfie, or other modes. The upgraded Phase Detection Auto Focus (PDAF) also makes the Honor 9 Lite ultra-fast in focusing.

Equipped with the latest Kirin 659 Octa-core processor and powered by a CPU that runs as fast as 2.36GHz, and 3GB of high-speed RAM and 5th generation smart battery technology that lasts one full day at a single charge, the Honor 9 Lite is built for road warriors.

Honor 9 Lite.

Exclusive partnership

Moreover, the 18:9 screen ratio (that is close to the 21:9 ratio used by cinemas) combined with the 2160 X 1080 resolution, allows for ultra-high definition and remarkable display quality, making this phone the ultimate companion to have on long-haul travel for game-playing, binge-watching and multiple app use all at once.

From the 2.5D glass to the stunning layered nano-etched design on its back and its mirror-like reflective glass back, the Honor 9 Lite is simply beautiful and definitely feels like a bona fide luxury item. The phone is sleek, light, and stunning. It is made to enable light to flow around the device, bringing a seamless visual experience.

In just a few years, Honor is impressively emerging as one of the fastest growing brands globally, having accumulated over 80 million fans worldwide and it is no surprise how this feat was achieved. Honor is part of the Huawei Consumer Business Group.

On the back of this momentum, Honor is bringing the 9 Lite to consumers in the Philippines through its exclusive partnership with Shopee.

Available in Sapphire Blue and Glacier Grey, consumers can purchase the Honor 9Lite exclusively on Shopee at https://shopee.ph/honor9lite and at the best price yet of P7,990 between 12:00pm to 3:00pm on May 5, 2018. (Press Release)

No Comments on Honor 9 Lite: Your perfect wanderlust companion on sale at Shopee today

2018 Transformation Summit to tackle AI adoption, digital innovation

Cebu needs to develop a pool of skilled workers and adapt to digital disruptions like artificial intelligence (AI) to secure its position as an IT-BPM hub. These crucial issues that…

Cebu needs to develop a pool of skilled workers and adapt to digital disruptions like artificial intelligence (AI) to secure its position as an IT-BPM hub.

These crucial issues that affect the information technology and business process management (IT-BPM) sector will be tackled during the 2018 Transformation Summit scheduled from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on May 16.

“The need for human resource is the most critical of objectives to ensure Cebu sustains its operations as an ICT hub regardless of challenges,” said Gregg Victor Gabison, president of the Cebu IT-BPM.Organization (CIB.O).

He added that a main focus of CIB.O is sustainable growth for ICT in Cebu, and the group had worked on talent development through the years even when it was still known as the Cebu Educational Development Foundation for Information Technology or Cedf-IT.

Transformation Summit

TRANSFORMATION SUMMIT. (From left) Cebu IT-BPM.Organization (CIB.O) President Gregg Victor Gabison, Managing Director Wilfredo “Jun” Saa, Jr., and Sykes Vice President for Area Operations and Shared Services Group John Sneed during the press conference to announce the holding of the 2018 Transformation Summit on May 16.

Transformation Summit topics

Another advocacy of CIB.O right now, according to Gabison, is for Cebu to inject more AI systems in ICT operations.

The summit carries the timely theme “Embracing New Realities” to reflect the need for AI integration and digital innovation in the IT-BPM industry, said CIB.O Managing Director Wilfredo “Jun” Saa, Jr.

The group will bring in Avinash Vashistha, chairman and CEO of Tholons, Inc., to talk about the Super Cities of the World during the 2018 Transformation Summit.

Other forum topics include:

  • Effective Industry-Academe Partnership on Talent Development by Convergys Senior Director for Talent Acquisition Lorelie Juntilla,
  • From the Pioneer to More Complex Services by Sykes Vice President for Area Operations and Shared Services Group John Sneed,
  • Digital Cities of the Philippines by OIC Secretary Eliseo Rio Jr. of the Department of ICT.

AI, high value IT services

Saa also cited the need for IT-BPM companies to shift to high value and complex services, focusing specifically on artificial intelligence.

“AI is here and it’s real. It should be part of the way we do things. We need to do more complex services because a lot of cities, countries compete for simple (IT-BPM) tasks,” he added.

At the same time, the summit will discuss the impact of the K to 12 program on the industry. Saa said Cebu can make use of its senior high graduates to sustain industry growth.

According to Saa, a few pilot Cebu City high schools now implement the Learning English Application for Pinoys or LEAP, and majority of senior high students who undergo LEAP immersion get offered jobs by IT-BPO companies upon graduation.

Registration fees

He encouraged IT-BPM stakeholders to join the summit, which will be held at Bai Hotel. They may register online at www.tscebu.com/registration.

The registration fees for the different sectors are: P2,000 for academe, ICT councils, and local government units; P2,500 for CIB.O members; and P4,000 for non-CIB.O members.

The fee already covers meals and snacks for the plenary sessions and conference kit.

No Comments on 2018 Transformation Summit to tackle AI adoption, digital innovation

Cebu City library gets free wifi in partnership with Smart

Shortly after expanding to 24-hour daily operations, the Cebu City Public Library and Information Center rolled out a carrier-grade wifi service for users in partnership with Smart Communications, Inc. Students,…

Shortly after expanding to 24-hour daily operations, the Cebu City Public Library and Information Center rolled out a carrier-grade wifi service for users in partnership with Smart Communications, Inc.

Students, researchers, and other library patrons get their first 30 minutes of Smart Wifi access for free. They can extend access by buying credits via cellphone load.

A wifi connection is particularly useful for studying and research and would be a big help to library goers, said Ramon Isberto, concurrent Public Affairs Head of leading telecoms and digital services provider PLDT and wireless subsidiary Smart.

Cebu City Library Smart Wifi

SMART WIFI. (From left) Smart Public Affairs AVP and Center Head Maria Jane C. Paredes, Mitch Roldan, PLDT and Smart Public Affairs Head Ramon Isberto, Cebu City Hall Assistant City Administrator Annabeth Cuizon, Cebu City Councilor Margot Osmeña, Cebu City Librarian Rosario Chua, and PLDT SME Nation AVP Jimmy Chua during the launching of the Smart Wi-Fi in the Cebu City Public Library.

“When you turn a library into a community hub, you make it more powerful and influential,” he added, citing that users get access not only to books housed there but to a global library through the Internet.

High-speed Internet

Jimmy Chua, AVP and Head CRM of PLDT SME Nation, said high-speed Internet is essential for going digital and that the provision of Smart Wifi at the library was only the beginning of the company’s collaboration with Cebu City.

Isberto and Chua attended the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to formalize the provision of up to 30 minutes of free wifi at the city library last April 5, 2018.

Cebu City library Smart wifi

AGREEMENT. (From left) PLDT SME Nation AVP Jimmy Chua, PLDT and Smart Public Affairs Head Ramon Isberto, Cebu City Councilor Margot Osmeña, and Cebu City Librarian Rosario Chua after the signing of the agreement.

Councilor Margot Osmeña said the City Government was more than willing to transform the Cebu City Public Library and Information Center into a daily 24-hour operation when student Mitch Roldan requested it.

“Whatever the City can do, we will do for you,” Osmeña, who represented the City Government at the signing, added.

Cebu City study centers

Cebu City plans to put up 24-hour study centers in selected barangays so students don’t need to go far to study. Osmeña said she hopes to get the support of PLDT and Smart for the other areas as well.

Cebu City public library Smart wifi

BIG HELP. A wifi connection is particularly useful for studying and research and would be a big help to library goers, said Ramon Isberto, concurrent Public Affairs Head of PLDT and Smart.

Aside from the city library, Smart Wifi is also available for students at Cebu Institute of Technology, Cebu Technological University, University of Cebu Banilad in Cebu City, and in more school across Cebu Province.

Cebu City Hall was the first establishment in Cebu that offered public Smart Wifi. Other areas with Smart Wifi are the Cebu Provincial Capitol, Larsian Food Center, Cebu North and South Bus Terminals, Cebu Port Terminals 1 and 3, Cebu Port Terminals 1 and 3, and the Mactan-Cebu International Airport.

Facebook Live broadcast of launch

No Comments on Cebu City library gets free wifi in partnership with Smart

Slide to talk with the reloaded Nokia 8110 4G

Reloading the legendary Nokia 8110, this 4G feature phone comes complete with the elegantly curved slider design. Giving you the chance to switch off, have fun and relax with the…

Reloading the legendary Nokia 8110, this 4G feature phone comes complete with the elegantly curved slider design. Giving you the chance to switch off, have fun and relax with the knowledge that all your smartphone essentials are there when you need them.

Nokia 8110 4G

NOKIA 8110 4G. The iconic phone will be available in Black and “Banana” Yellow starting May 14 and will retail for P3,990.

With a familiar and easy to use interface, the Nokia 8110 features intuitive tactile mechanics, with slide to answer and end calls, as well as an addictive helicopter-style spin on its axis. The Nokia 8110 delivers crystal-clear VoLTE calling and is perfect for anyone who wants an iconic 4G feature phone or a companion phone. With access to an app store, for favorites like Google Assistant, Google Maps, Google Search, Facebook and Twitter, send and receive emails or import your contacts and sync your calendar with Outlook and Gmail.

Nokia 8110 4G

PORTABLE HOTSPOT. You can turn the LTE-enabled Nokia 8110 into a portable hotspot to share your connection with other devices.

To keep it running flawlessly, the Nokia 8110 features the Qualcomm 205 Mobile Platform. With its Wi-Fi connection you can turn your Nokia 8110 into a portable hotspot to share your internet connection with other devices.

The Nokia 8110 4G will be available in Black and “Banana” Yellow starting May 14 and will retail for P3,990. (Press Release)

 

The Nokia 8110 4G

No Comments on Slide to talk with the reloaded Nokia 8110 4G

PC still center of work: Dell EMC

Despite talks we are at the end of its era, studies show the PC still remains “the center of how work gets done,” said Dell EMC Country General Manager Ronnie…

Despite talks we are at the end of its era, studies show the PC still remains “the center of how work gets done,” said Dell EMC Country General Manager Ronnie Latinazo.

It is important for companies to get technology right because it underpins the modern office and impacts how work is done, he said during the launch last week of Dell EMC devices designed for the corporate market.

“We’ve heard people say the PC is dead, that it’s the end of the PC era but actually we’re seeing growth and if you look at the technology still coming out in the market, many of these center around the capabilities and technologies available on the PCs,” Latinazo said.

Ronnie Latinazo changing workforce

CHANGES IN THE WAY WE WORK. Dell EMC Country General Manager Ronnie Latinazo talks about the transformation of the workplace and employees caused by advances in technology.

Tech and work transformation

He said work has fundamentally changed because of advances in technology, which improves 10X every five years. With advances in tech, devices are getting faster, more powerful, and even smaller, he said.

“To a large extent, the definition of work has changed. In the past, work was a place, I’ll go to work, I’ll go to the office. After five o’clock, I go home, I switch off, its personal life. But that has really changed. The business hour is no longer 9 to 5, it’s as soon as you wake up and probably before you sleep,” he said.

Dell 7390 laptop

LATITUDE 7390 CLAMSHELL. Valerie Fontano, Dell Client Technologist, talks about the feature of the Latitude 7390 laptop, designed for the “mobile professional seeking power on the go.”

He said that data shows 60% of employees work even after business hours and 2/3 do some business at home.

Latinazo highlighted the importance of tech solutions for companies saying 42% of employees indicated they would quit a job with poor technology. It also has an impact on recruitment with 82% saying a company’s state of technology influences the job they take.

He said this trend will continue, as can be gleaned by the finding that 44% of millennials think their workspace isn’t smart enough.

Latitude 5290 2-in-1

MOBILE OFFICE. Martin Diez, Business Development Manager, talks about how the Latitude 5290 2-in-1 allows you to work from anywhere by offering the “power of a laptop and flexibility of a tablet.

Different personas in use of tech

He said Dell EMC studied how people worked and came up with seven different personas based on where and how they perform tasks. These personas were either desk-centric, remote workers, or always on the go.

Latinazo said they found that 52% of the workforce spends some if not all of their time working remotely. The company also found that 72 percent of employees see collaboration increase with “more grab and go technology.”” For on-the-go professionals, 39% of the group uses multiple devices while traveling for work.

Dell Latitude 7390 2-in-1

BEAUTY, PRODUCTIVITY. Michelle Juliano, Field Marketing Manager, Client Solutions Group, talks about the features of the Latitude 7390 2-in-1. Dell said that in the device, “beauty and productivity intersect.”

“Only Dell has the right technology for every work style,” Latinazo said. “We would be in the best position to serve all the requirements of a workforce given the breadth of the products that we have, the technology that we bring to the market, and the innovations that we introduced.”

He said there is a need to transform the way companies deploy tech resources and look at the “whole lifecycle.”

Dell Latitude laptops launch

NEW DELL DEVICES. (From left) Valerie Fontano, Dell Client Technologist; Ronnie Latinazo, Country General Manager, Dell EMC Philippines; Martin Diez, Business Development Manager; and Michelle Juliano, Field Marketing Manager, Client Solutions Group during the launching of new devices meant to help employees in a workplace transformed by technology.

Launch of new Dell Latitude devices

“Dell can provide help in all the key phases in this life cycle – from planning to deployment to supporting and maintaining it and even to a large extent in helping them refresh it because best practice shows that the cost of ownership of these machines become much higher after three years,” he said.

During the event, Dell EMC highlighted the Latitude 7390 2-in-1, Latitude 7390, Vostro 5370, Latitude 5290, as well as various accessories to help improve the experience in using the devices at home, in the office, and on the road.

The devices come with top of the line specs and thin and light design to meet the requirements of the new workforce, company officials said during the event.

Latitude 7390

Latitude 7390. Impressive power in a premium design. A 13-inch business-class laptop built for business professionals who want power while staying mobile. Featuring Intel 7th and 8th Gen Core i processors.

 

Latitude 5290 2-in-1.

Latitude 5290 2-in-1. The device offers “security with style.” Dell describes it as “our most secure 2-in-1 detachable with the power of a laptop and flexibility of a tablet.”

 

Latitude 7390 2-in-1

Latitude 7390 2-in-1. “Work in luxury with this 13-inch 2-in-1 convertible featuring a superior display, Intel Core 8th Gen Processor, exceptional battery life and security keep you productive anywhere,” Dell says in its product page.

 

 

Dell launches new Latitude laptops

 

Facebook Live of launching

No Comments on PC still center of work: Dell EMC

Buy movie tickets using GCash Scan-to-pay at all Robinsons Movieworld branches nationwide

Moviegoers can now seamlessly purchase tickets for the latest movies in one of the biggest cinema chains in the country. This has been made easier thanks to a new partnership…

Moviegoers can now seamlessly purchase tickets for the latest movies in one of the biggest cinema chains in the country. This has been made easier thanks to a new partnership between Robinsons Movieworld (RMW) and the Philippine’s top mobile e-payment scheme, GCash Scan-to-Pay.

Robinsons Movieworld has now embraced the cashless payment system in all of its branches nationwide in order to bring added convenience to its moviegoers.

“The push for a cashless payment system is strongly supported by Robinsons Movieworld. With Robinsons Movieworld adapting the e-payment scheme, we are confident that our customers can fully experience convenience with this feature in all our cinema branches nationwide,” said Arlene Magtibay, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Robinsons Land Corporation’s Commercial Center Division.

GCash Scan To Pay Robinsons Movieworld

GCASH SCAN TO PAY. (From left) Robinsons Movieworld Senior Marketing Manager Michelle Araullo, Robinsons Land Corporation Senior Vice President & General Manager Commercial Center Division Arlene Magtibay, Mynt President and CEO Anthony Thomas and Robinsons Movieworld General Manager Jose Rodrigo Lim during an event to announce that moviegoers can now use GCAsh Scan To Pay to buy movie tickets at Robinsons Movieworld nationwide.

20% cashback promo

“The growing number of merchants is proof that GCash is moving towards fulfilling its vision for a cashless ecosystem in the country. With partners like Robinsons Movieworld on board, Filipinos are more empowered to maximize their connectivity and provide ease and security in various transactions,” says Anthony Thomas, Chief Executive Officer of Mynt.

As part of the newly forged partnership, Robinsons Movieworld, together with GCash, will carry out more than the usual promos to its customers. Movie patrons who use GCash scan to pay to purchase their tickets will enjoy a 20% cashback up to 500 pesos daily from April 15 till May 31, 2018.

How to pay with GCash

To use the scan to pay GCash feature, a customer with an iPhone or an Android smartphone only needs to download and update to the latest version of the GCash App. They would need to register for an account and fund their GCash wallet in any of over 12,000 GCash Partner Outlets nationwide—which includes Robinsons Business Centers. Once funds are loaded in the GCash wallet, a customer can then swipe to the left or choose PayQR then Scan QR and point the smartphone’s camera to the RMW’s QR code to scan.

GCash is operated by Mynt, which is owned by Globe Telecom, Ant Financial and Ayala Corp. (Press Release)

No Comments on Buy movie tickets using GCash Scan-to-pay at all Robinsons Movieworld branches nationwide

HMD Global launches new Nokia phones in Cebu

Durable and reliable. These are some of the words that come to people’s minds when Nokia is mentioned, said HMD Global Country Manager Shannon Mead. HMD Global is the one-year-old…

Durable and reliable. These are some of the words that come to people’s minds when Nokia is mentioned, said HMD Global Country Manager Shannon Mead.

HMD Global is the one-year-old Finnish startup behind the resurgence of Nokia mobile phones.

NOKIA PHONES. Shannon Mead, Philippines Country Manager of HMD Global, discusses with Cebu journalists and bloggers the lineup of Nokia phones now available in the market.

“Durable, reliable. They’re what comes to mind when consumers are asked what they think about when we say Nokia,” Mead said during the company’s launching of new devices in Cebu.

“We actually dusted off some old phones and they’re still working. So, I think that really brings to life the message of durability and reliability,” he said.

Nokia 7 plus Cebu launch

PRO CONTROLS. Shannon Meads shows the pro controls that come with the camera of the Nokia 7 plus.

Pure, up-to-date Android

A key component of the reliability is Nokia’s approach to Android, their phones’ operating system.

“A strategic part for us is our take on Android. When we introduced our product portfolio in early 2017 to the world, we talked about pure, secure and up-to-date Android. We made that a promise and we’ve kept that promise,” Mead said.

New Nokia phones launch in Cebu

CEBU LAUNCH. HMD Global Philippines Country Manager Shannon Mead and Head of Marketing Gibby Peñaflor launch the new Nokia phones in Cebu.

The Nokia 8, Nokia 6, and Nokia 5 are already on Android Oreo 8.1, which is the the latest release.

“For the Nokia 5 currently on promo at P8,990 to have Oreo 8.1 when some of our competitors are only getting Android 8 on their flagship devices – I think we’ve made that promise and we’ve been able to keep it,” he said.

Nokia 1

NOKIA 1. Shannon Mead talks about the Nokia 1, a 4G phone that comes with Android Oreo (Go edition), a version of Android optimized for devices with 1GB RAM or less. It retails for P4,290.

New Nokia phones

Apart from the OS upgrades, Mead said the monthly security updates that they send out are also important. With these updates, “you can always ensure that the device has got the latest version which optimizes your battery life but also ensures that any malware, any glitches that have come in in the previous month are resolved.”

Mead led the launching in Cebu of the Nokia 7 plus, Nokia 1, New Nokia 6, and Nokia 8110 4G.

Nokia mobile NewSeum

LOOKING BACK, AHEAD. Shannon Mead and Gibby Peñaflor open the Nokia mobile NewSeum exhibit in SM City Cebu. The exhibit takes Nokia fans back in time through old phones while displaying the innovations done by Nokia through the years with newer Nokia devices. The exhibit will run in SM City Cebu until April 30.

“HMD Global is proud to continue the story of Nokia mobile through the qualities that we first loved such as durability and innovation, designed to suit every need and style. As a key market, we are committed to building and strengthening our presence in Cebu,” Mead said in a statement.

“We are optimistic that with the new generation of Nokia Android smartphones and our classic but highly upgraded feature phone, the Cebuanos will get the best mobile experience across all price points,” he said.

Nokia 8110 4G

Year 1 achievements

Mead said that in HMD Global’s first year, they introduced 11 phones which he described as a “pretty amazing feat.” The company was also able to open an office in 80 countries.

“We’re able to be on sale in 170 different markets. For a brand-new company to have a presence in 170 markets and to introduce 11 new phones into the market is pretty great,” he said.

The company also made its mark when Nokia devices were able to enter the top 5 for smartphones in 15 markets.

“We are number one in value shipments when it comes to feature phones. We’re actually making a lot of headway when it comes to our overall ambition, which is to be a top 5 brand in the next 3 to 5 years when it comes to smartphones as well as extend our feature phone leadership and make it the largest brand,” he said.

Expansion outside Manila

This year, Mead said HMD will put more effort in expanding to areas outside Metro Manila.

“When we looked at success of our 3310 and the Nokia 6, Cebu was always at the top. We can’t ignore that. We need to go deeper in those markets and further out into provincial areas,” he said.

Nokia 7 plus

The flagship device combines beautiful design and manufacturing, powerful specs and great cameras, the company said. The phone comes with cameras with Carl Zeiss optics.

Nokia 7 Plus

Key specs

  • Precision machined from a single block of 6000 series aluminium with anodised edges for added style and strength where you need it most
  • Ceramic-feel coating brings a unique tactile feel and comfortable grip while elegantly hiding antenna lines
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 Mobile Platform and 4 GB RAM for powerful performance and optimised power consumption and 2-day battery life
  • Rear dual camera with ZEISS optics – 12MP primary camera with large pixel size and wide aperture for great scenic photography, and secondary 13MP telephoto lens for 2X optical zoom
  • 16MP front camera with ZEISS optics and high-quality lowlight capability
  • New Pro Camera mode gives the ultimate intuitive manual control over camera settings for advanced users and shows the impact of your adjustments in real time

The Nokia 7 plus is available in Black/Copper and White/Copper and retails for P21,990.

Nokia 7 Plus

 

Nokia 1

The device is a “a 4G smartphone for every Juan.” The phone copmes with Android Oreo Go edition, a version of Android optimized for devices with 1GB RAM or less.

The Nokia 1 comes with interchangeable Xpress-on covers.

Nokia 1

Key specs

  • Familiar design and reassuring quality of a Nokia phone in our most affordable package yet
  • All the smartphone essentials – 4G LTE, quad core, rear camera with flash, front camera, dual SIM and voice control

Removable 2150mAh battery which lasts a full day with normal usage

The Nokia 1 is available in Warm Red and Dark Blue for P4,290.

Nokia 1 specs

 

New Nokia 6

The device is 60% faster than its predecessor and now comes with “enhanced Dual-Sight, ZEISS optics, USB-C fast-charging, a more compact screen-to-body ratio, Nokia spatial audio and pure, secure and up-to-date Android Oreo.”

New Nokia 6

Key specs

  • Crafted from a single block of 6000 series aluminium finished with two-tone anodization to stand out from the crowd
  • Robust and made to take everyday knocks thanks to the seamless aluminium unibody and sculpted 2.5D Corning Gorilla Glass
  • Bright 5.5” full HD IPS laminated display with great contrast in a more compact form
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 Mobile Platform available with either 3GB or 4GB RAM (32GB/64GB ROM)
  • 16MP rear camera with ZEISS optics and dual-tone flash for crystal clear images. 8MP wide-angle front camera
  • Nokia spatial audio capture and playback technology
  • 3000mAh battery with USB type-C fast charging. Get 50% charge in just 30 minutes

The new Nokia 6 features two configurations of 4GB RAM / 64 GB ROM in Blue/Gold color blend for P15,990.

New Nokia 6

 

Nokia 8110 4G

The latest model out of the Originals family is the Nokia 8110, known both as The Matrix phone because it figured in the movie series and the banana phone.

Nokia 8110

The Nokia 8110 is a 4G phone that can serve as Wi-Fi hotspot.

The phone runs with KaiOS with a standby time of 17 days both using GSM and LTE.

Mead said the Nokia 8110 will be shipping in May. He said pricing will also be announced in the coming weeks.

No Comments on HMD Global launches new Nokia phones in Cebu

GCash, Alipay team up for single QR code payment solution

A new payment solution will allow merchants in the Philippines to accept payments from local users of GCash and Chinese visitors using Alipay through a single connection to the GCash…

A new payment solution will allow merchants in the Philippines to accept payments from local users of GCash and Chinese visitors using Alipay through a single connection to the GCash QR Code solution.

The announcement was jointly made by Globe Fintech Innovations, Inc, (Mynt), which operates GCash, the country’s largest mobile wallet, and Ant Financial Services Group (Ant Financial or Ant), which operates Alipay, the world’s largest mobile and online payment platform.

Alipay and GCash will work together to promote the new QR code payment to enable local merchants to service an even bigger pool of consumers with seamless payment experiences. This service will be rolled out over the next few weeks across GCash’s merchant network.

Ant Financial earlier entered into a joint venture with Globe Telecom and the country’s oldest conglomerate Ayala Corporation to boost Mynt’s operations, parent company of GCash mobile wallet service. Under this strategic partnership, Ant Financial will partner with Mynt for merchant acquiring activities for Alipay across the Philippines.

GCash remains the only mobile wallet partner for Ant Financial in the Philippines, serving local users in their everyday mobile payment needs from buy load, movie tickets to microloans and other financial services.

“We have enjoyed a strong and trusting relationship with Mynt since 2017, as we witnessed GCash’s phenomenal growth to becoming a world-class online and offline payment provider well-loved by Filipinos. With the success GCash has demonstrated over the last twelve months, we are pleased to elevate this strategic partnership today by establishing GCash QR code as the common QR code for both local users and visiting Alipay users,” said Douglas Feagin, senior vice president of global business at Ant Financial.

“By jointly establishing this QR code with Alipay, all merchants working with GCash will be able to accept Alipay as a payment option for Chinese travelers in their stores, while also catering to the local user pool that have now grown to love our cashless lifestyle app. We are hopeful that our merchants can benefit from the increased footfall and revenue stream brought by the increasing number of Chinese tourists coming to the country,” said Anthony Thomas, President and Chief Executive Officer of Mynt.

Alipay is now accepted by brick-and-mortar merchants across 41 countries and regions. They connect with travelers via the Alipay’s in-app marketing platform and accept payments in stores and online.

According to a survey named “Outbound Chinese Tourism and Consumption Trends: 2017 Survey” conducted by research firm Nielsen, over 94% of Chinese tourists expect they will utilize mobile payment methods when travelling, bringing their cashless lifestyle overseas. A record-breaking number of Chinese tourists were seen visiting Philippines in the month of February 2018 according to the Philippines Department of Tourism. (Press Release)

No Comments on GCash, Alipay team up for single QR code payment solution

Smart, YouTube partnership offers free 1-hour daily access to video site

PLDT wireless arm Smart Communications Inc. (Smart) is giving Smart, TNT, and Sun prepaid customers free access for one hour daily to YouTube and soon to other online video services…

PLDT wireless arm Smart Communications Inc. (Smart) is giving Smart, TNT, and Sun prepaid customers free access for one hour daily to YouTube and soon to other online video services until July 15.

These subscribers can watch YouTube for one hour for free daily by simply registering to load packages like GigaSurf99, AllOutSurf99, GigaSurf 50, AllOutSurf 30, Panalo Data 30, Panalo Combo 30, Super Combo 20, and Big Time Data 70. They can enjoy this special offer for the duration of the packages that they buy.

“Through this path-breaking partnership, many more Filipinos can pursue their passions like music and entertainment, and learn a wide range of skills, hobbies, educational material, news and information through the massive library of video material of YouTube. This service is something every Filipino should have access to,” said Oscar A. Reyes, Jr., SVP of Consumer Business Market Development for PLDT and Smart.

Smart Free YouTube

YOUTUBE PARTNERSHIP. Filipino YouTube creators during the announcement of Smart’s partnership with the video platform. (Photo from Smart Newsroom)

Enhance digital lifestyle

“With this new offer, mobile phone users now have everyday access to the richest video library with content from every corner of the planet—for free,” Reyes said. He added that this special promo will soon be available to postpaid subscribers as well.

“We are proud to partner with YouTube to bring the service closer to our customers. This is just the start of a fruitful partnership, and we are working on a lot of other exciting initiatives that will enhance the digital lifestyle of Filipinos,” Reyes said.

Aside from YouTube, another video service is also set to be part of the offer. Access to Smart360, a web portal where Smart, TNT and Sun subscribers can access various digital content like live TV, movies, series, music and games, will soon be free for a limited time. Other video content providers are also eligible to be included in the offer, subject to mutually agreed terms with Smart.

Smart, TNT and Sun subscribers are now better able to enjoy video streaming services like YouTube as a result of Smart’s massive network investments over the past several years which has enabled the mobile phone carrier to provide high-speed mobile data services via its expanded LTE and 3G networks throughout the country.

Internet experience at par with the world

To provide customers with a better video and mobile internet experience, Smart is accelerating the deployment of LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) and carrier aggregation technology to more areas this year. Carrier Aggregation (CA), a feature of LTE-A, enables the combination of two or more radio frequency bands in order to deliver bigger bandwidth and much faster data speeds, which are crucial in providing the best video streaming experience to mobile phone users.

Smart has already rolled-out 3CC CA sites in cities across Metro Manila, as well as in major cities in other regions of the country, including Baguio, Calamba, Iloilo, Bacolod, Tagbilaran, Ormoc, Cagayan de Oro, Dipolog, Zamboanga, among others. In Metro Manila and areas where there is a concentration of capable devices, Smart is also deploying 4CC, starting with Marikina and Quezon City, where customers with 4CC CA-capable devices like the Samsung Galaxy S8 have reported enjoying data download speeds of over 200 Mbps.

Smart’s accelerated deployment of LTE-Advanced follows the stepped up roll out of its LTE network. It is also upping the ante by deploying another LTE-A based technology called 4×4 Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO), which raises the radio frequency efficiency by using multiple antennas for sending and receiving data.

Parent company PLDT has committed historic levels of resources to support network transformation. Capital expenditures reached P40 billion in 2017, of which about 67% was allotted for the mobile network. For 2018, PLDT capex is expected to reach P58 billion, which includes allocations for the aggressive roll-out of its fiber broadband service, which also supports the stepped-up deployment of the mobile network by providing high-capacity links for cellular base stations. (Press Release)

No Comments on Smart, YouTube partnership offers free 1-hour daily access to video site

Dell EMC turns ocean plastic into packaging; recycles e-wastes into new components

When you unbox the highly-rated XPS 13 2-in-1 you will find packaging made of recycled ocean-bound plastics, the result of a key project that is part of the Dell EMC…

When you unbox the highly-rated XPS 13 2-in-1 you will find packaging made of recycled ocean-bound plastics, the result of a key project that is part of the Dell EMC Legacy of Good global corporate initiative.

Dell EMC collects plastics from beaches and waterways and recycles these into product packaging, which is a first for the industry, the company said.

Dell EMC will turn eight tons of ocean-bound plastic into packaging this year, with a goal of using 10 times that volume by 2025, said Elizabeth Pabunag of Dell EMC Corporate Communications. Pabunag gave a briefing on the company’s key corporate social responsibility program to journalists at their office in the Bonifacio Global City in Taguig City.

Dell EMC recycled packaging.

RECYCLED PACKAGING. Elizabeth Pabunag of Dell EMC Corporate Communications shows the packaging tray made from recycled ocean-bound plastic (right). At left is the one made from bamboo.

Sustainability at every stage

In 2017, Dell EMC reported that its recycling program kept 16,000 pounds of plastic from entering the ocean. The plastic recovered from beaches and waterways are refined, mixed with recycled plastic bottles and food containers, and then molded into packaging trays for the company’s products.

Pabunag said Dell EMC takes a “lifecycle approach” on recycling that focuses on “sustainability at every stage.” She said 99% of the company’s manufacturing waste is diverted from landfills into the “world’s largest recycling program with services in 83 countries and territories.”

She said 22 million pounds of plastic parts have been created under this closed-loop plastics supply chain since May 2014.

Dell recycling program

RECYCLING PROGRAM. Dell EMC reported that by recycling plastic into packaging such as the one in the photo, they kept 16,000 pounds of plastic from entering the ocean.

E-waste into new components

Apart from plastics, Pabunag sa Dell EMC also recovers precious metals from electronic products and recycles them into components.

“Currently only 12.5% of e-waste is recycled into other products. As a result, it’s estimated that Americans throw away $60 million in gold and silver every year through unwanted phones alone,” Dell EMC said in a press statement.

Dell EMC Legacy of Good

TARGET. Dell EMC will turn eight tons of ocean-bound plastic into packaging this year, with a goal of using 10 times that volume by 2025, said Elizabeth Pabunag of Dell EMC Corporate Communications.

Pabunag said Dell EMC is the first to recycle gold from old computers into new motherboards. She said its supplier in Tawain was able to make connectors for 6 million new motherboards from 2.27 kilos of gold that the company recovered from discarded motherboards.

Less environmental damage

The process causes 99% less environmental damage and avoids $1.6 million in “natural capital costs.”

Pabunag also highlighted the company’s partnership with actress and entrepreneur Nikki Reed for the Circular Collection by Bayou with Love and Dell, a limited jewelry line made from gold recovered by Dell EMC’s recycling program.

No Comments on Dell EMC turns ocean plastic into packaging; recycles e-wastes into new components

Here’s how to make your internet connection (a bit) faster, more private

When you connect to a website, the first thing that happens is that your device queries for the location of the servers that host the content. When you type an…

When you connect to a website, the first thing that happens is that your device queries for the location of the servers that host the content.

When you type an address like Facebook.com, for example, your system needs to find the numeric address or the Internet Protocol (IP) address of the server that hosts the site, such as 31.13.72.36. This arrangement, called Domain Name System (DNS), is analogous to a phonebook.

That process is what technology company Cloudflare wants to speed up with its recent announcement on the availability of the 1.1.1.1 DNS service. The service is run in partnership with the Asia-Pacific Network Information Centre or APNIC, the regional registry that manages the allocation of IP addresses.

Here’s an explainer video on DNS

“Unfortunately, by default, DNS is usually slow and insecure. Your ISP, and anyone else listening in on the Internet, can see every site you visit and every app you use — even if their content is encrypted. Creepily, some DNS providers sell data about your Internet activity or use it target you with ads,” Cloudflare said in announcing the free service.

By default, your connection uses the DNS settings of your Internet Service Providers or ISP such as PLDT Home. To use the services of 1.1.1.1, you just need to adjust settings in your router, computer, or phone.

Cloudflare 1.1.1.1

CHANGING ROUTER SETTING. To use the service, you need to change a setting in your router or device. The image shows the setting change for the PLDT DSL modem.

I switched our home connection for a couple of days now and there are discernible improvements in the speed of the loading of pages. Before 1.1.1.1, we used Google’s public DNS, which are 8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4.

Before Google’s public DNS, we used for some time OpenDNS, which are 208.67.222.222 and 208.67.220.220. OpenDNS has the added functionality of blocking harmful locations such as phishing sites and filtering porn content.

Cloudflare DNS

FAST. DNSPerf ranks 1.1.1.1 as fastest DNS service globally.

DNSPerf data back up the service’s claim to being the fastest. It ranked 1.1.1.1 at number 1 with a query speed of 13.67 ms. OpenDNS ranked 2nd with a speed of 20.69 ms. Google’s public DNS had a speed of 34.46 ms.

Cloudflare DNS 1.1.1.1

SPEED, PRIVACY. The new DNS service by Cloudflare and APNIC offers speed and guarantees privacy, according to its announcement.

But a key draw to the 1.1.1.1 service is its guarantee on privacy.

“Frankly, we don’t want to know what you do on the Internet—it’s none of our business—and we’ve taken the technical steps to ensure we can’t,” the service announcement said.

The partners said the “will never log your IP address (the way other companies identify you).” To back their claim, the partners said they signed up KPMG to audit their systems to make sure they are doing what they promised.

No Comments on Here’s how to make your internet connection (a bit) faster, more private

Fujitsu PH expands array of cloud solutions, services in VisMin

Fujitsu Philippines, Inc., a leading Information Technology (IT) systems integrator and solutions provider, is strengthening its array of cloud offerings in Visayas and Mindanao amid the growing market demands in…

Fujitsu Philippines, Inc., a leading Information Technology (IT) systems integrator and solutions provider, is strengthening its array of cloud offerings in Visayas and Mindanao amid the growing market demands in the region.

According to Raul “Cricket” Santiago III, president and CEO of Fujitsu Philippines, the VisMin markets sustained a stellar development, especially that their “next wave cities” like Cebu, Bacolod, Iloilo, and Davao offer the necessary infrastructure, security, labor pool, and government policies, that attract investors to grow their businesses in the region.

Cloud solutions

“As these markets continue to thrive, organizations of all sizes across all industry sectors are realizing the importance of moving to new cloud models,” added Santiago. To support the goals of these organizations, this year, Fujitsu Philippines sets to offer a more comprehensive range of trusted cloud solutions not just for its growing number of customers, but also for potential clients in the area.

Fujitsu cloud

CLOUD SOLUTIONS. Fujitsu Philippines Sales Director for Visayas-Mindanao Terry Ybanez, Managed Services and Cloud Mark Pandy, Marketing Director Marje Balbuena and Marketing Associate Erika Garcia.

“Our goal is really to bring our global cloud expertise closer to organizations in Visayas and Mindanao, which need a wide array of solutions and services for their IT requirements,” said Santiago. “We want to work with them, together with our systems integration partners, in ensuring the deployment of solutions that tackle their IT challenges and maximize their business potential.”

At present, Fujitsu Philippines has two cloud infrastructures present in the country, one in Metro Manila and the other in Metro Cebu, making it more reliable and compliant with industry standards.

Satellite offices

Aside from these data centers, the company also has a satellite office in Davao, which was opened last year, and in Sta. Rosa in Laguna.

Fujitsu Philippines offers public, private, and hybrid cloud offerings, geared towards helping companies achieve the success of their cloud adoption more rapidly, at lower costs, and with greater agility. It also extends standardized IT services, which can be used within a short lead time without having to deal with complex hardware and software.

For enterprises that need to implement their own cloud infrastructure, Fujitsu Philippines also offers pre-integrated and tested infrastructures for faster implementation and earlier savings with minimum cost outlay.

“With over 40 years of relevant experience in the local market, Fujitsu has already established positive results for our cloud customers nationwide. We want to continue shaping a better future in these emerging and markets by driving business agility, greatest cost-efficiencies, and rapid innovation for organizations, wherever they may be in their cloud adoption journey,” said Santiago.

Aside from cloud solutions and services, Fujitsu Philippines also provides businesses with cutting-edge IT solutions and services nationwide. It has also made Japanese IT design and technology available through its server, storage, and scanning hardware and solutions.

To know more about Fujitsu Philippines, Inc., visit the website at http://www.fujitsu.com/ph.

No Comments on Fujitsu PH expands array of cloud solutions, services in VisMin

Smart powers PH Red Cross-Nokia disaster response solution

PLDT wireless unit Smart Communications will provide high-speed connectivity for a drone system that will help boost the disaster response efforts of the Philippine Red Cross. The drone system, which…

PLDT wireless unit Smart Communications will provide high-speed connectivity for a drone system that will help boost the disaster response efforts of the Philippine Red Cross.

The drone system, which will operate on Smart’s frequencies during times of emergency, is part of Nokia Saving Lives, a program that aims to provide communications technology and technical assistance to emergency response teams.

The initiative was showcased in Barcelona, Spain, at the recent Mobile World Congress organized by GSMA, an organization of nearly 800 operators and more than 300 mobile companies all over the world.

Drone system

The system consists of drones, a portable data center, a mobile broadband network, and applications like video streaming, gas sensing, mapping, and analytics, which can help Red Cross responders assess current status of lifelines and analyze immediate needs and gaps. This will enable Red Cross to provide emergency assistance to communities in more timely, effective and efficient ways.

Using Smart’s high-speed LTE connectivity and Nokia’s portable Ultra Compact Network, the system can also create a secure communication between drones, other equipment, and rescue team members.

The drone can be equipped with different types of cameras, sensors and speakers, and can also be used to carry first aid kits. The portable data center, meanwhile, is a computing and storage unit that can be used for immediate data analysis.

Smart, Red Cross, Nokia

PARTNERSHIP. Representatives of Philippine Red Cross, Smart Communications and Nokia meet for the drone project. From left, PRC disaster response and chapter support unit head Archieval Molos, operations center manager May Carol Layugan, Finnish Red Cross country delegate Juan Daniel Reyes, Smart community partnerships’ Joyce Panaligan and Mary Jane Francisco, PRC disaster management services manager Resty Lou Talamayan, Smart community partnerships senior manager Nova Concepcion, Nokia Philippines chief technology officer Timothy Senathirajah, and Nokia Manila Technology Center’s Lawrence Madriaga and Kenneth Pingca.

Improve emergency response

Nicolas Bouverot, head of market unit Asia South, said: “Nokia is committed to using technology to make people’s lives better. With our Nokia Manila Technology Center, we’re honored to collaborate with Smart and the Philippine Red Cross in this disaster management enhancement project utilizing LTE connected drones in Philippines, helping the country improve emergency response, and save lives.”

“We are happy to be part of this project by providing vital communications support for the operations of the drones. This project is in line with our commitment to deploy tech innovations for the benefit of communities, particularly during times of disasters,” said PLDT and Smart public affairs head Ramon R. Isberto.

Smart is one of the three founding signatories of GSMA’s Human Connectivity Charter. The HCC aims to provide increased access to communication and information of for those affected by calamities, helping reduce loss of lives and contribute to humanitarian response.

Since its launch in 2015, HCC has grown to include over 100 mobile operator members and six humanitarian partners across more than 75 countries.

HCC was launched to enable network operators and industry partners to formalize their commitments to enhance their capacity to mitigate, prepare for, and respond to disasters through mobile technology.

Smart, Red Cross, Nokia

Smart will provide connectivity support to Nokia drones, which will be used by the Philippine Red Cross for their humanitarian efforts.

Disaster preparedness programs

Smart’s disaster preparedness programs were cited in GSMA HCC’s annual report in 2016. These programs include Smart’s Emergency Cell Broadcast System (ECBS), which sends out location- and hazard-specific alerts; its ICT Bayanihan series of regional summits to institutionalize emergency telecommunications teams; and the Batingaw disaster management app, which has been replicated in the Horn of Africa. In 2017, the report said Smart had sent SMS and ECBS disaster alerts to 10 million people.

The company has also been a partner of the Philippine Red Cross for disaster response efforts and blood donation drives. Smart has extended support to Red Cross chapters all over the country on various occasions and in times of calamities by providing communications facilities and helping set up first-aid stations, among other activities.

Smart’s support to the Red Cross and commitment to HCC are part of the company’s #SafePH advocacy, which aims to help build resilient communities and reduce disaster-related casualties through technology. (Press Release)

No Comments on Smart powers PH Red Cross-Nokia disaster response solution

Type on the field below and hit Enter/Return to search