PLDT – paving the way for innovations in transformative technologies


The culture of digital transformation continues to take the world by storm, bringing life to new advancements in disruptive innovations aimed at changing the way people of every lifestyle and profession go about their daily tasks.

In an age where consumer experience standards rise exponentially with every new technology and platform innovation, leading telecoms and digital services provider PLDT organized the 2017 Philippine Digital Convention, bringing together top executives from the country’s leading enterprises and SMEs across various industries.

With the theme, “Redefining Experience,” the convention gave attendees an exclusive look into the four key technologies that are poised to reinvent the way companies engage with and provide their service to customers.

“In order to reap the full benefits of today’s advanced technologies, we must go beyond simply transitioning into the digital space, and looking into combining this powerful tool with a strategic application to specific industries,” said PLDT and Smart Chief Revenue Officer Eric R. Alberto. “Digital transformation provides enterprise leaders the agile means to achieve efficiency and sustainability towards their success.”

Co-presented by ePLDT, and in partnership with premier global market intelligence provider International Data Corporation (IDC), the 2017 Philippine Digital Convention highlighted 21st century digital innovations, focusing on Software-Defined Networks, the Internet-of-Things, Artificial Intelligence and Cybersecurity. Going beyond theory, the convention highlighted direct applications of these innovations within key verticals and industries.

“It is essential for leaders of enterprises to take an active role in the digital transformation journey of their organization to sustain competitive advantage,” said ePLDT Group Chief Operating Officer Nerisse Ramos. “Technology trends and customer expectations are constantly evolving, challenging industries to reinvent themselves and remain relevant to their market.”

The digital expo highlighted six different industries of the future, showcasing how far innovation can go.

The event theme of “redefinition” was brought to life in the Digital Expo which greeted attendees at the Marriott Grand Ballroom. Offering guests a glimpse into the Industries of the Future, attendees experienced first-hand new innovations at work through the state-of-the-art exhibit enabled by technologies from renowned tech companies from around the world. From retail to banking, and workplace to the academe, six major industries were highlighted to prepare those in attendance for what’s in store for them in the near future.

While the event focused on technology, attendees walked in to a setting more akin to a Rock and Roll concert. Headlined by a massive interactive LED wall and aesthetics that would rival concerts from international talents, the plenary featured dynamic presentations in which speakers were brought to life and interacted with their presentations.

The third Philippine Digital Convention boasted of a stellar production, featuring an LED wall that sparked life into dynamic presentations from the speakers

In attendance was no less than PLDT Group Chairman and CEO, Mr. Manuel V. Pangilinan. With MVP looking on, the program kicked off with PLDT SVP and Head of Enterprise Business Groups Jovy Hernandez, making a runway entrance onto the stage to the tune of Led Zeppelin, escorted by a fleet of drones to deliver his opening remarks. This was followed closely by a dynamic visual showcase presented by PLDT FVP and Head of SME Nation Mitch Locsin and PLDT VP and Head of ALPHA Vic Tria, giving participants a virtual tour of the world-class community that could be made possible through mutual collaboration and support. The sneak peek into the future possibilities emphasized how leveraging on multiple technologies to make things simpler, more immediate, personalized, and always accessible enables the best possible experience for all.

The main activity of the day brought together six “industry rock stars” — global thought leaders and technology experts — who gave guests an in-depth look into new and upcoming technologies that are changing the game and bringing more value to our day-to-day activities.

Proclaimed futurist Mike Walsh, CEO of Tomorrow, opened the plenary session by introducing and defining the expectations of next generation consumers, ultimately urging business owners to adapt to this specific customer’s needs by first and foremost building towards honing a working environment that cultivates data-driven leaders. These leaders would only succeed if they strive for an agile, growth-oriented, and high performance culture as a central operating system, allowing their people to thrive and the company to succeed in enhancing not only the experience of the customer, but of their own constituents as well. Walsh stressed that enterprise leaders must learn to reinvent, reimagine, and redefine how they understand work in order for their business to survive the future.

Dr. Robert Morris, Vice President of Global Labs for IBM Research, also inspired guests with a comprehensive discussion on the development of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and, beyond that, the powerful capabilities of cognitive computing, a system that—very much like humans — understands, reasons, and learns from different data presented over a given time.

With AI present in the cloud as a readily accessible resource to all, it could be built over time to create a machine that will aid in understanding, reasoning, and learning. Providing examples such as the system that could predict the amount of air pollution at a given time, now present in five different countries, Dr. Morris emphasized the opportunity for business owners to step up and transform their respective industries to get ahead and reap all the benefits of AI and cognitive computation.



Following the dialogue on digital transformation and AI, Karl Horne, Chief Architect, Office of the CTO of Ciena, pushed the discussion towards the tool that holds everything together — the network — while Tan Eng Tong, CEO of Cytron Technologies and Co-Founder of RERO Robotics, ASEAN’s first educational robotics kit for students, shared his philosophy of bringing robotics and coding to the masses, illustrating how a simple change of mindset can create a ripple of understanding and support from the community.

With the emergence of smarter technologies and seemingly out-of-this-world innovations, one must always take into account one of the most rampant tech trends today — the Internet of Things (IOT), or as Cisco Regional Head of Smart Cities for APac, Japan, and China Zdravka Paskaleva Newman called it, the Internet of Everything (IOE), of which the real value comes in the form of business model transformation.

When talking of integrating different machines and systems into businesses and lifestyles, one may be apprehensive of potential threats in today’s immense digital universe. APJ Security Chief Technology Officer of Akamai Technologies Michael Smith invited participants to explore opportunities of protection and threat preparedness amidst the growing internet traffic and cyberattacks in the digital space.

The plenary session capped off with a comprehensive synthesis and learnings gathered in the day, stressing that in the journey of digital transformation, one must always be active — not reactive — not only because of the risk of disruption but because it presents the opportunity to serve our customers better.

At the end of the first day of the 2017 Philippine Digital Convention, attendees were ushered into a Rock and Roll celebration at the fellowship night. Featuring a lineup of homegrown talents and a performance by actress Andrea Torres, the festivities were capped off by Pinoy Rock and Roll icons The Dawn.

The convention’s second day convened with industry-specific breakout sessions, inviting participants to take part in discussions that gave fresh perspectives and a greater understanding on the technologies made available by PLDT and its partners. These learning sessions covered sectors such as the Banking and Financial Services, Business Workplace, Academe, Government Services, Retail, and the Smart Homes and Hospitality Industry, focusing on how new and upcoming tech trends and solutions can empower business owners to face real-life business challenges head-on.


Participants of the “Redefining the Retail Industry” breakout session on Day 2 of the convention

“The world is changing and we must adapt to survive. It is better to disrupt ourselves vs to be disrupted by others. Some say we are not only living in the future—we are swimming in the vastness of technological advancement and digital disruption,” said PLDT SVP and Head of Enterprise Business Groups Jovy Hernandez. “We at PLDT make it our mission to be not just enablers for both consumers and enterprises but their trusted partner in their own digital transformation journeys. We want to inspire fearlessness—fearlessness that will allow our customers to redefine themselves and rise with the tide of the future.”

Telecomdrive Bureau
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