PLDT execs say PH enterprises hesitant to adopt new technologies

By Clarist Mae Zablan

Telco giant PLDT held the fourth installment of the Philippine Digital Convention last June 21-22 at the Marriott Grand Ballroom where it launched its software-defined wide-area network (SD-WAN) offering.

Top PLDT executives during the fourth Philippine Digital Convention

Meant to showcase the most transformative technologies for enterprises, the two-day convention — in partnership with analyst firm IDC — brought together over 1,000 C-level executives, business owners, and key decision-makers.

With the theme “Be Fearless” represented by an image of a lion, the conference sought to promote what Jovy Hernandez, PLDT senior vice president and head of enterprise business groups, calls “mindset innovation.”

Hernandez said that from what he observed from last year’s convention, most businesses seemed to be hesitant to adopt new technologies.

“What we’ve seen from the enterprise market, a lot of them are very interested in the new technological innovations. However, majority of them are parang takot to adapt,” he said, citing how cyber-security in the Philippines is widely discussed yet the country’s industry is lagging behind investing on it.

According to Nerisse Ramos, ePLDT Group chief operating officer, this is because some enterprises are concerned about articulating their visions on how to apply new technology to their businesses.

“As earlier mentioned [by Hernandez,] we have a team that actually journeys with our customers to determine what their vision is… So as soon as they articulate the vision of they want to be as a transformed enterprise, that’s when the technology and changes come in,” Ramos said.

The convention had National Geographic host Jason Silva discussed about the topic “Exponential Technologies and Disruptive Innovation, The Future of Creativity and Thinking Beyond Limits.”

Also at the event, PLDT Enterprise — the B2B arm of the telco firm – announced that it now offers a networking architecture that allows the network to be defined by the capabilities of applications.

“In the past, the network will typically define the application, not the capabilities of what we have on the application. Right now, with software-defined wide-area network, the application, the needs of that application, determines the kind of underlining network. It’s there to support it, so now the network is more application-aware, the customers are more productive,” said PLDT Enterprise vice president and head of core business solutions Jojo Gendrano.

He also said the banking and retail sector will most benefit from this technology, as well as small and medium enterprises.

For this, PLDT Enterprise vice president and head of fixed core business solutions Gary Ignacio announced their partnership with Cisco, Viptela, and Cisco Meraki. He also said that they are currently pursuing a global SD-WAN alliance.

According to a press statement, SD-WAN “interconnects enterprise networks, data centers, and the cloud with each others — enabling customers to be agile despite geographical distances.” This technology is a part of PLDT Enterprise’s partnership with SD network provider Zenlayer, which was first announced in April.

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