By Edd K. Usman
Technology firms PLDT and Intel Philippines have forged a partnership to offer a trio of business solutions aimed at propelling local MSMEs (micro SMEs) into the digital world.
The tech giants have created bundled solutions or ?crates? such as the POS (Point-of-Sale) crate, the Web Builder Crate, and the Smart Conferencing Crate which MSMEs can avail of.
Under the deal, PLDT will take care of the connectivity and managed services, while Intel will provide the hardware. All a customer needs to do is subscribe to the package via PLDT?s SME Nation, the company?s SME arm.
On hand during the recent launch in Makati City were PLDT vice president and SME Group head Mitch Locsin, PLDT executive vice president Eric R. Alberto, PLDT assistant vice president and head of marketing for PLDT SME Nation Jerameel “Amil” A. Azurin; and Intel Philippines country manager Calum Chisholm.
In an interview, Locsin said the bundled solutions were specifically crafted to bring MSMEs online. “We noticed that most of MSMEs do not like hassles. They want to talk to only one provider to give them complete end-to-end solution, managed service, and to help them grow,” he said.
Alberto said at the heart of the partnership is ?the bundle of hardware, software, cloud platform, connectivity, and other technologies.” “Being digital is being able to solve problems… digital is about technology,” he said.
Locsin said the partnership is an attempt to bring bundled solutions to MSMEs through a “plug-and-play” approach. “It gives them more flexibility as it also a managed service. They talk to only one vendor,” he added.
For MSMEs that will avail themselves of any or all of the three bundled solutions, PLDT SME Nation can build for them whatever they need, meaning even on a customized bundled solution.
Through the three offerings, any MSME does not have to be troubled with anything anymore because each bundled solution is already complete by itself — they do not have to trouble themselves with separate web builders, software makers, connectivity providers, etc, the company said.
Locsin said while the PLDT SME Nation has the connectivity and expertise in the type of solutions that MSMEs need, Intel has the hardware solution.
Chisholm cited the importance of Intel’s partnership with PLDT because “99.6 percent of all registered companies in the Philippines are actually SMEs. And the micro part of the SMEs comprises about 70 percent of the total. But the contribution in terms of revenue is 30 percent. Still significant but it should still be more.”
The POS Crate will cost an MSME a minimum of P3,999; the Web Builder Crate at P8,500 a year, and the Smart Conferencing Crate worth P11,000.
The POS Crate gives business owners the ability to automate records of sales and inventory processes without any complicated analytics that gives more time and financial resources to focus on business’s other aspects.
On the other hand, the Web Builder Crate pushes MSMEs beyond the traditional operations and social media that allows for increased engagement with customers.
Smart Conferencing Crate, meanwhile, establishes a new paradigm in the way teams operate in business aided by devices that empower and bring about easy collaboration and communication.