Sunday, December 20, 2020

UnionBank of the Philippines develops virtual platforms to continue serving for customers safely during the pandemic


In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Union Bank of the Philippines (UnionBank), ocontinues to redefine banking by introducing automation to its Treasury & Investments Channel Management (TICM) workflows and experience. Built on Microsoft technology, UnionBank is creating solutions that optimize operations and allow them to better serve their customers and stakeholders in a remote everything world and  live up to consumer's expectations as one of the largest and profitable banks in the country.


The TICM unit of UnionBank handles large volumes of outward remittances daily that rely on face-to-face transactions. With the Philippine Government's imposition of Community Quarantine, these transactions had to be conducted remotely by both the customers and the bank's staff. Looking to create an easy-to-use, virtual platform for everyone involved, Dapple del Mundo, Distribution Operations Team Lead of TICM at UnionBank, looked into the bank's partnership with Microsoft and expand the bank's utilization of their solutions through Microsoft Power Platform.


"One thing we like about using Microsoft apps is that it's already here, it's not an added cost, unlike asking an external or third-party developer to develop something for us. In terms of editing or updating, it's easier now since we can do it ourselves", del Mundo said.


Covid-19 Pandemic Drives Innovation 


The Microsoft Power Platform is Microsoft’s low-code platform that allows everyone to build web and mobile apps, improve workflows, and gain insights from data while ensuring security. It enables people with little to no coding knowledge or experience to become developers and build intelligent solutions that integrate seamlessly with the rest of Microsoft’s world-class products and platforms. It serves as an end-to-end business solution, maximizing productivity, efficiency and collaboration in a remote everything world.


To manage efficient transactions remotely, the TICM harnessed Microsoft Power Automate. This application within Microsoft Power Platform allows users to easily create automated, multistage workflows across a variety of services and applications. One of its primary functions is to boost users' productivity by saving workflows into everything from individual tasks to large-scale systems with seamless integration using hundreds of prebuilt connectors.


"What surprised us were the learnings that we got from this flow—this one single approval flow that had multiple conditions and a tricky setup—we managed to adapt and mirror it with other bank processes like bond issuances," explains del Mundo.


The Treasury and Investments Channel Management (TICM) unit saw an immediate improvement on its productivity and efficiency; resulting in improved client transactions and faster service despite the entire experience being conducted online. According to del Mundo, the bank was able to simplify the whole process of remitting. It also significantly improved the coordination and communication between Treasury and Remittance through Microsoft teams. This allows them to have visibility to internal processes in real-time to track the approval procedures and give timely feedback.


Digital Banking Benefits Employees and Customers


UnionBank Trust & Investment customers can now receive copies of their statements, proof of investments, and remittances with e-signatures that can be easily accessed remotely—anytime, anywhere.


Through UnionBank’s continuing innovation, customers benefit constantly through improvements in their experience that are not only more convenient but ensure their safety and peace of mind during this unprecedented period. Moving forward, they maintain their focus on driving innovation within their organization to provide the best service and experience possible, transform banking in the Philippines and aid in the nation’s economic recovery.


"It is imperative we extend the capability of automation not only to our IT team, but across all employees of the bank," says Paulo Martin Santos, Enterprise Communication and Collaboration Head at UnionBank. "Thanks to our partnership with Microsoft, now our whole team can truly be digital to the core. This is just one clear example from our treasury group, but we have several groups building their own automation without coding".


Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Experience #GamingExcellence with Taiwan Excellence top gaming brands


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TAIWAN EXCELLENCE continues to hail gaming as an exponential industry, and gaming is considered a serious business in Taiwan. Recently, Taiwan Excellence has started releasing animatic videos ( via its YouTube official channel, highlighting the world’s top gaming brands, proudly Taiwan, as empowering assets for a more powerful and seamless play.


Many continue to be hooked on gaming. Gaming allows people to be free, unwind, de-stress, make friends, and also espouses discipline to be a champion both in the game and in real life.  The first animatic video shows a young group with their most powerful assets in defeating the enemies -- the Taiwan Excellence brands such as Aorus, Asus Republic of Gamers, Cooler Master, MSI, Thermaltake, and Predator.


The second animatic video will feature a Filipino warrior winning a battle against an enormous beast with best armors — AverMedia, BenQ, InWin, Team Group Inc., XPG and Zadak. Like and Follow Taiwan Excellence on Facebook for its release soon:


On Facebook, gamers will have a chance to win a Z490 AORUS ELITE AC Motherboard worth Php14,700! Simply share their best #GamingExcellence which tells how gaming has empowered them as a person. Here is the contest mechanics:


Aside from the animatic videos, Taiwan Excellence also released two exciting videos that features Taiwan as a catalyst in the global gaming industry and its capabilities to bring the most excellent and award-winning brands -- and


So, define your #GamingExcellence and be an excellent winner in the game of life. For all other Taiwan Excellence videos, visit their official YouTube channel,

Sunday, December 13, 2020

Philippines Needs Its 5G Capabilities for a Smarter and More Intelligent Society


Many say that the Cloud is the foundation of all as it supports practically everything while Artificial Intelligence (AI) will make all things intelligent. As the emerging communications connectivity platform, 5G technology will change the way people communicate while providing ultra-reliable, low latency, high-bandwidth connectivity. Finally, the internet of Things (IoT) will provide the virtual immersion and interaction.


Combining these technologies into one cohesive and synergistic environment will certainly enable countless possibilities in the very near future, and ICT companies will be at the forefront of providing connectivity to make cities, industries, and enterprises more intelligent in the not-so-distant future.


Considering our digitally savvy and smart society, digital transformation is now the operative word that is sweeping across industries in the Philippines. The best way to realize that transformation is to build a simple yet super-intelligent network, one that can be controlled dynamically and managed in a closed-loop manner. Key enablers include automatic deployment, pre-event simulation, post-event verification, prevention and prediction, and proactive optimization.


Just recently, the Bangkok Post Public Company Limited in Thailand organized an event that showcased how new technologies like Cloud, AI and connectivity are being applied to unlock new potential, markets and business models in the digital era. Partnering with Huawei, the event gathered more than 4,500 business leaders, industry experts, including diplomatic and government officials where everyone shared valuable insights on global industry trends, and discussed how technological innovations in ICT can unleash varying potentials for industries and society.


The Philippines should also consider the robustness of local talent in the field of ICT and telecommunications, the country’s potential for exponential growth, and business's chance to bounce back and recover during the post-pandemic era, using technologies such as 5G as springboard for growth and development.


5G technology may help to change the way the world connects people and industries. As the rollout of global 5G progresses quickly, its adoption in industries has moved from technical verification to commercial deployment. There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all solution, because every industry has vastly different requirements.


For 5G, connecting people is its basic function. Mobile networks were first created to keep people connected anytime and anywhere. From now until 2030, 5G will increasingly help people interact with the virtual world in real time and deliver a truly immersive experience.


Speaking of the virtual world, another boom area for 5G is the use of Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality (VR/AR), where the interaction between the physical and virtual worlds, a scenario that was only a dream before, has become a reality. However, to deliver an XR Pro and holographic experience, cellular communication will need higher speeds. The average access speed should shoot up, from the 120 Mbit/s that supports today’s 4K video streaming to the 2 Gbit/s suitable for 16K video. In addition, lower interaction latency is also a must, where the current 20 ms should be brought down to 5 ms. To meet all these, 5G needs to keep evolving.


Looking ahead to 2030, 5G will be the most critical connectivity technology. Cellular networks will carry more than 100 billion connections, most of which will be carried by 5G, which is significantly higher than the 1.3 billion IoT connections present today.


Saturday, December 12, 2020

MVP Bossing 2020 Dr. Carl Balita shifts to digital learning

Dr. Carl Balita, a multi-awarded entrepreneur, corporate trainer, and founder of Carl E. Balita Review Center (CBRC)

 PLDT Enterprise has recently launched its MVP Bossing Awards campaign to inspire enterprises to rediscover and reinvent their businesses today to successfully thrive in the future. This year’s theme, “Rediscovery, Reinvention,” aims to convey a message of hope, and in recognition to and show appreciation for local business owners who are overcoming the challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.


Instead of the usual awards night gathering, this year’s MVP Bossing now takes form as a digital campaign in deference to social events shifting to virtual space given the global health crisis.


For aspiring MVP Bossing Dr. Carl Balita of the Carl Balita Review Center (CBRC), the pandemic, while it did catch him by surprise because of the challenges that faced him and his business, made him rethink about shifting his business to a digital space.


“There were many realizations for this year, and one of them is that we never thought there were many opportunities offered due to the health crisis we all faced,” Dr. Carl Balita shares.


With the imposed community quarantine measures, CBRC—the number one review center with 120 branches locally and internationally—saw the need to shift its review classes digitally. A long-standing partner of PLDT for several years, the fortified partnership between CBRC and PLDT strengthened the digital capacity of CBRC to enable students to continue their learnings despite the challenges of the global pandemic.


Dr. Carl Balita, CBRC’s founder and a multi-awarded entrepreneur and corporate trainer, says that the services that CBRC offers is beyond what is expected. “We have made available all our analog books into digital format, transforming them so that anyone has access to these materials.” He adds that “the shift to e-learning has left a positive impact to our many branches of CBRC nationwide, a decision we are glad we made.”


If there is any learning, he, an educator for decades has realized from the pandemic is that “we also do service but we also have to be a good follower. It is no longer just about work, results, and outcomes, but also about the processes.”


He says that the future is now flexible. “It is not about profit, but being more humane. It is also now about rediscovering one’s purpose. More importantly, the organization now has to repurpose.”


Dr. Carl Balita admits that his greatest assets are the people around him. “You’re not doing this business alone. Do not take these challenges alone. I am fortunate to have people surrounding me who are my most cherished gifts. And others should realize that too. People around you will help you through.”


Jovy Hernandez, ePLDT President & CEO and SVP & Head for PLDT and Smart Enterprise Business Groups commends aspiring MVP Bossing Dr. Carl Balita. “When CBRC availed of PLDT’s BEYOND FIBER connectivity solutions, it was clearly an appreciation of the importance of going beyond in servicing CBRC’s students with quality classes without risking their health and safety,” he stated. “We remain committed in supporting the efforts of schools and learning institutions for e-Learning, and we applaud CBRC’s ongoing efforts for a virtual learning space.”


CBRC is the first and only ISO certified company of its kind in the country. It has received multiple awards from the DTI and PFA—pushing it to become a brand leader with physical presence in almost all major cities in the Philippines.


For more information, visit

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Accelerating Business Transformation with ePLDT’s Centers of Resilience

 In this year’s first all-virtual Philippine Digital Convention (PH Digicon 2020), PLDT Enterprise specifically designed and developed a breakout session that aims to share business insights, global best practices and innovative digital technologies that enable organizations to respond, recover, reinvent and reemerge as industry leaders during these trying and unpredictable times.


Carrying the theme, “IMPACT”, the recently held PH Digicon 2020’s objective is to go beyond just being an avenue of intellectual and technical discourse, but to also inspire attendees to leverage on technology and heed the call to make a positive impact on society and in the process contribute to the formation of a stronger and more resilient nation moving forward.


Resilient Companies Win


Product Management Head of the Disruptive Business Group of PLDT Enterprise Amil Azurin started by stating that evidently, the pandemic redefined the business landscape across all industries and in all directions. Disruption at different stages have been felt by every person, industry, and country. Resilience therefore is now top of mind for most CEOs today, and if done right, it can spell the difference between winning and losing in the coming months ahead.


“History has shown that companies who deliberately and purposely developed capabilities to face and handle disruptions  are most likely to thrive,  or in other words, resilient companies win. These outliers, respond immediately to safeguard itself from dangers and difficulties, they plan ahead to recover and they innovate and reinvent themselves to outperform their peers and ultimately emerge as market leaders,” Azurin said.


He also noted that six months after the lockdown, most companies have addressed the immediate needs of their organizations like enabling work from home and keeping employees safe and adopting new ways of working.  Businesses are now dealing with critical operational issues like how to effectively  engage with a predominantly more digital customer base,  automating manual backend processes to make the supply chain flow smoother and faster, and how they can fortify and enhance cybersecurity posture and capabilities, to name a few. 


He further emphasized that the process of building resilience also includes leveraging on the capabilities of a trusted technology partner like PLDT. Furthermore, he encouraged everyone to leave the complexities to PLDT and make PLDT an integral part of the ever-evolving transformation journey. “Within reach are digital technologies, domain expertise and global best-practices that can help organizations be more agile and be more resilient.”


Redefining Business Resilience with ePLDT


During the Breakout Session, PLDT Enterprise – through its ICT arm ePLDT - highlighted the capabilities, business benefits and transformative values that the different “Centers of Resilience” such as Data Center, Managed Operations Center and Security Operations can bring to the Enterprise  market.


Simplifying Multiple Business Complexities


Digitalization plays a huge role in economic resilience. Rizel Raganit, Product Manager of PLDT, says that business-critical applications that are residing in sensitive IT infrastructure such as servers and databases, should be located, stored and maintained  in a secure, protected and managed environment to efficiently perform its task. And VITRO Data Center is best suited for this mission.

VITRO Data Center remains to be the preferred collocation service facility of choice for Global Hyperscalers, Digital Content Providers, telecommunication operators and various Enterprises.


Its proven track record of adhering to global standards and sustainability initiatives, maintaining and achieving service level availability levels, growing numbers of certified technical experts and innovative culture have undoubtedly fortified its stature as the leading and largest Data Center facility network in the country.


VITRO’s 10 Data Center facilities that are strategically located across the archipelago and having an aggregate capacity of over 9,000 racks and total power capacity of 70 Megawatts, continues to support and enable the needs of organizations to transform their business continuity and resiliency capability as we all move forward and face the new normal.


Bernice Pineda, Business Development Manager for Cyberspace, ePLDT meanwhile points out that cyber resilience requires more than technology solutions that can block attacks. Preventing an attack is important but businesses need to be prepared for the eventuality that an attack can get through.


“It is important to predict our risk of attack, detect compromise as soon as possible, and to be able to respond and mitigate attacks as needed,” Pineda shares.


Rai dela Torre, ePLDT Head of Business Development, delves further into the proactive monitoring  solutions of ePLDT for businesses in the country. He cites that 43% of customers still rely on precarious manual eye balling and tracking of machine performance and this is done with different tools, report formats, and trackers.


Industry Solutions Manager at ePLDT Paul Inocencio discusses that recent events have brought about the rapid adoption of digital business tools in order to increase productivity while working remotely through increased automation and collaboration. The cloud has never been more relevant today than it was before. From video conferencing and online collaboration to real time sales monitoring, sales engagement, and office functions. Inocencio talks about the facets about business to make automation simpler and successful. Business tools may simultaneously be used virtually, helping professionals achieve their goals wherever and whenever they may be.


Disruption and Resilience


The disruptions felt this year due to the pandemic brought new meaning to the term business resilience. The adaption of innovative technology solutions, embracing a more agile and flexible work culture and adherence to a safer but more efficient new ways of working have made enterprises, and their employees, more optimistic about business growth prospects in the near future.


With the establishments of meaningful partnerships and deliberate collaboration with ePLDT, industries nationwide can look forward to a more safer, stronger, competitive and resilient future.


The Philippine Digital Convention (PH Digicon 2020) was organized by PLDT Enterprise, the B2B arm of the largest and only integrated telecommunications company in the Philippines.


For more information on PH Digicon 2020, visit