I attended the first fully-virtual two-day event that gathers global industry leaders and it was truly impressive. They have demonstrated to us the future and it looks promising.
While Gyneth Paltrow and her company Goop’s presence in the Ph Digicon surprised and dominated the social media postings about the event. There is more than just that. The presence of the Hollywood actress and now female entrepreneur is just an icing on the cake.
PLDT Enterprise has recently concluded its annual Philippine Digital Convention (PH Digicon), garnering overall positive responses from its delegates across various industries. PH Digicon has been regarded as the country’s premier and most anticipated thought leadership gathering of C-level executives, business owners, and key decision makers from companies of all sizes to discuss the latest and emerging technologies. On its sixth year, convention carried the theme “IMPACT” which is particularly relevant during this time as the convention presented innovative technological solutions to address the challenges enterprises face today in the New Future of Work.
In the convention’s latest iteration, PLDT Enterprise made history as it brought together local and global digital thought leaders and industry pioneers in a fully virtual setting to engage with delegates as they share insights on the latest technologies that can help drive technological enablement among enterprises throughout the region. Also featured were emerging technologies such as 5G, IoT, cyber security, cloud, specific industry solutions, among others, that will pave the way for enterprises to pivot towards success in the new future of work.
Jovy Hernandez, ePLDT’s President & CEO and SVP for PLDT and Smart Enterprise Business Groups, officially opened the three-day convention with a visual feast by showcasing the capabilities of the digital venue’s immersive platform as he gave the delegates an executive summary on what this year’s theme is all about. “IMPACT is both a recognition and a call to action. We are living in one of the most pivotal points of human history and every choice we make today will impact the world for generations to come,” said Hernandez.
PLDT’s Chairman and CEO, Manuel V. Pangilinan underscored the language of IMPACT as it resonates with contemporary circumstances in his keynote presentation. “This year’s Digicon aims to supply a wider access to global best practices and prepare ourselves for a tougher and difficult future,” Pangilinan said, “but our message is one of hope, that these times call for people of purpose and commitment. We adapt or exit, pivot or perish, and make a positive impact on the lives of people.
Headlining Day One’s plenary session was Chuck Robbins, Chairman and CEO of Cisco Systems, a global leader in ICT and Digital Collaboration solutions. He said that people now work from home en masse, and discussed the interrelation of technology, leadership and impact in a fireside chat with Cathy Yang, PLDT’s FVP and Group Head for Corporate Communications and the official host and moderator of PH Digicon 2020. PLDT Chairman and CEO Manuel V. Pangilinan joined the chat, reiterating that the partnership between PLDT and Cisco is further strengthened in these crucial times, and will be expanded as we prepare for a hybrid world.
Concluding the first day plenary session was a fireside chat between Ms. Yang and PH Digicon 2020 celebrity headline speaker Academy Award-winning actress and founder & CEO of goop Gwyneth Paltrow. Paltrow shared her personal experiences as a business leader and at the same time as a mother and actress, and gave interesting insights on how her company strives to make an IMPACT to its patrons even amid the pandemic. “Now is a very strange moment to be alive,” said Paltrow. “As a person, I always try to find the blessing in everything. From a business perspective, we went back to our content root in goop and focused on being of service.”
PH Digicon 2020 also featured breakout sessions during its three-day run. Breakout Sessions of Day One discussed the available and emerging technologies enterprises may leverage on for their business and explored the following pillars: Powering the Next Workplace Transformation highlighting BEYOND FIBER, Unified Collaboration, and SD-WAN; Industry 5.0 highlighting 5G and IOT; and Centers of Resilience highlighting Data Center, Managed Operations Center, Service Operations Center, and Cloud Applications.
Day Two of PH Digicon 2020 opened with a triad presentation, by PLDT Enterprise’s VP and Head of ICT Business Nico Alcoseba, FVP and Head of Enterprise Core Business Solutions Jojo Gendrano, and VP and Head of Enterprise Digital Solutions John Gonzales, on the degrees of IMPACT in transitioning to e-work thru the emergence of e-industries such as eLearning, eCommerce, eBanking, eGovernment, eHealth, eManufacturing & eLogistics, eTravel & Tourism, and eBPO – topics that were discussed in the breakout sessions for days two and three.
Al Panlilio, President and CEO of Smart Communications Inc. and Chief Revenue Officer of PLDT, Inc., also presented in the convention and juxtaposed the similarities of sports and business. “There is a single-word answer as to the goal of sports: Win. While the methodology might be complex—training, nutrition, memorizing plays, forming a capable team—the usual goal of playing is simply winning. What does winning look like? A satisfied customer. It is simple and true. Customer satisfaction is to our business as winning is to sports.”
“Reimagine Possible. Create Positive Impact for Enterprise” by Sanjay Kaul, President for Asia Pacific and Japan of Cisco Systems followed Panlilio’s talk. He discussed the unprecedented global change that was brought about by the pandemic, mentioning that Cisco in partnership with PLDT is creating a next generation digital network platform enabled by 5G, multi-cloud, and SDN focused on value creation among enterprises.
This was followed by Nokia President and CEO Pekka Lundmark’s “The Rock N’ Roll IMPACT of Industry 4.0,” who said that Nokia always has IMPACT as top of mind. He says that the world has seen significant megatrends, wherein connectivity needs to be dynamic and networks have to be elastic. “One size fits all connectivity is no longer good enough. The most promising applications such as virtual reality, Industrial IoT and so on require more elastic networks in order to give individual users what they want, when they want it.”
David Schmaier, Salesforce Industries CEO, discussed “Digital Transformation: a Point of Impact Across Industries,” saying that all industries have now gone online. Home delivery, telehealth, online loan applications have become the norm, and Salesforce recognizes that each industry is different hence the need for digital transformation using Industry Cloud. He highlighted Salesforce’s Industry 360 that delivers tailored, purpose-built cloud solutions according to the different requirements and needs of industries such as media, telecommunications, health, financial services, education, among others.
NTT Research President and CEO Mr. Kazuhiro Gomi closed the Day 2 of Plenary Session and explained “The Impact of Basic Research: Looking Beyond the Horizon.” He reiterates the need for fundamental research, and that NTT is committed to carry out advanced research for impactful technologies such as encryption and data security.
His topic also touched on the topic of upgrading reality – a glimpse into breakthrough technologies that NTT Research is currently working on that could further help speed up digital transformations. “From the connected world, obviously we want to exchange more data among each other, but we have to make sure that security and privacy are maintained. We have to have those things together to get the best out of a connected world,” Gomi says.
The three-day event was made possible by PLDT Enterprise’s Keystone sponsors: Cisco, Nokia and Salesforce. Diamond Sponsors were Multisys, Palo Alto Networks and Samsung; Platinum Sponsors were Aruba, Dell Technologies, FiberHome, Fortinet Inc and Microfocus. Checkpoint Philippines, Enghouse Interactive and Fujitsu Philippines were Gold Sponsors, and Commscope, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Microsoft, NetFoundry and Soprano Design were PH Digicon 2020 Silver Sponsors.
All sponsors were present at the Virtual Exhibit Hall, where delegates had the chance to digitally visit each booth, chat with company representatives for business networking, watch technology use-case videos, and browse or download brochures. Other networking opportunities in the virtual platform also allowed delegates to engage with speakers, sponsors, and fellow delegates.
Over 4,600 international delegates from the Asia Pacific region attended this year’s PH Digicon, 1,200 of which were composed of C-level executives and decision makers. It was also graced by over 2,500 participating companies and headlined by more than 100 thought leaders and industry experts across the region. During its three-day run, it aired virtual plenary and breakout sessions that ran for 27 hours in total.
Delegates also shared some of their positive responses on how the convention allowed them to learn insights on utilizing technology for their businesses. “Despite the pandemic, I’m glad PLDT was able to connect each one of us together with an online conference,” shared Emiliano Romano of Redstar Asia Solutions Inc., one of the delegates of this year’s convention. Valerie Silverio of University of Perpetual Help System DALTA-Calamba also echoed this statement, saying, “This convention is really the best despite the pandemic. Nothing beats how technology provides and changes our lives in some other way.”
Haidee Enriquez of Sitel Philippines Corporation also expressed her awe in the immersive platform used in the convention. “#PHDigicon2020 delivers a great participant experience, even in a fully virtual set-up. Substantial content, engaging format, highly interactive, and fun!” Indeed, PH Digicon 2020 has set the new standard for virtual events in the country, surpassing expectations from its previous iterations during the last five years.
PH Digicon 2020 was organized by the PLDT Enterprise, the B2B arm of the largest and only integrated telecommunications company in the Philippines, PLDT.
For more information on Philippine Digital Convention 2020, visit pldtenterprise.com/phdigicon2020. #