Manila, Philippines — The Philippine economy is at the center of a technological perfect storm where market forces are triggering exponential growth for highly cognitive companies: the cost of Internet devices is going down drastically; 10 million content is uploaded every second; more than 10 billion devices are interconnected worldwide; broadband Internet evolves as a basic necessity, if not, a human right; and enterprises need IT infrastructures to expand rapidly and seize fleeting opportunities.
Philippine Stock Exchange-listed firm NOW Corporation (PSE Ticker: NOW) bares its “8C” strategy as it officially announces various products and services in the market place. NOW Corporation’s Chief Executive Officer, Mel Velasco Velarde, says the 8Cs constitute the company’s telecommunications, media and technology (TMT) thrust in the ASEAN market.
The first “C” is “CONNECTIVITY.” NOW’s “Fiber in the Air with Fiber Underground” broadband service provides guaranteed Internet speeds from 50Mbps to 700Mbps to commercial and residential buildings. “We have clients now who are enjoying reliable, high quality and exclusive ultra-high speed Internet services, such as Chinese General Hospital and College, Metropolitan Medical Center, Angelicum College, FEATI University, Sta. Isabel College, Coffral and The Bayleaf Hotel, to name a few. The era of uninterrupted, unshared and unfiltered broadband Internet has arrived,” Mr. Velarde gladly announces.
“To deliver this kind of exceptional service to Filipinos is a collective obligation of all service providers, regardless of company or brand,” he further states. He is quick to clarify that NOW does not compete with incumbent telco players; in fact, NOW complements them. In areas where traditional telcos are not available, NOW may provide the needed broadband service; in cases of overlaps, NOW serves as the legitimate redundant link that prevents any downtime or loss of service on the subscribers’ part and, more importantly, on their customers’ part. “Every minute of zero or poor Internet signal could be worth millions of lost revenues to our subscribers and immeasurable loss of their customers’ trust in them,” he says.
The second “C” is “COLLABORATION SOFTWARE AND SERVICES.” NOW delivers the technical competencies that run the collaboration software of blue-chip companies primarily in banking, real estate, retail and utilities sectors. Document management, filing systems, email and social networking, transaction-based applications and community management. Companies like Banco de Oro, SM Retail, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, Golden Arches Development (McDonalds) and Chinabank are among NOW’s client base, now totaling more than 30,000 users. “Each cloud user is given 1 Terabyte of storage, with unlimited facility for online meetings of up to 200 participants, and a mobile app for 24×7 real-time engagement,” describes Mr. Velarde. SMEs can now avail of this software system at USD10.00 a month per user.
The third “C” is “CABLE TV.” In partnership with cable TV companies, NOW’s R&D group has developed a digital media platform called NowPlanet.TV that allows subscribers: (a) to watch free TV (VHF and UHF signals); (b) browse web channels (YouTube, TED Talks, Facebook, Twitter, etc.); (c) play high-definition, fast-motion networked games — synchronously; (d) use cloud-based services for e-mail, tasks, calendar, and document management — also comes with 1TB of storage per customer; (e) stream or download high-definition videos and movies; (f) make conference calls and conduct online meetings to as many as 200 participants per session. “All these enablers are done by using any device – SMART TV, laptop, desktop or mobile phone; indeed, the test of true convergence is the compelling experience of customers right on their fingertips.” Mr. Velarde points out. To know more about this bundled service, customers can simply check out NOWPlanet.TV via URL: http://nownetwork.ph/now-cabletv/
The fourth “C” is “CLOUD SERVICES” which answer the need of companies to grow rapidly and expand limitlessly. Says Mr. Velarde: “Companies need not spend millions in acquiring hardware and software for their IT infrastructure.” NOW is willing to provide these investments, whether the intended infrastructure is on customer’s premises, NOW’s premises or data centers around the world. These cloud services from NOW mean Zero CAPEX for the enterprise — all costs would be OPEX. “Enterprises must be motivated to grow, not to be hampered by growth,” Mr. Velarde emphasizes.
The fifth “C” is “CYBERSECURITY”, which involves the protection of sensitive data that government agencies and private enterprises, especially financial institutions, are entrusted with. NOW is perhaps among the few providers in ASEAN that are competent in helping organizations meet the “Reasonable Security” requirement (known as the “20 Critical Security Controls” or CSCs) prescribed by top global private and governmental Cybersecurity inter-agencies. “NOW has the capability of complying with these 20 CSCs for our customers through our cloaking devices, real-time diagnostics and monitoring tools, counter-attack tools, cyber manpower and other technologies that help prevent hacking, malware, physical breaches or self-inflicted errors — the costs of negligence and non-compliance could run in the billions of pesos,” Mr. Velarde warns. Recent visitors to NOW headquarters were government officials from the People’s Republic of Bangladesh’s Office of the Prime Minister, who were on a study mission on Cybersecurity, among others. Here is NOW’s presentation on Cybersecurity: http://www.now-corp.com/cybersecurity-connectivity-collaboration-security-controls/
COMPETENT IT PERSONNEL are crucial for execution of growth strategies of firms; this is the sixth “C” that NOW provides. As the “IT personnel provider-of-choice” for the past 5 years to blue-chip firms, NOW assists in managing mission-critical IT operations, such as data center management, network infrastructure maintenance, software migration, app development and day-to-day management of IT operations. “We have an available pool of talented and competent IT personnel that customers can tap to execute rapid growth.” These proficient IT consultants are now deployed in some of the most notable companies like SunLife of Canada, ISS, Metrobank, Trend Micro, EPSON, Toshiba, Emerson Electric, Isuzu, P&A Grant Thorton, Vishay, Denso Techno Phils. and CCC Data Management, among others.
In the area of e-COMMERCE, the 7th C, NOW provides SMEs nationwide the full measure of its technologies to help them expand their business. There are more than a million SMEs in the country that should be capable of participating in the global marketplace. Through NOW’s WebsiteExpress.PH, the digital marketplace becomes easily reachable to entrepreneurs who desire to act as supplier or buyer of goods. NOW’s competitive e-commerce strategies and payment platforms would help them gain that much-needed access and develop their competitive positioning in the digital world.
For its last “C,” NOW believes every enterprise has its own story to tell, whether its corporate history, innovation or achievement. “CONTENT DEVELOPMENT AND DISTRIBUTION” is the way enterprises could explore and exploit social media. “With our extensive media background, we put enterprises’ content out in various channels. Whether in the form of e-mail blast, video production or live streaming, NOW’s customers could consult with us on content development and distribution, free of charge.” A fine example is the live streaming of events happening at the Chinese General Hospital and College via their own channel: http://cghc.nowplanet.tv/
Overall, the 8C strategy, Mr. Velarde says, makes NOW an extremely distinct and unique tech player in the ASEAN market. “NOW Corporation is not a commodity provider, and we cannot say that we are number 1 in the industry, but we are certainly the only one in our class,” Velarde concludes.