PLDT Smart SME Nation - TechIsland 3.0

PLDT Smart SME Nation hosted the Tech Island 3.0, the third annual technology convention last April 22, 2016 at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza. Tech Island 3.0 aims to ‘educate, enable, and empower’ micro, small, and medium enterprises to the digital landscape by highlighting and maximizing available digital tools and platforms. Now in its third year, it has gathered more than 2,000 MSMEs and digital practitioners.

Eric Alberto, EVP, Head of Enterprise and International Carrier Business, and CEO of ePLDT, opened the session welcoming all ‘innovators and disruptors’ in the audience who “continue to challenge status quo, relentless in their pursuit for faster, easier, and more efficient ways of doing things. He also recognized the community of entrepreneurs in the audience.

“MSME are bossings whose collective hard work and passion brought forth value and success not only to your respective enterprise stakeholders, but also to this nations’ overall economic well-being”, he said.

He also stressed that Tech Island 3.0 will demystify digital terrains and emphasize the relevance to different businesses.

He also clarified the essence of digital. “Digital is about solving real life problems”, Alberto said and gave concrete outstanding solutions such as Google which provided the largest system of organized data for easy and real time access; Uber which addressed the concern for safe transportation by providing quality and convenient transport system and also providing additional livelihood to individuals around the world; and Zalora which changed the traditional game for shopping and provided an online platform for digital shopping.

Winston Damarillo, CEO of Talas and Chief Strategy Officer of PLDT, discussed how PLDT aims to democratize the access of Filipinos in the digital economy by providing specially-designed business solutions for MSMEs.

Dentsu Jayme Syfu’s chairmom Merlee Jayme shared digital marketing trends and how companies invested in the digital platforms to produce effective marketing strategies. She defined the importance of producing “heart sell” messages which are effective in generating genuine emotions thus creating buzz and building brand image.

“Ideas from the heart makes a brand relevant and meaningful”, Jayme shared.

Laurence Cua of Uber Philippines enlightened the audience with the application of digital technology by sharing the story of Uber. Uber has become a trusted transport service as it provides the market with convenience through mobile application, safety because of the recording of all trips, reliability of getting a car in just five minutes, accountability through the rider and driver feedback, and transparency through clear pricing. Uber will continue to operate around the world with the help of innovative technology and big data, the public and private partnerships, and responsive government. Cua also mentioned that the Philippines is one of the first countries to have regulations in shared rides.

Special guest speaker Alfredo Tan, Facebook Canada’s Group Director of Global Marketing Solutions and Facebook Philippines’ Interim Country Director tackled digital exploration and how Facebook has evolved more than a social networking site but also a platform for businesses. He also explained digital trends that helped businesses go digital.

“The most powerful appendage now for discovery is the thumb. Create thumb stopping stories”, Tan said.

After the informative morning session, delegates were ushered into four different breakout sessions which targeted key players in companies – the Captain (CEOs and owners), the Navigator (sales and marketing), the Trader (finance and procurement), and the engineer (operation and IT).

The breakout sessions featured distinguished speakers who have shared their expertise in the digital world.

Tech Island 3.0 encouraged the delegates most especially the MSMEs to go digital and maximize available tools and systems in order to better capture their markets in the challenging digital competition.