business strategies

Messages of hope for businesses from the PH Digicon 2020 Day 1

Messages of hope for businesses from the PH Digicon 2020 Day 1
Here’s what business leaders such as CISCO Chairman and CEO Chuck Robbins and actress and Founder of goop Gwyneth Paltrow discussed in the day’s plenary session

This is a tough year for businesses, no matter how big or small.

PLDT Enterprise recognizes businesses’ need for new insights and strategies in light of the pandemic. With this in mind, the Philippines’ leading ICT and digital services provider utilized its annual Philippine Digital Convention as an avenue for customers, global decision makers, and technology experts to discover and discuss these.

IMPACT: Philippine Digital Convention 2020, the sixth iteration of the convention, was held on October 28-30. It was the first fully-virtual version of the convention and featured notable keynote speakers and industry leaders throughout its run. With the theme “IMPACT,” it aimed to inspire delegates to create a positive influence on society through new technologies and innovations. 

During these difficult times, business leaders are called to reassess their businesses and enterprises considering the changes in the business landscape. 

If you’re a business leader, you might be asking the most important question – how? Here are some key insights from the first day of the convention: 

Impact is both a recognition and a call to action

ePLDT President and CEO and Senior Vice President and Head for PLDT and Smart Enterprise Business Groups Jovy Hernandez opened the convention by traveling through history and identifying points of impact, such as the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombings and the 9/11 attacks. “But impact can also indicate the consequences of our actions. Many of the most impactful events in history are of our own volition: famines, wars, pandemics.” 

So what do we do after an impact, such as the pandemic? Hernandez offered a solution: we adapt. We recover from the effects of the pandemic and the early days of strict lockdown in the country. According to Hernandez, impact is not just a recognition of a single moment of history. It is also how we respond to these moments. 

This call-to-action is what motivates PLDT Enterprise. As he mentioned, the group “continue[s] to better life through improved services.”

Lead with purpose and commitment

Throughout the 3-day event, PLDT speakers and moderators emphasized one thing: “Pivot or perish.” At the onset of the pandemic, this became the challenge not just for PLDT but also for most businesses and companies. The telecommunications giant turned this dilemma into a mantra and it is now what drives the enterprise to push forward in service of its customers. 

At the helm of this is Manuel V. Pangilinan, Chairman and CEO of the PLDT Group. During the day’s plenary session, Pangilinan discussed what it means to make an impact. 

He highlighted that these times call for people who are looking for opportunities to build a better and safer future. “Our message is one of hope: that these times call for people of purpose and commitment, those who want to make a positive impact on the lives of people.”

It’s time to reassess your business strategies

In a fireside chat with event moderator and PLDT FVP & Head of Corporate Communications Cathy Yang, Cisco Chairman and CEO Chuck Robbins shared how Cisco took on the setbacks posed by the pandemic and used these to advance their services and deliver better technologies to their customers. 

Cisco Webex, the flagship web and video conferencing application of the company, was the focus of the discussion. He noted that meetings will be hybrid in the future as some people return to the office while others would prefer to stay at home. Considering this, he announced that Webex technology will continue to scale to address the various needs of its users. 

When asked about how Cisco is coping with the pandemic, Robbins mentioned that they have used this as an opportunity to accelerate. Because we don’t know when the pandemic is going to end, stopping was no longer an option for the company. “It had all of us leaders step back and reassess strategies and how we deliver our products and solutions to our customers.” 

Focus on being of service to your customers

Hollywood actress and goop Founder and CEO Gwyneth Paltrow also graced the event. During her fireside chat with Yang, she covered a variety of topics, including how the pandemic affected the operations of her company.

When asked about how she is handling the effects of the pandemic, Paltrow relayed that from a business perspective, she led the company in going back to its core. As a modern lifestyle brand, goop was in a unique position of having a demographic already interested in wellness. Amid the pandemic, they organized the first virtual goop summit, which was more affordable and accessible geographically. 

“We decided to go back to our content groups at goop and focus on being of service. We wanted to give people great information, recipes, ways to destress, home beauty remedies, ways to relax your eyes and neck.”

Technology is the key to safer workplaces

Most speakers during the event mentioned that one of the biggest challenges their company faced was the inaccessibility of workplaces due to the pandemic. How should we go about introducing a safer return to work? 

To answer this, the speakers from the first breakout session of the convention focused on workplace transformation through unified communications facilitated by technology. 

Paul Petterson, Cisco’s Collaboration Lead for ASEAN, noted that workplace requirements are changing due to the pandemic. Employees now want flexibility, where they have the choice to work from home when needed. It is imperative that technology suits any setup an employee may choose. 

He identified this as one of the key considerations in new Webex technologies. Some of the key features include AI that reduces non-voice sounds in meetings, an interface that houses all applications in one main hub, and a work-focused screen that employees can take with them wherever they may choose to be. As trends point to a hybrid workplace, the breakout session showed that seamless communication between teams should be the priority for businesses.

While this year may have been difficult, the positive insights shared by these industry leaders show us that pivoting amid the pandemic is possible. By doing this, you can likewise create your own IMPACT.

If you want to catch up on PH Digicon 2020, you can visit PLDT Enterprise’s website for the event highlights. –

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