PLDT ties up with Intel to bring digital solutions to MSME owners
MANILA, Philippines – PLDT SME nation, the small business arm of PLDT Incorporated has announced a partnership with hardware tech giant Intel that is aimed at serving the huge micro-, small- and medium-enterprise or MSME market in the country.
The immediate fruit of the partnership is the introduction of 3 categories of new, ready-to-use tech solutions for MSME entrepreneurs.
These solutions come in the form of 3 new crates, or software bundles, that concentrate on different facets of running a business – namely, website building, point of sales, and connectivity.
The website building crate gives MSMEs easy to use website tools that allow them to provide a digital shop front as well as increase customer engagement.
The POS crate allows business owners to automate tedious tasks such as recording of sales and inventory, along with simple data analysis tools to make this data more useful.
The connectivity crate is aimed at smarter conferencing enabling business owners to communicate with partners and clients.
The idea behind this is that MSMEs compose 99.7% but most of them aren’t online, a crucial feature in today’s digital world.
Albert Mitchell "Mitch" Locsin, Vice President & head of PLDT Smart SME Nation, said the partnership with Intel allows these business owners to digitize quickly and leverages PLDT’s size to keep both the cost of hardware and support down.
“It’s hard for MSME owners to acquire hardware because they have to invest capital for it, as well hire an IT expert to advice them and set it up. So what we are doing is bundling everything together and bring it to customers on a plug and play model with flexibility and affordability, and support built in,” he said.
Locsin added that the pricing structure will also be customized to suit a business owner’s individual needs.
Digital pivot continues
The partnership is also part of PLDT's digital pivot strategy that has seen the legacy firm overhaul operations to align them with the digital age, Locsin said.
PDLT’s spending for the first quarter of the year hit P14.6 billion, more than 4 times the spending at the beginning of 2015. The spending comes amid consecutive declines in PLDT’s net income as the firm refocuses its strategy, which, the firm says, is part of the process.
Locsin said the PLDT SME nation is always looking for new digital partners, to go along with its existing tie-ups with Microsoft, Samsung, and Intel, among others, although he added that none are on the immediate horizon.
He pointed out that the digital pivot has no definite end point, describing it as more of a change in mentality than a step by step process.
“Everyday something changes. We don’t know what will happen next year as some new tech may come up that will disrupt everything, so we’re on a constant path to be at the forefront of the digital change,” Locsin said. – Rappler.com