Showing posts with label digital. Show all posts

GS1 Philippines launches “GS1 Activate” to boost digital transformation in the retail sector with robust barcode system

Friday, March 1, 2024

Aims to introduce to over 30,000 retailers nationwide by the end of 2024

GS1 Philippines, the leading organization on local barcode standards, officially launched GS1 Activate, a web-based service aimed at simplifying barcode generation and symbol creation for businesses, revolutionizing the retail supply chain through digitalization.

Launched during GS1 Philippines’ Annual Conference and General Membership Meeting on January 30, 2024, GS1 Activate streamlines the processing of generating barcode numbers and symbols for businesses, making product data and identification digitized and further improving the efficiency and visibility of supply and demand chains globally and across sectors.

By adhering to GS1 standards and services, GS1 Activate enables businesses to achieve accurate product identification with global trade item numbers (GTINs) and seamless data sharing, enhancing customer service and operational efficiency. With GS1 Activate, businesses can easily obtain barcode numbers for their products, allowing for their global distribution. Additionally, the service provides expert guidance on printing and placing barcode symbols to ensure optimal scanning performance. By leveraging GS1 Activate to share product data, companies can expand their reach to retailers and marketplaces worldwide, enhancing the visibility and accessibility of their products on a global scale.

GS1 Philippines targets to introduce GS1 Activate to over 30,000 retailers nationwide by the end of 2024. They are currently serving over 5,000 retailers. 

“In an economy where the Philippines’ e-commerce market is estimated to reach $24 billion (approx. Php 1.3 trillion) through 2025, GS1 Activate is a game-changer. This new service revolutionizes business barcode generation, reducing the time required compared to traditional product identification methods and eliminating common errors, saving costs on label reprinting and minimizing the need for extensive personnel training. By dramatically simplifying the process, GS1 Activate also enhances efficient data sharing, crucial for strengthening both local and global trade. This launch is a testament to our dedication to advancing digital integration within the Philippines' supply chain ecosystem, reinforcing our role in the global economy,” GS1 Philippines, and Philippine Retailers Association President Bobby Claudio said.

Aligning with the annual gathering’s theme, “Unified Unlocked: Activating Integrated Digitalization,” GS1 Philippines’ conference marked the 50th anniversary of the introduction of the barcode system and highlighted GS1’s focus on shifting to the 2D migration of barcodes to QR codes while calling for global retail Point of Sale (POS) scanners to be capable of processing 2D barcodes by 2027. 

In his remark, GS1 Philippines Chairman Atty. Pablo Gancayo shared, "We are now focused on evolving the barcode into the next level we call the 2D migration, which is expected to revolutionize further commerce. GS1 will guide the industry towards 2D migration, which it hopes to achieve and implement comprehensively by the year 2027."

The annual gathering hosted insightful discussions, networking, and collaboration opportunities among key government figures, industry players, and GS1 members. Among those present was Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Undersecretary Mary Jean T. Pacheco, who emphasized GS1 standards' pivotal role in enhancing supply chain efficiency and visibility for Philippine industries competing globally. During her talk, she discussed the government agency’s three-year food logistics action agenda aimed to revolutionize the food distribution system by addressing critical supply chain gaps and integrating ICT to enhance logistics performance. Undersecretary Pacheco expressed eagerness for collaborations with GS1 Philippines to achieve these goals.

Other government leaders and industry experts also shared their perspectives on the impact of global standards in the digital age, including Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) Secretary Ivan John Enrile Uy; De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde School of Environment and Design faculty member and packaging designer and consultant Prof. Ana Maria Veronica Solano; and CLASSchool Founder and Nutraways Manufacturing Corporation General Manager Love Emmanuel Agudo.

Several executives from both GS1 Philippines and the GS1 Global Office graced the event, namely: GS1 Global Office President and CEO Renaud De Barbuat; GS1 Philippines Trustee and Philippine Exporters Confederation, Inc. (PHILEXPORT) President Sergio Ortiz-Luis Jr.; and GS1 Global Office GS1 Registry Platform Global Deployment Lead Joe Horwood.

Among the prominent industry groups present at the conference were PHILEXPORT, Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), Philippine Retailers Association (PRA), Philippine Food Processors and Exporters Organization (PHILFOODEX), Philippine Chamber of Food Manufacturers, Inc. (PCFMI), Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Association of the Philippines (PHAP), Philippine Consumer Centric Traders Association (PCCTA), Packaging Institute of the Philippines (PIP), Chamber of Cosmetics Industry of the Philippines (CCIP), Soap and Detergent Association of the Philippines (SDAP), and the Beverage Industry Association of the Philippines.
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917Ventures supports Filipino MSMEs adopt digital processes with MemoApp

Sunday, February 11, 2024


While digitalization is valuable for businesses across various scales, it is a critical need for micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs). MSMEs, unlike bigger businesses, are less likely to introduce digital practices despite these tools allowing them to improve operational processes, foster innovation, and ability to rapidly respond to market changes to remain competitive amidst today’s rapidly evolving landscape.

"Embracing digital tools should be a strategic imperative for sustaining competitiveness and resilience in today's dynamic landscape, but we understand that it is not always easy to make the shift,” said Carla Bianca Sy Su, Entrepreneur-at-Residence at 917Ventures. 

Even with the persistence of digitalization, the World Economic Forum points out that only 25% of MSMEs globally have managed to truly shift and keep up with technology. Specific to the Philippines, only 6% of MSMEs use digital tools revealing a substantial technology gap in the country.

Sy Su said MSMEs, in particular, grapple with numerous manual and paper-based processes but find it difficult to fully adopt digital tools because of financial constraints or constantly adjusting processes.

MemoApp, a web-based solution, was introduced to the Philippine market in late 2023 as one of the newest startups from 917Ventures. Its goal is to support local Filipino businesses digitize their manual and paper-based processes. 

With features such as a swift workflow approval system, an integrated e-signature capability, and effortless access to essential document templates, MemoApp stands as a practical tool for businesses seeking to streamline their operations and boost productivity and efficiency all at a fraction of the cost charged by other solutions. The solution is flexible enough to accommodate all types of business administrative needs, whether for filing contracts, routing for approvals, invoicing, and many others.

“When we talk about digitalization, we often see it as a tool that helps us with external-facing efforts, but before we get to that stage, we have to understand that it is a transformative journey that starts from within a company’s people and operations.” Sy Su added. “Memoapp was created to help businesses of all sizes become more efficient and productive– giving them a tool that allows them to go paperless, route documents faster, and get approvals easily, all in one platform.” 

Creating an avenue for digital transformation

Since its launch, MemoApp has transformed a variety of businesses across different industries including government agencies, education, healthcare, food and beverage, and more. Among businesses that have found success with MemoApp is the Center for Bright Beginnings, an early childhood intervention center in Davao City. 

For over two decades, the center grappled with time-consuming and error-prone paper-based processes–a challenge that intensified with the opening of a new campus in Tagum City. Before implementing MemoApp, requests and approvals were frequently handled manually, requiring hard copies of forms and documents. Unfortunately, this manual process often led to misplacement of documents, causing delays and inefficiencies.

“Before, we had to do all our requests and approvals in hard copy. That became an issue as we now have two separate offices. Since we would need the signatures on hard copy before we can do anything, there were instances when the documents didn’t reach the appropriate signatories or they were misplaced. This led to a lot of things taking more time than necessary and a lot of things had to be put on hold,” said Mandy Gavino, Chief Financial Officer, Center for Bright Beginnings. 

Gavino added that the convenience of having everything accessible on the website enabled swift communication and significantly accelerated approval processes for the center. The shift to MemoApp eliminated their need for physical document filing; providing easier tracking and ensuring accountability for pending approvals. She also talked about how she appreciates MemoApp's Watcher feature, which allows tracking of document progress, as well as the time-saving basic document templates for invoices, leave forms, memos, and more. 

As businesses continue to evolve, the startup plans to introduce more features and integrations in the near future. This includes bulk document creations, bulk approvals, and full-on document collaborations, to name a few. It is also preparing a self-service feature to enable new users and team members to onboard themselves and create their form templates. 

MemoApp also plans to introduce Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) to allow businesses to connect MemoApp to their existing workflow and process software.

Businesses who want to experience a smoother, more organized, and paperless process can register for a Basic Subscription Plan to explore the features of MemoApp. Learn more by visiting
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Building a More Secure Web for Businesses: Eastern Communications Leads Awareness on Safer Internet Day

Tuesday, February 6, 2024

Safer Internet Day

In alignment with the global observance of Safer Internet Day 2024, premier telecommunications company Eastern Communications steps forward to highlight the critical issue of online security. Amid the growing prevalence of online scams, particularly through work emails and misleading links, Eastern Communications is at the forefront of educating and protecting businesses and individuals alike.

In 2023, Sophos revealed that 30% of cyber attacks were orchestrated through email, while ransomware assaults on private sector businesses led to 84% revenue losses for the victims.

"We understand the threats online scams pose, and they have become increasingly sophisticated," said Rex Evangelista, Eastern Communications’ Head of Information Technology Department, "Our mission is not only to provide top-notch security solutions but also to educate our internal and external stakeholders to practice awareness and resilience against these threats."

Online scams, especially through work emails, mimicked email accounts, and suspicious links, are on the rise due to sophisticated phishing attacks, advanced social engineering tactics, and the exploitation of system vulnerabilities and human error. The shift towards remote work and the increasing reliance on digital communication have further exposed businesses to these threats.

Eastern Communications prioritizes digital safety through comprehensive internal practices. Staff training programs are a cornerstone of this initiative, equipping employees with essential skills to recognize and counter potential online threats.

This dedication to cybersecurity is further cemented by Eastern Communications' ISO 27001 certification, an internationally recognized standard for Information Security Management Systems (ISMS), underscoring the company’s steadfast commitment to securing data and managing the information of its stakeholders responsibly.

The process is followed by extending Eastern’s expertise to its customers and partners through thought leadership sessions, technological workshops like Access Eastern, and online educational materials like videos, posts, and blogs.

Finally, Eastern Communications delivers holistic cyber defense solutions to its clients and identifies four online safety essentials to combat various threats originating from emails and online sources. The full suite, covering all stages of cyberattacks, includes the Sophos XG Firewall (Next Generation Firewall), Central Intercept X Advanced (CIXA), Central Email Advanced for email security, and Sophos Phish Threat for educating the whole organization. 

The Sophos XG Firewall is a Next Generation Firewall that safeguards users throughout the initial stages of ransomware attacks. XG Firewall includes one of the best-performing IPS engines on the market and offers easy, simple, and flexible tools to secure your LAN. 

CIXA on the other hand, is a cloud-based security platform that combines advanced endpoint detection and response with anti-malware protection to spot cybersecurity vulnerabilities and block malicious attempts. CIXA is an endpoint security solution that employs machine learning, allowing it to understand new forms of threats and risks.

To complete the online defense suite, Eastern offers Central Email Advanced, a secure email gateway engineered to keep businesses safe from all email threats, and Sophos Phish Threats, a phishing attack simulation system that assesses the organization’s preparedness against real-world attacks.

"In today's digital age, understanding the landscape of online threats is as crucial as having the tools to combat them. Our approach is holistic – we focus on empowering users with knowledge as well as technology,” Evangelista emphasized.

Marking the annual Safer Internet Day, Eastern Communications reaffirms its commitment to enhancing online security and setting new standards in combating digital threats. By integrating advanced technology with educational outreach, Eastern leads in empowering individuals and businesses to navigate the digital world safely, inspiring change toward a more secure and informed online world.

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Revolutionising digital entertainment in the Philippines


Putting the GAME in eGaming: DigiPlus utilises cutting-edge technologies and a deep bench of experts from different spaces within the gaming industry.

Traditional bingo is deeply ingrained in Filipino culture. Such gaming activities have served as a space where people from all walks of life get to enjoy, relax, and build meaningful connections with every game.

However, the unprecedented times brought by the pandemic changed the entire gaming industry amidst quarantine restrictions preventing any form of social gatherings. The public crisis also rapidly pushed digital adoption across the world. This comes amidst a digitally adept young demographic and a significant penetration of the Internet and smartphones in recent years.

This brought both a challenge and an opportunity for gaming and leisure company DigiPlus Interactive in leading digitalisation in the Philippine gaming industry whilst creating enjoyable experiences for its players across channels.

DigiPlus Interactive has launched BingoPlus in January 2022. It is the first digital platform where bingo-loving Filipinos can play with the convenience of time and place by bringing the game live online. BingoPlus leverages the company’s deep understanding of its customers whilst bringing in innovation and technologies to offer new entertainment product formats to more Filipinos.

BingoPlus’ brick-and-mortar or traditional bingo operations also complemented the foray into the digital space. DigiPlus Interactive currently operates at least 200 bingo halls in different parts of the Philippines, which continue to be popular amongst Filipinos.

The strong performance of BingoPlus propelled the robust growth of DigiPlus. In 2022, DigiPlus posted a turnaround in its financial performance, with a net income of ₱686.9m coming from a net loss of ₱894.6m in the previous year. Furthermore, in the first nine months of 2023, DigiPlus registered a net income of ₱2.1b, more than a tenfold growth from 2022.

As the first and only government-licensed digital bingo platform in the country, BingoPlus is reshaping the country’s gaming industry. Continuing to dominate the digital gaming space, BingoPlus has opened up new opportunities, triggering a proliferation of online gaming platforms in the Philippines. This healthy competition fosters innovation and creativity that fundamentally benefits the customers.

The platform has also since become a community and entertainment platform, a source of revenue for the Philippine government, and a contributor to various social and educational non-profit programmes.

“The success of BingoPlus has paved the way for [DigiPlus] to undertake a strategic transformation to position itself as a digital entertainment platform,” the company said. It added its plans of launching new and innovative game offerings to cater to broader demographics and lifestyle preferences.

The platform’s continued investment in research and development, as well as its efforts in revolutionising the digital gaming experience, has been lauded by the inaugural Asian Management Excellence Awards, with the company bringing home the Philippines Innovator of the Year - Media & Entertainment category win.

The coveted awards programme celebrates the finest business leaders, innovators, and companies in Asia, and commends exceptional achievements in the various aspects of operations, including employee engagement programmes, diversity and inclusion projects, and health and wellness initiatives.
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PLDT Home Gigabit Fiber Plans: Revolutionizing Philippine Broadband with Ultra-Fast Connectivity

Friday, February 2, 2024

PLDT Home is once again pushing the boundaries of Philippine broadband with the launch of its Gigabit Fiber Plans. Designed to provide Filipinos with the fastest and most reliable internet available today, these plans mark a significant leap into the Gigabit Era, showcasing PLDT Home's commitment to digital innovation.

PLDT Home has a history of introducing unprecedented internet speeds, having been the first to offer speeds of up to 1 Gbps. Now, with the Gigabit Fiber Plans, Filipinos can experience internet speeds of up to an astonishing 10 Gbps, a testament to PLDT Home's dedication to keeping the nation at the forefront of digital advancements.

 PLDT Home's Gigabit Fiber comes in four plans: 1 Gbps, 2.5 Gbps, 5 Gbps, and a maximum of 10 Gbps. These mind-blowing speeds enable simultaneous ultra-fast and high-bandwidth online activities for everyone at home. Each Gigabit Fiber plan includes a Gigabit modem, a whole-home WiFi 6 mesh system, subscriptions to IPTV and global streaming apps, and security services for personal devices.

Subscribers to Gigabit Fiber plans enjoy exclusive perks, including premium welcome kits and access to PLDT Home exclusive events and venues. This not only enhances their digital experience but also underscores PLDT Home's commitment to providing VIP treatment to its valued customers.

Gigabit speed is the next generation of Fiber high-speed internet, offering speeds at least 100 times faster than today's average internet connections. This level of connectivity is crucial for large families and groups with high demands for lag-free connections across various devices, reflecting the evolving digital landscape in Filipino homes.

A Global Elite With the introduction of Gigabit Fiber plans, the Philippines joins an elite roster of nations, including South Korea, Japan, and the United States, that are Gigabit-ready. PLDT Home's leadership in digital innovations reinforces its commitment to driving advancements in communication, information consumption, business, education, creative pursuits, and entertainment experiences.

PLDT Home's Gigabit Fiber plans, reaching maximum speeds of 10 Gbps, empower Filipinos with life-changing internet speeds. This innovation supports next-level efficiency and productivity, seamless entertainment experiences, and peak convenience in smart homes. As PLDT Home sets new standards for digital innovations, it anticipates a surge in opportunities for Filipinos in various aspects of life.

Initially launching in select villages in Metro Manila, Cebu, and Davao, PLDT Home's Gigabit Fiber plans promise to elevate the digital experience for residents in these areas. The expansion of this service is expected to bring about limitless possibilities and a major boost to the Philippines' digital landscape.

PLDT Home's Gigabit Fiber plans mark a significant milestone in the country's digital evolution, offering unparalleled internet speeds and comprehensive packages. As the Philippines embraces the Gigabit Era, PLDT Home stands as a digital innovations leader, ushering in a new era of connectivity and limitless possibilities for Filipinos.
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