“There are over 95,000 small to medium enterprises in the country, with each and every one having the potential to grow and compete on a global scale. With a wide assortment of online tools now within reach, there is no better time to be an SME than today,” said Reynaldo Huergas, President of IPC (IP Converge Data Services, Inc.), a local cloud services and data center pioneer.
According to data from the research agency We Are Social, the Philippines harbors an Internet penetration of 44 percent. For businesses, this translates to the opportunity to engage almost half the total population via the Internet, and ultimately, cultivate huge potential for growth.
Customers are largely mobile, with about 32 million active mobile Internet users in the Philippines. This makes going digital and embracing the consumerization of IT, now more critical than ever. Enterprises need to be easily reached by their customers via various channels such as social media, email and mobile. “People want information in real time and if they can’t get it from you, they’ll get it from your competitors. Business is lost,” said Huergas.
Huergas said that 2016 is also the time to tap big data and analytics. “Big data analytics can give valuable insights about your customers and target market. In essence, it uses statistics to understand customer behavior which allows for more effective campaigns and product or service developments that help achieve optimum results.”
Going digital also requires businesses and their employees to be mobile. They must be able to work remotely, from wherever they are to ensure that operations go on no matter what. For instance, businesses can maximize Google Apps for Work to help them communicate (via Gmail, Calendar, Hangouts, etc.), store (via Drive), and collaborate (via Docs, Sheets, Slides, etc.) with one another. Additionally, there are cloud-based products like Salesforce.com CRM that help businesses in customer relationship management that will allow them to achieve and maintain leadership and profitability.
“Moreover, the World Wide Web has long opened the channels to access international markets. With social media and a myriad of available digital tools, local enterprises can overcome geographical boundaries and access new markets, particularly overseas,” Huergas added.
“There is definitely room for growth in e-commerce in the Philippines and the current data may well be the signal for enterprises to go digital this 2016. This is what our ‘Enterprise Sachet’ model addresses― we afford our entrepreneurs with the same capabilities as larger organizations through IT tools available at affordable, pay-as-you-use packages,” said Huergas.
According to Huergas, enterprises can sign up and pay for IPC’s cloud-based softwares online through major credit cards (MasterCard, Visa, AMEX), over-the-counter cash payments via Dragonpay or popular online payment provider Paypal through the cloud.com.ph portal.
“This is the time to adopt a digital frame of mind. From acquiring business leads to managing our own organizations, online tools have a significant role to play,” Huergas concluded.