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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

PH telco woes: DITO, Globe exchange complaints on market performance

Manila, Philippines – The Philippine telecommunications industry is facing new challenges, as telco giant Globe Telecom and new player DITO have exchanged public statements regarding their business operations and performance.

It first started with DITO, who filed two complaints at the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) against Globe Telecom and Smart Communications for their competitive business behaviour, more specifically during their interconnection agreement.

Said interconnection agreements allow DITO users to send texts and make calls to users of PLDT’s Smart and Globe.

“It has become very difficult for our subscribers to interconnect with Globe and Smart,” said Adel Tamano, chief administrative officer at DITO through CNN Philippines.

Meanwhile, the PCC has acknowledged DITO’s complaints, stating that interconnection is an essential component of the telecommunications industry as it allows interoperability and exchange of calls, SMS, and other information from one network to another.

Johannes R. Bernabe, the OIC chairperson at the Philippine Competition Commission, said, “Our Competition Enforcement Office (CEO) is now evaluating the merits of Dito’s complaints. The Commission has 10 days within which to decide whether or not to give due course to the complaint. If given due course, our CEO will proceed to investigate the charges and if it subsequently finds sufficient basis, file with the Commission en banc a Statement of Objections against the allegedly erring entities.”

In response, Globe Telecom has released a statement, asking the country’s National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to require DITO to pay up to PHP622m in interconnection penalties.

According to Globe’s statement, around 1,000 fraudulent calls– identified as international in origin but masked as local calls– are allowed to pass through DITO’s network to Globe users every day, a clear violation of interconnection deals.

“Clearly, DITO has not only failed to compensate Globe, but it also has not taken any serious actions to curtail bypass activities emanating from its network and terminating in Globe’s. Indeed, these bypass activities have not waned but have in fact continuously increased over the said period. DITO’s twin failures to check these bypass activities and pay Globe what it is justly due have worked on a continuing serious prejudice against Globe,” the telco said.

Globe and DITO have signed an interconnection agreement in February 2021 which covers domestic mobile calls and SMS enabling Globe’s customers to make mobile calls, send SMS with DITO Telecommunity’s customers without additional charges.

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Technology Featured Southeast Asia

Globe’s 917Ventures to partner with AC Ventures to explore business opportunities

Manila, Philippines – Globe Telecom’s venture builder 917Ventures and Ayala Corporation (AC) Ventures have entered into a new partnership to explore business opportunities, as well as grow their own business ecosystems.

Through the partnership, AC Ventures will participate in funding the research, development, and launch of 917V’s new business ventures. 

The partnership with AC Ventures hopes to further accelerate both the quantity and quality of its future companies as the unique advantages now encompass the broader Ayala group, including real estate, banking, power, healthcare, and logistics.

Vince Yamat, managing director at 917Ventures, said, “We are very excited to work with AC Ventures. We can leverage the ecosystem and network advantage that they provide to solve the pain points of consumers and businesses. Through digital solutions, we can help pave the way and deliver indelible value to the Philippines and the Asia-Pacific region.”

Meanwhile, Alberto de Larrazabal, chief finance officer at Ayala Corporation and president/CEO at AC Ventures, commented, “The accelerated growth of digital adoption has become ingrained in many Filipinos who have quickly transitioned how they work, study, play, and access basic services.”

He added, “Ayala intends to participate in this multi-decade transformation by contributing to the research and development and incubation of disruptive solutions across different consumer touchpoints in our portfolio. With its strong track record of developing startups to achieve scale and profitability, we believe that 917Ventures is the natural vehicle for Ayala’s digital ventures.”

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Technology Featured Southeast Asia

TM Wholesale, Globe join hands to level up PH gaming and esports services

​Philippines — TM Wholesale, the wholesale arm of Telekom Malaysia (TM), has signed a collaborative agreement with Globe Telecom (Globe), for a nationwide rollout of Globe’s co-branded gaming solution called Globe Gamer Grounds powered by Ember in the Philippines.

The partnership will provide Globe with access to Swarmio’s plug-and-play Ember platform for gaming that will enhance Globe’s gaming and e-sports services and bring it closer to its millions of mobile and broadband end users. Leveraging TM’s established global network and infrastructure ecosystems, the platform enables Globe’s customers to enjoy ultra-low latency gaming experiences with faster download speeds.

As an established digital solutions provider in the Philippines and an enormous provider of telecommunications services, the Globe Group of companies also has a significant presence in various digital solutions businesses, leveraging its substantial customer base, distribution capabilities, and strategic partnerships to establish a footprint that spans numerous industry sectors including fintech, healthcare, entertainment, adtech, e-commerce, manpower, IT services, and venture capital.

Amar Huzaimi Md Deris, EVP of TM Wholesale, stated that they are thrilled to collaborate with Globe as the gaming and e-sports industry is now considered the world’s biggest entertainment industry, with ASEAN gamers dominating the market.

“As a regional operator, TM Wholesale takes pride in making superior gaming experiences accessible to the industry via our wholesale offerings which provide a seamless and high-quality digital experience to users. This collaboration also aligns with our vision to create a more vibrant digital ecosystem throughout the region,” Deris adds.

Meanwhile, Ralph Aligada, head of Globe Games and Esports, shared, “With Globe’s all-in-one gaming platform, the community of gamers will enjoy a seamless and high quality digital experience. We are hopeful that with this agreement, there will be more opportunities and innovative solutions that would benefit our gaming community and users in the country, perhaps even across the region.”

Previously, TM Wholesale and Swarmio Media, a Canada-based gaming and e-sports technology company established a partnership to provide accessible and high-quality digital gaming and e-sports services throughout ASEAN. This partnership with Globe marks a breakthrough in TM’s collaboration with Swarmio Media, enhancing e-sports gaming and levelling up digital experiences for the Philippines and across the region.

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Technology Featured Southeast Asia

Globe’s 917Ventures launches API marketplace Concati

Manila, Philippines – 917Ventures, the venture builder of local telco Globe, has launched Concati, a one-stop application programming interface (API) marketplace, where developers can access high-quality APIs to effortlessly enhance existing solutions and get to market faster.

This suite of secure, scalable, and enterprise-grade APIs can be easily integrated into an organisation’s digital systems, allowing companies to come up with better products more quickly. Users can cut their building costs and development time by one to two months. 

With an easy-to-use API management platform, businesses can explore and connect seamlessly. Concati also offers reliable maintenance and aftersales support. In addition, Concati APIs work well with all major development languages. Developers can simply use the technology they are most familiar with. 

Mikey Garrovillo, head of product, technology and data at 917Ventures, said, “We are excited to introduce Concati to developers around the world for an elevated user experience among their customers. Anyone creating a new web or mobile application can benefit from the flexibility and convenience that Concati provides. The APIs are also relatively cheaper compared to their regional and international counterparts.”

Available APIs include address service, centralised logistics, consent management, feedback service, inventory service, leaderboard and missions, maintenance service, OTP service, push notifications, referral service, scheduling service, voucher service, and user service.

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Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

Swarmio Media, Globe Telecom to launch Ember gaming, esports platform in PH

Philippines – Swarmio Media Holdings Inc., a technology company focused on the global deployment of its proprietary gaming and esports platform via its telco partners, together with Globe Telecom, has announced the launch of its Ember gaming and esports platform in the Philippines.

The commercial agreement comes as a result of Swarmio’s previously announced collaborative partnership with TM WHOLESALE, the global and wholesale arm of Telekom Malaysia Berhad), which will see Swarmio’s Ember platform rolled out across Asia. Revenues generated from subscriptions and profit from transactions carried out within the Ember platform through its integrated e-commerce and fintech solutions, Swarmio Store and Swarmio Pay, will be subject to a revenue share agreement between Globe Telecom, TM WHOLESALE, and Swarmio.

Globe Gamer Grounds Powered by Ember was officially launched on April 27th with a high-profile media event. With a combined social media following of millions, the event was attended by a number of national media outlets and notable game streamers. Globe Gamer Grounds customers will be able to compete in events for an incredible selection of games, including Mobile Legends: Bang Bang (MLBB), PUBG Mobile, CODM, League of Legends Wild Rift, Valorant, Pokemon Unite, and even Genshin Impact when the service launches in the near future.

Ralph Aligada, head of Globe Games and Esports, said that they are pleased to be collaborating with Swarmio and excited to launch Globe Gamer Grounds powered by Ember.

“Gaming has become an exceptionally powerful way for people across demographics to compete, socialise and have fun. Globe Gamer Grounds will nurture and grow the grassroots gamer communities in the country. Our partnership with Swarmio will bring the best gaming experience for our customers across the Philippines,” Aligada said.

Meanwhile, Vijai Karthigesu, CEO of Swarmio, commented, “This is a significant and mutually beneficial partnership that provides Globe with the ability to gain a strong competitive advantage through engaging and monetizing the large and growing gaming community in the Philippines,”

Karthigesu added, “At the same time, it will allow Swarmio to engage directly with over 85 million Globe customers and deliver a best-in-class gaming and community experience.”

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Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

Mynt’s latest US$300m funding values the company now at US$2b

Manila, Philippines – Mynt, the fintech company under telecommunications company Globe, has recently raised US$300m in funding, therefore valuing the company now at US$2b. Said funding has been led by investors Warburg Pincus, Insight Partners and Bow Wave.

Mynt has been at the forefront of the digital transformation among Filipinos as the ‘go-to’ payment and financial services solution to over 48 million users, nearly half of the national population. 

With the continued relevance of the app among its users, Mynt is on track to reach ₱3t of gross transaction value, 3 times more than last year’s record number. The company has also recorded peak daily app log-ins and daily active transactions of 19 million and 12 million, respectively.

For Martha Sazon, president and CEO of Mynt, this is further proof that their growth and achievements have not gone unnoticed. 

“We have been able to continuously expand by introducing game-changing innovations while improving our profitability profile. We are excited about our new partnership with Warburg, Insight, Itai Tsiddon and Amplo, as they each bring strategic value to our team in the pursuit of our vision towards finance for all,” Sazon stated.

Meanwhile, Ernest Cu, chairman of the board of Mynt and president and CEO of Globe, commented, “Their investment in Mynt and GCash further validates the strides the company has made in providing access to innovative financial services to more Filipinos and highlighting the Philippines to the global investor audience. Together with the continued support of Mynt’s existing shareholders, we are confident of furthering Mynt’s market leadership and creating positive and transformative disruption in the Philippine financial services sector.”

Mynt offers a full array of financial services, spanning credit, savings, insurance, loans, and investments. Assets Under Management (AUM) for its GSave product has grown to over ₱9b, from ₱5b in 2020, while its GInvest product has already captured 70% of the domestic market of total UITF accounts. GInsure, GCash‘s microinsurance offering launched in 2020, accounts for 1/3 of all new insurance policies issued in the Philippines.

In addition, GCash’s GCredit disburses over ₱1b worth of loans each month, with ₱15b worth having been disbursed as of June 2021, and boasts the best repayment rates locally with the lowest past-due and non-performing loans. Mynt also piloted GLoan, a cash loan product that allows qualified users to borrow as much as ₱25k, with repayment spread over 12 months.

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Technology Featured Southeast Asia

Globe’s cloud company Cascadeo lands spot on Gartner Magic Quadrant

Manila, Philippines – Cascadeo, the dedicated cloud company under Philippine telco operator Globe, has been recognized as a niche player by Gartner Magic Quadrant for Public Cloud IT Transformation Services, Global 2021, making Globe the first Philippine telco to have a subsidiary enter into the Gartner Magic Quadrant.

According to the report, Cascadeo’s strengths banked on cloud consultancy, managed services and cloud-native skills; modernization of traditional applications; as well as emphasis on strategic cloud transformation, and DevOps expertise. 

Cascadeo invests heavily in data analytics through its AIops-enabled cascadeo.io platform. The cloud management platform for cloud infrastructure analytics is one of the company’s key competitive differentiators, with its capabilities in multi-cloud monitoring; automatic system alerts; cost-optimization features; and dashboard integrations.

Speaking about the company’s recognition, Peter Maquera, CEO of Cascadeo and senior vice president of Globe Business, Enterprise Group, said that this historic win with Gartner reminds them that they are on the right track towards digitally transforming their customers.

“Public cloud deployments are vastly accelerating, with enterprises planning to maintain or increase their IT investments in the years to come. Globe and Cascadeo continuously work together to expand our base of cloud engineering skills, products, and services to help businesses achieve agility and resiliency through the cloud,” Maquera said.

Meanwhile, Jared Reimer, president and founder at Cascadeo, commented, “As Cascadeo grows through our Globe partnership, we expand our workforce of skilled Cloud engineers, architects, security experts, and operators in the Philippines. Being part of the Magic Quadrant validates our decades of experience as a premier-tier services provider centered around data-driven business transformation.”

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Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

First-ever YouTube Works Awards in PH unveils winners

Manila, Philippines – Taking bold and creative risks pays off: this is one of the main mantras evident in the first-ever YouTube Works Awards in the Philippines, as it awarded the brand content, campaigns, and channels that stood out in effectiveness and creativity in 2020. 

The YouTube Works Awards are a staple instreaming platform YouTube which celebrates and champions the brilliant minds behind producing the most innovative and effective campaigns on the platform in the past year. This year, the awards finally landed in the Philippines, done in partnership with market research firm Kantar.

Despite being a year fraught with challenges, brands in the Philippines set the bar high on effectively using YouTube to deliver results and tell stories that resonate with local audiences. 

“As the pandemic changed life as we know it, the way we tell brand stories and engage audiences evolved too. YouTube Works Awards saw that despite the restrictions in creative production and reaching consumers, brands in the Philippines rose above the challenge and expanded the possibilities with YouTube to effectively drive results and tell stories that resonate with Filipinos,” said Gabby Roxas, head of marketing at Google Philippines.

This year’s top award went to local soft drink brand RC Cola, whose ‘Basta’ campaign made by independent creative agency GIGIL, was lauded for being brave enough to take creative risks and in making effective use of Gen Z’s surrealist humor. To date, the video has more than seven million views on YouTube.

For Roxas, RC Cola’s bizarre story of a family who served up the message of the value of embracing and enjoying one’s differences is consistent with the campaign’s approach: the pursuit to unapologetically stand out in a sea of formulaic content to achieve marketing and business objectives.

Meanwhile, Leigh Reyes, chair emeritus and product officer at MullenLowe TREYNA, and jury head at YouTube Works, commented, “At a tumultuous time when it would normally be considered unconventional to experiment, bravery in exploring the bold and the new pays off. advertising approach, tapping into absurdism to cut through repetitive and mundane lockdown content.”

Meanwhile, local telco Talk N’ Text or TNT won the ‘Best Multi-Video Storytelling’ award for their ‘Free Games for All’ series, which capitalized on Filipinos’ love for gaming mixed with hugot lines or heart-pulling one-liners to tell the story of four friends bonding over online games via a triad of spots. Driving a 165% increase in revenue versus the previous year, the campaign proved that YouTube viewers keep coming back for episodic content especially if it offers a compelling narrative.

For the ‘Best Brand Channel’ category, local beer brand Red Horse won the award, whose YouTube channel looked beyond product marketing to create content that its target market would watch and engage with especially over a bottle of beer: online concerts, variety show sketches, and entertainment-led videos. This then led the channel to see a growth in subscribers, from 26,000 in October 2019 to 54,000 in 2020, garnering 3.4 million views last year in total. The channel continues to grow, with a subscriber base that now stands at more than 87,000. 

Meanwhile, instant noodle brand Lucky Me! Pancit Canton won a ‘Best Collaboration’ award for its work alongside social media influencer Mimiyuuuh for the campaign ‘Pinakahihintay NaThin’, which puts a light-hearted spin for the brand’s comeback to its original thin noodles in production. With this, Lucky Me! saw a lift in purchase intent and brand favor, achieving a view-through rate (VTR) of 18%, higher than campaigns without creator collaborations. 

YouTube Works Awards also featured two heartfelt campaigns that show how brands with purpose can drive impact in times of uncertainty.

First on the list is consumer goods conglomerate Procter & Gamble, whose heart-warming campaign on the real, raw sacrifices of our frontliners while being away from their families to care for the sick won the brand a ‘Force For Good’ award.

Meanwhile, Globe Telecom’s ‘A Star Wars Experience For All’ campaign won the ‘Best Long Form Storytelling’ award for its heartwarming story about two young boys who created a special viewing experience for their deaf friend. The campaign shows the importance of inclusivity by representing and uplifting persons with accessibility challenges.

Gary de Ocampo, chief executive officer for insights division at Kantar Philippines, congratulated all the winners of YouTube Works, adding that their campaigns are truly inspiring and speak volumes about the future of advertising in the Philippines. He also noted that from taking bold, creative risks to playing meaningful roles amid the pandemic, the brands listed in the awards have effectively harnessed insights and stories to use YouTube in driving desired results.

“While there were many great campaigns this year, the Best Personalization award went unclaimed, nonetheless. This brings an opportunity for brands and agencies to challenge themselves further about contextual targeting and fully unlock this potential. I’m excited to see how they will take this challenge to bag the award next year,” de Ocampo concluded.

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

New report unveils the ‘bad’ strategies PH telcos play—and how they can flip it

Manila, Philippines – As more and more telco users vent out online in regards to issues with their communication providers, the Internet has now become a new hub for telco players to create critical data-driven decisions in improving their services, new report from media intelligence and insights business Isentia.

The report had uncovered customer sentiments on social media and how these experiences from the services provided by Philippine ISPs, fold into every Filipino’s digital consumer journey. 

Isentia noted that netizens frequently take their frustrations to the comments section of Facebook Pages to express opinions and share their user experience. Once posted, these comments, especially those like complaints, can be picked up by other consumers and spread like wildfire. 

Taking for instance telco provider PLDT, when they issued an advisory that its users may experience slow or intermittent internet services and emerged as the top trending topic for that day, generating negative tweets from subscribers. While PLDT responded with a statement justifying the quality of internet services that day, it could not temper further unfavourable discussions surrounding the incident.

Isentia also noted that customers also complain about how telcos like Globe resort to ‘automated replies’ instead of immediate action from the company. Criticisms on how ‘repetitive’ and ‘insulting’ the templated reply saying, ‘We don’t want you to feel that way…’ dominated the discussions.

“Internet access has been and will continue to be a basic necessity in every household. But, from the perspective of many, these internet service providers are struggling to consistently satisfy its customers’ needs. From sluggish connection speed to poor customer service, a lot are voicing out their complaints publicly where everyone can see the quality of service that they provide,” said Francis Calucin, insights analyst at Isentia.

Despite efforts from local telco players to improve their marketing strategies, netizens often have mixed to negative views about them. For instance, many netizens have complained about telco Smart Communications that they don’t need a foreign ambassador or endorser but instead improve first on their telco services, following the telco’s announcement of Hollywood actor Chris Evans as one of its newest endorsers, aside from the rise of Korean drama stars and pop stars as well taking helm as brand ambassadors as well.

Another example is how netizens often have mixed thoughts about service provider CONVERGE’s use of memes, which was met with some harbored unfavourable comments while others see the strategy of injecting memes in its content producing a significant traction for the brand to the delight of other netizens.

Amid the bad light to the local telco players, Filipino netizens are inclined to switch networks, specifically with the new player DITO Telecommunications. Despite early approval of the franchise, the telco isn’t also safe from criticisms, such as complaints on roll-out and delivery of their SIM cards necessary for their services to work. In addition, Isentia also noted that they have recorded claims that certain high-end phones were the only ones compatible with DITO’s mobile data services, as well as fears from the public that the telco is allegedly a medium for China to spy, risking the security and privacy of Filipinos.

“Since the pandemic, telco companies have had to step up their game. In the Philippines, they were directed by the President himself to amp up their services. This study looks into conversations on the top telco industry players and dabbles on one of the newer ones who raked in hundreds of thousands of buzz in a single month. Companies can leverage trendspotting studies like this to harvest and pinpoint relevant insights and themes from organic conversations about their services and industry,” said Victoria Lazo, insights manager at Isentia Philippines.

Isentia recommended in its report that companies need to invest more in improving their messaging by streamlining and personalising conversations and responding to customer issues. This is a source of rabid responses from users that could greatly reflect and affect the image and reputation of a brand. Also, telco companies can migrate discussions to more private avenues – SMS, private messages, and emails – to address their concerns and avoid being bombarded with comments of unfavourable nature.

They also noted that telcos can promote an arena of competitiveness to cause market disruption. Telco companies can explore throwing in deals and freebies to cascade the value for money message, in response to embracing regulation and competition.

In regards to marketing, Isentia recommends that local personas can work better. Brands can tap multiple personalities across their campaigns and do not have to stick to just one throughout an entire period. Messaging and creativity of the promotion are vital points to be considered. The public now craves more organic promotions/marketing efforts over traditional ones, which will help appeal to the younger generations.

“Having a data-driven approach in finding out what competitors or the industry as a whole has been doing will help brands close in performance gaps and identify key areas they can work on to boost their growth. Trendspotting reports such as this aim to encourage brands to look outside of their business and understand the industry better so they can formulate informed strategies and come up with relevant initiatives,” Kate Dudang, insights manager at Isentia Philippines, stated.

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Technology Featured Southeast Asia

Globe secures stake in Salesforce’s partner Third Pillar for CRM solutions

Manila, Philippines – Philippine telecommunications company Globe announced that it has secured a 67% stake in business applications company Third Pillar, a partner of customer relationship management (CRM) company Salesforce.

The acquisition comes as the local telco giant targets an even more improved customer experience for its user base. Globe has shown its diversity in terms of mobile and data services, delivering access on global platforms such as Netflix, Viu, and Spotify. Furthermore, the telco industry has become a lifeline for most businesses by introducing connectivity, cloud, cybersecurity, and a host of other digital solutions befitting a remote work structure.

According to Peter Maquera, senior vice president for Globe Business, the partnership stems from their desire to give the telco’s enterprise customers a holistic experience, and at the same time playing a vital part in helping navigate through Salesforce and design processes that work for Globe.

Maquera admits that prior to utilizing Salesforce, they had no integrated view of customers, which were already at thousands. He mentioned that they were closing deals but not as fast as they hoped, and they didn’t have all of the information they needed to take immediate actions.

“Our collaboration with Third Pillar enabled us to use Salesforce in automating our B2B sales processes; enhancing workflows among teams, and expediting our turnaround time. With a 360-degree view of our customers, we’re able to identify where they are in the customer journey; extract more accurate forecasts and reports; improve pipeline management, and come up with faster, well-informed decisions,” Maquera explained.

He added, “In fact, after only a year into the partnership, we were able to log more than 8,000 opportunities; reduce neglected initiatives from 57 percent to 1.8 percent; diminish delayed projects from 53 percent to 1.1 percent, and decrease dwell time by 300 percent.”

Meanwhile, Maridol Ylanan, head of strategy and marketing for Globe myBusiness commented that through Third Pillar’s consulting services, combined with their background in telco, they were able to maximize Salesforce and configure it based on the telco’s needs.

“Implementing Salesforce wasn’t just about finding opportunities and closing transactions. The platform empowers us to start conversations with our customers and look out for their needs, no matter where they are in their journey. Now that we can leverage Third Pillar’s subject matter experts and industry specialists, coupled with our own experience in using Salesforce, we hope to empower more businesses to truly connect with their customers,” Ylanan stated.