• IPC offers retail solution to help startups, SMEs

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    LOCAL cloud computing and data center firm IP Converge Data Services, Inc., (IPC), a unit of ePLDT, the information and communication technology (ICT) arm of PLDT, is launching an Enterprise Sachet to cater to the needs of Filipino small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and provide them a level playing field.

    “This is all about the concept of ‘tingi,’” said Nino Valmonte, IPC director, product management and marketing, referring to the Filipino practice of micro retail marketing. “I don’t think that ‘tingi’ is elsewhere in the world,” he said.

    “What were noticing in the market, practically about 90 percent of the companies in the Philippines is SME, and then now we see the startup movement, like in food, parang usong magstart ng negosyo [starting a business seems to have become a trend], so everyone wants to start their own business. So here in IPC, pretty much we wanted to be there in support to that movement,” he added.

    “Whereas most IT companies are probably focusing on the larger enterprises as a source of revenue in tapping that market, we, on the other hand, see that startups and SMEs are what need to be supported for the greater good of the Philippine economy, and we feel that IPC has to be there,” Valmonte explained.

    IPC recently announced its thrust to enable startups and SMEs to manage the cost of IT resources, given the growing adoption of IT to automate and streamline business operations.

    Dubbed as The Enterprise Sachet, this pay-as-you-go model allows companies to make use of business productivity tools and compute resources on-demand and pay only for what is required at any given point in time, via online payment.

    With the availability of these business-enabling applications and systems on its cloud services portal cloud.co.ph, IPC empowers the growing startup movement in the Philippines to harness the operational capabilities of established players at a fraction of the time spent to deliver the technology, and at reasonable cost.

    An estimated 90 percent of Philippine businesses are considered to be SMEs, including startups.

    “We’d like to be the catalyst for the SMEs to actually go digital. I guess we’re all expecting to be in the Asean integration at some point in time. A lot of our business people, especially the SMEs, are not fully equipped today,” IPC president Rene Huergas said.

    Pay-as-you-use packages
    “So that’s the challenge, how we can be a partner of the SMEs toward getting into the digital world, and let them compete head-on with the larger enterprises with a ‘big pocket’ whereas these business people have very limited funds, yet they want to avail of technology, and if we don’t help them, and open up opportunities for them, then they will remain small businessmen,” Huergas continued.

    “We define the Enterprise Sachet as the business model by which Filipino SMEs and entrepreneurs can use IT tools that give them the same capabilities as larger organizations but at affordable, pay-as-you-use packages,” Huergas said.

    “It changes the landscape of business IT as we know it because small operations are now able to compete in the big leagues using IT resources that are affordable, flexible, and easily accessible,” he added.

    Huergas noted that many local entrepreneurs understand that growing their business requires investing in technology—from tools that help them manage client data to systems that will automate back-office operations.

    However, budget constraints often prevent them from deploying tools as early as possible. Further, many technology services available in the market provide for small initial use with quick scalability.

    Through the Enterprise Sachet model, business owners and their IT managers can access any and all cloud computing services through cloud.com.ph.

    The website is the country’s first and only cloud portal offering locally hosted services and payable online through major credit cards (MasterCard, Visa, AMEX), over-the-counter cash payments via Dragonpay or popular online payment provider Paypal.

    “Scaling up or down anytime is not a problem. You do not end up with too much or too little services, space, or licenses. Customers only pay for what they need, when they need it,” Huergas added.

    cloud.com.ph is hosted in-country and in IPC’s own telco-grade, carrier-neutral data center. This means that customers can expect immediate service with minimal investment, as well as access to a support team that can respond quickly and understands the unique needs of Filipino enterprises.

    Services available via the portal include access to cloud servers or virtual machines (Infrastructure-as-a-Service or IaaS), Google Apps for Work online productivity and collaboration tools, and IPC PayCheck a local timekeeping and payroll management tool (Software-as-a-Service or SaaS).

    In addition, visitors to the website may also avail of 30-day free trial accounts for Google Apps for Work, IPC PayCheck, and Salesforce – the world’s number one cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) application.

    Huergas explained that working with an always-on cloud infrastructure portal allows businesses to meet their IT needs faster, manage fluctuations in demand more efficiently, and ultimately experience increased productivity.

    “The benefits of the cloud portal are endless regardless of the industry we are talking about. The idea that an organization can access their IT system anytime from afar, through a cloud portal, means that they have already benefited from it by saving on time and money,” he added.

    Enterprises interested in availing of IPC’s cloud computing services and tools using their Enterprise Sachet model need only to sign up online at www.cloud.com.ph.

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