NTT Data sees huge potential in the Philippines market as the country shows an increased appetite for digital transformation, however challenges still remain.
According to a Microsoft commissioned IDC report, Unlocking the economic impact of digital transformation in Asia Pacific, digital transformation is expected to add an estimated US$8 billion to the Philippines’ GDP by 2021.
“The Philippines is clearly on the digital transformation fast track,” said Hans Bayaborda managing director of Microsoft Philippines. “Within the next four years, we expect to see approximately 40 per cent of the Philippines’ GDP to be derived from digital products and services.”
In particular, NTT Data Philippines sees huge potential in the Philippine healthcare sector for technology providers, which has a rising gap between the number and availability of solutions from solution providers and a rising population with increasingly complex healthcare needs.
“Healthcare affects everyone - from tuberculosis to cancer,” said Christer Cruz director of solutions consulting and infrastructure services at NTT Data Philippines.
“NTT Data has a solution to leverage artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) together with deep learning to understand patterns and predict occurrences,” added Cruz. “Doctors are increasingly using predictive analytics tools to improve patient outcomes.”
While the healthcare sector provides significant opportunities for channel partners such as NTT Data, it is certainly not the only sector as the country is ripe for IT infrastructure modernisation.
“We started developing centres of excellence across the Asia Pacific (APAC) region,” said Cruz. “Working with the likes of Oracle to understand how technology can drive societal impact and solve real business problems for customers.”
Cruz sees three main focus areas for the solutions provider, namely, digital capability and intelligent cloud, enterprise resource planning (ERP) and consulting services.
“We walk our customers through their end-to-end journey from consulting to managing businesses,” said Cruz.
For Cruz, growing a market like the Philippines is not just about evangelising the latest emerging technology, but providing support to local businesses through knowledge and insight and collaborating with them in their success.
“We have formed numerous consortiums between different organisations,which has been spearheaded by our company,” Cruz added.
As an Oracle Platinum partner, NTT Data has worked closely with the vendor to grow the firm’s market presence within the Philippines.
“There is a growing acceptance of digital innovations like cloud technology, for instance, within the Philippines,” said Cruz. “We have seen companies in the Philippines investing in emerging technologies like blockchain, AI, ML, robotic process automation (RPA), and so on.”
Furthermore, there is a gap in the market between what customers want and the providers that offer these solutions, alluded Cruz.
“That is NTT Data’s strength,” said Cruz, “because we simplify the modern complexities of business and IT by partnering with customers and vendors like Oracle to drive business outcomes, solutions, and ideas that matter most to the customer.”
With Oracle’s autonomous databases picking up steam across the APAC region, and new Gen2 data centres expected to come online in May and August 2019, Cruz sees increased interest and a busy year evangelising and working with customers on upgrading their IT systems.
The autonomous database is a lightweight solution that is particularly suited for the SME market, which makes 99 per cent of the Philippine market.
“The focus right now is in the financial sector, public sector, and the manufacturing sector,” said Cruz. “We are coming up with innovative solutions that leverage cloud as a platform to provide interesting use cases for the industries that we serve.”
“Vendor’s have a role to play in enabling Philippine partners,” said Cruz. “One-way is through technology innovations that the partners have and imparting that knowledge and how it impacts potential business and industries.”
“The second-way is through empowering customers to understand how these technologies can drive better business outcomes,” added Cruz.
However, challenges remain, particularly around upgrading existing customers with legacy infrastructure to a new solution.
“Around 75 per cent of database customers are still in the legacy version of the Oracle database, so we need to move them to the newer version,” said Cruz. “Our objective is to move all these customers who are currently using legacy infrastructure and move them to the cloud where they have more flexibility and autonomy.”
“I think especially for lean customers who do not have any intellectual property, the autonomous database provide a facility to still leverage Oracle without really understanding the inner details.”
Another challenge, said Cruz, is that “everyone wants to use Oracle but the challenge is driven by cost.”
“However, I believe the offering that Oracle did in the past two years by introducing universal credits provides a flexible buying and usage model for customers,” added Cruz. “It is all about the cost and the benefit that they will see.”
“We offer training as well and technology enablement and evangelisation,” said Cruz. “We are more focused on the business, how particular technologies such as autonomous will impact their business, operational wise and financial wise.”
“The other part is the intelligence around making a better decision when and what and where to move,” he added.