How FPT is leading the Covid-19 charge in Vietnam

How FPT is leading the Covid-19 charge in Vietnam

As country declares nationwide epidemic, largest national tech provider responds

Truong Gia Binh (FPT)

Truong Gia Binh (FPT)

Credit: FPT

FPT is ramping up efforts to help customers in Vietnam mitigate increasing Covid-19 challenges, as the nation’s largest technology provider steps up corporate productivity plans.

As the outbreak continues to impact businesses across the world - due to declining investments and government containment measures - customers are hurriedly building out business continuity, remote working and security strategies. The move is triggering a new wave of digital transformation demands, with organisations strong-armed into immediate action.

Such a scenario is also playing out in Vietnam, as local customers grapple with new market realities, turning to the technology ecosystem to ensure continuity of operations.

“We’re seeing growing interest from multi-national customers to outsource product development, solutions and services projects to Vietnam,” said Truong Gia Binh, chairman of FPT. “Cost advantages and highly-skilled digital workforces help but in this time of uncertainty, a safe and healthy business environment is of paramount importance.”

On 1 April, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc declared a nationwide epidemic in the country, classifying Covid-19 as a “class A contagious disease”. The decree also coincided with a 15-day nationwide social distancing mandate, with cases now surpassing the 200-mark.

According to Binh - when speaking to Channel Asia - government priorities also centre around maintaining business confidence, both inside and outside of the country, citing a local consumer finance lender as a case in point.

The company is working closely with FPT to build an artificial intelligence (AI)-powered call centre designed to automatically remind customers to settle outstanding debts, with plans in place to launch in early April.

Meanwhile, a commonly known car hailing app is leveraging FPT’s optical character recognition (OCR) technology to scan personal driver documents to speed up identification processes.

“During a time when human interactions are prone to risks, zero-touch technology seems to prove valuable,” Binh added. “After all, Covid-19 is just a stress test, and those who go ahead of the pack will thrive long after the crisis is over.”

More broadly speaking, FPT recently donated its 2000-room university dormitory as a quarantine site to help fight the spread of Covid-19 in Vietnam, backed by an investment of US$850,000 in medical supplies.

As revealed by Channel Asia, hundreds of FPT employees and students vacated dormitory rooms to help set up the quarantine facility, which is now active and expected to remain in place until the pandemic is over.

Forming part of the FPT University campus, the four-building complex is located in a 300,000-square metre technology park which is 40 minutes drive from the centre of Hanoi. In addition to accommodation, FPT also donated medical supplies such as ventilators, disinfection chambers and medical protective equipment to the local government.

Furthermore, Binh said FPT has also reported a “significant increase” in corporate productivity from an internal perspective, due to thousands of employees now working remotely.

“FPT already started transforming ourselves as a digital business before the pandemic happened,” Binh added. “Collaboration platforms like WorkChat and Microsoft Teams have been rolled out to all of FPT employees for more than a year now.

“All we needed to do was scale the already-in-place IT infrastructure to ensure network connectivity and security. The time and costs that were once lost to meeting arrangements, business travel and commuting are now optimised to make our customers happy.”

As a frequent traveller, spending more than half of his working time on the road, Binh said the rise of remote working has seen his productivity levels rise by a factor of three.

“Working online, I could chair up to 8-10 business meetings every day,” he added. “But more importantly, my colleagues from all over the world could also join the discussions and offer their expertise in helping solve customer problems.”

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