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Globe spearheads IT innovation in PH, adopts cloud-first principle

At the forefront of technological innovation in the country, Globe Telecom takes a serious stance in its business executions by leveraging on the latest cloud-based platforms.

Being among the first Philippine organizations to harness the full potential of the cloud, Globe has reaped countless benefits from embracing this technology, according to its president & CEO Ernest Cu.

Speaking before a crowd of 2,000 information technology enthusiasts at the recently-concluded Amazon Web Services (AWS) Summit in Singapore, the Globe chief said that since 2011, Globe has been leveraging on the best cloud services available, with AWS being one of them.

“In Globe, we have adopted a ‘cloud-first’ strategy, with the intention of driving down our costs. That is paramount for us as we spend around US$650 million in capital expenditures annually. To become a more sustainable company, any effort where we can channel our spending from IT resources to bolstering our modernized 3G and 4G network will be important,” said Cu.

He explained that Globe has taken on key partners such as Amazon Web Services which has largely supported the telco in bringing new customers to the cloud, “To instill a mindset of revolutionizing technologies, we hold regular AWS days at Globe, with no less than Amazon CIO Werner Vogels, Head of Asean Richard Harshmann, and their colleagues imparting their expertise about cloud security and infrastructure to our Globe employees. Likewise, they have been instrumental not just for our business but also our incubator companies such as Kickstart Ventures, a wholly-owned venture capital firm of Globe.”

Cu went further by pointing out that the company’s customer facing channels are all being powered by the cloud. “We’ve moved our public portals such as to the cloud. Here we perform online selling and self-service facility for our customers. Incorporating a pre-order engine for devices, our visitor traffic can peak at 100 times more than the usual prior to major phone launches, which demonstrates the elasticity and auto-scaling of the cloud computing platform.“

Being a pioneer and innovator in the telco retail space in the Philippines, Globe also harnesses the cloud for its Gen3 stores’ queuing system, which takes the customer’s details through a tablet. After which, their applications are processed through a backend support system for completion and activation of their lines.

In terms of mainstreaming big data service in the country, the Globe executive said that a large portion of its big data programs run on AWS technologies via Infrastructure-as-a-service or IaaS. “We have a Data 2.0 analytics team that quickly activates hundreds of instances to perform massive computing campaigns. Their workloads span across different business domains, from performance metrics, social analysis, fraud detection, credit scoring, churn analysis to campaign effectivity.”

Cu also outlined benefits of getting into the cloud by a large organization such as Globe. “The cloud has enabled us to accelerate adoption as we fired up almost 800 instances in 2014, which means less servers bought, and fewer data centers maintained by the company. Efficiencies also translated into 60% lower total cost of ownership over a five-year period compared to on-premise projects. Globe has also realized savings from optimization opportunities via the cloud.”

Moreover, he added that the cloud has empowered Globe to invent, innovate and experiment. “We have to be able to create products and services very quickly and inexpensively for our customers. Once they go to market and become a hit, we need to upscale quickly. This would be difficult with a traditional on-premise environment. With the cloud, the entire enterprise can also scale its usage by peaking up to 1 million instances per month. Our business can also be more agile as we cut down procurement cycles from 80 days to as little as five days.”

The president of Globe also noted that being a telco, one of the constant challenges the company faces today is disruption. “We have taken on an approach of ‘innovate or perish’ in our company. If not, we will be driven to extinction by over-the-top players and other emerging technology entities. Through the cloud and by collaborating with leading providers such as Amazon, Globe has been able to introduce game-changing offers for the local telco industry at large.”

The chief executive capped off his speech by emphasizing that the company endeavors all these initiatives to create wonderful service to its customers and promote leadership in the industry.

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