Catalyzing Digital Transformation: Exist Software Labs participates in Sun Life Global Solutions’ Spark Innovation Series 2023 on Cloud & Data Federation
In photo (L-R): Event host Associate Director – Business Development Yvette Seno, Engineering Manager Joseph Dindo Siasoco, Head of Portfolio Management Ada Mae David (Sun Life Global Solutions), Exist Director of Technical Services Dennis de Vera, Exist Vice President of Technology Jonas Lim, Exist President Michael Lim and Event host and Senior Project Manager Kiko Angeles
At Bonifacio Global Center on August 29, 2023, Sun Life Global Solutions held another edition of Spark Innovation Series, with the session focusing on Cloud and Data Federation. With an objective of updating their employees on the latest innovations in Cloud technology in the Financial Industry, Sun Life invited technology innovator Exist Software Labs (Exist) to discuss cloud data federation and data modernization.
Kiko Angeles and Yvette Seno opened the program as masters of ceremonies from Sun Life Global Solutions. Exist representatives Michael Lim, Jonas Lim, and Dennis De Vera, Jr. graced the event.
Exist’s journey towards Cloud Adoption and Data Federation
Exist President Michael Lim started the discussion at Sun Life event by providing valuable insights into Exist’s journey as a technology company. He presented the significant milestones of Exist Software Labs over the past 22 years, which inevitably touched on the brief history of cloud adoption. Dennis de Vera, Exist Director of Technical Services, supplemented this conversation highlighting the transition from traditional infrastructure to cloud services, and the subsequent innovations in infrastructure and data.
Dennis, in his presentation, provided an overview of Exist’s history of cloud adoption. Figures 1 to 3 above served as visual milestones, illustrating the transformation as regards cloud adoption. In Figure 1, Dennis described the initial stages of cloud adoption, where Exist began its journey by moving applications and databases to the cloud. This marked Exist’s crucial shift from traditional on-premise infrastructure to the cloud, a decision that would prove to be helpful not only to Exist, but to other organizations as well.
The move to cloud services was not merely a change in infrastructure but a strategic pivot that enabled Exist Software Labs to tap into the vast potential of cloud computing. Cloud services provided scalability, flexibility, and cost-efficiency, allowing the company to expand its offerings and deliver value to clients in innovative ways.
As Dennis explained under Figure 2, applications were broken down into specific cloud services, which not only optimized performance but also enhanced security and resource allocation. This granular approach to cloud utilization empowered Exist to offer clients more tailored solutions, aligning with their specific needs and requirements.
Exploring the Pros and Cons of Cloud Adoption
Dennis’ insightful discussion on cloud adoption stages and their associated pros and cons highlighted the evolving nature of cloud technology. While each stage offered distinct advantages and challenges, cloud adoption Figure 3, marked by innovation in infrastructure and data management, serves as the solution to address the shortcomings of earlier stages.
As organizations continue to embrace the cloud, they must recognize the need for ongoing innovation to optimize their operations fully. By investing in cutting-edge technologies and data management strategies, they can harness the true potential of cloud adoption while minimizing its drawbacks. In this dynamic technological landscape, innovation is not just a choice but a necessity for organizations seeking to thrive in the cloud-centric future.
Benefits of Embracing Cloud and Data Federation
Exist’s Vice President for Technology Jonas Lim presented the benefits of Cloud Data Federation – including enhanced collaboration, efficiency, and decision-making. Implementing this approach provides a centralized data view, leading to informed decisions and increased competitiveness for businesses.
Data/Database Modernization: The Key to Business Excellence
Dennis and Jonas also highlighted the potential for data management to speed up innovation and growth, as they explained the significance of adapting to evolving data landscapes and leveraging modern technologies.
The Citadel of Security: Safeguarding Data Heritage
With the fast modernization of data, security became a crucial point of discussion, with a focus on protecting sensitive data. Dennis enlightened Sun Life Spark Innovation Series’ attendees about comprehensive security measures and compliance frameworks by simplifying security and making it more effective.
Dennis also explained the importance of “zero trust policy” by protecting assets anywhere with central policy. Implementing this approach provides a centralized data view, leading to informed decisions and increased competitiveness for businesses.
Moving Forward – Sun Life Spark Innovation Series Takeaways
The discussion at Sun Life Spark Innovation Series came to a close with the floor being opened to the audience for questions. Attendees left with a key takeaway: that as the world continues to evolve and as the need for new technologies increase, Exist marches on, providing solutions to help its customers thrive – demonstrating its continued commitment to drive growth and innovation for the years to come.
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Philippine banks are struggling to keep up with the fast-paced digital finance revolution, as traditional banking practices and underinvestment in digital offerings are causing them to miss out on vast untapped customer bases.
A recent report by McKinsey & Co. (a global management consulting firm), highlights that Philippine banks are devoting less than 10 percent of their revenues to information technology, compared to an average of 15 percent in the Asia Pacific region.
Similarly, the digital channels of Philippine banks account for just 5 to 15 percent of their revenues, well below the 25 percent average for their peers in emerging Asian markets.
McKinsey’s Report Emphasizes the Digital Importance to Philippine Banks
McKinsey’s report emphasizes the need for incumbent banks to adapt to the changing landscape quickly or risk losing their market share to digital financial service providers. While the competition in digital financial services is intensifying, McKinsey also noted that dominant players have yet to emerge outside the mobile payments subsector.
However, McKinsey also points out that fintech firms in the Philippines performed especially well during the COVID-19 pandemic, creating more shareholder value than the entire banking sector. As McKinsey’s report suggests, the Philippines presents highly attractive opportunities for expansion in the fintech sector. However, the way foreign firms and existing Filipino conglomerates choose to enter the market will have a significant impact on their growth and competitiveness.
Amid mounting demand for financial services, the banking revenue is expected to triple by 2030, and the country’s banking penetration rate is just 56 percent, significantly lower than emerging markets standards.
On April 20th, 2023, an event was held at the One Ayala West Tower that brought together the best Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) in the Philippines to showcase their digital solutions to help companies improve their IT estate. Crayon, in partnership with Microsoft Philippines, aimed to bring a unique experience that inspires customers to explore world-class solutions from homegrown ISVs. The event was a massive success and granted its participants an incredible opportunity to connect with like-minded customers, thought leaders, and industry experts to exchange insights on the latest trends in the digital landscape.
WHO IS CRAYON?
They are headquartered in Oslo, Norway with more than three thousand (3,000+) employees in over fifty (50) offices scattered in nearly forty (40) countries. Crayon operates a global, customer-first, vendor-agnostic IT consultancy.
If you are not familiar with what Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) do, please allow me to break the flow for a minute so that I may shed some light on the subject.
WHAT ARE INDEPENDENT SOFTWARE VENDORS (ISVs)?
They are individuals or organizations that develop, market, and sell software solutions that run on one or more computer hardware providers like Intel, operating systems like Windows, or cloud computing platforms like Azure.
Independent Software Vendors will only qualify for this certification if they can offer the best and most relevant software solutions. In order to measure this, computer hardware providers, operating systems, and cloud computing platforms will test all ISVs who want to offer their software solutions on their respective marketplace.
If we take Microsoft for example, an organization that develops computer hardware (Xbox), an operating system (Windows), and a cloud computing platform (Azure). They used to offer Silver and Gold ISV Certifications to Independent Software Vendors whose product can pass their rigorous quality tests whilst proving that they can offer the top software solution to Microsoft’s customers on each of their marketplaces. However, Microsoft is now transitioning from the Silver and Gold designations and is now classifying qualified partners with their new Solutions Partner designations, more about that in the future.
FUN FACT: An ISV Partner is fundamentally similar to an ISV Certified Independent Software Provider – they can resell their software solutions on computer hardware providers’, operating systems, or cloud computing platforms’ marketplaces. The main difference is that most ISV Partnership Programs are not as exclusive as ISV Certified Programs.
The event started with a rousing opening remark from Crayon’s Jowie Alcala – Channel Sales Director who kindly welcomed the participants into the event whilst sharing their motivations on why the event was held in the first place.
The first keynote of the day, “Transforming Organizations into Industry Leaders with ISV Partners” by Gabriel Eric Villanueva – Business Development Manager at Crayon Philippines, is where he spoke about how they would like to encourage and help their partners scale not only locally but into the Asia Pacific (APAC) region as well. Gabriel also bared his excitement about showcasing the enormous talent present in the Philippine market on a larger international stage.
ISVs and Crayon can leverage their partnerships to support a larger portion of the Asia Pacific region which currently, according to Crayon’s study, only a little over seven (7%) percent is being covered. Crayon has allocated enough of its resources to support its partners with their business and the technical aspect of their solutions.
In addition, they are continually increasing their investment in these activities. The support of Microsoft is critical, as Gabriel guarantees that participants will be provided with the latest announcement from Microsoft to ensure that they are aware of the numerous programs, like the Azure Migration and Modernization Program, in place and maximize its effects on their businesses.
Chas Mann – ISV Director for Asia Pacific at Crayon discussed the co-sell initiatives they plan on implementing and how ISVs are a massive focus for them at Crayon. There is confidence in the idea that in order to encourage growth, co-selling is the next stage. He shares what the new co-sell program that they are piloting across the Asia Pacific and across other regions will look like and how it could benefit the ISVs.
The program begins with a focus on current market expansion, Crayon finds that understanding the opportunities present in the country or region an ISV is working in is key in order for them to aid in growth and sell their partners’ solutions more effectively to their internal base of customers locally.
The next step is expanding internationally, possibly across the Asia Pacific or even across Europe and North America. Crayon has over seventy-thousand (70,000+) customers that they can tap and offer their partners’ solutions and services globally.
There were also keynotes from other ISVs, including Exist Software Labs, Inc.’s very own and the only female speaker at the event, Senior Business Development Manager, Ms. Jemelyn Ambrosio. She proudly championed Exist and delivered an inspiring keynote citing how Exist has “become the tech partner of companies who are distinguished leaders in their industries such as healthcare, retail, banking, and finance to power and energy.
Exist has helped create exceptional value for more than one hundred (100) institutions like SLMC, CGH, Carrefour IND, Puregold, BDO, Globe, RBank, PEMC, IEMOP, and First Gen. to name a few. We implement state-of-the-art software innovations mostly by introducing the use of cloud-native technologies.”
In addition to promoting Exist as an IT company with more than two decades of experience providing cutting-edge technology solutions and services to some of the top Fortune 500 Companies globally. She also highlighted some customer success stories who Exist has continually enhanced businesses and supported for numerous years to this day.
In and amongst her group were five (5) other ISVs:
Mr. Bo Lundqvist – President & CEO of Retail Associates, a retail solutions advisory firm.
Mr. Allen Kristian Vasquez – President of Rakso CT, a digital solutions provider focusing on education.
Mr. Eumir Santiago – Chief Executive Officer of SD Solutions, creators of PAYDAY.PH, a payroll computation software solution.
Mr. Paul Soliman – Chief Technology Officer of Likha NFT, a non-fungible token platform and marketplace.
Mr. Julius Domingo – Chief Information Office of Highly Succeed, an IT servicing and product company, specializing in web-based services.
They all provided extremely insightful keynotes on the companies they represent, highlighting what they bring and can offer to various industries locally.
The keynotes were special, however, they weren’t the only highlights of that day. We were also able to introduce some of Exist’s solutions and services to other participants at the event when the ISV Exhibits opened in the afternoon. There were also vouchers generously given away courtesy of Crayon and Microsoft by way of exciting raffle draws. The two breakout sessions, each about an hour long, were held so that partners could learn more about the initiatives they could run as ISVs to attract new customers.
Pagyamanin (Enrich) for Sales and Business Development Representatives
In this track, the subjects covered were Crayon’s Incentive Programs for H1 2023 by Jowie Alcala – Channel Sales Director at Crayon Philippines, Microsoft FY23 Incentives for ISV Partners by Ronna Kristel de Leon – Territory Channels Manager (SMB Commercial) at Microsoft Philippines and Marketing Initiatives to Get More Wins by Myles Velazco – Vendor Program Director at Crayon Philippines.
Palawakin (Scale) for Pre-Sales and Technical Representatives
In this track, the subject covered were Security Best Practices to Secure the Baseline by James Cortes – Cloud Security Architect at Crayon Philippines, Closing CSP Partner Deals thru Microsoft Programs by James Gabriel de Castro – Territory Channels Manager (SMB for Azure), and Co-Selling and P2P Motion with Crayon and Microsoft by Gabriel Eric Villanueva – Business Development Manager at Crayon Philippines.
The event was an incredible success from the get-go, it was an incredible opportunity for all the participants on-site and online to get familiar with the industry and each other at a chance of collaborating and supporting each other’s business to grow and flourish. We’d like to extend our thanks to Crayon Philippines and Microsoft Philippines for inviting us to this event and giving us a platform to showcase our company’s capabilities and competencies. It was an invaluable experience to be a part of, especially for myself who is new to the industry. I personally look forward to more events like this in the future, learning and exploring while IT endlessly develops and improves.