Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

PLDT opens P20-M IT laboratory in Subic

SUBIC BAY FREE PORT— Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT), the country’s biggest telecom-munications firm, has opened an innovation laboratory in this free port to showcase emerging business solutions in the field of information technology (IT).

The Subic Innolab, which is PLDT’S fifth such facility in the country, is a P20-million laboratory tucked into the corporate offices of PLDT subsidiary Subic Telecom (Subictel).

It is located near Subic’s Spanish Gate, the 18th-century landmark that has witnessed Subic’s metamorphosis from a Spanish fortification to a bustling free port.

The Innolab, according to PLDT, features “proofs of concept” of breakthrough technologies now being offered by the telecommunications giant.

These consist of various solutions or services for contact centers, business conferencing, residential connectivity, hotel and resort industry, manufacturing, and retailing and franchising.

The more familiar Innolab products include PLDT OnCall, for customers who require a “turn key” contact-center solution; Fixed Cellular Service, which provides voice, fax and data connectivity for areas without fixed (landline) facilities; Smart Bro Enterprise Edition, an access solution for reliable high-speed Internet connectivity, using an innovative technology called “fixed wireless”; and PLDT My DSL, a high-velocity Internet service that converts ordinary residential phones into ultra-fast dedicated access to the Internet.

Other PLDT services also available are PLDT Audiocon, PLDT Videocon and PLDT Telepresence, which all provide conferencing solutions; PLDT WeROAM, which provides mobile workers and remote offices with continuous, wireless high-speed data connectivity; Netcast, a Web-based service that allows regular and scheduled bulk messaging broadcast, information exchange, feedback and content management; and PLDT Watcher, a video monitoring solution designed for small and medium enterprises to check and oversee their business operations via the Internet.

“Soon, everyone will realize that Subic’s IT capability is as good as what is offered in Manila, Cebu, Clark and other renowned business-process outsourcing [BPO] destinations in the country,” said PLDT first vice president Nerissa Ramos, who expounded on the innovative PLDT solutions during the launching of the Subictel Innolab project.

The Internet, Ramos said, “is playing a huge role in today’s management of businesses. With PLDT solutions, people can monitor and make business decisions even from afar, and even generate cost savings as they employ these technologies that streamline business processes.”

The Subic Innolab, Ramos said, has a “dirty kitchen,” wherein technicians can simulate their clients’ technology and demonstrate how to hook it up with PLDT’s IT solutions.

The clients, she added, “can immediately see the results for themselves.”

Ramos also said PLDT Subictel will soon partner with schools within the Subic Bay Free Port for a joint academe-industry venture to address IT mismatch in the free-port area.

“Schools can make PLDT Innolab a destination for their field trips. We also propose tie-ups with tertiary schools so academe will get to have a hands-on update on the current gadgets, systems and trends in the IT sector,” she said.

Ramos also expressed optimism that Subic Bay can play a major role in the BPO industry, as this former US military base is a major connector to PLDT’s fiber-optics network.

“Soon, everyone will realize that the country is not lagging behind,” Ramos said, adding that the Philippines’ telecommunications infrastructure and road networks “are a lot better compared with India,” which is considered a prime destination in the global BPO scene.

Meanwhile, Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority Administrator Armand Arreza said the PLDT Innolab will showcase Subic’s capabilities in terms of IT support, and, to some extent, will eventually determine the direction taken by the IT sector in this free port.

“PLDT’s Innolab marks a new foundation for Subic Bay’s emergence in the knowledge economy,” said Arreza, who expressed hope that the facility will help realize Subic’s BPO potentials.

“With PLDT as partner, the Subic Bay Free Port can now shift from labor-intensive industries to knowledge-based industries, guided by the emerging trends in the IT sector,” Arreza said. Written by Henry Empeño / Business Mirror Correspondent


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