The Philippines’ leading full-service telecommunications company is fronting the digital push in the country.
With a mission to deliver the digital lifestyle to the Philippines, Globe began its digital transformation journey from home. They turned to Google Workspace and AppSheet for their internal operations, believing that cloud collaboration tools and no-code application development would unite Globe’s team in the challenge of creating digital connections for Filipinos.
Globe’s leadership team wanted to ensure employees were fully on board with their new digital identity. They did this creatively, by organizing:
- A competition for collaboration tools: The team organized a competition between Google Workspace and another leading cloud provider, where team members built 62 project sites on the competing solutions, and put the two providers to a vote. Google Workspace was the choice for more than 75% of participants, attributed primarily to its powerful, easy-to-use cloud-based features.
- A no-code ‘hackathon’: Globe held an AppSheet ‘hackathon’ in Q2 2020, where employees attended workshops and were given eight weeks to develop their application in AppSheet, with Google Cloud supporting the initiative with pro-license codes, coaches and judges.
Globe’s internal strategy saw huge success – Globe succeeded in implementing Google Workspace for its workforce of 17,000 in only four months. Today, Globe is also the biggest user of Google Workspace in the Philippines.
DigiconAsia discussed Globe’s cloud collaboration and digital transformation journey in the Philippines with Francis Pugeda, IT Strategy – Emerging Technology Head, Globe Telecom:
Could you share an overview of how Globe Telecom has digitally transformed over the last few years?
Pugeda: More than a decade ago, Globe started the digital transformation journey by modernizing our IT systems and adopting SaaS solutions such as Google Workspace to leapfrog to online collaboration. Now, we do all of our presentations and spreadsheets in Google Workspace, we hardly use our photocopiers and printing machines, and we can get things done even with apps in our mobile devices.
Our digital adoption somehow made us more prepared in the pandemic situation. Even before the pandemic, we are using Meet in meetings and presentations and other apps.
How and why did Globe decide on partnering with Google Cloud and Appsheet in this transformation journey?
Pugeda: Globe’s adoption of ‘Citizen Development’ was initiated by the Emerging Technologies team early last year. While Globe is a digital company, there’s still a lot of manual processes and the team looked into no-code technology for Globe employees to help accelerate the organization’s digital transformation.
With the existing partnership with Google, we found that among the current portfolio of solutions that they have, Appsheet was the best tool to hold up our initiative – and Google was able to provide us the support we needed.
Why did the company decide to utilize cloud collaboration tools and a no-code app development platform in particular?
Pugeda: There are a lot of simple but necessary solutions or niche applications that never get into the project pipeline, and has been a challenge to digitally transform due to limited project resources, or the initiative may not be big enough to warrant a full project but is important enough to help bring efficiencies in the process.
That is where we see the potential of Citizen Developers as well as the no-code platform. Through no-code app development, we can provide an alternative path for business process automation in delivering applications.
This way, Citizen Developers’ ideas or solutions will not be subjected to requirements and constraints of our standard development process. Anyone can build their own applications at a fraction of the time and cost.
Over the last year, how did Globe pivot and adapt with the pandemic lockdowns in the Philippines, and how did the cloud tools help with this?
Pugeda: We built digital applications with reference to the pandemic. Adoption was quick for most employees since we’ve already transitioned most of our daily processes in the cloud, such as Google Workspace as a collaboration tool for work-from-home.
AppSheet and the Citizen Development program helped the process owners to adapt at a quicker pace and bigger scale.
How far is Globe in achieving your ‘zero back office’ goal? What are Globe’s plans moving forward?
Pugeda: Globe is digitalizing internal processes with our move to paperless operations. Workflows and approval processes have become electronic, and we are continually automating more and more of our manual processes in HR, procurement and finance, using leading enterprise applications.
Increased digitalization is also driving Globe to rethink our existing products and services, processes, systems and applications, the way we are organized and how we are engaging with customers.
What steps is Globe taking to advance your mission to bring digital transformation beyond the company and to other Filipinos?
Pugeda: With over 80 million mobile and broadband customers who rely on Globe Telecom to keep their families connected, their businesses running and make work from home possible, it was vital for Globe to accelerate its own digitization efforts to better serve the needs of the customers and achieve its aspiration of “Enabling the Filipino digital life”.
We are also enabling our customers in their digital transformation. Globe is supporting businesses by actively partnering in their digital transformation such as supporting work-from-home setups through Globe Pocket WiFis, videoconferencing tools, and Postpaid lines.