When COVID-19 hit, organisations worldwide found themselves having to quickly adopt digital technologies. The pandemic not only affected their business priorities for 2020, but for this year as well
The Asia Pacific Market Update - Cloud Digital Acceleration webinar, organised by ConnectTech Asia last month, invited Jayasimha Togarrati, CTO (South Asia) at L'Oréal, and Hu Di, Director of IT & Logistics Department at China Merchants Energy Shipping (Singapore) as end users to share their perspectives on the New Normal.
Togarrati said the pandemic affected the digital workplace strategies that L’Oréal had prepared.
“Cloud networking and computing eruption have become key to business continuity, and helped us to keep our employees engaged and motivated. At the same time, it gave us an opportunity to drive digital workplace acceleration. Some of the solutions were in the areas such as e-learning, employee engagement and collaboration tools. Traditional networking and private cloud data centres were not able to address the sudden increase and scale of remote users.”
Togarrati shared that L’Oréal relied even more on their data analytics across different geographies and countries to make decisions. These data driven initiatives were already a part of the organisation’s digital transformation journey that started before the pandemic. He added that data analytics proved to be important for L’Oréal to create solutions and to find opportunities to continue to engage and retain existing customers, while at the same time attract new customers.
For China Merchants Energy Shipping, Hu revealed that the organisation was forced to consider carefully how they would like to continue with their business. This brought the organisation to launch their first digital e-commerce platform.
“This platform, which we call the Marine Alliance, is built up around shipping services at the core. It integrates with the internet technical capabilities and across services. It is an implementation that allows us to deploy and maintain cloud service solutions easily.”
To realise their solutions, both L’Oréal and China Merchants Energy Shipping engaged the help of China Telecom and Huawei Cloud, whose representatives were also on the panel to weigh in on how they could help businesses during this period.
Li Qing, Managing Director at China Telecom (Asia Pacific) said, “We believe these organisations would need to transform from brick-and-mortar business models to e-commerce and adapt to the new normal of working from home. They need to switch to virtual room and meetings, instead of how we used to meet clients over a cup of coffee. China Telecom has been working closely with our enterprise customers to realise the goal of powering a digital workplace through the launch of Smart Office Solutions such as cloud video conferencing, SSL-VPN and VDI.”
Lu Yanping, Huawei Cloud’s General Manager said, “We can see that all industries have been impacted by COVID-19. We now offer more than 190 solutions in different industries and are working with partners globally to use innovative technologies such as cloud, A.I., and 5G to fight the pandemic and also accumulate the practical experience with A.I. assisted CT scan analysis, drug discovery, online education, and telecommunicating technologies. We are making every effort to leverage technology to help our customers around the world cope with the challenges faced during this crisis.”
Siti Bahari is a journalist with the iTNews Asia team