Screenshot of Amihan Christmas Party conducted on Zoom, with a professional host

An Awesome Virtual Christmas Party

Virtual Christmas parties are in full swing this year, and the Amihan team has just organized an amazing and unforgettable party. 

Everyone had so much fun -- I feel nobody had expected it to be THAT FUN, but we had people laughing so hard they literally cried out tears. That’s something rare in these trying times.

Amihan's virtual Christmas Party hosted through Zoom
Several Amihan team members posed for a virtual 'group photo' with the host, Wizzo. The party's proceedings were all conducted via Zoom, the virtual conferencing solution.

But you know--organizing a virtual Christmas party is no easy task. How can you make sure to have a fun and engaging virtual Christmas party? Also, Christmas parties are celebrated with food too! How can you not host a Christmas party without food, right?

Let me tell you how we celebrated ours.

  • We hired a professional party host. They are there for a reason! I think it’s alright to say that in general, everyone enjoyed Wizzo the Magician. Wizzo is an engaging host and we enjoyed watching his magic tricks. He had captured everyone’s attention--there was crazy online banter and laughter over Zoom chat all throughout the program.   
  • We had hot and fresh food delivered to 140 team members in Manila and Cebu via Jollibee food delivery! Except for the organizers, I’m sure everyone was surprised (in a good way) with the load of goodies that arrived. #ThankyouJollibee

  • We organized interactive digital games. Amihan team members are not newbies to virtual games, as we have been organizing virtual parties since the lockdown began in March. But because a lot of us had our videos on this time around, it elevated the fun and discussion online! I applaud Wizzo’s creative use of the Zoom functions--it leveled things up and brought us all together. 
Virtual party games
Some Amihan team members competed in a virtual party game, complete with snowmen serving as the contestant's avatars.
  • We had a WFH vlog contest. In addition to the yearly tradition of the new employees’ showcase, the organizers asked Amihan team members to put up a vlog that illustrated their WFH scenarios. The videos were the real kicker- they really brought out what the segment is all about, which is learning more about our teammates’ personalities and talents. Salute to the Tiktok moves, video-editing skills, and creativity of everybody who contributed! 
A Zoom screen showing the winners of the Amihan Work from Home Video contest, during the Virtual Christmas Party
We presented the contestants' group videos for our Work From Home (WFH) Vlogging Contest. The Zoom screen here shows here the winners.
  • We held an online raffle. Christmas parties are not the same without a raffle, right? Good thing there are digital raffle wheels nowadays. Congratulations to our winners!
Raffle spin wheel on TV with an Amihan team member posing
Team members anticipated on who can win next in our virtual raffle draw!

Most of us have been working from home all by ourselves since March. Our transition to work (fully) remotely went through some rough patches, even for a digital transformation company like us. We weren’t immune to problems. 

This virtual Christmas party truly brought us all together. Despite the challenges we’ve had all throughout the year, our team has shown its strength. I’m really proud of the Amihan team and commend everyone for pushing themselves to do the best they can.

Amihan CEO Jerry Rapes
Amihan CEO Jerry Rapes gave his Gratitude Message for all team members.

It is true what Jerry, our CEO, had said. Trust is what will keep us together. If we cannot trust each other, then we will not succeed together, as our partners and customers will not also trust the work that we do for them. 

Wishing everyone a wonderful Christmas!


Macelle Legaspi is a digital strategist & tech marketing professional.

 


Digital Onboarding in Philippine Financial Services

The experience of spending hours in long lines to open a new account or to transact business is a common Filipino banking experience. But the current pandemic has already led to sweeping changes. Today, enterprises in the Philippine finance industry like banks are using digital onboarding to accelerate the development of connections with their customers.

What is Digital Onboarding?

Digital Onboarding as Used in Banking

Digital onboarding is referred to someone opening a new account with a business or service. This term has its roots in the banking industry when digital onboarding means a customer wants to open a new bank account online. But before doing this, they would need to verify their identities first with the bank.

Before the dawn of digital onboarding in financial services, banks had to confirm their client’s identities through officially endorsed documents that were either mailed in or dropped off. A face-to-face interview was also part of this onboarding process. This led to long wait times.

It was in 2016 when the Swiss financial regulatory authority FINMA allowed banks to go through with digital onboarding for many financial services, starting with the use of videos for identity authentication. This formed the basis of what we know of digital onboarding today.

The First Touchpoint

What makes digital onboarding an essential part of transforming the finance industry for the digital age? While all industries can benefit from adopting digital onboarding, it has become an increasingly crucial part of how we interact with banks and other financial service providers. The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have lead to certain consequences:

  1. In a recent survey, 41% of respondents were unable to physically access financial services due to the pandemic, while 63% have completely abandoned the notion of onboarding or signing up for a service.
  2. In the same survey results, 10% of respondents mentioned that they stopped going through an onboarding process because of the “confusing” language used in forms. Meanwhile, 15-20% gave up on signing up because it took so much of their time.

Banks cannot be bogged down by both operational and regulatory processes. While these are important for the bank’s survival and for compliance with regulatory standards, the expectation of quick and reliable access to these services should be a top priority. Aside from complying with regulations, guaranteed security and privacy of information must be addressed. The proper handling of customers’ use and access to data not only saves time for customers, but it will help in gaining their trust and confidence.

Having digital onboarding as the first touchpoint allows companies to initiate building brand equity with new customers and help retain old ones. In a study that highlights the accelerated shift to digital conversations due to the pandemic, 86% of respondents show a preference for digital interactions to other forms of communication. This is also born not from choice but also by necessity, as 40% of consumers have changed their preference from direct mail to digital means. Digital onboarding will not only accelerate service delivery and enhance security, but it will ensure that an enterprise’s services are readily accessible to the most loyal section of the customer base.

Digital Onboarding in Philippine Financial Services

In Digital Banks

There are several local banks or subsidiaries of international banks that have adopted a form of digital onboarding. Of note are UnionBank and CIMB Philippines.

UnionBank

To address the needs of their clients and to open its doors more to new customers, UnionBank launched its digital banking platform, The Portal. Customers can access services such as withdrawals and deposits, bills payments, or loan applications, while enterprise clients can initiate payroll, fund transfers, check writing, access credit facilities, and more. It is the first digital broad-spectrum service for businesses, a huge demand given the need for businesses to operate and transact at near-instant speeds. According to Ramon Duarte, head of UnionBank Transaction Banking, the release of the Portal coincides with and answers the increasing usage of digital and mobile solutions among their customers, with “everybody from individuals to business folks becoming more comfortable” in using technology.

By using The Portal, clients can use the platform and onboard themselves in minutes instead of hours, all without the assistance of bank staff or additional training. Existing clients that are using the bank’s digital banking services are instantly migrated to the new platform. The bank is also in the process of migrating all accounts to the Portal. In addition, the new onboarding platform takes advantage of cloud-based infrastructure, adding increased capacity and flexibility for app and web functions.

CIMB and Jumio

CIMB Philippines, one of the few all-digital banks in the country, recently picked Jumio as its end-to-end identity verification provider. With its AI-driven identity verification technology, it provides a “safe, secure, and fast digital onboarding experience, reducing the requirements for KYC onboarding from 15 minutes and video verification to less than 5 minutes. The solution includes the use of machine learning technologies, as well as certified liveliness detection and face-based biometrics for proper identity verification. Instead of using video, Jimio’s program asks for a user’s live selfie-and matches this with a government-issued ID’s photo.

According to Robert Prigge, CEO of Jumio, it’s becoming increasingly important for the banks in the Philippines and the APAC region “to offer a streamlined digital onboarding process.” With the increasing number of cybersecurity cases in the country, it has become crucial to deliver a “safe and secure banking experience”- as CIMB Bank PH CEO’s Vijay Manoharan added. In the bank’s first full year of operations, all in the pandemic, nearly 2 million Filipinos have signed up for a digital account, 30% of whom were first-time bank customers.

CIMB's rapid increase in new users due to better digital onboarding show proof of the growing demand Filipinos have for digital financial services. With a final target of 3.5 million signups by the end of 2020, the bank aims to solidify its position as a major player in the country while continuing to offer an ideal customer experience for all customers.


Looking Beyond: The benefits of digital onboarding also apply to other industries beyond digital banking:

  • Reliable and convenient access to products and services
  • Fast and secure identity verification 
  • Reduces wait times and service delays
  • Eliminates the need for customer onboarding training
  • Answers the demands of today's digital native customers

Bankers Association of the Philippines

The Bankers Association of the Philippines (BAP) is the lead institution that organizes the universal and commercial banks in the country. They are also the leading body that develops and promotes policies and technologies for financial inclusion and innovation.

Blockchain-based Digital ID System

The BAP and Amihan worked together to create a digital national banking ID registry built on Blockchain. Using distributed ledger technology to secure user and transaction data, the national registry uses an Electronic Know Your Customer (eKYC) process that will guide new customers to creating new bank accounts and access services. The information is then stored and secured on the blockchain to be shared with all member banks of the BAP. When customers want to go to a different bank, they no longer need to go through the onboarding process again as their data can be accessed and used upon their permission.

In the traditional onboarding process, banks ask customers to submit identification and fiscal documents to serve as proof of their identity. This is not only slow and time-consuming but it is also a risk to data privacy- many of these documents come in paper form and can get lost or be modified. Through the new national digital ID, customers have more choices where to take their business and have more control over their information. Banks meanwhile can divert their resources to become more agile and competitive.

Regardless of bank or branch, and as long as it is within the BAP’s network of member banks, customers can open accounts, apply for loans, and invest in and buy insurance.


As a key takeaway: The financial services in the Philippines, through its use of new digital onboarding methods, are paving the way to enhancing how customers can access much-needed banking and insurance needs. While the pandemic has certainly hastened the timelines for adopting these solutions, it has also shown that the market is already primed to accept the use of such technologies if it can offer positive and tangible results.

Amihan’s SimpleOnboard is a digital and omnichannel onboarding solution created to simplify customer journeys. Available as a SaaS, it transforms your business’s traditional channels and use of costly paper application forms to a system that allows you to sign up your customers seamlessly on the web, through chatbot, or on their mobile devices.

Schedule a demo to learn how SimpleOnboard can help ease your customer onboarding experience.


Amihan President and CEO Jerry Rapes receives two awards from his alma mater UP.

Amihan CEO Jerry Rapes Recognized as 2020 UP Outstanding Alumnus

Amihan CEO Jerry Rapes has been honored as a UP Outstanding Alumnus with two awards for 2020.

Manila Philippines, December 2, 2020 - Amihan Global Strategies (Amihan), a leader in digital transformation, technology, and engineering services, announced that its President and Chief Executive Officer Jerry Rapes has been named one of four Outstanding Alumni Awardees by the University of the Philippines Industrial Engineering Alumni Association (UPIEAA).

Each year, the Outstanding Alumni Award is presented to selected alumni for their significant achievements in their respective professional fields. Jerry is honored for his achievements in Entrepreneurship in the field of Industrial Engineering.

Jerry received the award as part of the virtual year-end celebrations during the 2020 UPIEAA General Assembly last Saturday, November 28.

Being recognized as a UP outstanding alumnus by the Association confirms Jerry’s outstanding leadership and exemplary contributions at Amihan, a trusted digital transformation partner to established enterprises and high-growth companies in Asia.

Jerry has been with Amihan since it started in 2014. Under Jerry’s leadership, Amihan has expanded into new markets and continues to pave the digital transformation journey for its distinguished roster of clients in multiple industries such as Banking and Finance, Insurance, Healthcare, Retail, and Information Technology. 

Jerry shared that: “The Industrial Engineering Program in UP honed me in three strategic pillars which are true to this day: people are our biggest asset, the process dictates efficiency, and last but not the least, the right technology is empowering.” 

"The award inspires us at Amihan to forge on with our role in enabling transformation for our clients," shared Jerry. 

Amihan is on a mission to help enterprises transform rapidly. From established companies to high-growth innovative enterprises, it has been helping businesses utilize technology and build capabilities to transform the way they work and serve their customers.

Amihan CEO Jerry Rapes
Jerry received the 2020 National Achievement Award in Information Technology during the UPAE Virtual Alumni Homecoming last December 5 (Image captured during the event).

Jerry will also receive the 2020 UP Alumni Engineers (UPAE) National Achievement Award for Information Technology during its virtual homecoming this December 5.

“In a year full of challenges, I’m deeply honored to receive these awards,” Jerry said. "This recognition brings back memories of UP which I'm sure will inspire me to find new ways to use technology to empower the Filipinos in this new digital economy.”  


Windmills along the beaches of Ilocos Norte

Ilocos Norte to use ‘SafePass’ app for COVID-19 contact tracing

LAOAG CITY, Ilocos Norte, Philippines (Manila Bulletin, November 9) — The provincial government of Ilocos Norte will be using the “SafePass” application for the health information management system on contact tracing amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

Ilocos Norte Governor Matthew Marcos Manotoc issued Executive Order (EO) 99-20, adopting the use of SafePass Apps in the province.

The EO recognized the vital role of information and communications technology in contact tracing for COVID-19. It underscored the application’s importance now that the province has opened its doors to Luzon tourists.

SafePass Apps, which is one of the digital contact tracing applications approved by the National IATF, is a digital COVID-19 incident mitigation and management solution developed by Talino Venture Labs to make safety protocols more convenient.

SafePass has two versions: the SafePass Base, which is free for all types of organizations for basic contact-tracing and digital health questionnaires, and the SafePass Express, which comes with employee management features, and is free for government agencies and establishments accredited by the Department of Tourism (DOT).


SafePass Base helps business to reopen safely in the new normal. It is now available for FREE, enabling establishments to scan employees and visitors coming in and out for more accurate contact-tracing and incident response. It will also give them access to the digital health questionnaire and contactless scanners for better implementation of safety regulations.

Designed for bigger businesses, SafePass Enterprise offers powerful features and various options for customization. Learn more about SafePass Enterprise.


All Ilocos Norte provincial government employees, especially those at the Capitol Building, are required to register and obtain a QR code for use in the SafePass App.

According to Ilocos Norte provincial government’s Information Technology Office (ITO) chief, Wilfredo Lorenzo, Safepass automates the space capacity planning of an office, its reservation, and registration, protocol enforcement, incident management, and contact tracing.

Soon, the provincial government of Ilocos Norte will also require visitors to register to SafePass; replacing pen and logbooks, which may be a way of COVID-19 transmission, according to some medical experts.

Registration options include accessing the SafePass online registration URL using a web browser, Facebook Messenger even on free mode, and SMS. Moreover, Mr. Lorenzo stressed on the importance of using an active phone number while registering.

Meanwhile, those who do not have a smartphone or Internet connection may seek the assistance of their respective barangay for them to generate a printable QR code which may be used as a digital ID.

Lorenzo said the ITO has set up SafePass gatekeeper devices and some monitoring equipment at the capitol building’s convergent points to accurately monitor movements.


SafePass was co-developed by Talino Venture Labs and digital transformation leader Amihan Global Strategies. There’s an enterprise-level version called SafePass Enterprise which delivers the right balance of flexibility and ease of implementation for bigger businesses. Learn more about SafePass Enterprise.

This article was originally published in the Provincial News Section of the Manila Bulletin online (mbcn.com.ph) last November 9, 2020.


Creating Inclusive Growth through Technology talk by Francisco Reyes, Amihan CTO

Seamless Philippines Virtual Day 1 Recap

Today, Seamless Philippines Virtual 2020 kicked off and I wanted to share quickly a few things that I've picked up from the sessions I have attended.

First session I joined was the talk of UnionBank's Henry Aguda on "Digital payments & the unbanked: Making them accessible". Henry relayed that "Digital payments aren't just for convenience anymore," -- digital payments have become critical for (our) economy to survive this pandemic. He further indicated that UnionBank's online transactions have grown up to 3.4x vs their physical branch transactions since lockdown.

For sure, many other banks have seen this tremendous upswing of online services as more and more people look to transact online given the threat of the virus. And it's not just in the banking industry that we've seen this trend -- digital payments (cashless payments) have become the go-to option for online shopping, utilities payments, insurance, etc.

Second session for me was ING's talk on "Winning at retail banking: An ING success story". Mohamed Keraine, Head of Retail Development in Asia, talked about "differentiating through customer experience," citing that, "banking services have become a commodity."

He said that: "the way to differentiate is via customer experience. And technology has to change, so businesses can deliver on this proposition."

He made a great point. In this digital era, customers have become very vocal in social media. A dent in customer experience can push people to voice out their frustrations online, which could, of course, influence that person's peers and change the way they view or feel about the brand, product or service (being mentioned).

Customers are much more demanding nowadays.

Kiko Reyes, Amihan CTO, also mentioned this in his talk "Creating inclusive growth through technology." Kiko shared that through analytics, businesses can gain a better understanding of their customers' behaviors and preferences -- "Doing so will help businesses differentiate themselves by engaging with their customers in a more personalized manner."

I wanted to share the video of Kiko's talk in case you missed it.

Let's get into what some of the banking and finance leaders have shared in the afternoon sessions of Seamless Philippines Virtual.

I stopped by Janette Abad Santos' talk on "Electronic KYC" -- something which a lot of banks have started to implement. She narrated that, "today, you can open a bank account within ten minutes, even while you are doing your laundry."

Traditional paper-intensive and time-consuming KYC has been replaced with a more efficient, transparent and secure eKYC -- thanks to technologies such as blockchain. Now, banks can onboard more customers in just a matter of minutes.

I also had a chance to listen to PNB's talk on "Financial Inclusion Stats in the Philippines." Christian Dobles cited a few interesting data:

  • 71% or 51.2 of 72.1m Filipino adults remain unbanked (2019)
  • Deposit accounts grew 17.2% from 2018 to 2019
  • 47% of Filipinos pay by CASH and 42% via bank transfer in their online transactions (January 2020)
  • Pawnshops and money services businesses have achieved double-digit growth

Finally, I sat in Metrobank's talk on "Data as a Catalyst for Bank Transformation" where Esel de Sagun-Madrid discussed at length about data and analytics, citing use cases such as fraud and risk analytics, credit scoring, as well as hyper-segmentation for data analytics in the banking sector.

Are you capturing your customers' data digitally? Is your infrastructure ready? Does your organization have the resources and talent? For banks to leap (into DX), they have to embrace new technologies such as analytics, de Sagun-Madrid explained.

She concluded her talk with a quote saying "Data is just people in disguise".

 

That wraps up my summary of Day 1 of Seamless Philippines Virtual.


Macelle Legaspi is a digital strategist & tech marketing professional.


Seamless Philippines features future of commerce and tech innovations on payments innovation, banking, financial inclusion, e-commerce, and retail strategy, and digital identity.

Amihan Joins Seamless Philippines Virtual 2020

Amihan CTO, Francisco Reyes, to discuss how technology can drive and accelerate efforts to achieve inclusive growth 

Manila, Philippines -- September 7, 2020 -- Amihan Global Strategies (Amihan) -- an ASEAN leader in digital transformation -- joins this year’s Seamless Philippines Virtual event, a two-day online conference from September 30 to October 1.

The overall theme of Seamless Philippines Virtual is “the Future of Commerce in the Philippines,” which highlights the latest trends, technology, and solutions on payments innovation, banking, financial inclusion, e-commerce, and retail strategy, and digital identity. 

Amihan Global Strategies is an exhibitor at the Seamless Philippines 2020 Virtual Event.

Amihan’s key highlights at the conference will include:

  • A track presentation with the topic “Creating Inclusive Growth with Technology

Francisco Reyes, Amihan’s Chief Technology Officer, will deliver a talk and share insights on today’s technology enablers: cloud, blockchain, and analytics and how businesses can leverage these technologies to accelerate digital transformation and foster inclusive growth. In addition, Reyes will also be sharing real-world co-innovations by Amihan in the banking and financial services industries.

Date and Time: September 30, 2020 11:30 am 

  • A virtual exhibition

Amihan, a leading digital business transformation service provider in ASEAN, will showcase the following solutions:

 

    • Amihan Campaign Engine - Amihan Campaign Engine is a digital campaign management and engagement platform that enables marketing and product teams to send personalized campaigns across channels, devices, and platforms at scale.
    • SafePass - SafePass is an all-digital COVID19 incident mitigation and management platform that eliminates the need for businesses to rely on manual contact tracing methods, such as paper forms and logbooks. It’s designed to help organizations of all sizes easily implement health and contact-tracing protocols within their physical spaces, empowering them to deliver the best experience for their visitors, customers, and employees.
    • SafePass Enterprise -- designed for organizations with complex operational requirements and multiple locations -- enables large companies to customize SafePass to fit their needs.  For additional information about SafePass and SafePass Enterprise, visit our virtual booth or head to https://amihan.net/safepass

 

Amihan has a long-standing record of developing digital transformation solutions -- enabling its enterprise customers with technology, from cloud computing to artificial intelligence and blockchain. 

Together with its partner, Talino Venture Labs, an inclusiontech venture builder, Amihan remains committed to building a better, connected world -- contributing to a more inclusive growth within ASEAN.

“Digital transformation is instrumental and a game-changer. At Amihan, we care deeply about providing value to our customers and their customers, as well as making a positive impact on the Philippine economy. We go beyond enterprise projects; we co-innovate with our partners to develop inclusive solutions that move the needle to solve societal challenges.

When digital innovation is inclusive, it disrupts the way markets operate. Everybody in the ecosystem wins,” said Jerry Rapes, President of Amihan. 

 

Technologies that are shaping the new normal

Over the past few months, digital experiences and solutions have surged due to the pandemic’s effects. These include, but are not limited to, online marketplaces, open-architecture ecosystems, digital banking and payments, and contactless solutions.

 

Chatbot conversations and experiences - Chatbots enhance customer experience and have become widely accepted in engaging customers. Chatbots have also become a more practical substitute for traditional forms of communication. 

For instance, Saphron’s conversational chatbot called Nan.ai helps enroll new customers of micro-insurance products in a matter of minutes.

AI-powered chatbots and those integrated with other systems, such as content management software and customer relationship management platforms, are also gaining ground. In this period, when more consumers are spending their time online, chatbots offer businesses an opportunity to improve engagement processes and operational efficiency by reducing the cost of customer service.

Personalized digital services - Customers are demanding more and more personalized interactions. From the business point of view, personalization helps to enrich the customer experience and improve conversions and customer retention. 

Companies must transform the way they manage data to stay competitive. As an example, running personalized and relevant campaigns means that customer data from different systems, devices, and channels are unified in a single platform. This single platform then enables business executives to understand customers’ behaviors better, craft campaigns that best suit customer needs, and make meaningful connections with everyone.

Contactless payments and digitized financial transactions are in high demand, given the need for social distancing. The move away from cash will persist as it offers a safer way for people to transact financially.

For example, an online loan application solution that makes it easier for borrowers to apply for loans and streamline the loan approval process at the back end can improve turnaround time.

 

“Our mandate has always been about accelerating our customers’ businesses and today -- in this crisis -- we see more opportunities to scale and evolve our digital solutions to create new pathways for economic inclusion,” said Rapes.

“We are incredibly excited to take part in Seamless and look forward to network with potential partners and new customers.”

Register for Seamless Philippines Virtual for free at this page: https://www.terrapinn.com/virtual/seamless-philippines

 

About Amihan

Amihan Global Strategies accelerates the delivery of customer-centric solutions for Asian companies on the path towards digital transformation.

We are a Philippine-based company composed of multidisciplinary talents with technology, engineering, and deep domain expertise in banking, insurance, retail, telecoms, and healthcare.

We utilize Cloud, Blockchain, Big Data Analytics, Process Automation, and Artificial Intelligence to fuel our customers’ digital transformation journeys.

Visit www.amihan.net for more information.

 


SafePass Para sa Lahat banner

SafePass, digital contact tracing app, now accessible to all

METRO MANILA, Philippines (Manila Bulletin, August 16) — “SafePass para sa lahat.”

This is now the battle cry of the developers of the contact tracing tool SafePass, a digital COVID-19 incident mitigation and management solution developed to make safety protocols easy and stress-free.

On Friday (August 14), digital transformation leader Amihan Global Strategies and inclusion tech venture builder Talino Venture Labs announced the relaunch of two versions of the tech innovation which is now accessible to all Filipino establishments, big or small.

These are SafePass Base, which is free for all types of organizations for basic contact-tracing and digital health questionnaires; and SafePass Express, which comes with employee management features, and is free for government agencies and for establishments accredited by the Department of Tourism (DOT).

Tech giant Talino Venture Labs said the development is a response to the rising threat of COVID-19 infections in the country primarily in offices, public spaces, establishments, and even in some residential communities where coronavirus transmissions have been recorded.

The tech innovation also hopes to arm more Filipinos with an easy and convenient tool to easily limit and track foot traffic, and produce digital contact-tracing reports in case of a COVID-19 incident.

“Our battle cry is ‘SafePass Para Sa Lahat’, so we made sure that SafePass can be used by as many individuals and organizations as possible, anywhere in the Philippines,” Winston Damarillo, executive chairman of Amihan Global Strategies and chief executive officer of Talino Venture Labs said.


SafePass Base helps business to reopen safely in the new normal. It is now available for FREE, enabling establishments to scan employees and visitors coming in and out for more accurate contact-tracing and incident response. It will also give them access to the digital health questionnaire and contactless scanners for better implementation of safety regulations.

Designed for bigger businesses, SafePass Enterprise offers powerful features and various options for customization. Learn more about SafePass Enterprise.


“Organizations already have a lot on their plate as they continue to weather the effects of the pandemic, so we aim to help them with health and safety protocols so that they can focus on their operations,” he added.

As the country continues to grapple with the health crisis, public safety is the number one priority of every physical establishment. This means keeping track of foot traffic data hour-by-hour and day-by-day, on top of storing and organizing health forms, contact details, and more. For some organizations, this also means keeping piles of logbooks and poring through hours of CCTV footage in case of the need to contact-trace.

SafePass digitizes and simplifies all these processes through its digital platform, which includes several features, such as an efficient digital contact-tracing solution, digital health questionnaires, monitoring of entry and exit points, and a 24-7 customer and tech support for users.

SafePass Base is offered for free and is best for micro-enterprises with single locations, market stalls, and even non-profits, small churches, and households, while SafePass Express offers an additional capacity planning tool to set how many individuals can be in a location at any given time, as well as an employee management system.

Government agencies and DOT-accredited establishments will get free access to SafePass Express.

During its soft launch in June, among the government agencies that have been using the digital solutions are DOT and the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).

But organizations with more comprehensive needs can also avail themselves of SafePass’s paid plans, which offer more features. These include SafePass Business which allows organizations to notify all potentially exposed individuals with one digitized process, as well as accept advanced bookings from their visitors.

While SafePass Enterprise enables large companies to customize the system to fit their needs and implement SafePass across their multiple locations.

No data plan required

Unlike other contact-tracing apps, the relaunched SafePass version can be used now even with non-smartphones, or by using free Messenger that does not require a data plan.

Damarillo said Contact-tracing can be done via SMS or through a Messenger-based chatbot, while administrative features can be accessed through any Internet browser.

“We believe that health and safety protocols do not have to be complicated, so we built a simple, easy-to-use platform for organizations to implement these protocols without hassle,” he said.

“The virus works fast and is invisible, and we have to work faster, smarter, and together to be able to stop it from spreading even further,” he pointed out.

Interested establishments, as well as private individuals, may register via SafePass.asia to access these free plans.

“Setting up SafePass should be as easy as setting up an email address or registering for a food delivery app,” he added.


SafePass was co-developed by Talino Venture Labs and digital transformation leader Amihan Global Strategies. There’s an enterprise-level version called SafePass Enterprise which delivers the right balance of flexibility and ease of implementation for bigger businesses. Learn more about SafePass Enterprise.

This article was originally published in the National and News section of the Manila Bulletin online (mbcn.com.ph) last August 16, 2020.


person working on their laptop

Alfresco - Beyond Enterprise Content Management

In today's digital ecosystem, being able to bring enterprise content management and process together is critical. Businesses require a unified platform that will allow them to effectively manage content, transform business processes into digital workflows, and securely govern information.

This is where Alfresco comes in.

Alfresco offers a digital business platform -- the Alfresco Digital Business Platform -- an "agile and completely open platform that allows the rapid development of intelligent process, content, and information governance solutions."

At its heart is Alfresco Content Services, which is a full-featured Enterprise Content Management (ECM).

Alfresco Content Services (ACS) provides "open, flexible, highly scalable ECM capabilities". It includes a centralized content and metadata repository. A web interface named “Alfresco Share” or sometimes just Share has the ability to define automated business rules and full-text indexing provided by Apache Solr. It's typically implemented as a document management and records management solution.

Alfresco Digital Business Platform also includes Alfresco Process Services and Alfresco Governance Services.

Built on Activiti, an open source, Java-based process engine, Alfresco Process Services (APS) offers an enterprise-class, highly customizable workflow and business process management solution. It features tools "that make it easy to model, deploy and update critical business processes" such as graphical design tools, forms and rule editors, and data integration. 

Alfresco Governance Services (AGS) is an add-on software application that provides record management functionality to address information governance requirements.

All of Alfresco solutions are open, scalable, and modular -- allowing businesses to customize and extend the platform to meet changing and growing requirements.

 

Alfresco and its many functions as logos

Business Processes Made Simple

Our Digital Transformation team has implemented Alfresco as a Document Management System, Enterprise Content Management Platform, and Content Services Platform for our enterprise clients to help them modernize operations and achieve efficiencies.

One such project involved the implementation of Alfresco to enable a paperless, modern, online insurance marketplace platform. The platform offers a one-stop-shop for travel, health, motor vehicles, and property insurance. Using Alfresco's process automation and rich document management capabilities, Amihan worked with the client to automate processes such as enrolments, e-policy provisioning, as well as the creation of online official receipts. In addition, we built a wizard that recommended products to customers based on their needs.

Another project where we had utilized Alfresco was for a loan application program. The use case was to facilitate and quickly spin up bank loan applications via the platform. Alfresco works in the background -- automating everything from document retrieval to records management.

Bank employees, officials, and committee members who make the decisions on loan grants are now able to collaborate easily and track updates regarding the loan application in a digital manner. This has significantly improved turnaround time and they're now able to serve their customers better.

 

Streamlining Business for the Future

Alfresco offers a set of solutions-- including Enterprise Content Management Software and Alfresco Process Services-- that helps organizations accelerate the flow of business. Amihan has the capabilities and experience to help you implement Alfresco and accelerate transformation. As an Alfresco System Integration Partner, we deliver consulting and engineering capabilities necessary to deploy Alfresco-based solutions.

Our digital transformation team at Amihan has been helping clients with Alfresco implementation services, including Alfresco Content Services, as well as Alfresco Process Services for years. 

If you want to learn more about Alfresco or need help to implement Alfresco for your business, please get in touch with our team.


Renan Mendoza works as the Lead Business Analyst for Amihan. His interests include backyard astronomy, travelling and cultures, performing arts, cooking and playing sports such as basketball and swimming. Connect with him through LinkedIn.


grand reopening banner of a business

Thriving in Crisis: Opening Businesses Safely with SafePass Enterprise

Whether it is the ‘new normal’ or otherwise, enterprises today have several opportunities and challenges to consider. Among these is the mad dash for new digital solutions- companies are now more open to adopting technologies they would not have considered months ago.

E-commerce sites, digital payment channels, and other online digital services are just some of the solutions gaining traction in this new business environment. It's difficult to imagine now not being able to pay for a purchase without your bank account connected to your mobile banking app or e-wallet or to meet your friends or colleagues through video conference calls.

Part of this rapid digitization is the urgent requirement to open businesses safely amidst the growing number of COVID-19 cases in the country. Currently, most companies have health and safety guidelines in place to ensure the safety of both employees and customers. However, these strict measures often involve slower, manual data capture methods such as paper logbooks and forms, as well as long lines that risk people to further exposure.

SafePass is a digital incident mitigation and management, health declaration, and capacity planning solution that makes safety protocols and contact tracing efforts easier for businesses, employees, and customers. An enterprise-level version called SafePass Enterprise allows companies with bigger, more complex operational needs to customize the workflows of their safety guidelines with a suite of enterprise features, across multiple locations.

SafePass Enterprise for Stress-Free Incident Management

With the need for speed in effective contact tracing, SafePass Enterprise combines the use of accurate health data collection and advanced technology to implement an incident mitigation and management platform. This eliminates the need for businesses to use log books or other paper-based health forms in contact tracing and speeds up and improves the response time of incident management personnel.

SafePass Enterprise allows bigger businesses to tailor-fit and implement COVID health and safety protocols according to their needs. Safety or operations officers and branch managers have a full set of tools to ensure safe, stress-free spaces for their employees and customers:

  • Run establishments safely by customizing operation schedules and customer capacity. Configure multiple or custom schedules and fix the specific operating hours that your establishments will run on a daily or weekly basis.
  • Handle employee shifts and run batch employee data uploads through an easy-to-use dashboard.
  • Faster contact tracing through a list and batch notification with multi-level filtering
  • Accurate data capture of customer health data through a customizable digital health questionnaire
  • Manage Entry Requests to your establishments through SMS, chatbot, and web
  • Quick Incident Management with message notifications via chatbot or SMS
  • A customizable back-end and consolidated reports across all establishments

Customers who will sign-up for a SafePass to enter establishments will find that the safety protocols, such as the health questionnaire, can be accomplished through their mobile phones. They can apply for a SafePass even without a wi-fi connection or mobile data, and they can even request one through SMS.

“We wanted to develop a solution that will not only help businesses reopen -- but a solution that would also contribute to safer spaces throughout the country,” said Winston Damarillo, Executive Chairman of Amihan and CEO of Talino Venture Labs. “The more effective we are in our incident mitigation and management, the sooner quarantine restrictions can be eased and the sooner everyone can get back to business.”

Building Trust and Confidence

With proven expertise and experience driving technology projects for leading businesses, Amihan’s digital transformation team will provide consultation and guidance for businesses adopting SafePass Enterprise, including customizations and integration. This will allow enterprises to focus on what is important- providing service to their customers in safe, stress-free environments.

“Safety remains a critical issue. Many businesses have reopened, but employees and customers have issues about their safety,” said Jerry Rapes, President of Amihan. “With SafePass Enterprise, businesses will be able to provide safety for their employees while in the workplace and the peace of mind for their customers.”

Several partners of Amihan who are leading companies in their industries are early adopters of SafePass Enterprise. Using the solution to not only re-start their operations in the new normal, these partners would also want to build trust and confidence with their employees and customers:

Leading Insurance Provider deploys SafePass Enterprise

A leading insurance and financial services company deployed SafePass Enterprise in several sub-locations such as several floors and departments in their main office building, and in other crucial facilities and offices. Their need for a quick-to-deploy digital contact tracing and case management solution was born out of their urgency to reopen their offices safely after weeks in strict quarantine.

By adopting SafePass Enterprise, they were able to not only get a digital solution that is well-integrated into their safety protocols, but they are able to assure their people that the business will operate efficiently through the current pandemic. “We want to instill the value of trust and confidence in working with our employees and in engaging with our customers,” said the President and CEO of the company, “With SafePass Enterprise, we can keep this promise as we look to thrive in this ‘new normal’ and contribute to rebuilding the economy.”

Top Conglomerate Secures Offices through SafePass Enterprise

A major holding company in the country (with interests in consumer goods, utilities, financials, and industrial products) has adopted SafePass Enterprise to secure its office premises. Instead of relying on paper and pen registration to trace the whereabouts of employees before entering their offices, they have begun using SafePass’s digital incident mitigation and management features- employees are each given QR codes or passes after passing the digital health questionnaire. Office entrances are then equipped with QR scanners to capture data from these QR passes.

In case of an incident, safety officials can use their incident management dashboards to run immediate contact tracing and send out notifications to those who were in close contact with the reported individual case.

Major Office Building Kept Safe Through SafePass Enterprise

Another Filipino holding company is using SafePass Enterprise to safeguard one of its primary office buildings. With investments in education, steel products, business process outsourcing, property development, and energy, implementing SafePass for this facility required covering multiple floors and department offices, as well as the efficient coverage and protection of the building’s many employees.

With its unlimited capacity planning feature for multiple locations, the company’s safety and management officials use SafePass Enterprise to institute custom operating schedules and capacity rules per floor, department office, or tenant. They can configure the day or specific hours in each schedule, and adjust according to the safety and capacity needs of the company. This makes operations simpler and much more predictable.

Digital Transformation through Crisis

Enterprises require the flexibility and speed to digitally transform their businesses to become much more resilient against crises. Rapes underscores how SafePass Enterprise can be a way for businesses to thrive again in the ‘new normal’. “With SafePass, we are determined to apply our deep technical expertise and domain experience to help our partners drive the changes they need to emerge stronger from the current crisis.”

For more information on SafePass Enterprise, as well as to get a Quote, visit http://amihan.net/safepass.


Hart Ang is a content writer and digital marketing specialist.


COVID incident management solution SafePass releases free version

COVID incident mitigation and management solution SafePass releases free version

The digital platform aims to make physical locations safer amid the pandemic 

SafePass, a digital incident mitigation and management solution developed to address COVID-19 safety protocols, is now available to all organizations in the Philippines for free

Following the announcement of the Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ) in Metro Manila and other nearby provinces last August 3, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) urged all business establishments to implement a contact-tracing platform within their locations. SafePass has free digital contact-tracing and health declaration features for organizations of all sizes, and lets them register and begin using the platform in as fast as five minutes.

“The core mission of SafePass is to make every physical establishment in the Philippines as safe and as stress-free as possible, which is why we decided to offer free plans that any organization or location can begin using right away,” said Winston Damarillo, CEO of Talino Venture Labs and Executive Chairman of Amihan Global Strategies, two of the companies behind SafePass. “Organizations already have a lot on their plate as they continue to weather the effects of the pandemic, so SafePass aims to help them with health and safety protocols so that they can focus on their operations.” 

 

Health Protocols Made Simple and Easy

Once they sign up at the official SafePass website, location managers will have the tools they need to offer a safe and stress-free experience for their visitors. Packaged under SafePass Base, these features include:

  • An efficient digital contact tracing solution
  • A digital health questionnaire that visitors can accomplish on their phones
  • The ability to monitor entry and exit points, through entry requests done via web and free Facebook Messenger
  • Online reports that establishment owners can refer to in case of an incident

These features also simplify safety protocols for the visitors themselves, as all of the necessary safety procedures can be accomplished through their mobile phones— even without a data plan. And in case of a COVID-19 incident in a SafePass-protected location,  location managers will have access to a digital list that lets them efficiently reach persons at risk—without the need for logbooks, paper forms, or hours of CCTV footage.

“We believe that health and safety protocols do not have to be complicated, so we built a simple, easy-to-use platform for organizations to implement these protocols without hassle,” explained Damarillo. “Setting up SafePass should be as easy as registering for a food delivery app.”

Special Deal for Public Sector Establishments

SafePass is also offering its SafePass Express plan to all government offices for free

On top of all the features in SafePass Base, SafePass Express also includes the following tools:

  • Free software for two (2) mobile scanners (scanning phones to be acquired separately)
  • Digital capacity planning to help organizations set their location’s maximum limit for employees and guests
  • Employee scheduling platform to manage shifts and rotations

“We encourage our government offices, especially those with skeletal work forces that need to report to work, to use SafePass Express to keep their locations safe as they continue to attend to the needs of our countrymen during this critical time,” urged Damarillo. “We understand the strain that this pandemic has caused on our healthcare system, and we’d like to contribute to the country’s COVID-19 response by offering this solution for free to the public sector.”

Free tutorial webinars will be offered by the SafePass team to help organizations set up their SafePass accounts. For more information, visit www.safepass.asia or follow the SafePass Facebook page at www.facebook.com/safepass.asia.


Designed for bigger businesses, SafePass Enterprise is a solution that delivers the right balance of flexibility and ease of implementation to help enterprises operate efficiently while ensuring employee and visitor health and safety. Learn more about SafePass Enterprise.


For media inquiries, contact Nina Terol, Chief Marketing Officer, Talino via [email protected].