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3 Tech tips to thrive in a remote work future

When it comes to making tech investments for long-term remote work, it is important to get it right from day one. Here are three tips that organizations must make in order to thrive in a remote work environment. 



Whether for better or for worse, remote work is here to stay. As countries grapple with uneven vaccination rates and new coronavirus variants, the COVID-19 battle rages on. Even as organizations in the Asia Pacific and Japan (APJ) region swing between working from home and returning to the office, one thing is for certain – the way we work has changed forever. Hybrid work is our new reality!

It’s no secret that technology is the underlying enabler of a successful and sustainable remote work strategy. The good news is that at least 50% of employees in APJ feel that their employers are doing everything they can to provide them with the necessary technology resources to work remotely, according to Dell Technologies’ Remote Work Readiness Index. The not-so-great news is that employees continue to face tech challenges when working remotely, alongside the temptations of enjoying free online car games – the top three being unstable remote networks; limited access to internal company resources; as well as using personal productivity tools for work, which can pose a threat to cybersecurity.

“Business leaders and managers who fail to see remote work as the future require a mindset shift. In the early days of the global pandemic, many organizations were focused on helping employees make a smooth transition to working from home to minimize business disruption. Back then, employers were looking for immediate fixes such as purchasing video conferencing and collaboration software or tweaking basic policies in favour of flexible work,” said Jean-Guillaume Pons, Senior Vice President & General Manager, Asia Pacific, Japan and Greater China, Client Solutions Group, Dell Technologies. “Today, however, this “band-aid mentality” needs to change, and employers must approach remote work with a long-term strategy in mind.” 

When it comes to making tech investments for long-term remote work, it is important to get it right from day one. Here are three tips that organizations must make in order to thrive in a remote work environment. 

Tip #1: Help employees do their job better by providing the right productivity tools

Supporting employees with the right technology and tools is a critical first step. The Remote Work Readiness Index study found that among the 7,192 respondents across seven markets in APJ, 39% named company-issued productivity equipment and tools as the top tech resource that employers must provide for long-term remote work. 

There are two key implications that could arise if employees do not have access to company-issued productivity tools they need. Firstly, this may result in reduced productivity and increased frustration among staff who feel that they are not set up for success in their remote work environment. In the long term, this could take a toll on team morale, retention rates and business performance.

A second and more serious implication is that without the right productivity equipment, employees may resort to downloading company documents onto their own personal devices to perform their daily tasks more efficiently. This leads to exposed data and the “double handling” or duplication of data across multiple platforms. For organizations, this poses a challenge in tracking, managing, and protecting sensitive data stored at endpoints or employee devices.

Business leaders must prioritize the employee experience in a hybrid work model, by investing in quality tech resources – from laptops and monitors to peripheral accessories – to empower staff to work productively and securely. 

Tip #2: Set up your organization with advanced IT infrastructure for hybrid working

A long-term hybrid work model is one that is designed to be a ‘ready-for-anything’ digital workplace. This means that regardless of whether employees are working from home or in the office, organizations should be ready to enable seamless collaboration and manage IT resources from anywhere. 

One key investment that can help achieve this is cloud computing technology. With the rise of the hybrid workplace, the adoption of cloud technologies has been increasing – Gartner predicts that worldwide end-user spending on public cloud services will grow 26.7% in 2021, as CIOs and IT leaders continue to prioritize cloud-delivered applications such as software as a service (SaaS).

As a start, organizations making the shift to the cloud can consider starting with a hybrid cloud infrastructure model – one that combines public, private and edge clouds to support workloads from traditional and next-generation applications. 

Learning from its own experience of enabling flexible remote work for team members worldwide, Dell Technologies built a multi-cloud environment and put in place other virtualization initiatives, allowing its cloud infrastructure to run what team members are accessing remotely at a faster rate and without having to increase the number of IT staff. Solutions like Dell Technologies’ Unified Workspace also allowed IT teams to deploy, secure, manage and support company-owned devices from the cloud. 

Tip #3: Protect your organization’s data with endpoint security solutions

A non-negotiable must-have in an organization’s hybrid work model is a robust security and data protection strategy. As remote work causes data to be distributed across multiple locations such as data centres, various work sites and hybrid and multi-cloud environments, a comprehensive data protection strategy – combining proven and modern data protection – is essential.

The Dell Technologies’ Remote Work Readiness Index found that in APJ, nearly 1 in 3 (28%) of employees had to contend with using personal productivity equipment or tools for work. This gives rise to a large volume of confidential data stored on personal devices, or endpoints. To securely manage the enormous amount of data being generated at the edge, organisations need to prevent, detect and respond to threats wherever they occur. 

A new global commissioned study by Dell Technologies and Forrester Consulting showed that 55% of businesses in APJ have had to put emergency steps in place to keep data safe outside of their company network as people continue to work remotely. But rather than take a reactive response, it is recommended to invest in cybersecurity infrastructure that is flexible, scalable and manageable, and ensuring the proactive prevention of security threats and data loss through AI, machine learning and easy-to-implement behavioural endpoint detection.

Embracing a connected workplace

With the right tech investments in place, organizations will be well-placed to pivot seamlessly between working from home and the office with minimal disruption to business operations. Dell Technologies has a Connected Workplace program which was initially created to help provide a flexible working environment for our team members across the world. From its decade-long experiences with flexible work, Dell was able to quickly enable 90% of its team members globally to work remotely in just one weekend – during the early days of the pandemic in March 2020.

Organizations must also remember that business success today is not just about providing the right technology. It is equally – if not more – important to invest in digital upskilling and the wellbeing of employees as they cope with other challenges of working from home, like blurred boundaries between professional and personal lives. The success of a connected workplace ultimately depends on an organization’s ability to embrace a flexible culture and support with the right technology infrastructure, to enable innovation and effective remote working.

Tech & Innovation

Store-specific planogram: AI-driven trend that changes retail space planning

Through advanced tech, retail space planning driven by artificial intelligence is now possible. This is in the form of store-specific planograms. RELEX Solutions, a leading supply chain and retail solutions provider, shares its insights on this emerging trend.



In the retail industry, customer expectations are straightforward: they want to easily find the products they need and enjoy a hassle-free shopping experience. If a store falls short in these aspects, it risks losing its place as a preferred shopping destination for customers. That is precisely why the foundation of a great customer experience lies in effective space planning.

Commonly referred to as a planogram, space planning involves optimizing a store’s layout and product placement to enhance customer experiences and increase sales. Effective strategies include positioning high-demand and seasonal items near the entrance, ensuring accessibility and visibility in key areas, and adapting layouts based on sales data and customer feedback.

In the Philippines, planogram preparation is mainly a manual process, although retailers use digital tools for sales data analysis. However, for larger retailers dealing with extensive data and numerous products, manual adjustments can become overwhelming. 

Through advanced tech, retail space planning driven by artificial intelligence is now possible. This is in the form of store-specific planograms. RELEX Solutions, a leading supply chain and retail solutions provider, shares its insights on this emerging trend.

“A store-specific or local planogram is one designed for a particular store or location.  Unlike a standardized planogram that may be used for multiple stores, a local planogram takes into account the unique characteristics of a specific store, such as its layout, customer demographics, and sales data,” said Donald “DJ” Felbaum, Head of Sales for the Philippines at RELEX Solutions. “It is tailored to the individual needs and conditions of that particular location to optimize product placement and merchandising to drive sales and improve customer service.”

However, it is often seen as challenging and time-consuming due to the anticipation of lengthy, costly, and uncertain implementation projects. For instance, imagine a retailer with 1,000 stores, each needing weekly updates to five planograms. If one planner creates ten planograms daily, it would require an impractical workforce of 100 planners, along with ongoing training. But the integration of AI and machine learning automation can address these challenges. AI-powered automation can help users configure parameters and apply them across thousands of planograms, saving costs and avoiding additional expenses related to inventory adjustments for layout and local consumer preferences.

The benefits of AI-generated local planogram optimization also include precise store shelf configuration and a one-touch replenishment model. This approach, which enables immediate stacking of incoming stock onto display units, facilitates one-way inventory that results in cost reduction by eliminating the need for staff to transport excess stock to back rooms, enhancing the efficient use of available storage space, and reducing restock frequency of fast-selling products. 

Furthermore, AI and machine learning automation usher in interactive, standardized merchandising reports. These insights unveil concealed issues and provide both macro and micro data perspectives, empowering retailers to proactively optimize product placement, fine-tune pricing, and enhance inventory management. 

Store-specific planograms epitomize the future of space retail planning, optimizing product placement, and enhancing customer satisfaction. Harnessing advanced technology in retail, this tailored approach allows retailers to adapt swiftly to market changes, leading to elevated customer experience, improved profitability, and fostering brand loyalty.

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Tech & Innovation

Concrete tips for effective SEO strategy

SEO is now more important than ever. More consumers are using the internet to research and purchase the products and services they require.



The digital marketing industry is often clouded by myths and misconceptions, particularly when it comes to Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Geek Certified CEO Scott Wilson, SEO presenter with two decades of experience, is here to set the record straight with valuable insights and actionable tips for businesses looking to improve their online presence.

SEO is now more important than ever. More consumers are using the internet to research and purchase the products and services they require. At this very moment in time, someone is searching online, for the products you sell and the services you offer. Will they find you in the jungle we call the internet or connect with one of your many rivals?

Debunking Common SEO Misconceptions

In an industry rife with “snake oil salespeople” and misleading promises, Wilson emphasizes that despite the daily barrage of emails promising to elevate websites to the coveted number one spot for a fee, SEO is not an arcane art shrouded in mystery. Contrary to popular belief, search algorithms from Google and other search engines are not re-written on a daily or even monthly basis. Instead, updates are methodical improvements to refine the process of organizing global information.

Wilson states, “Search rankings among websites are quite stable. We track our customers’ results and their competitors’ monthly, and while there are fluctuations, the overall landscape remains consistent.” Scott’s team’s monitoring of search results over the past 20 years affirms the stability of search rankings when businesses provide an exceptional customer experience.

Truths About SEO: Stability and Quality Over Gimmicks

The core of Wilson’s message is that the quality of the user experience is paramount. Google and other search engines aim to guide users to the most relevant and valuable web pages for their queries. “If you prove to Google by providing an outstanding customer experience, your ranking results will be stable without the need for constant page reinvention,” Wilson advises.

He outlines three pillars essential for maintaining a robust SEO strategy:

1. Substantial Content

Wilson recommends having at least 1500 words of quality content to ensure depth and engagement on your web page.

2. Receiving Links

Just as social media teams request “likes”, Wilson suggests businesses should ask for links from related web pages within their business networks. Search engines treat each link as a vote of confidence.

3. User Interaction

By examining Google Analytics, businesses can ensure that their web pages facilitate interaction. Providing valuable downloadable content, creating smooth e-commerce experiences, and engaging visitors with videos are all strategies to keep users on your page longer.

Real Tips for Real Results

By following these tactics, Wilson promises businesses can achieve higher search engine rankings and attract more qualified leads. “It’s about building a digital space where users can find value and have their needs met effectively,” he explains.

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Micro-entrepreneur ‘hybrid-sells’ with the help of fiber broadband connection

Rogelia Dasco, a Cebu-based homemaker who buys and sells imported goods from the US, does her trade mostly online.



The post-pandemic environment demands flexibility and adaptability from everyone but most especially entrepreneurs who are slowly recovering from the pandemic slump. One online Facebook seller is employing her business acumen not just in the virtual marketplace but in real life, as she does “hybrid selling” of her consumer goods.

Rogelia Dasco, a Cebu-based homemaker who buys and sells imported goods from the US, does her trade mostly online.

“The items, like lotions and perfumes, are from the US. My sister sends them, I take a picture of them, and I post them on Facebook Marketplace,” she shares.

However, unlike most online sellers, she doesn’t stop in the virtual world; When she gets to her buyer’s address, she then goes house to house in the community. The strategy pays off – she is able to sell out her goods in one afternoon instead of waiting for online sellers to finish off her inventory.

“When someone buys from me, for example, I go to their house but I bring my other items too. After I deliver to the buyer, I go to the neighbors and offer my other goods. Right now, I’m all sold out. The next shipment will come at the end of the month,” Dasco proudly says.

Supporting this diligent hybrid approach is BIDA fiber, the new mass market offering of Converge targeting the lower C and D income classes.

BIDA fiber is the most affordable postpaid broadband plan in the market today, and the cost savings makes a difference for smaller entrepreneurs.

“It’s so affordable and I’m able to save too. My old plan was priced at P 1,299 with an additional P 200 every month so that’s P 1,499. With BIDA, I’m able to save more than P 500,” said Rogelia Dasco.

The reliable connection – that can go up to 35 Mbps – also makes sure Rogelia keeps her ties with her supplier sister strong as every night they call each other through video. Even with a 3-hour video call, her husband watching YouTube videos, and her son playing Mobile Legends with friends at home, Rogelia’s connection never falters.

“I’ve really maximized my connection. It’s really good, even if we all use the internet at the same time,” she added. BIDA fiber is now available in more than 300 cities and municipalities in the Philippines and has more than 40 partner distributors selling the postpaid plan.

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