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COVID-19 pushing Vietnam’s businesses to speed up digital transformation

Image credit: Ministry of Information and Communications

A press release has claimed that businesses might take only several months to carry out digital transformation and process standardisation, instead of several years as once thought because of the impact of the COVID-19 crisis.

The chief operating officer of Amber Online Education, a start-up that provides online education services, said that now is the time for businesses to analyse problems to find suitable solutions.

The process allows managers to interact directly with workers and pay attention to the data they might have missed in the past, and discover holes in the management system.

The release noted that businesses, because of the need to work online, will also be motivated to become familiar with new software, apply management tools and online training, and will develop new products that fit the market.

Amber, a business with 100 workers, has begun a working-from-home scheme since 9 March. The initial results are encouraging, with an efficiency of 80-90%.

Many other businesses have also organised the working-from-home model. Some procedures need to be adjusted and streamlined so that they can be uploaded to software to support online collaboration and exchange.

Some businesses take a roll call every morning through international chat groups, while others apply flexible working hours. Workers fulfil their tasks assigned to them every day, reflected in monthly KPI (key performance indicator) and quarterly OKR (objectives and key results).

Hung Dinh, founder and CEO of DesignBold, the initiator of the Vietnam Remote Working community, said managers need to change their views on management methods.

They need to shift to assess workers’ capability based on their performance and productivity, not on the time of working. Businesses need to set up the requirements for KPI and OKR. The application of technology is very important. “We need tools to administer and measure results. The assessment system must be transparent and accurate,” he said.

The release stated that previously, getting used to new tools was a big barrier to technology application because workers were not ready for new things. Now, however, technology is a must and the only option.

Tran Van Vien, director-in-charge of the southern region of, which provides online administration platforms to more than 5,000 Vietnamese businesses, said Base has been very busy with training programs for its clients. If direct training cannot be implemented, clients will ask to do this online, and they do not delay training programs anymore, he said.

Fortunately, the country’s internet speeds are meeting the growing user demand. Broadband internet download speeds in Vietnam average out at 61.69 Mbps, according to results from 30,000 users as announced by the Vietnam Internet Network Information Centre (VNNIC).

The agency that this speed is 45% higher than that reported by foreign companies.

For mobile networks, the average download speed is 39.44 Mbps, meaning Vietnam’s internet quality meets the appropriate standards, especially while demand is exceptionally high during the social distancing designed to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Data shows that VNPT offered the fastest fibre-to-the-home download and upload speeds, followed by Viettel, a government-owned provider.

It recorded the highest mobile internet speeds at 41.45 Mbps for upload and 32.70 Mbps for download. Second and third positions belong to Vinaphone and Mobifone respectively.

According to VNNIC, mobile internet speeds in Vietnam are 1.5 times slower than broadband internet speeds.


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