Cloud communications have transformed collaboration by enabling seamless interactions, fostering improved teamwork, and facilitating greater consumer involvement. By leveraging cloud-based communication tools, businesses can overcome geographical limitations, enhance operations, and unlock untapped growth opportunities.
Cloud communications offer numerous improvements over traditional methods, providing businesses with the scalability and flexibility required to swiftly adapt to changing communication needs. Additionally, they are highly adaptable and cost-effective, whether it involves seamless integration with other corporate systems, expanding to new locations, or accommodating additional users.
Another key advantage of cloud messaging is its ability to consolidate multiple communication channels into a single platform. This allows workers to collaborate and communicate seamlessly across various devices, at any time and from anywhere, utilising features such as voice conversations, video conferencing, instant messaging, and email that work together harmoniously. This integration enhances productivity, promotes teamwork, and facilitates informed decision-making.
Cloud communications enable businesses to leverage advanced features and technologies, such as intelligent call routing, which significantly enhance customer service and reduce wait times by ensuring incoming calls are directed to the most suitable team member capable of addressing them effectively.
By leveraging features such as interactive voice response (IVR), call queuing, and personalised welcomes, businesses can streamline their communication processes, improve customer satisfaction, and deliver professional and customised customer experiences.
Information can flow smoothly between customer relationship management (CRM) systems, giving agents access to client information and allowing them to provide highly individualised service.
These benefits lead to enhanced overall customer satisfaction, efficient handling of customer interactions and a positive perception of the company.
The OpenGov Tech Day on 20 July 2023 at Voco Orchard Singapore was a high-level event for decision-makers to study the newest trends and benefits of cloud technology across Singapore’s public sector, business, education, financial services, and healthcare sectors.
Mohit Sagar, CEO and Editor-in-Chief of OpenGov Asia, concurs that cloud communications play a vital role in the digital age by simplifying communication and collaboration for companies that heavily rely on technology. Cloud-based solutions enable seamless and efficient communication among team members, facilitating effective collaboration regardless of geographical barriers.
Modern communications solutions offer a plethora of features and user-friendly interfaces, making them easily accessible and widely accepted. Their simplicity and streamlined implementation processes encourage more organisations to adopt these solutions. By providing a user-friendly experience and simplifying complex communication processes, cloud communications drive greater adoption and usage among businesses.
“Innovative Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) solutions put collaboration first by combining different tools on a single platform to boost productivity,” he explains.
Mohit emphasises the significance of an intuitive user experience (UX) in driving companies to adopt cloud messaging solutions. By prioritising user-friendly and easy-to-understand UX design, companies can facilitate seamless onboarding and increase user adoption of their products. This, in turn, leads to enhanced productivity, streamlined teamwork, positive user feedback, and user empowerment.
By focusing on intuitive UX, organisations can unlock the full potential of cloud messaging and reap the benefits of improved collaboration and user satisfaction.
“Intuitive UX designs make onboarding and use easier, which makes it more likely that employees and stakeholders will use it,” he says. “These designs make it easy for people to start using cloud communications tools because they have user-friendly interfaces and streamlined workflows.”
They also boost productivity by making jobs easier to do and less complicated. With features like drag-and-drop interfaces, context-sensitive menus, and customisable layouts, users can get their work done quickly and focus on their jobs instead of fighting with the technology.
The user interfaces and user-friendly tools for contact and collaboration enable teams to collaborate seamlessly. Real-time messaging, simplified file sharing, and presence indicators enhance teamwork by facilitating easy communication, information sharing, and efficient collaboration among workers. These features empower teams to work together smoothly, enabling them to connect, share information, and collaborate efficiently, ultimately boosting productivity and fostering a cohesive working environment.
Furthermore, a positive user experience (UX) generates favourable feedback, leading to increased user satisfaction. Satisfied users are more inclined to advocate for the adoption of cloud communications solutions within their businesses, resulting in increased popularity and higher usage rates for these tools.
Mohit further highlights that a simple and intuitive UX empowers users by granting them the ability to customise their communication and collaboration experiences. These platforms allow for agile creation and deployment of new features, which helps businesses respond quickly to changes in the market.
With a range of personalisation options, tailored features and user-friendly settings, cloud messaging tools can be easily adapted to suit the unique needs and work styles of each individual. In the digital age, organisations need cloud-native tools to be able to come up with new ideas quickly.
Cloud-native platforms give the speed and freedom that needs to scale solutions based on demand. Integration and interoperability with other cloud-based apps and services make it easy to work together and make the switch to cloud-native solutions smooth.
“These platforms also make it easier to make interfaces and workflows that are easy to use, which improves the entire user experience,” Mohit reiterates.
Video-first solutions play a crucial role in facilitating better communication by providing high-quality video conferencing, visual and mixed multi-modal communication, and support for transformation projects. These solutions adapt to the needs and preferences of various groups of workers, making it easier for individuals to collaborate effectively and complete projects.
In cloud messaging, the ability to add to the architecture is a key part of meeting future needs. It helps service providers by making them more innovative and competitive. It also gives third-party developers the freedom to make solutions that are tailored to specific needs.
Cloud communications solutions need to meet both current and future requirements to be implemented and used successfully. Architectural extensibility lets organisations scale up without spending too much money, ensuring that they can adapt to changing communication needs and giving them a future-proof system that can grow and change as technology does.
“Video-first solutions enhance communication, collaboration, and productivity by addressing present needs and adapting to changing requirements,” says Mohit. “They embrace new technologies and accommodate evolving business environments, fostering a flexible and future-proof approach.”
To ensure a seamless transition to cloud communications, it is crucial to meet present requirements by selecting solutions that seamlessly integrate with existing technology, effectively interface with other systems, adhere to security protocols, and offer user-friendly interfaces, thereby minimising disruptions and facilitating a successful implementation.
As needs evolve over time, it is essential for cloud communications options to be adaptable and responsive. Given the ever-changing landscape of technology and business requirements, these solutions must demonstrate agility and the ability to swiftly adapt to new trends.
“By incorporating new features, technologies, and standards, cloud communications solutions can effectively meet future needs and stay ahead of emerging trends,” Mohit concludes.
Nathan Guy, Head of UCaaS for Asia Pacific at Zoom, emphasised the importance of understanding customer and employee needs. This insight was underscored by a survey indicating significant technology investments by companies worldwide during the pandemic, highlighting the necessity of aligning technological investments with customer and employee preferences.
While the importance of understanding customer and employee needs is recognised, finding the right approach can still be challenging due to the need for flexible technology stacks in an ever-changing landscape and uncertain economy.
A study revealed that S$15 billion was spent weekly on technology during the pandemic, reflecting the significance of establishing a robust foundation in the technology stack to maintain a competitive advantage in the future.
“The question of whether the future workplace truly improves conditions for teams and clients is of utmost importance,” Nathan acknowledges. “At Zoom, we think it does. But to be successful, there are three key areas that must be addressed.”
Firstly, to stay aligned with the evolving nature of work, it is essential to continuously update collaboration and efficiency frameworks. Secondly, fostering stronger personal connections within the workplace creates an environment where individuals are happier and more engaged. Thirdly, meeting the updated standards of both customers and employees is crucial for achieving success in today’s dynamic business landscape.
In envisioning the future of a hybrid workplace, it is crucial to consider several key aspects including technology infrastructure, flexibility, communication and collaboration, emotional well-being and training and development needs. These factors play a vital role in shaping a successful and sustainable mixed workplace environment.
Organisations that use advanced customer service applications say that their employees are more engaged, they are more productive, and they work together better.
In this context, Nathan believes that Voice serves as the fundamental basis for digital transformation, acting as a seamless bridge between the physical and digital realms. It plays a crucial role in connecting the real world with the digital world, facilitating effective communication and enabling transformative changes in various domains.
“In a world where people are getting more and more connected, voice interaction should be at the centre, not on the edges,” he is convinced. “IP Voice is a key part of cloud-based voice strategies because it is cheap, easy to use, and provides high-quality contact.”
Voice is important for the future of work, both in terms of customer involvement and employee engagement, and companies continue to put money into this growing market.
Nathan notes that cloud-based interactions are replacing traditional teamwork to accommodate the requirements of hybrid and remote work. The integration of various collaboration tools such as messaging, meetings, conferencing, team chat, and information sharing is crucial in achieving the digital objectives of businesses.
Zoom has made significant investments in AI to enhance collaborative experiences. Collaboration platforms are developed with core technologies and provide industry and department-specific communication and collaboration solutions. Ultimately, the primary objective is to serve people and facilitate their success in the evolving work landscape.
Customer-facing teams often encounter various challenges. However, empowering these teams with the right tools and resources to become subject matter experts enables businesses to deliver more personalised and enhanced customer experiences.
Nathan reiterates the objective of integrating product innovation into a comprehensive, all-in-one solution that empowers knowledge workers and teams, simplifies collaboration with external customers, and facilitates business growth. This unified approach aims to streamline the modern workday, enabling seamless teamwork and effective customer engagement beyond organisational boundaries.
This encompasses the entire spectrum of employee collaboration, from morning schedule checks, chatting, and email communication to participating in meetings and huddles, as well as engaging in phone calls. Similarly, customer collaboration entails marketing events, webinars, sales processes, and overall customer experiences, all accessible through a unified interface.
The main goal is to increase Customer Lifetime Value by making sure that employee experience (EX) and customer experience (CX) work well together.
“While customer service leaders understand the significance of consistently providing excellent experiences, only a third of customers perceive improvements in customer service organisations,” Nathan reveals. “Businesses can face significant repercussions if they lose customers due to negative experiences.”
Research indicates that customer expectations have evolved over time, highlighting the necessity for businesses to promptly adapt and deliver exceptional customer experiences (CX). However, meeting customer needs in an uncertain world with limited resources can be challenging.
Nathan discussed the Global CX Excellence Report, which identified six key pillars of CX excellence: personalisation, trust, minimising customer effort, meeting standards, resolution and empathy. These pillars serve as crucial foundations for delivering exceptional customer experiences and building strong customer relationships.
“To meet these customer expectations, we need to think about the whole and work together across teams,” he says.
Jayraj Nair, Customer Experience Lead-ASEAN at Zoom, concurs that addressing the challenges of siloed teams and disparate tools is crucial in rethinking and transforming CX (Customer Experience) and EX (Employee Experience).
By 2024, satisfaction metrics suggest that companies prioritising a comprehensive experience for both customers and workers will outperform their competitors. Recognising the interconnectedness of customer and employee experiences and ensuring their holistic optimisation will yield a competitive advantage and contribute to overall business success.
Other reports indicate that adopting a total experience approach is essential, with an anticipated 60% of large businesses projected to embrace it by 2026. This holistic approach ensures a seamless and integrated experience for both customers and employees, driving enhanced satisfaction and corporate growth.
Combining employee productivity and customer experience (CX) strategies is crucial for consistently delivering exceptional customer experiences. By effectively integrating these two elements, businesses can foster seamless interactions between the company and its customers, leading to increased customer satisfaction and happiness. This harmonious exchange ensures a positive and satisfying customer experience while maximising employee productivity and engagement.
“Employee productivity” refers to the efficiency and effectiveness with which individuals perform their job responsibilities within a company. When workers are highly productive, they are able to deliver better service and support to customers, ensuring their needs are promptly addressed and met to their satisfaction.
Similarly, CX strategies encompass the deliberate planning and execution of actions aimed at enhancing the overall experience that customers have with a business. This encompasses various aspects such as personalised interactions, streamlined processes, user-friendly interfaces, and effective problem-solving capabilities.
Jayraj shares that Zoom offers a comprehensive CX+EX platform that seamlessly integrates both staff and customer experiences. This unified experience is facilitated by leveraging the end-to-end capabilities of the Zoom platform, allowing customers to access the desired functionality from the cloud at their preferred time and location. By providing a smooth and unified experience, Zoom enables businesses to enhance both customer and employee satisfaction through its versatile platform.
“The Zoom Contact Centre is seen as an exciting new feature that increases customer loyalty and retention by allowing for quick and personalised interactions with customers,” Jayraj says. “Zoom takes care of the hard work, so companies can focus on their employees and customers.”
Expressing his gratitude to the attendees for their active and thoughtful participation, Jayraj commended them for their insightful contributions that added depth to the discussions.
Jayraj highlighted the importance of every stage in developing a customer experience plan, which involves integrating various methods such as web chat, video, phone, and other relevant channels to enhance both user experience (UX) and customer experience (CX).
By seamlessly integrating these experiences, businesses can ensure that customer interactions are efficient, productive, and enjoyable for all parties involved, ultimately serving both internal and external customers effectively.
Zoom, he recapped, has transformed from a basic application into a robust platform, offering a comprehensive suite of tools such as Zoom Phone, telephony services, team chats, and meeting spaces. These features combine to provide enterprises with a comprehensive communication and collaboration experience, facilitating seamless connectivity, efficient team communication, and productive meetings.
He stressed the significant commercial value of leveraging Zoom’s wide range of products, highlighting their ease of integration and the immediate benefits they bring to businesses. By adopting and utilising these solutions, companies can tap into their full potential and unlock valuable advantages swiftly.
In closing, Jayraj reemphasised the importance of consistently delivering exceptional experiences across all touchpoints and reiterated the value of prioritising customer service. By adopting a customer-centric strategy, businesses can foster strong connections, promote loyalty, and achieve long-term success.
Mohit knows the importance of user experience (UX) and customer experience (CX) lies in their ability to enhance satisfaction, loyalty and overall success by delivering seamless and personalised interactions that meet and exceed customer expectations.
By leveraging the power of cloud solutions and video communication, organisations can enhance teamwork, foster stronger connections, and drive project success by enabling seamless and immersive collaboration among team members.
Moreover, in this digital era, he highlights the importance of technology alliances in fostering success across diverse industries, stimulating development, promoting growth and driving innovation. Progress can be accelerated by collaborating with technology specialists and merging ideas, research, and development efforts. The creation of new goods and services is frequently sped up by the combining of talents, resources, and viewpoints.
These alliances give businesses access to a larger ecosystem, opening up new possibilities and promoting expansion in the corresponding industries. They also present chances for market expansion since they give access to new customer categories, geographical areas, or industry verticals.
Businesses can share specialised knowledge, access cutting-edge technology, pool resources and collaborate with external technology partners to develop creative solutions and maintain competitiveness in the continuously changing market environment.
“Partnerships can play a crucial role in helping businesses penetrate markets more efficiently by leveraging existing networks and gaining access to a larger client base,” says Mohit. “This enables quicker market entry, greater brand recognition, and expanded market reach, all of which help the participating companies develop and succeed.”
Singapore’s Institute of Technical Education (ITE) has emerged as a trailblazer with its innovative Work-Study Diplomas (WSDips) initiative. Launched five years ago, the programme has evolved into a crucial pathway for ITE graduates seeking to elevate their qualifications. According to Dr Mohamad Maliki Bin Osman, the Second Minister for Education, the success of WSDips lies in its ‘learning by doing’ approach, aligning seamlessly with ITE’s practice-based curriculum.
Since its inception with 100 trainees across four courses in 2018, the WSDips initiative has witnessed exponential growth. With over 1,000 trainees now enrolled in 40 courses, the programme has become a testament to its effectiveness. Graduates not only experience salary growth but also boast high employability, with more than 70% choosing to stay in their respective companies post-graduation.
ITE is set to expand its successful WSDips initiative by introducing five new courses in 2024. This move reflects ITE’s commitment to staying ahead of the curve in addressing the diverse needs of both individuals and industries.
The new additions, ranging from Accountancy and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to Nursing and Tourism Management, showcase ITE’s dedication to providing upskilling opportunities tailored to the evolving demands of the workforce.
The WSDip in Accountancy aims to sharpen expertise in in-house accounting functions, addressing the intricate financial management needs of businesses. Recognising the pivotal role of technology, the WSDip in AI and Data Intelligence is designed to support businesses in executing robust digital strategies by nurturing talent well-versed in AI and data intelligence.
The WSDip in Electronics and Computer Engineering responds to the increasing importance of optimised operational efficiency in digital work environments. This course focuses on cutting-edge electronics and computer engineering, producing skilled professionals ready to tackle the challenges of an increasingly tech-centric world.
In the healthcare sector, the WSDip in Nursing offers an apprenticeship-based progression pathway, addressing the growing demand for healthcare professionals. This programme provides a structured and hands-on learning approach, ensuring that graduates are well-prepared for the dynamic field of nursing.
The WSDip in Tourism Management recognises the significance of the evolving tourism industry. Going beyond traditional approaches, this diploma encompasses a spectrum of skills, from customer behaviour analytics to sustainable tourism practices, preparing trainees to navigate this transformative industry.
The expansion of the WSDips portfolio underscores ITE’s dedication to offering specialised courses that address the contemporary workforce’s needs. By providing upskilling opportunities in crucial areas, ITE ensures its graduates are not only job-ready but also positioned to thrive in their chosen fields.
The integration of digitalisation courses into study diplomas has become a strategic imperative. This move is not merely a reaction to industry trends; rather, it represents a proactive measure to bridge the gap between traditional education and the rapidly evolving technological landscape.
Study diplomas tailored to include digitalisation courses offer myriad benefits, from heightened employability to cultivating a workforce prepared for the challenges of the digital age. Graduates possessing digital literacy are not only better positioned for a wide array of careers but are also empowered to contribute to innovation and entrepreneurship.
Moreover, these programmes play a pivotal role in addressing the global competitiveness of individuals and industries, ensuring that professionals have the necessary skills to navigate a digitally interconnected world.
As educational institutions adapt to include digitalisation courses, Singapore paves the way for a future workforce that is not only adaptive to industry-specific requirements but also capable of driving technological advancements in various fields.
The Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) organised its forum aimed at catalysing Malaysia’s industrial commitment to sustainability goals. Held at the Connexion Conference & Event Centre, Bangsar South, in collaboration with the National SDG Centre and United Nations Global Compact Malaysia and Brunei (UNGCMYB), the forum strategically focused on leveraging technology adoption and embracing ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) practices, especially among Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) and Mid-Tier Companies (MTCs).
At its core, the forum delved into the critical challenges faced by industries, including financial constraints, talent shortages, and the scarcity of technical expertise. Crucially, it shed light on the government’s unwavering dedication to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals 2030 and transitioning toward the Net Zero 2050 aspiration.
The session was a knowledge hub, hosting influential figures in sustainability like Mr Faroze Nadar, Executive Director at UNGCMYB, Prof. Dr Ong Kian Ming from Taylor’s University, and Mr Asfaazam Kasbani from the National SDG Centre, Ministry of Economy. Technology experts and representatives from leading entities such as PETRONAS and EPF also contributed their perspectives, enriching the discourse.
YB Liew Chin Tong, Deputy Minister of Investment, Trade, and Industry (MITI), outlined the government’s New Industrial Master Plan 2030 (NIMP 2030). This plan encompasses ambitious goals and 12 outcome-based targets, aligning with the National Investment Inspirations. Stressing the importance of a holistic approach, YB Liew highlighted the necessity for sector-specific targets across manufacturing, energy, transport, and infrastructure to foster sustainable development.
MITI’s proactive stance was evident as the Deputy Minister unveiled the National Industry Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Framework (i-ESG) to bolster SMEs and MTCs in embracing sustainability. The i-ESG aligns seamlessly with the MADANI Economy Framework, indicating a clear vision for inclusive and sustainable industrial growth.
Underpinning the significance of technology and innovation, YB Liew highlighted initiatives within the Budget 2024, demonstrating a dedicated push toward sustainability. Noteworthy allocations such as the RM2 billion National Energy Transition Facility fund and the potential RM1 billion biodiversity sukuk for carbon credits aim to uplift businesses while fostering a resilient economic landscape.
MIDA’s Chairman, YBhg. Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Dr Sulaiman Mahbob, emphasised MIDA’s pivotal role as the vanguard of sustainable investment projects like e-Mobility, Renewable Energy, and Circular Bio-economy. The establishment of MIDA’s Sustainability Division in August 2023 signifies its proactive approach towards sustainable practices, indicating a promising trajectory.
Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Dr Sulaiman Mahbob underscored the inevitability of sustainable practices in the evolving global landscape, stressing the urgency for Malaysia to embrace the green wave. MIDA’s commitment was echoed through initiatives like the Invest Malaysia Facilitation Centre (IMFC), aimed at bolstering investment facilitation and expediting service delivery, thereby fostering an investor-friendly environment.
MIDA’s forum served as a pivotal platform to galvanise technological innovation and sustainable practices, aligning Malaysia’s industries with global sustainability imperatives. With concerted efforts and strategic initiatives, Malaysia stands poised to lead the charge towards a greener and more resilient future.
Malaysia has set its sights on an ambitious agenda for sustainable development, aligning with global imperatives while tailoring initiatives to its unique socio-economic landscape. With a steadfast commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for 2030 and a resolute transition toward the Net Zero 2050 aspiration, the nation aims to tackle multifaceted challenges. From addressing environmental concerns like carbon emissions and biodiversity preservation to fostering social inclusivity and economic resilience, Malaysia’s sustainable goals encompass a holistic approach. These efforts converge on technology adoption, ESG practices, and inclusive policies, positioning the nation to forge ahead as a beacon of sustainable progress in the region and beyond.
OpenGov Asia reported that Selangor, a key player in Malaysia’s push towards renewable energy, is set to contribute a substantial 1 to 1.5 gigawatts (GW) to the country’s electricity grid in the coming years, as announced by Menteri Besar Dato’ Seri Amirudin Shari.
The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) recently unveiled an ambitious plan to propel Vietnamese businesses onto the global stage through a cutting-edge initiative. At the core of this strategy is the selection of 100 exceptional enterprises for the “Vietnam Pavilion” on a leading B2B e-commerce platform, slated to revolutionise the landscape of international trade.
This innovative programme seeks to champion the diverse array of “Made in Vietnam” products, fuel international trade endeavours, and facilitate seamless access for businesses to tap into the vast customer base of an established e-platform. By leveraging this expansive network, the initiative aims to illuminate Vietnam’s products and the prowess of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to a global audience.
The registration window for SMEs extends until January 15, 2024, offering selected participants invaluable insights from seasoned exporters. Vu Ba Phu, Director of the Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency, emphasised the pivotal role of this collaboration with the e-commerce giant, highlighting its potential to furnish SMEs with a gateway to the global market. This collaboration underscores a strategic shift toward digital trade, fortifying resilience amid the unpredictable undulations of the global market.
The inception of the “Vietnam Pavilion” in 2022 signals a concerted effort to bolster Vietnamese businesses by amplifying their brand presence and facilitating seamless networking opportunities. According to the Country Director of the e-commerce company in Vietnam, this alliance is pivotal in augmenting the global footprint of Vietnamese enterprises, streamlining their participation in global business endeavours.
In the previous year, Vietnam witnessed an exponential surge in exports via e-commerce, surmounting 80 trillion VND (approximately 3.25 billion USD). Forecasts project a meteoric rise, expecting the figure to soar to nearly 300 trillion VND by 2027. In anticipation of this burgeoning trend, Vietrade swiftly rolled out various online and hybrid trade promotion models, yielding commendable outcomes.
Simultaneously, the Ministry of Industry and Trade organised an event to introduce the “National Centralised Promotion Programme 2023 – Vietnam Grand Sale 2023” to stakeholders across the country. This initiative is designed to invigorate trade promotion endeavours while fortifying the branding of Vietnamese goods. The programme aims to stimulate domestic market growth, diversify purchasing channels, and bolster production, circulation, and business activities, catalysing the country’s economic resurgence.
The National Focused Promotion 2023 is set to be a nationwide affair, spearheaded by the Department of Trade Promotion in collaboration with relevant industry units, associations, businesses, and organisations. This concerted effort will encompass a multifaceted approach, blending traditional trade methods with e-commerce to generate a ripple effect, drawing the active participation of enterprises across sectors.
Businesses are granted the autonomy to partake in the “National Focused Promotion 2023” Programme by proactively engaging in diverse and compelling promotional activities aimed at captivating customers. They have the prerogative to set promotional limits (up to 100%), provided they adhere to legal and transparent promotional practices and safeguard consumer rights.
As stipulated, the permissible limit for goods and services used in promotional activities during the specified period from December 4, 2023, to February 9, 2024, stands at 100%, in alignment with regulatory decisions.
In essence, these initiatives orchestrated by the Ministry of Industry and Trade represent a decisive stride toward harnessing technological advancements to bolster Vietnam’s economic landscape, empowering businesses to thrive in the digital age while fortifying their global market presence.
Vietnam is eager to develop its digital economy and ensure that it is ready to make use of any opportunities to expand.
OpenGov Asia reported that the Ministry of Information and Communications is designing a strategy for Vietnam’s international fibre-optic cable development that will soon be released. This initiative aims to guarantee the secure and sustainable advancement of Vietnam’s digital infrastructure, according to Pham Duc Long, the Deputy Minister of MIC.
A delegation from the Ministry of State Apparatus Empowerment and Bureaucratic Reform (PANRB) met with the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Indonesia to the United Nations (PTRI New York) in New York. The meeting addressed the importance of digitisation as a fundamental foundation in bureaucratic reform.
Digitisation, involving representatives from the Ministry of PANRB and PTRI New York, discussed concrete steps to integrate technology into bureaucratic reform efforts. The discussion involved aspects such as implementing information systems, developing human resource capacity, and using technological innovation to enhance administrative efficiency.
In this meeting, the delegation from the Ministry of PANRB, led by Deputy for Institutional and Organisational Affairs Nanik Murwati, accompanied by Acting Assistant Deputy for Institutional and Organisational Affairs for the Economy, Maritime, and Investment of the Ministry of PANRB Ario Wiriandhi, was received by the Permanent Representative of Indonesia to PTRI New York, Arrmanatha Christiawan Nasir, and his team. The meeting began with discussions on the progress of institutional and organisational policy.
Nanik emphasised the urgency and importance of bureaucratic reform supported by data-based digital governance. “Digitisation through the SPBE architecture is the main foundation for bureaucratic reform, with its impact to be felt by the Indonesian people both domestically and internationally,” said Nanik.
Nanik demonstrated the Indonesian government’s commitment to advancing bureaucratic reform through digital transformation through this meeting. They underscored the importance of international collaboration, especially in exchanging knowledge and experiences related to implementing technology in public administration.
One of the main focuses of the meeting was to enhance the effectiveness of public services through implementing digital solutions. The delegation discussed the potential use of artificial intelligence, data analysis, and technology-based platforms to expedite decision-making processes and provide more responsive services to the public.
“The use of digital technology in various aspects of government operations, such as reporting, data management, and interagency coordination, can create a more open, transparent, and efficient environment,” said Nanik.
The Ministry of State Apparatus Empowerment and Bureaucratic Reform (PANRB) emphasised simplifying and integrating business processes to strengthen digitisation. The main goal is to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of task implementation, programmes, and services across all government agencies, including those carried out by the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Indonesia (PTRI) in New York.
Nanik, the representative from the Ministry of PANRB, revealed that the next step is to conduct an in-depth review with PTRI New York regarding the institutional arrangement policy of the Indonesian Representative Abroad. This institutional arrangement aligns with the revision of Presidential Decree No. 108/2003 concerning the Organisation of the Indonesian Representation Abroad. This process aims to align and enhance the organisational structure to provide optimal support in diplomatic tasks.
The discussion highlighted crucial points, including the position and relationship of business processes and work procedures between PTRI and KJRI New York, KBRI Washington DC, and other organisational elements within the PTRI New York environment. The results of the meeting are expected to form a strong foundation to strengthen synergy and efficiency in diplomatic tasks at PTRI in New York.
Furthermore, through this collaborative step, Nanik believes that by implementing digitisation comprehensively in bureaucracy, there will be significant opportunities to improve the efficiency and responsiveness of public services. Digitisation will facilitate access and information exchange between agencies, reduce task execution time, minimise bureaucracy, and mitigate risks associated with manual processes.
This initiative addresses current needs and looks ahead, creating a robust foundation for adapting to ongoing technological developments. Thus, Indonesia can continue to deliver excellent and responsive public services, achieving the goal of sustainable bureaucratic transformation.
The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) recently visited Dumangas, Iloilo, to witness the demonstration of SARAi, a cutting-edge remote-sensing technology developed by the University of the Philippines Los Baños.
This initiative is part of NEDA’s ongoing efforts to harness the potential of remote-sensing technologies for gathering timely crop data, a crucial element in providing anticipatory inflation policy advice through the Inter-Agency Committee on Inflation and Market Outlook (IAC-IMO).
Project SARAi, standing for Smarter Approaches to Reinvigorate Agriculture as an Industry in the Philippines, focuses on monitoring agricultural production. During the demonstration, the Dumangas SARAi team showcased the generation of crop commodity maps using satellite data. The validation process involves a mobile phone app or a specialised drone, ensuring accuracy in monitoring the growth and health of crops in Dumangas.
While SARAi has proven useful at the local government unit (LGU) level, its current pilot implementation is limited to a few LGUs. NEDA Assistant Secretary Reynaldo R Cancio emphasised the need for broader implementation to fully tap into its potential for guiding national policy-making. Acknowledging challenges faced during the technology’s introduction to pilot LGUs, Reynaldo highlighted financial resource constraints and a lack of appreciation for the technology’s benefits as major hurdles.
NEDA proposed national government support for the deployment of remote-sensing technologies like SARAi, particularly for LGUs with financial constraints. He stressed the importance of coordination among various remote-sensing projects to avoid duplication and ensure applicability for national-level inflation management.
As NEDA continues to work with the IAC-IMO, the focus remains on providing inflation policy advice using existing data sets. Simultaneously, efforts persist in studying the potential of remote-sensing technologies like SARAi as invaluable tools for gathering essential data in the ongoing pursuit of effective inflation management.
In addition, NEDA has taken a significant step towards advancing the digital landscape in the Philippines with the release of the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) for Republic Act No. 11927, popularly known as the Philippine Digital Workforce Competitiveness Act. This strategic move, approved on October 2023, reflects a meticulous consultation process involving various stakeholders, including government agencies and private sector representatives.
NEDA Secretary Arsenio M Balisacan emphasised the crucial role the Act plays in equipping the workforce with digital technologies and skills while fostering a dynamic innovation ecosystem. The IRR outlines the establishment of the Inter-Agency Council (IAC) for the Development and Competitiveness of the Philippine Digital Workforce, chaired by NEDA and composed of eight other key agencies.
This Council will be the primary body responsible for planning, coordinating, and implementing initiatives to enhance the competitiveness of the country’s digital workforce, with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) serving as the secretariat.
The Act empowers the IAC to formulate the National Roadmap on Digital Technology and Digital Skills, laying the foundation for programmes aimed at upskilling, re-skilling, and training the digital workforce. In a bid to streamline information dissemination, the Council will establish a centralised online portal harmonising existing portals of member agencies. This portal will provide comprehensive details on training and skills development programmes, certifications, and scholarship opportunities.
These initiatives directly address identified gaps in digital technology and skills mapping, ensuring that Filipinos across the nation have access to the skills and competencies essential for navigating the digital landscape. The focus on digital content, platforms, innovations, entrepreneurship, and technology aligns with the ever-evolving demands of the global labour market, positioning the Philippines as a competitive player in the digital workforce arena.
Having robust and effective public services is a fundamental goal for every country aiming to enhance the quality of life for its citizens. Quality public services, especially healthcare access, are pivotal in societal well-being and development. As a basic human need, the significance of quality public services in healthcare becomes even more prominent.
New Zealand government is aware of fostering its public services. In light of this, New Zealand has embraced a transformative journey by integrating digital technologies to enhance the accessibility and efficiency of its public services. The introduction of the rural after-hours telehealth service is a testament to the commitment of public health authorities to leverage technology for the benefit of citizens, especially those in remote areas.
This initiative aligns with the broader agenda of digital transformation sweeping across various sectors. The transformative service is co-commissioned by Te Whatu Ora and Te Aka Whai Ora and is delivered through a collaboration between three leading telehealth organisations in New Zealand.
Rural communities now have two convenient methods to access the telehealth service. The public can contact 0800 2 KA ORA (0800 252 672), or their rural healthcare provider can refer them. This dynamic service, operational for a week, has already engaged 20 rural practices, with more set to join in the coming days.
When individuals contact the service, a triage process is initiated by skilled nurses and kaiāwhina. Patients are seamlessly referred to a doctor if necessary. Jess White, general manager of telehealth organisations, spoke about this innovative platform that provides rural communities an additional option for receiving care.
Dr Sarah Clarke, National Clinical Director for one of the telehealth organisations at Te Whatu Ora, underscored the significant impact of this service on the most isolated communities, where access to after-hours care, particularly without reliable internet access, has been a persistent challenge. Selah Hart, Deputy Chief Executive from one of the telehealth organisations at Te Aka Whai Ora, underscores the relief this service brings to rural whānau, particularly those with young children who previously had to endure long journeys for after-hours medical care.
Operational on weekdays from 5:00 pm to 8:00 am and providing 24-hour coverage on weekends and public holidays, the service is staffed by a team of kaiāwhina, nurses, GPs, and emergency medicine specialists. This coverage ensures accessibility for enrolled and unenrolled individuals in rural areas, enabling them to increase their quality of life.
Te Pae Tata, the Interim New Zealand Health Plan 2022, serves as a strategic framework that spotlights the healthcare needs of various demographic groups. Te Pae Tata underscores the importance of enhancing their access to high-quality and timely healthcare services. The emphasis on rural healthcare is a testament to New Zealand’s commitment to equitable health outcomes and a proactive step towards addressing the specific needs of these communities.
This new rural clinical telehealth service complements New Zealand’s existing telehealth options, with Healthline (0800 611 116) continuing its regular operations. As technology evolves, these telehealth services can serve as a foundation for further innovations.
The introduction of this service signifies a commitment to advancing healthcare through digital innovation, ensuring that even the remotest communities have access to quality healthcare, further solidifying New Zealand’s position at the forefront of telehealth advancements.
Across the world, tech is improving health outcomes and patient experiences. For instance, OpenGov Asia reported that in Indonesia’s healthcare industry, robots are crucial, assisting surgeons in procedures, providing rehabilitation therapies, and even delivering medications to patients. Telesurgical robots offer enhanced skill and precision, minimising invasive procedures and improving patient outcomes.
Similarly, in the U.S., researchers at the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering (PME) at the University of Chicago have harnessed the power of machine learning to revolutionise vaccine design. MIT researchers have introduced medical technology advancements, a wearable ultrasound monitor fashioned as a patch, that holds promising implications for individuals with bladder or kidney disorders, offering a more accessible means to monitor organ functionality.
Quantum computing is a rapidly developing field with the potential to revolutionise many industries. As quantum computers become more powerful and affordable, they will likely play an increasingly important role, especially in tackling complex computational problems that are currently beyond the reach of classical computers. One of the key promises of quantum computing lies in its ability to perform certain calculations exponentially faster than classical computers.
In a significant step towards the realisation of room-temperature quantum computers, researchers at the University of Michigan have developed a method for transporting excitons. This breakthrough could pave the way for a new era of computing. This innovation, challenging conventional wisdom, including Einstein’s relation, opens avenues for developing highly efficient devices.
Excitons, peculiar electron-hole pairs devoid of a net electrical charge, find applications in diverse fields, from natural photosynthesis to technologies like OLED displays, LEDs, and solar cells. The University of Michigan researchers, led by Parag Deotare and Mackillo Kira, have harnessed the ability to manipulate excitons with precision, potentially enhancing the efficiency of existing devices and advancing into the realm of excitonics for computing.
The research presented a pyramid-shaped structure, similar to a wire, serving as a pathway for excitons. This pyramid design successfully addresses the inherent difficulty of mobilising excitons attributed to their absence of a net charge. It provides exceptional accuracy in conveying smaller excitons, which is crucial for prospective applications.
Using a laser, the operating principle involves creating a cloud of excitons at a designated corner of the pyramid’s base. A thin layer of tungsten diselenide semiconductor, only three atoms thick, covers the pyramid, modifying the energy landscape for excitons. The stretching of the semiconductor alters the energy gap between the valence and conduction bands, prompting excitons to migrate to the lowest energy state along the pyramid’s edge before rising to its peak.
While previous studies, led by Deotare, utilised acoustic waves to propel excitons through semiconductors, this pyramid structure offers a more refined transport mechanism. The lack of net charge in excitons, an advantage in avoiding energy losses, has historically posed challenges in their precise movement.
The study also challenges Einstein’s relation, revealing that its application to predict exciton mobility in complex scenarios may need to be revised. Defects in the semiconductor were found to act as traps, influencing the diffusion of excitons.
Mackillo Kira, Co-corresponding Author of the study, envisioned the potential for room-temperature quantum computing. Excitons, capable of encoding quantum information and retaining it longer than electrons in a semiconductor, could play a pivotal role in overcoming the challenges associated with the degradation of quantum information.
Beyond quantum computing, the team is exploring the integration of lightwave electronics to amplify the processing capabilities of excitonics. This research’s transformative nature extends its applications beyond computing, presenting opportunities for advancements in diverse technological fields.
Supported by the Army Research Office and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, this pioneering work created the pyramid structure at the Lurie Nanofabrication Facility. With patent protection sought with the assistance of University of Michigan Innovation Partnerships, the team is actively seeking partnerships to bring this technology to market.