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Until recent digital advancements, business functioning has been difficult, said the Sales Director of a large retail organisation in Vietnam. With two hundred agents and tens of thousands of retail outlets across 63 provinces and cities in Vietnam. To manage this scale of business, the company opted for software that helps both manage and support activities.

Similarly, a biotechnology company shared that after two years of applying management technology, the company has had a significant change. Their marketing staff realised that the tech-enabled system has helped them better control their daily work and boost sales. The customer conversion rate has increased by 20%, while the problem resolution decreasing to between 1-2 hours only. The number of points of sale has been doubling every day.

Thanks to digital transformation, many businesses have overcome difficulties caused by Covid-19. This has benefited those who need the technology as well as those who provide solutions.

A new entrant in the market industry generated US$4 million in revenue in 2020 by taking advantage of the epidemic to provide digital transformation solutions to major partners in Japan.

Another major player successfully developed a distribution management solution, fully meeting the needs of monitoring, automation and sales activities. Their solution digitises the entire business process in the distribution system, helping businesses have a more intuitive and accurate view of the market, customers and their competitors.

Chairman of the Vietnam Software and Information Technology Services Association (VINASA) Truong Gia Binh, said that digital transformation is a global trend, a vital issue for countries, organisations and enterprises. The world is witnessing a strong revolution in labour productivity and user experiences with many new business models that have been formed.

No doubt, the digital transformation trend is thriving but is not easy to realise because understanding the digital economy is a big challenge. Many domestic companies have heard about digital transformation and do not know how to implement this process.

A survey by the Ministry of Industry and Trade on the readiness to apply 4.0 technology in production and business activities in 2018 showed that 61% of enterprises “stood out” in the trend, 21% had initial preparations and 16 out of 17 fields under surveys had a low level of readiness in the digital transformation process.

According to a survey of 400 Vietnamese enterprises in 2020 by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) and an international trade organisation, the four main barriers in digital transformation include Lack of information about digital technology (30.4%); lack of internal manpower to apply digital technology (32.3%), fear of leaking personal and corporate data (33.9%); lack of digital technology infrastructure (38.9%), and high cost of digital technology application (55.6%).

Many businesses still think that they do not need digital transformation and all issues can be handled on paper or spreadsheets. However, they need to consider the future development direction and future scale. Without determining digital transformation early, they will be in trouble later said a digital solutions provider.

According to the White Book on Vietnamese Businesses 2020, small and medium-sized enterprises account for 98% of the total number of corporates in the country. They have many advantages in digital transformation thanks to their flexibility and fast change. They need to understand how large enterprises operate, their business models and transformation processes, and apply them flexibly and creatively.

Digital transformation can be a smooth process as there is a lot of good technology, good infrastructure, good human resources and expertise available. Of course, these Vietnamese businesses will face teething issues when first starting, but they experience long-term gains and this will result in stronger motivation. Therefore, these businesses need the support of tech companies that specialize in digital transformation.

With the theme “Accompanying businesses in the digital era”, Vietnam Expo expects to bring resonance to the National Digital Transformation Program, creating a forum to connect the business community and enable their approach to digital transformation solutions to increase competitiveness in production and business.

The Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) has launched the Vietnam digital technology challenge forum as part of the activities to introduce Vietnamese-made platforms to serve national digital transformation.

It is a continuation of the programme entitled “Technology Friday” held throughout 2020. During which, MIC promoted 38 digital platforms that were “as good as or even better than similar solutions provided by foreign companies”, according to a report. Platform providers can register to participate in the program through the official website or send documents to the Department of Computerisation, or the Institute of Software and Digital Content Industry.

With a new name and format, the programme now takes the form of a forum where guests will be invited to express their opinions about the solutions presented at the event. This is in addition to the usual introduction of solutions by their developers.

The first episode of the programme featured a smart solution by An Vui, which is expected to help long-distance bus service companies in optimising management and enhancing their competitiveness. An Vui CEO Phan Ba Manh said the platform is being used by 150 transport companies with 4,000 vehicles.

Speaking at the forum, MIC Deputy Minister Nguyen Huy Dung said that if 2020 was the year when the idea of digital transformation was popularised, then in 2021, digital transformation will focus on seeking solutions to social problems.

According to the Department of Computerisation, the AI technology field has the most Make in Vietnam products and services, followed by cloud computing, and online conference. These platforms allow organisations, individuals, and businesses to immediately use digital technologies instead of investing in research, development, and operation by themselves. Make in Vietnam is a slogan initiated by MIC. The ministry explained it is a term to convey the strategy, the call, and the shift in the development direction of Vietnamese digital technology.

Another programme to honour the digital transformation achievements of individuals, enterprises, and government agencies was unveiled last week. The Vietnam Digital Awards 2021 are hosted by the Vietnam Digital Communications Association (VDCA) under MIC.

The awards will be presented across four categories:

  • Outstanding products, services, and solutions in the field of ICT.
  • Enterprises with successes in digital transformation.
  • Government agencies with remarkable levels of digital transformation.
  • Products and solutions that serve the disadvantaged.

VDCA Chairman Nguyen Minh Hong said the awards are organised annually to look for notable Vietnamese-made digital products and promote them in both the domestic and international markets. They are also designed to encourage government agencies and enterprises to invest more in technologies to help achieve success in the nation’s overall digital transformation.

Speaking at the launch ceremony on 6 April, Da Nang Vice Chairman Le Quang Nam said the city has determined digital transformation as the key to dealing with existing bottlenecks and transform Da Nang into a modern, smart, and liveable city. Entries for the awards can be submitted until July, after which a jury panel will select the best individuals and groups, who will be honoured at an awards ceremony scheduled for October.

The Vietnam Software and IT Services Association (VINASA) launched this year’s Vietnam Top 10 ICT Businesses programme, earlier this week. It aims to support the government’s goal to have 100,000 digital technology companies by 2030.

Launched in 2014, the top 10 Vietnam ICT businesses programme includes three main activities of voting for outstanding enterprises in the 17 ICT fields in Vietnam, developing a special three-language publication, and boosting connections between ICT businesses and potential international and domestic customers.

To date, the programme has selected and introduced 390 enterprises, with 20 publications in three languages (Vietnamese, English, Japanese). These have been sent to more than 2,000 domestic agencies and units. And more than 10,000 partners from over 100 countries and economies in the international cooperation network of VINASA.

This year’s event will select the ten best ICT companies in 17 categories, divided into three groups according to their working field, business model, digital transformation solution provision, technological ability, and competitiveness.

Candidate enterprises will be evaluated across seven criteria:

  • Financial indicators
  • Human resources
  • Products and services
  • Technology, research, and development capacity
  • Leadership and business management
  • Awards, titles, and recognised achievements
  • A special assessment for each sector

The evaluation process features three rounds – profile selection, presentation and verification, and final voting. Judges will comprise leading experts in technology, finance, corporate governance, e-commerce, start-ups, and media.

This year, the voting categories are expanded and will honour leading companies in new sectors – Fintech, Proptech, EdTech, and MedTech. The presentation round is scheduled from 15 April to 6 May. The announcement and award ceremony will take place on 13 July, before the Vietnam ICT Summit 2021.

In the last 5 years, the ICT industry has recorded the fastest growth rate, 26.1% per year on average. The industry has greatly contributed to the general national development and modernisation of Vietnam.

In 2020, the revenue of the ICT industry was US$120 billion, including US$6 billion from software development and digital content (two times higher than the one in 2015). The productivity and labour output values of this industry were also 3 to 10 times higher than those of others, reaching US$20,000 per person per year. The proportion of domestic contribution also accounted for 90%-95%.

The government has been creating several initiatives and events to support the ICT industry following the National Digital Transformation Programme, which was unveiled last June. In a recent interview, the Minister of Information and Communications (MIC) explained that when implementing digital transformation, it is necessary to calculate the value it brings. For example, labour savings, working hour savings, and recurrent cost savings. Long-term intangible values should be quantified as well. If the value created is higher than the cost, digital transformation is effective.

He added that digital transformation is not an incremental cost, but an added value. To avoid accidents that happened with the IT sector in the past, Vietnamese provinces should consider spending on digital transformation as an investment project.

Regarding employment, he said that digital transformation can positively support retraining and create tools and foundations for new jobs to be easier to learn and do. Digital transformation creates digital universities, and distance learning platforms make retraining easier.

Vietnam Digital Transformation (DX) Day 2021 will take place from 26-27 May in Hanoi with conferences on digital transformation in eight priority sectors, as set out in the national digital transformation strategy.

They include finance and banking, healthcare, education, agriculture, transport and logistics, energy, natural resources and the environment, and manufacturing. Vietnam DX Day will also feature two conferences on digital transformation for small and medium-sized enterprises and digital start-up promotion.

According to the Vietnam Software and IT Services Association (VINASA), the event is expected to attract the attendance of 3,000 delegates from government agencies and the business community. Its agenda will focus on four main contents:

  • updates on digital transformation trends
  • introduction of effective digital transformation methods
  • sharing of success stories
  • connecting supply and demand in digital transformation

On the sidelines of the event, there will be an online conference to introduce Vietnamese digital platforms and solutions.

Earlier this week, a networking event was held by the Vietnam Post and Telecommunications Group (VNPT) and the Ho Chi Minh City Computer Association, aimed at connecting partners in digital transformation.

The programme gathered telecommunications and digital technology businesses to share their visions and goals while providing a comprehensive set of digital conversion solutions for customers, especially small and medium-sized enterprises.

As the fourth Industrial Revolution has exploded, digital transformation has become a vital factor for the existence and development of enterprises, especially in the context of the widespread COVID-19 epidemic.

Digital transformation is an opportunity, but also a challenge, requiring countries and businesses around the world to make drastic changes to keep pace with advancements in technology and science, a press release by the Ministry of Information and Communications noted.

Meanwhile, according to a survey by the Vietnam Software and IT Services (VINASA), only about 15% of domestic enterprises are taking steps towards full digital transformation. On the other hand, most small and medium-sized enterprises face difficulties in capital, so complete digital conversion is not feasible.

At the conference, VNPT Acting General Director Huynh Quang Liem said that VNPT has gained positive results in supporting the government, relevant ministries, sectors, and localities in digital conversion. The group is expected to provide more support in this field for businesses, especially small and medium-sized ones. He called for further cooperation with digital enterprises, which the group pledges to provide with the best infrastructure to develop solutions for digital transformation.

Additionally, with its existing digital capabilities, VNPT is also ready to integrate new solutions into the group’s digital ecosystem. Through its sales network covering 63 provinces and cities, these products will reach customers quickly, becoming a synergy of digital businesses to speed up and promote the efficiency of the national digital transformation process.

HCA Chairman Lam Nguyen Hai Long said that the cooperation with VNPT has helped its members expand upon new sales channels and reach more potential customers. It has also helped digital enterprises in Ho Chi Minh City save costs on infrastructural investment and accelerate digital transformation activities across a range of socio-economic sectors.

Through this activity, VNPT and other tech giants would create similar programmes for Vietnam’s small and medium-sized technology enterprises to develop rapidly and sustainably.

Also at the event, HCA and VNPT signed a cooperation agreement on training and consulting in digital transformation. They are committed to promoting cooperation between VNPT and IT enterprises in the city by providing digital products and solutions to small enterprises.

The Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) is gathering ideas for a draft circular on a national technical regulation on 5G user equipment-the part of Radio Access to control the overall quality as part of the country’s digital transformation. Global mobile giants are subject to new applications.

As per a press release the draft circular comes amid a rising availability of user devices, both made domestically and imported, and growing demands for 5G services in line with international practices. According to MIC statistics on end-user trends in the last five years, the use of traditional mobile services and SMS tended to fall, while data-based services tended to rise, thus bringing about more opportunities for domestic and international businesses in the field.

At present, territorial mobile terminal devices are being managed via the certificate of conformity and declaration of conformity. Technologies related to 5G currently under assessment include, among others:

  • The new global standard New Radio for a unified and more capable 5G wireless air interface.
  • A virtualisation method through software-defined networking, which allows administrators to control and change the networks remotely.
  • Network Function Virtualisation, another 5G-enabling technique.

In Vietnam, the MIC has licensed domestic telecom operators like VNPT, Viettel, and MobiFone to provide 5G services, and they have been officially developing their networks to enable 5G services since last December.

The release said that as the country is currently taking the final steps for the issuance of the national technical regulation, the question about the possible impacts on telecom and mobile device suppliers is being raised, with industry insiders giving controversial signals.

Popular mobile terminal device manufacturers like Apple, Samsung, Nokia, and others have all announced conformity to technical specifications for their devices. Apple produces mobile terminal devices like iPhones, iPads, and iWatchs, among others. Meanwhile, the company already announced its declaration of conformity for 5G radio interfaces. Samsung, one of the world’s biggest electronic manufacturers, produces mobile phones, tablets, and wearables. The company also made its declaration of conformity for mobile phones based on the draft regulation 3GPP TS 38.521.

Some nations have published technical regulations on mobile devices, while many others have not. In Singapore, the Info-communications Media Development Authority (IMDA) issued technical specifications for cellular mobile terminals, including 3G, 4G, and 5G devices.

In the European Union, declarations of conformity for mobile terminals are obligatory to follow the regulations issued by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI), including those for 2G, 3G, and 4G user equipment. Meanwhile, for 5G devices, the ETSI had been working on the regulation EN 301 908-25, which was issued in mid-2020. Similarly, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission already announced technical regulations on 2G-4G user equipment but has yet to issue a regulation for 5G devices.

To this end, the Prime Minister on 3 June 2020 approved the National Digital Transformation Programme to 2025, with a vision towards 2030. It includes several tasks related to the development of digital technology networks, including 5G infrastructure.

Authorities in Da Nang have adopted a host of key measures to speed up economic restructuring for the 2020-2025 period, focusing on strengthening hi-tech and supporting industries and IT development in connection with building start-ups, innovative urban areas, and smart cities.

Data from the municipal Department of Industry and Trade show that the central coastal city’s supporting industry has attracted a number of large-scale investment projects over recent years and gradually joined global supply chains.

The supporting industry’s added value has made rising contributions to the added value of the city’s manufacturing and processing industry. Since 2016, Da Nang has attracted 24 new investment projects in the supporting industry with total registered capital of over VND9 trillion (US$390 million), including two foreign-invested projects totalling US$240 million in the manufacture of automotive and aircraft components.

According to a news report, the central city is home to about 110 businesses operating in supporting industries, accounting for 6.3% of all industrial enterprises in the city. The head of the Management Board of the Da Nang Hi-Tech Parks and Industrial Parks, Pham Truong Son, announced the municipal People’s Committee has completed a draft plan for supporting industrial park development, which is awaiting approval by the Prime Minister.

This is expected to be the first IP in Da Nang operating in supporting industries. Investors will cooperate with businesses in the hi-tech park to form a reciprocal ecosystem. Under the draft plan submitted to the government for approval, the supporting industry park will be adjacent to the hi-tech park and the concentrated information technology zone in Hoa Vang district.

The city aims to increase the number and capacity of supporting industry enterprises that can create products with high competitiveness, such as spare parts, accessories, materials, supporting equipment for special purposes, software, and essential services that meet the demand of priority industrial sectors. These measures were implemented under Resolution No. 01-NQ/TU dated 30 October 2020 from the Standing Board of the municipal Party Committee on developing supporting industries by 2030 with a vision to 2045.

The city also looks to attract investment from multinational companies, thus promoting technology transfer in supporting industries. The municipal Party Committee has set a target of having over 150 supporting industry businesses by 2025 and over 300 by 2030, with at least 10% and 15% of domestic enterprises being capable of supplying products directly to enterprises operating in manufacturing and assembling finished products by those times.

The production value of supporting industries is hoped to account for about 30% and 40% of the added value of manufacturing and processing industries by 2025 and 2030, respectively. Da Nang aims to attract at least one multinational company to invest in manufacturing finished products in each supporting industry by 2030.

Last month, Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung noted that Da Nang is set to be a key socio-economic development centre of Vietnam and ASEAN. It is a site of global supply chains, innovation and start-up power, and has a unique ocean and port urban area. He expects it to be a centre of trade, finance, logistics, high-tech industries, supportive industries, information technology (IT), and a city of global supply chains and regional sea and port-based economic power.

In the first quarter of 2021, the Department of Information Security at the Ministry of Information and Communications recorded 1,271 cyber-attacks on information systems in Vietnam, a reduction of 20% compared to the same period last year.

Of a total of 1,271 cyber-attacks causing incidents to information systems during this period, the number of malware attacks was the highest, with 623 cases. The numbers of phishing and deface attacks were 449 and 199, respectively. The number of cyber-attacks causing incidents on information systems in the country decreased by 20% year on year, but it slightly increased from January through March, according to data reported in a press release.

Furthermore, in March, the Department of Information Security recorded 491 cyber-attacks, an increase of 8.15% compared to that in February 2021, including 180 malware attacks, 164 phishing, and 147 deface attacks. The total number of cyber-attacks on local systems was 326 in January 2021, up 3.49% from the previous month. This figure in February 2021 was 454, an increase of 39.26% compared to January.

As per the Department of Information Security, after eight consecutive months of decline, in March 2021, the number of Vietnamese IP addresses in botnets increased slightly, to around 1 million addresses, an increase of 11.34% compared to February 2021.

However, in the first quarter of 2021, the number of Vietnamese IP addresses in botnets decreased by 37.44% compared to the first quarter of 2020 and by 14.39% compared to the fourth quarter of 2020. Director Tran Quang Hung, of the National Centre for Cyber-Security Monitoring (NCSC), under the Department of Information Security in 2020, explained that the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic led to a significant increase in security risk. Early on, Vietnam identified the problem and prepared to deal with it well, so the country effectively minimised the risks.

For state agencies, according to NCSC, 2020 was a year with many bright spots ensuring cybersecurity. Under the direction of the government, 100% of ministries, agencies, and localities have completed the implementation of the Cyber Security Monitoring and Operation Centre and connected these centres to the NCSC’s system.

From a business perspective, the programme “Make in Vietnam” has urged information security businesses to master core technology and bring their quality and advanced products and services to the market.

Predicting a prominent cyber-attack trend this year, the NCSC representative said that with the unpredictable developments of the Covid-19 epidemic, in 2021 online phishing attacks will be still complicated, with an increase in number and methods.

Experts also expect that in Vietnam, as businesses and organisations are promoting digital transformation in a variety of fields, from government, health, and education to tourism and trade, new challenges for ensuring cybersecurity will emerge.

In the first two months of this year, Vietnam’s telecom carriers stopped more than 22,000 spam calls. From July 2020 to February 2021, the Department of Telecommunications cooperated with Viettel, VNPT, and MobiFone to deploy a technology solution to screen 111,694 calls and cancel scammer-owned subscriptions.

In January 2021 alone, the total number of spam calls that were stopped reached 14,646. Some other 7,400 spam calls were stopped in the following month, as OpenGov Asia had reported. Telecommunication enterprises have also launched a roadmap on measures to handle junk calls. They also use big data or machine learning technology to identify subscribers who are suspected of spreading spam calls.

The Hanoi University of Science and Technology (HUST) has officially launched a HUST-Naver AI Centre at HUST. In the long term, the AI Centre will serve as the place to connect domestic and international AI operators to deploy basic research and to create “Made in Vietnam” core technologies.

According to news reports, the centre has been established under a model of a mixed international research cluster, jointly invested in, and run by HUST and the Naver Group from the Republic of Korea. The centre will focus on promoting AI applications in various industries and areas. The aim is to accelerate digital transformation and boost the 4.0 industrial revolution in Vietnam, according to Dr Ta Hai Tung, the Director of the Institute of Information and Communication Technology, under HUST.

Professor Ho Tu Bao, a prestigious Vietnamese scientist in the field of AI and machine learning, was appointed as the science director of the AI Centre. Bao shared that the digital environment is creating an invaluable opportunity for the country to develop. This requires the establishment of excellent scientific centres to master important technologies, and the HUST – Naver AI Centre is a step in the right direction. The centre has more than 50 scientists from HUST and other experts from universities, institutes, and technology groups to work in areas related to AI and AI applications.

To promote automation, industry 4.0 utilises ultra-high-speed connectivity, AI, machine learning, and real-time data. Hanoi wants AI to raise public sector productivity, particularly online public services to reduce processing and waiting times, public servant numbers, and other costs. Using AI to boost national security is also high on the agenda. If realised, Vietnam’s 2030 targets will take it into ASEAN’s top four and the world’s top 50 countries in terms of AI research, development, and application.

Earlier in March, Hanoi announced its plan to install free WiFi hotspots around the city as part of its aim to digitally transform and improve tourism in the capital city. Currently, 25 free WiFi hotspots have been set up at popular tourist destinations in Hanoi. Hanoi will set up nine more hotspots over the next few months.

The government is currently making efforts to implement its National Programme on Digital Transformation with a 10-year vision, under which the country will research, develop, and master a series of “Made in Vietnam” digital products. Furthermore, the Minister of Information and Communications, Nguyen Manh Hung, recently said that the ICT sector has the central responsibility to digitally transform and make Vietnam a high-income country.

At a meeting with representatives of the ICT industry, the Minister said that industry 4.0 is mainly related to the digital revolution; that is digital technology and transformation. Each new industrial revolution will create opportunities for only a few countries to make breakthroughs to become developed countries. The nuclear responsibility in digital transformation has been given to the ICT sector, community, and associations.

IT experts say it is necessary to immediately deploy a number of solutions to be able to master digital infrastructure and digital platforms towards developing safe national cyberspace as well as learning “Make in Vietnam” production technology.

Additionally, it is important to ensure IT system safety to make Vietnamese application platforms more popular. The government wants digital technologies and services to be universal with reasonable prices and convenient for everyone.

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