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Filipinos are a special people — Microsoft COO

Filipinos broke a world record for social networking service Twitter, sending 41 million tweets on Oct. 24 for a television program’s hashtag.  This proves that Filipinos are the most active people in social media, a fact that can define the country’s future, according to a Microsoft executive.

“The population of the Philippines is more than 100 million.  Of that, 60 million are potential workforce who are cloud-first, mobile first.  If we look at economic conditions here, that 60 million, that is the future.  That is the next generation of workers,” says Cian O’Neill, chief operations officer of Microsoft Philippines Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of US software giant Microsoft Corp.

Microsoft Philippines Inc. chief operations officer Cian O’Neill
O’Neill, an Irish national who studied in Dublin, has been living in the Philippines for a year now.  He manages the growth strategy, marketing and operations of Microsoft in the Philippines.

He joined Microsoft in 2004, and prior to that, worked for Accenture and Fidelity Investments.  He has been assigned to different countries, but O’Neill sees something special with the Philippines.

“Filipinos have the hunger for technology.  They are technology-savvy and they are active in social media.  You don’t get that in other parts of the world.  We are the Facebook capital of the world, the Twitter capital of the world.  There is something special with the Philippines,”  O’Neill says in an interview, during the media launch of Office 2016 in Makati City.

He says the large workforce of Filipinos who are exposed to the Internet and mobile technologies gives the country a competitive advantage, which if enhanced and supported, can make a big difference for the future of the Philippines.

O’Neill, citing the results of Asia Pacific-wide New World of Work study, conducted by global consultancy firm Organization Solutions, says Filipino workers are hungry to harness modern tools to be more productive and competitive.    “We see that the appetite, the aspirations are there.  The Philippines ranks No. 3 across Asia in the New World of Work Index,” he says.

The index is derived from respondents who rated themselves highly in the three key pillars of people, place and technology. The score shows the number of employees who feel their employers are enabling them to be productive, collaborative and innovative while ensuring personal well-being.  It involved 400 respondents in the Philippines and thousands more in 11 other countries in Asia-Pacific.

The study shows that employees have the capability to work flexibly and productively in the digital modern work place; they can work flexibly, anywhere at any time; and they are empowered with technology to enable them to succeed in this environment, allowing collaborative work wherever they may go.

The Philippines received a score of 59 out of possible 100, higher than the Asia-Pacific mean score of  44.  It ranked third among 12 countries, just behind India with 65 and Indonesia with 59.

O’Neill says Microsoft commissioned the study to understand how work and life have changed for employees in Asia Pacific and determine how much they are supported by their employers to succeed.

He says while technology plays a key role to enable ‘work from anywhere’ scenarios and higher productivity, other aspects such as organizational culture, policies, infrastructure, enabling collaboration or the ability to break down barriers to innovation are becoming increasingly important for an organization undergoing digital transformation.

About 69.5 percent of Filipino respondents said they are required to respond to internal stakeholders within four hours; and 72.5 percent said that they are required to respond to external customers within four hours.

The study found that employees in the Philippines are using more personal devices (51 percent) to get work done while 75 percent are also using online tools that go beyond just email – document and file sharing, storage, virtual meetings and social.

About 75 percent of respondents in the Philippines use at least four to five online services to enable their work needs, higher than the Asia-Pacific level of 71 percent. 

When ranked, the top five online services used by Filipino employees for work are email (89 percent), social tools (79 percent), document collaboration tools (74 percent), virtual meeting tools (70 percent) and file sharing services (70 percent).

O’Neill says when companies adopt the New World of Work principles, they are able to gain new business insights, realize greater operational efficiency, communicate and collaborate real time.

He says the New World of Work presents four clear benefits including a more productive workforce, a more collaborative workforce, a more innovative workforce and a happier workplace. 

O’Neill says Microsoft solutions for business enable organizations to work collaboratively anywhere, with the same familiar experience across personal computers, tablets and mobile devices.  He says Microsoft is reinventing productivity to empower people and organizations to achieve more. 

O’Neill says globally, 110 million devices are now running on Windows 10, the latest operating system of Microsoft, while millions of devices also use Office 365.

He says the new Office 2016 is designed for teamwork and mobility, allowing basic co-authoring and sharing of documents. 

Topics: Filipinos are a special people , Microsoft COO
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