PH companies begin to embrace machine learning amid pandemic

Several Philippine companies have accelerated the adoption of machine learning—an automation technology that allows computers to analyze and predict—to cope with the challenging situation brought by the coronavirus pandemic.

“Machine learning is a reality now.  If you are not leveraging machine learning, then you’re gonna be sort of left behind,” Jonathan Dixon, head of the Enterprise Business Segment in Asia Pacific and Japan at Amazon Web Services, the world’s largest cloud solution provider, says in a virtual interview.

He says the adoption of machine learning and other digital solutions has picked up since the onset of the pandemic. “We believe digital transformation will continue to accelerate. What was possible in five years will now become possible in a shorter time frame as we continue to move forward,” he says.

Dixon, an Australian national based in Singapore, is an experienced executive with a successful history of working in the information technology and services industry. He has been with AWS, the cloud computing unit of Seattle-based Amazon, for more than four years. Before this, he was with Cisco.

Amazon, as a group, is the world’s largest online marketplace and Internet company by revenue, which made founder and chief executive Jeff Preston Bezos the undisputed wealthiest man on the planet.

“What I love about my job is I get to talk to enterprise customers across the region—to really help them around how they transform,” Dixon says via Amazon Chime, Amazon’s video conferencing app that rivals Zoom.

Machine learning is one of the 175 services offered by AWS which helps companies around the world in their digital transformation journey.  From data storage and networking company, AWS has emerged as a powerful provider of highly-sophisticated digital technologies such as robotics, machine learning, artificial intelligence, data lakes, analytics, internet of things and augmented reality. 

It offers these solutions to conglomerates, large enterprises, start-ups, small and medium enterprises and government agencies to help them become more agile and reduce IT costs. 

Among its customers in the Philippines are Globe Telecom, UnionBank of the Philippines, Cebu Pacific, PhilPay and TaskUs—companies that have managed to navigate the new environment amid the pandemic because of their ability to harness cloud solutions and enable their workforce to work from any site.

Dixon says digital transformation during this challenging time will be critical to local business operations in the coming months and years. 

“We are seeing great innovation across all areas. Organizations have bold visions on how to improve customer experience, how they reimagine such experience as growth driver. It is about reinventing continuously—for new business lines, new products and services,” he says.

Dixon says this is particularly evident in Asia Pacific.  “We have a broad range of enterprise organizations that push the edge of their operations,” he says.

These organizations, he says, have great leaders with bold vision who are willing to put their career’s and company’s reputation on the line to be able to execute their bold vision.

“Companies that can do that are much better equipped for maximizing potential market changes, opportunities and challenges,” he says.

“The best enterprises, the best public sector agencies, the best digital-native companies around the world continue to innovate, experiment and learn.  They need to adopt agile processes, and they need to have focus on skills and how they continue to upskill their workforce,” he says.

Dixon says the Philippines is a vibrant market for AWS.  “About 60 percent of bankable customers in the Philippines are willing to shift to digital banks,” he says.

“Cloud is a great way to give customers the ability to go global in minutes, innovate in behalf of their customers and be very agile around opportunities,” he says.

“We are really focused on the Philippines which is a great place for great innovation,” he says.

Topics: machine learning , coronavirus pandemic , Amazon Web Services , AWS , cloud solution provider
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