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Self-service Takes Center Stage in Southeast Asia

January 22, 2020

At the forefront of the convenience economy, Singaporeans (62.4%) and Thais (44.2%) are significantly ahead of their regional peers when it comes to adopting AI-enabled customer support for resolving support tickets. In contrast, Chat is the dominant self-help channel for Malaysians (18.2%) and Indonesians (16.4%), reflecting how consumer behaviour is being shaped by mobile-first economies.  Messaging as a form of customer support is also beginning to take root across the region. Filipinos (42.9%) are the heaviest users of messaging channels, such as WhatsApp and LINE, for customer engagement in Southeast Asia, with Malaysians (3.7%) coming in at a distant second, followed by Thais (2.9%) in third. Industries, too, are turning to messaging – regarded globally for their capabilities to deliver a seamless service experience, the retail (68%), travel (63%) and financial services (60%) industries are also among the heaviest adopters of messaging for customer support in the region. Convenience is at the top of consumers' minds, and our research shows that brands are becoming increasingly savvy about how they sell to and reach them. Empowered customers with high expectations are constantly comparing experience and rating services, and this can make or break a brand’s competitiveness. In Southeast Asia, brands like DANA and StashAway are turning to AI-enabled tools as they grow to effectively scale CX, ensuring that they continue to deliver on customer service as a competitive edge. AI and automation is elevating CX performance Customers’ top priority when it comes to service is speed – they want their issues solved quickly and effectively. As AI-enabled customer support continues to thrive in Southeast Asia, Zendesk’s research found that improvements across various performance metrics have more than doubled in the past year. For example, the ideal first reply and resolution times dropped from 11.8 hours to 2.6 hours, and 16.4 hours to 4.8 hours respectively. These improvements – while significant in just one year – only translate to a +0.2% year-on-year improvement in Southeast Asia’s CSAT score (86.1%), reinforcing that rate at which customer expectations are rising is exponential. Malcolm Koh, CX Strategist APAC , Zendesk: “AI-enabled support driven by insights from customer data has opened new doors for brands like Bukalapak and Minor Hotels to deliver more personalised experiences. Improvements in insights and analytics can mean that Southeast Asia’s businesses are becoming more proficient at managing customer data, substantially improving customer experience and loyalty. In fact, research from Forrester found that when customers are engaged in the right way, with the right emotion, they’re even willing to pay a premium.” CSAT across Southeast Asia Shaped by various countries across different stages of digital maturity, the average Southeast Asian CSAT score has experienced a steady +1.5% climb to peak at 86.1% over the past two years. Thanks to the benefits of being a later-adopter of customer support technology, Malaysia retains its regional lead for happy customers with a 89.3% CSAT score while Singapore experienced the biggest growth (+5.3%) to 88.1% during the same period.  As digital infrastructures continued to mature across Southeast Asia, so did its steady rise in CSAT scores. Malcolm Koh, CX Strategist APAC , Zendesk: “The key to high performing CX teams is a robust AI strategy backed by data insights and automation to effectively scale support. Looking forward, businesses across Southeast Asia will need to examine how AI can permeate more channels – including social media – for customers to self-serve, especially in reaching out to a growing demographic of highly discerning Gen Zs.”  For more information, please refer to the Zendesk Customer Experience Trends Report 2020 and press release appended below. Companies can also get their industry-specific CX scorecards by going to: https://www.zendesk.com/customer-experience-trends/#scorecard

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Stanley Dragon Boat Ass’n of HK to officiate: All set for 2nd Spring Festival Dragon Boat Race

January 17, 2020

Residents and visitors to Cagayan de Oro will be treated to another spectacle when the 2nd Spring Festival Dragon Boat Race gets going on January 25-26, 2020 at the Cagayan River along Barangay Kauswagan. “Dragon Boat Kagay-an operates on a skeletal force to minimize high overhead costs,” said Dragon Boat Kagay-an President and Race Organizer John W. Asuncion. “We would like to ask everyone’s cooperation by sending the accomplished registration forms as early as possible.” The spectacle gets going on Friday, January 24 with the Water Test and Team Manager’s Meeting at New Dawn Hotel Plus at 5PM. The race proper will feature 200 meter short boat races on Saturday, January 25 and 500 meter short boat races on Sunday, January 26. Some 22 teams of approximately 350 paddlers and crew have signed up so far to join the races. There will be 3 categories for the 200-meter races (Short Boat Open, Short Boat Open U24 and Short Boat Mixed U24) and two in the 500 meter races (Short Boat Open U24 and Short Boat Mixed U24). Eight teams have already signed up for the Corporate Category include the following: River Star Aggregates; Oroport Cargo Handling Services Inc.;  Chinese Community of Cagayan de Oro;  Cagayan de Oro Volunteer Fire Brigade; Cocorica-Pizzarella Lancers; San Miguel Beer Dragons; Sutherland-Dragon Warriors Davao; and AISAT (Asian International School Aeronautics and Technology) - Hiraya Minokawa Dabaw. Four teams will be competing so far in the Government Service Category: Fire Breathers (BFP, PNP, AFP, PNA); Cantilan Red Dragons – LGU; Rainbow Dragons of the Office of Cong. Klarex Uy; and Haguroz Dragon Boat Team (Tagbilaran Bohol LGU). However, competition is expected to be stiffest in the Under-24 (U24) category where ten team have already signed up to join: Cantilan Red Dragons;  Banawa Paddlers (formerly KTD); Liceo Dragonoids; Rapid Riders; CGY Oro Dragons; St. Mary’s School PE Class Team A;  St. Mary’s School PE Class Team B; Brave Heart Dragon Boat Team; River Star Aggregates and Dragon Warriors Davao.  “We will also be auctioning 4 pcs. of 2nd hand carbon fiber paddles exclusively for participants to the 2nd Spring Festival Dragon Boat Race,” Asuncion said. “Paddles will be numbered and can be inspected 10minutes before auction starts. Auction is on Jan 25 (Saturday), 630am at the race site. Starting bid is set at P2, 000 and only cash payments will be accepted.” To encourage more participants to join the races, Dragon Boat Kagay-an will provide a helm and/or drummer free-of-charge (specially for newly formed teams), Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs) will be also be provided for free and free school billeting for out-of-town teams. “Three lucky teams participating in the 2nd Spring Festival Dragon Boat Race will dine at New Dawn Hotel Plus’ Topview Restobar, P.O.P.S. All-Filipino Eatery and Boy Zugba on Jan 25!” Asuncion said. “New Dawn Hotel Plus is our Official Partner Hotel for the 2nd Spring Festival Dragon Boat Race and special discounts will be given to participating teams for their meals and accommodations,” he added. Gracing this year’s race will be five  officials from the prestigious Stanley Dragon Boat Association, Hong Kong (the race organizer of Stanley International Dragon Boat Championships) who will be conducting a training course for aspiring race officials. Over the past four decades, the Stanley Residents Association has been integral in the growth and evolution of Dragon Boating - from being a long standing Chinese tradition to being one of the most popular international water sports today. The annual Stanley International Dragon Boat Championships held in Hong Kong stands today as one of the largest tournaments of its kind with over 220 teams joining in the festive competition from around the world. The Basic Dragon Boat Race Official Training Course will be held from January 22-26  by Mr. Edwin Hou, Vice Chairman of the Stanley Dragon Boat Association, Hong Kong. The training includes 10 hrs. of classroom sessions,12 hrs. of hands-on officiating during the race, written and oral examinations, post-race evaluation, assessment and recommendations, and signed certificates for the successful trainees. “We already have 25 participants for this free course,” Asuncion said. “Actual hands-on examination will be during the 2nd Spring Festival Dragon Boat Race on January 25-26. However, our trainer has graciously offered to open five more slots for the course.” Participants to the Race Officials Training Course include local teams (Brave Heart, Ateneo Blue Dragons, St. Mary’s School Team Eeezeh),  Cebu (Cebu Pink Paddlers), Cantilan, Surigao del Sur (Cantilan Red Dragons), Davao (Hiraya Minolawa,Team Hydra DBT, Amihan),Iligan City, and Hong Kong (Spanish Dragons). Through the efforts of Mr. Ian Zapanta, St. Mary’s School will host the Race Officials Training Course. “It makes it more meaningful being the first school to adopt Dragon Boat Racing as part of their P.E. curriculum,” Asuncion noted. The 2nd Spring Festival Dragon Boat Race is sponsored by Rep. Klarex Uy (1st District, Cagayan de Oro), Barangay Carmen through Bgy. Chair Lorna Uy, Vice Mayor Kikang Uy and New Dawn Hotel Plus (Official Partner Hotel).

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Yam Concepcion stars in 'Night Shift' horror movie

January 14, 2020

Writer/director Yam Laranas and actress Yam Concepcion work together for the first time in “Night Shift”, Viva Films’ first horror presentation in cooperation with Alliud Entertainment for the year 2020. Set in a hospital morgue, the movie revolves around a pathologist’s assistant named Jessie who’s working on a straight shift one stormy night.  She doesn’t believe in the afterlife, but she is suddenly creeped out by the strange sounds that seem to be coming from the cadavers.  She cannot shake off the feeling that they seem to be coming back to life.  As her fear intensifies, Jessie begins to ponder on the idea of the Final Judgment.  And if indeed the day has come that people rise from the dead, she is tormented about meeting her own end.   Yam Laranas has been praised for his previous horror movies, such as “Aurora” (2018), “The Road” (2011), and “Sigaw” (2004), for which he won a Special Award at the Brussels International Festival of Fantasy Film (BIFFF).   In an interview conducted by thewrap.com on how to make a horror movie, Laranas said, “I want to see what’s real out there and I translate them into (a) real scary (story) because that has a connection to a lot of people…It becomes relatable.  And when you translate that into something horrifying, it touches people’s fears, nightmares and skeletons in their closet.” He also added that “location is another character in a horror film.  It is where fear and paranoia are created.”  This statement is well depicted in the movie trailer where Yam Concepcion is seen all alone in cold hallways with flickering lights, a room with rows of beds with cadavers, Yam running from what appears to be a group of zombies, and more.   The director also points out the importance of music in elevating the fear and enhancing the mood of the horror movie.  That’s why he has teamed up once again with the award-winning gentlemen (Oscar Fogelström and Albert Michael Idioma) that created the music and sound for “Aurora”.  “I am impressed how efficient every single one is in the team,” wrote Yam Concepcion in one of her Instagram posts that shows her in the set of their movie.  She commends director Yam Laranas for being a good leader that runs the whole production.  She further wrote, “So lucky to be part of this movie project and to be working with all of you.”   .   This is Yam’s first lead role in a horror movie.  She was very convincing as a villain in the drama series   “Halik” on ABS-CBN, it’s about time she shows us her acting prowess in the horror genre, especially with the big twist that the movie has in store.   “Night Shift” opens in cinemas on January 22, 2020.  

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Krispy Kreme flexes Original Glazed and more in 2020

January 7, 2020

  KRISPY Kreme is known for our sweet treats. However, what we want to provide our customers something that goes beyond what they put in their mouths. We want to satisfy their sweet tooth and treat them by providing happy moments every time they encounter Krispy Kreme in any kind of way.   With this, we ask, "What else can we offer to satisfy the cravings of our customer?" And we in Krispy Kreme Philippines thought: timeless, craveable American treats.   Krispy Kreme being known as a provider of Sweet Treats, we will go the extra smile for our fans and even non-customers.   With this, we have come up with the Krispy Kreme Popcorn in two of our most iconic flavors: Original Glazed and Chocolate Glaze that will surely be a hit among our fans!   Anchoring our 2020 products on Original Glazed doughnuts to further amplify our brand efforts, our iconic world-famous melt in your mouth doughnuts are now in Choco Hazelnut.   We have come up with an Original Glazed doughnut, lightly glazed with Chocolate Hazelnut. The Chocolate Hazelnut Glazed Doughnut will surely be a hit among our fans as this flavor has a great following in the Philippines especially with the popularity of Nutella. This will be available in vanilla cake and cake bites and will be included in the assorted box of nine bites.   As Filipinos are heavy smackers and are always on the go, it is just the right time for us to finally launch the OG Bites - our bestselling melt in your mouth doughnut in a bite-size format.   It will be positioned as part of our Bites lineup and will be available in six: OG Bites Cup of seven, pre-assorted box of nine, OG Bites Bucket of 24 and OG Bites Bucket of 45 .

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Amazing Tech innovations for 2019 Revealed

January 4, 2020

Well, Year 2020 is pretty much interesting with the advent of the emerging tech innovations that brought tech savvy people more concern about safety and data breach challenges. While technology brings '"ohh and ahh" to everyone of us but it also brings dangers and risks to humans. Have you tried listing your top tech innovations for 2019? Oh common, even if we don't belong to the so-called millennial and to the tech savvy human beings, we need to be upgraded also of the latest in technology. Whether we like it or not, we also belong to this new world, wherein, technology matters. It's our life now...common it's Year 2020 now. Embrace the new world of gadgets and tech innovations! Okay, here are my top 4 tech innovations, have you? 1. IoT  In my country, it sounds "oh yeah" or sexual intercourse but it's not what you are thinking man! It is "Internet of Things" though. And it is one of the hot topics for tech experts in 2019. They said that while IoT brings good news to everyone but it also, likewise, poses threats to every user. Now for the ordinary people, what is IoT? Well, we will discuss this step by step to make things clearer to us, right? IoT, or what is known as the "Internet of Things" is actually referring to over billion devices all over the globe which are all connected to the worldwide web or what is commonly known as the Internet. These devices are connected to the net either by wi-fi or sensors. Many call it a giant connectivity of devices serving different purposes. It is basically a giant network of different objects that are dependent on the internet. They collect data and this huge data is analysed and exchanged in many different process of all these devices.    Tech expert company Gartner said around 8.4 billion IoT devices were used in 2017. Some of these IoT-connected devices are washing machine, a phone, refrigerator, watch and even a car. It's also been tried and tested that IoT can become components of systems and machines including an airplane engine as well as oil rig. This year, it is predicted that IoT devices is expected to hit 20.4 billion. Spending’s for IoT all over the world has reached to a whopping $2 Trillon in 2017. IoT is simply digital intelligence that makes every device smarter than that of its own usage. When devices are connected to IoT, they become smarter. Among the best examples are a smart refrigerator, a smartwatch and a smartphone of course! So when you are at a grocery store and you forgot to open your ref to see what's lacking, you just simply connect to your connected ref to your smartphone and you can already see your ref in just a blink of an eye. Wow, my ref has no more "red wine," Oh yeah, I need to buy one haha." You see the scenario? That's the ultimate power of IoT. 2. Blockchain Sounds familiar? Yeah, the blockchain concept became talk of the town in 2019 when Facebook announced it is going to introduce a new currency. Of course, there were mixed reactions of this announcement. Other people and loyal Facebook fanatics supported the idea of Mark Zuckerberg but other quarters responded negatively to this new currency. But despite strong oppositions, Facebook executives vowed to introduce this again at the right time. Well, there are a lot of groups who explored the possibility of implementing blockchain purposely to remedy the threats of money transactions all over the web. "Blockchain came down crushing from its peak of hype cycle, and that's probably for the best," said Julia Moiseeva, a member of the community's leadership group and founder of CLaaS (C-Level as a Service) Management Solutions Ltd, in the release. "Now that the luster of novelty and furor of the masses are gone, the dynamic of work around blockchain took a complete U-turn, again, for the best." Artificial Intelligence (AI) Well, well, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is also one of the best tech innovations impacting how businesses interact with customers through the intelligent bots and websites, according to a report. The biggest impact on this technology was on the retail as well as the healthcare industry. Maddy Martin, community vice chair and also Smith.ai's head for growth and education, says "The largest impacts across all industries—from retail to healthcare, hospitality to finance—are felt when AI improves data security, decision-making speed and accuracy, and employee output and training." "With more capable staff, better-qualified sales leads, more efficient issue resolution, and systems that feed actual data back in for future process and product improvements, companies employing AI technologies can use resources with far greater efficiency. Best of all, as investment and competition increase in the AI realm, costs are reduced," she adds. 4. 5G 5G networks also made headlines in many online tech innovations for 2019. In fact, the war between tech giant Huawei and US President Donald Trump has made China decide on making its own 5G platform to continue operating all over the globe even without using the US internal operating system. (iOS) CompTIA reports that the rise of 5G networks is tremendously increasing human's ability to move, analyse and manipulate the wireless platform. This year and the coming years, there will be more astounding innovations and upgrades for the 5G network, according to the report.  "The development and deployment of 5G is going to enable business impact at a level few technologies ever have, providing wireless at the speed and latency needed for complex solutions like driverless vehicles," says Michael Haines, community chair and director of partner incentive strategy and program design for Microsoft. Wither we like it or not, but technology will continue to evolve to give mankind more interesting technology, gadgets and internet-powered inventions and innovations. These are all for the new millennium powered by internet and technology. And it is only in embracing this amazing development that will also rise for us to benefit.          

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The Manila Jockey Club launches The Front Runner

December 20, 2019

The Manila Jockey Club bookended its 150th anniversary with a book launch of its sesquicentennial coffee-table book “The Front Runner”. The historic launch at the Manila Golf & Country Club on December 16, 2019 was attended by no less than Manila Jockey Club’s executive chairman Alfonso R. Reyno, Jr. and MJC president Alfonso Victorio G. Reyno III.   The Front Runner captures in insightful text and beautiful images MJC’s run through Philippine history from being the favored pastime sport of the social elite more than 150 years ago to being the enduring, thrill-a-second populist sport that it is today. Within its 300 pages, the book takes the reader through the history of horse racing in the Philippines, through two wars—the Philippine Revolution and World War II—and through the historic transfer of the hippodrome from San Lazaro, Manila to the modern race tracks of the newly built San Lazaro Leisure Park in Carmona, Cavite.   “No such chronicle of horse-racing history has been produced before,” pointed out Attorney Reyno III. “The book captures the essence of how horse racing was born and kept alive in the Philippines over the course of 150 years, and how MJC played a central role in all that.”   Also at the launch were members of the MJC book-project team led by MJC Director, Corporate Counsel & General Counsel, Atty. Ferdinand. A Domingo, MJC COO and VP for resource administration Attorney Peter G. Zagala, MJC VP for marketing Eduardo Ramirez de Arellano and MJC VP for MIS Carlos S. Tan.  Ramoncito Ocampo Cruz, the CEO and executive/creative director of Media Wise Communications, a many-time winner of the prestigious Anvil and Quill publication awards, said that producing The Front Runner showed how MJC “has evolved over time, and how it continues to innovate and gallop toward a rosier future through bold business strategies and strategic partnerships.”

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