PLDT, Smart showcase best practices in driving culture of innovation and learning

Leading integrated telco PLDT Inc (PLDT) and its wireless subsidiary Smart Communications, Inc (Smart) are fostering a culture of learning and innovation within the Group by upskilling their employees and harnessing internal platforms to make workflows within the company more seamless.

At the recent “Transform the World of Work at ACHIEVE: Manila” forum hosted by software company ServiceNow, PLDT and Smart Executives Joseph Sermonia and Kristine Hung shared PLDT and Smart’s journey in embracing low-code and no-code platforms, which have led to reduced costs, improved productivity and employee engagement, as the Group continues to look for ways to optimize its processes.

“Our strategy is simple: Modernize, transform and innovate. We want to modernize our legacy applications and align it with our org-wide cloud strategy. We want to transform our company culture into one that is more service-oriented. We also have to innovate–we have to continuously improve and transform great ideas into reality,” said Sermonia, a Platform Architect at PLDT.

Hung, Project Manager for PLDT and Smart’s Citizen Development Program, said the rise of “citizen developers” or non-technical employees who are empowered to be change makers and enabled to build automations using no-code or low-code IT-governed platforms will also help free up other IT personnel within the company to handle more complex deliverables and innovations.

“Our vision for the program is to empower anyone in the organization to deliver innovative ideas as a Citizen Developer using no-code/low-code technology, and to bridge the gap between the growing demand to deliver more digital solutions and innovation with improved speed and agility,” she said.

Launched in 2022, PLDT and Smart’s Citizen Developer program was overseen by the Group’s IT team and has produced more than 200 Citizen Developers, with over 100 automation ideas submitted.

Hung cited as an example the impact of the first applications built by Properties and Facilities Management (PFM) Citizen Developers. “With the first applications built 100% by PFM Citizen Developers, the team became more agile and able to process renewals and reports in a shorter amount of time, ahead of time and 100% compliant,” she said.

“This also enabled them to focus on the upkeep of PLDT and Smart’s site equipment and facilities, with their ad hoc activity of monitoring due dates and report consolidation already automated. Centralization of data repository has also provided management with a more cohesive and comprehensive nationwide view of real-time information, allowing them to forecast trends and future expenses,” she added.

On the other hand, Sermonia also cited that the Group’s implementation of a unified IT service management platform has reduced the number of email requests by 88%, nearly doubling case resolution rate, and reducing ticket backlog by a third.

These initiatives to improve internal processes by leveraging technology are fundamental to the aspirational PLDT 2025 vision and strategy laid out by its President and CEO Alfredo S. Panlilio.

Under PLDT’s 2025 vision, the company aims to further strengthen its standing as a premier workplace in the country, bring the best experience to its customers, and establish industry-leading operational excellence across the group. This is also aligned with the Company’s purpose to inspire innovation and meaningful connections.