To serve as many Filipinos, as quickly as possible.
That is the ultimate goal of local tech company Amihan Global Strategies with the launch of its newest product: Cloud Blocks, a cloud-based infrastructure solution that accelerates the digital transformation of large—and more “traditional”—corporations, to make them “as nimble and as exciting as Uber or AirBnB,” says Amihan executive chair Winston Damarillo.
“[The companies that we work with] are the ones who impact Filipino society the most. We bank at BDO, we use PLDT, we eat at Jollibee. So our goal is to provide benefits to the Filipino population as quickly as possible [through these companies], and they need the [digital] infrastructure to make that happen—which is where Cloud Blocks comes in,” Damarillo adds.
Using Google’s Kubernetes Platform, Cloud Blocks provides three basic services: data center modernization, which simplifies one’s IT infrastructure management; innovation platform development, through next-generation, cloud-native applications; and an enterprise data lake, which performs complex analytics real-time to make sense of a company’s data.
The software ultimately transforms legacy companies by helping them execute their digital transformation strategies, Damarillo says.
“They already know they have to transform, but how do they do it, given their traditional systems? How do you incorporate that Silicon Valley approach into conservative companies? That is Cloud Blocks’ function,” explains Damarillo.
“It’s not risky, and you are connected to top leaders [in the industry], like Google and the Cloud Native Computing Foundation, of which Amihan is a member—and we’re the only member [in the Southeast Asian region]. Google has such an efficient system, and if you want that system, say, for BDO, then that’s what we do,” he adds.
Damarillo cites as an example BDO’s chatbot function, which is on Facebook Messenger. As if chatting with a real person, one can ask the bot information such as one’s bank account balance, the latest foreign exchange rate, or the location of the nearest ATM.
“People will say, what about security? The security is already as good as the security you have with Facebook, because this is a cloud solution—you’ve basically given your security tokens to Facebook. So BDO basically just replicates that. It’s a lot easier and more convenient,” Damarillo says. “Try using the BDO app. You get [the information] after so many clicks. A chatbot answers you immediately.”
Aside from BDO, PLDT and Jollibee, Amihan also works with Penshoppe and St. Luke’s Medical Center. Amihan customizes its Cloud Blocks service according to a company’s specific needs, Damarillo says. “What we’re saying is, old companies don’t have to be dinosaurs; they can move fast.”
Steering older companies into the digital future is also part of Amihan’s mission, adds Damarillo. “Our name is Amihan—the trade winds. We’re pushing the sails so that trade happens. And with our services, wherever the trade winds blow, our clients won’t be left behind.”
Damarillo is also particularly proud that Amihan’s Cloud Blocks solution is 100-percent Filipino-engineered—a product that is truly by Filipinos, for Filipinos.
“We’re building our own Silicon Valley here. We’re proving that Filipinos can do this,” he says. “It’s challenging to transform, but we’re here saying to [corporations] that it’s simple, it’s easy—and now there’s a Filipino company that can help you.”
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