This CEO Believes That in 2021, Filipino Technology Deserves the Spotlight
The ongoing health crisis has demonstrated the significance of technology's role in society. Tech trends such as contactless services and paperless transactions were crucial not only in mitigating the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, but also in helping businesses to stay open.
That's why it's crucial for innovators like David Almirol Jr., CEO of leading software development company Multisys Technologies Corporation, to continue to create systems and platforms that will be beneficial to individuals, businesses, and even the government.
Here, the CEO has detailed Multisys’ efforts and vision in improving the lives of Filipinos today and in the years to come:
2020 was a wild year. What were technology’s new roles and functions last year, in terms of how society responded to the COVID-19 pandemic?
David Almirol, Jr.: We focused on IT solutions and system platforms that were instrumental in enabling society to continue running, despite the limitations brought by the pandemic. These have empowered our partners and clients to operate in the new normal, while keeping themselves, their employees and their stakeholders safe from the health hazard.
How has Multisys evolved over the past year? Can you tell us about any major accomplishments or successful projects?
We attribute our successful projects in 2020 to our core value: partners’ empowerment. This is why we launched system platforms that support our e-health, e-learning, and e-government operations.
Under e-health, we launched HealthBox, a healthcare platform that features health management systems for hospitals and clinics. Some of the modules of HealthBox were customized to create StaySafe.ph (the country’s official contact tracing system) and Safify (a digital logbook).
In e-learning, we introduced SchoolBox, a virtual learning platform with a content management system for schools, universities and training centers. We are currently integrating a virtual conferencing feature to equip the platform for the new normal schooling.
Finally, for e-government, our Smart City platform is supporting the government's ease-of-doing-business initiatives. It’s very timely as it promotes cashless, contactless, and paperless transactions to serve the public better.
Let’s talk 2021 and beyond: What are the most immediate new tech trends you foresee, and how will the Philippines adopt those trends?
Many businesses have been affected by the pandemic, and we foresee that e-commerce will continue to flourish. Which is why in the first quarter of the year, we will be introducing StoreBox, DeliveryBox, and PayBox. Together, these create an end-to-end online shopping, e-grocery, and cloud kitchen system with door-to-door delivery services and e-payment features—the complete ecosystem of an e-commerce business. We call this trio our Multistore project. Still, clients can use any one of the three platforms, according to their needs.
This year, we’ll also be launching other platforms—one of which is BlockBox, a private blockchain technology that we were able to develop. This will help us not only to secure our technology and database, but also to build more trust and confidence with our end users. Our BlockBox will be used internally for the moment, but next year, we will be opening this to the public.
We’re also launching the ScoreBox platform that includes Electronic-Know-Your-Customer (eKYC) with credit scoring and face recognition features.
In 2020, we were also able to create a new department: our E-Technology Department, which focuses on new tech trends, such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI).
Among the trends and new technologies you have mentioned, which are you most excited about, and why?
I’m very excited about our “Smarter Philippines” vision, which will be achieved through our Smart City project. Not only will we be helping the government, but we’re also providing ease-of-doing-business to the citizens as well. I’m excited to implement this with more local government units in 2021. Perhaps by midyear, we can start automating dozens of cities and municipalities.
Next is our MultiStore project, composed of three platforms: StoreBox, DeliveryBox and PayBox. It’s a self-service platform where merchants can subscribe and customize their own online store, e-grocery, e-market and cloud kitchen, along with delivery services and e-payment features. It’s a complete e-commerce ecosystem.
What are the most crucial factors in the success of new technologies in 2021?
I think nowadays, we have to believe and trust in Filipino technology. We need to adopt Filipino technologies and welcome them with open arms, so we can achieve greater success in terms of systems implementation. Integration, connectivity, and better infrastructure are also crucial. Without these, we can’t run any technology or system nowadays.
What role does Multisys hope to play in the proliferation of new technologies in the Philippines?
We would like to penetrate new markets the fastest way—that’s our goal these days. We offer new solutions, and many IT companies and partners are embracing them. Our -Box platforms are readily-available to our partners and clients, so they may build their digital strategies in a fast, cost-effective, and more integrated way. This will help them easily jumpstart their businesses in the new normal.
We name our platforms this way because boxes are very easy to carry. We then thought, why not create very light, box-like platforms that businesses can use anytime and anywhere? That’s why we focused on the box concept. Aside from flexibility, there’s also accessibility and lightness. It’s really hard to use a certain technology that’s complex and heavy. These technologies are positioned for very agile development.
Business model flexibility is also important. When we develop something, we make sure we’re venturing with our local and international partners, too. Lastly, we focus on enablement and empowerment. Multisys doesn’t want to compete with anyone. We’d rather lend our strength to them, and if they also offer the same thing, then we can use it. It’s really more of collaboration and partnership.
As the leader of a tech company, how do you encourage innovation among your coworkers?
We have an inclusive company culture and we focus on people. Everything the company accomplishes together is also the accomplishment of our individual people. So it’s about inclusiveness and giving our people ownership of those innovations.
If you check the Multisys Smart Community, you’ll see that we don’t focus on working but playing. So far, it’s not actually work for me. It’s a fun game. You can create while having fun. And as our people have fun in creating things, the production will grow more. That’s why we provide them everything: gadgets, laptops, food and snacks, gym, and other engaging facilities. We also do fun games, sports fest, and team buildings to boost morale.
Through these, we become very creative in bringing the atmosphere of family and friendship to the company. I think these are the factors that encourage people to produce more even without telling them what to do. It's also the reason why they’re happy to be part of a more innovative and creative environment in Multisys.
How do you want people and businesses to perceive Multisys in the years to come?
We want to be part of their growth. We’re not their competition. We are their partner. Multisys developed platforms to help them expand their businesses; not to compete with them. This is why most of our systems can be used by anybody—so that they don’t need to spend more and build more. We’ve already provided a solid foundation of systems that they can use. Hopefully, in the future, the industry will perceive MultiSys as a “digital economy enabler”—since most of our platforms focus on digital economic transformation.