From telephones to the increasingly sophisticated and varied uses of the internet, telecommunications has come a long way from the time it first reached Philippine shores over a century ago in 1878.
For many businesses, the onset of the digital age has meant more and better ways to connect with each; faster and more efficient transactions with their customers and improved ways to manage and secure data. More than ever, telecommunication services have become an important tool for businesses, allowing them to know more, respond faster and communicate better in this now borderless world. Eastern Communications, the pioneering connectivity solutions company providing an extensive portfolio of services that include Internet, Data, Voice, and Managed Services, knows this having been the first communications service provider in the Philippines.
The company, as many may know, was commissioned by the Spanish government to provide the country’s first telegraphic services and since then, has opened up new frontiers in telecommunications that has transformed industries and allowed businesses to flourish.
Over a century later, Eastern Communications has evolved into a full service provider of world-class telecommunications services, as it continues to be the solutions partner of choice for the biggest industry players in the country.
The company takes pride in being the first Philippine telecommunications company to receive the ISO 9001:2015 mark for its business operations, proving its ability to deliver cutting-edge products with service that’s unwavering, unflagging, and undeniably strong.
With its 140-year strong legacy of creating strong connections, Eastern Communications is committed to continued innovation when it comes to delivering products that will answer the needs of modern workplaces while at the same time, giving personalized service that will help businesses thrive.
“140 years is a milestone for us. The company has been witness to how communications services have played a crucial role in improving Filipino businesses and changing the lives of the Filipino people throughout history. More importantly, the company is also witness and an active participant to the enduring and constant need of its customers to connect with each other, no matter how many times technology has changed over the decades,” said Catherine Muynila, Marketing Division Head of Eastern Communications.
The Eastern Brand: Our Strong Connection
For Eastern Communications, the company’s success and longevity in the industry can be attributed to its belief that telecommunication has always been about creating and maintaining a strong and personal connection. The company has always been committed to bringing its portfolio of dependable and affordable internet, data, and voice products, and relevant business-centric managed offerings to new horizons while never forgetting the importance of human connections through its unique brand of “high tech and high touch” service.
The company brought this vision to the fore with its rebranding campaign. Called “Our Strong Connection,” the clarion call of the campaign is to “bring back the human connection in the business of communications technology” and a re-commitment of Eastern Communications to their clients to providing them with personalized service and customized solutions to fit a client’s business needs.
From entrepreneurs to established companies, Eastern Communications has promised to become the partner of businesses of all sizes in achieving their goals and their bridge to overcoming obstacles that they encounter along the way.
“This is our two-pronged approach to our new brand – high tech means that we offer products and services that are at par with other telecommunication companies but we are also high touch as we offer personalized customer service to our clients. While we strive to give our customers products and services that are both timely and innovative, we will never lose sight of the people who will actually use the technology,” shared Muynila.
With High Tech, Eastern Communications unveiled its exciting internet portfolio, new products specific to the SME industry and its network modernization program to provide even stronger connections to its current customers in 2018, while for High Touch, customers were delighted as Eastern Communications unveiled its exciting client recognition program.
“What makes Eastern Communications unique is that we are large enough and with our long history, have expertise at par with other large telcos but we are just the right size to deliver on our promise of responsive and personalized customer service. We are business made especially personal,” she stressed.
Our Strong Connection – The Internal Campaign of Eastern Communication’s Re-branding — received an Award of Merit in the Communication Management Division under the Internal Communication Category at the recently concluded 16th Philippine Quill Awards.
With its refreshed brand, Eastern Communications has looked forward to satisfying more businesses and households with new and innovative product lines and services, inviting them to discover the “strong connection” the company can provide during its 140th anniversary.
P900 million for Network modernization
Continuing its vision of providing the Philippine market with innovative services and a faster, more reliable internet connection, Eastern Communications has embarked on a modernization program spending some P900 million for 2018 alone.
The expenditure funded Eastern Communications’ network coverage and capacity expansion, as well as its network resiliency, security, and efficiency programs in Metro Manila, CALABAR, Central Luzon, and Metro-Cebu.
Answering the government’s call to support emerging businesses, which currently constitute about 99.6 percent of the country’s business landscape, Eastern Communications aims to provide enhanced technology that is affordable and accessible to emerging businesses.
They have also upgraded their bandwidth to address the increasing connectivity demands of different industries in the country. For example, the BPO sector, projected to become a $40-billion industry by 2022 based on a 16% annual growth rate, is looking for better bandwidth to enable faster transactions in high volumes, creating a satisfying customer experience while lowering marginal costs.
“Our network modernization program is geared towards the provisioning and migration of Eastern Communications’ Internet and Data Services onto higher capacity, more resilient, better secured, and fiber-based Internet and Data Services Networking solutions. Our vision is to continue on the path of progress and ensure we deliver high tech and high touch service to our customers, especially to emerging businesses,” shared Senior Vice President-Network Services Division Albert L. Tuason.
A key component of the modernization plan is the creation of a network resilient to the cyber threats and security issues that are besetting the Philippine cyberspace. The network security upgrade is the company’s initiative to help improve cybersecurity in the country and ensure the safety of its customers in terms of privacy and network integrity. Microsoft ranked the Philippines as the 8th most vulnerable country to malware in Asia-Pacific; while the FBI identified he country as the 10th most attacked one in the internet globally.
The P900 million capital expenditure is an addition to the P2 to 3 billion that has already been invested over the past two to three years, Eastern Communications shared.
VIP Link Platinum Club launched
To reward its long-time partners in this milestone year, Eastern Communications also launched its client recognition and service differentiation program dubbed the Eastern Link VIP Platinum Club, where members get to enjoy a variety of perks and privileges from the company that will further help them build their business.
Platinum members are entitled to a dedicated senior staff that will handle their billing, credit and collection concerns. They will also have direct access to the Service Operations Team with an exclusive email address and hotline for their concerns, manned by experienced and dedicated customer experience agents with an automatic email call back program for faster isolation and resolution of faults. Regular call outs are included in the program to ensure better customer satisfaction, paired with the annual Service-Level Agreement (SLA) review.
Eastern Communications’ Head of Sales Michael Castaneda said, “This program aims to recognize our platinum members for their continued and unwavering loyalty to our company and our services. We want to provide our platinum members with unparalleled service as we cater to their business requirements and build on our Strong Connection.”
During the event, Atty. Aileen Regio also mentioned that the company‘s customer satisfaction rating continue to increase despite the challenging business environment.
“All the exclusive perks and privileges we presented are just the beginning of our journey to provide customers with high-tech and high-touch solutions such as managed security services and cloud solutions” added Edsel Paglinawan, Head of Product Innovation.
The program highlighted Platinum Members from different industries where each member was acknowledged and given a plaque of appreciation. A special recognition was given to The Manila Hotel for being the company’s most loyal client, with a continued partnership of more than 20 years.
After a toast celebrating the occasion, the Platinum members were also treated to a performance from the renowned vocal group, The Company, who serenaded them with classic and contemporary tunes, plus tracks from the Broadway hit, the Lion King – which served as a teaser for the giveaway of Lion King Tickets for all the members.
To support businesses and their growth in its 140th year, Eastern Communications also hosted the Exceed Business Expo, designed to help companies thrive in the digital age.
The Exceed Business Expo held in key cities in Metro Manila over June and July touched on various topics such as digital security preparedness, marketing and branding advice, and even shared IT predictions for various industries that will enable emerging businesses and enterprises gear up for success in the business arena.
The morning session opened with a talk on Cybersecurity from Gen Macalinao of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), who explained the increasing importance of safeguarding digital channels when doing business in the digital world, given that no industry or institution – whether public or private – is immune to cyber-attacks.
Meanwhile, Bill Velasco, veteran freelance sports analyst and entrepreneur, talked about how to create strong connections in the digital sphere in an era of accelerated change.
Anchoring his talk on five basic principles, Velasco shared that to stay connected to their customers, companies must first, decide what they stand for, second, to identify weaknesses and turn them into strengths, third, openness to what the world can offer, fourth, to look for connections and relationships even between things that may not seem related, and finally, to be the revolution or the ripple that will bring waves of change.
Break-out sessions were provided in the afternoon with two tracks: High Tech, which focused on integrating technology into business processes, and how it can exponentially upscale your workplace; and the High Touch sessions which included sessions on the importance of PR, tips on digital marketing and how to brand your business for success.
Meanwhile, the evening was dedicated towards providing insights for enterprises, led by Trend Micro Philippines’ Jessica Bernardo who shared the top ten IT predictions for the year.
For 140 years, Eastern Communications has provided for the telecommunication needs of different sector in the country. And as they enter the digital age, the company is committed towards bringing the competitive advantage and possibilities of digitization to more companies and entrepreneurs.
Products for the modern workplace
As part of its 140th celebration, Eastern Communications also recently launched new products for the modern workplace: a variety of connectivity products and solutions such as Global Data, DDOS Protection, Microsoft Azure and Office 365 and Managed SD-WAN (Wide Area Network) services.
High Speed Global Data Services
Eastern Communications has added EIPL (Ethernet International Private Line) and Global MPLS (Multi-Protocol Label Switching) to its data portfolio. Their EIPL and Global MPLS services provide high speed, point-to-point, and point to multipoint service that transmits simultaneous two-way traffic between customer locations in the Philippines and across the world.
These services are well suited for businesses in industries with overseas branches and offices such as banking and finance, manufacturing, transport and distribution, ICT and business process outsourcing companies.
Through partnerships with global carriers, Eastern Communications is able to provide global business connectivity with reliable and scalable high bandwidth speeds starting at 1Mbps or higher. They can also commit to industry standard service levels with guaranteed network availability based on service level agreements between Eastern and global carriers.
Managed Software Defined-Wide Area Networks
Managed Software Defined-Wide Area Network or Managed SD-WAN enables enterprises to dynamically route traffic across a hybrid WAN. Perfect for companies with multi-site and multi-branch businesses, the use of a Hybrid WAN allows for improved routing of bandwidth and the optimization of network transport services. It means more bandwidth availability for business-critical apps for better performance.
This service also delivers other benefits such as improved network visibility and control, security, and better network planning and operations as companies can control the entire network through a single interface and enforce policies with ease based on business requirements.
Managed WiFi Mesh
Managed WiFi Mesh allows households or small businesses to have access to strong internet across the entire house or office. Without the hassle of cabling and setting it up, Eastern Communications’ WiFi Mesh creates a whole new WiFi network, different from your current router’s WiFi that provides rich interconnection beyond concrete walls and multi-stories. Most importantly, there will be zero dead spot as the WiFi Mesh completely covers the customer premise.
Better Cybersecurity through DDoS Protection
DDoS attacks or Distributed Denial of Service attacks are one of the fastest growing threats in the cyber-attack landscape. A Denial of Service attack is when a server is deliberately targeted with very large numbers of requests, in order to block or crash the server. DDoS attacks are even more difficult to protect from as it aims to make online services unavailable through overwhelming traffic from multiple sources
Eastern Communications offers the solution to this challenge by offering businesses protection that encompasses different DDoS attacks helping to prevent costly downtime for websites and applications. They have partnered with markets leaders in security to offer a comprehensive approach to DDoS mitigation.
Through Eastern Communications’ Anti-DDoS solution, companies can be protected from Volumetric Attacks which uses a massive amount of traffic saturating the bandwidth of the target, Protocol Attacks which consume all the processing capacity of the attacked-target or intermediate critical resources like a firewall causing service disruption, Application Layer Attacks which establish a connection with the target and then exhaust the server resources by monopolizing processes and transactions, and more.
“Eastern is going beyond connectivity. Aside from our Core solutions, customers love Eastern because of the quality of our services. As such, more and more Managed Services-based products are complementing our Internet, Data, and Voice. We offer end-to-end solutions, from access to the market leaders in cybersecurity to managing your security through unwavering customer support,” Product and Innovation Division Head Edsel Paglinawan explained.
Cloud adoption continues to rise globally and Eastern Communications is here to help Filipino companies reap the benefits of cloud services as it offers Microsoft Azure Virtual Machines and Office 365.
Microsoft Azure Virtual Machines or VM is a comprehensive set of cloud services that developers and IT professionals use to build, deploy, and manage applications through Microsoft’s global network of datacenters.
Azure offers the ability to instantly provision computing resources on demand. Compared to the task of planning and building an on-site data center, along with the requisite hardware upgrades, maintenance costs, server cooling requirements, electricity costs, and use of floorspace—particularly for offices with associated real estate costs— using Azure can lead to significant savings for a company
Meanwhile Office 365 is a subscription plan that include access to Office applications plus other cloud-based productivity services, making work accessible anywhere at anytime.
With its bandwidth capability, array of services and personalized service, Eastern Communications is inviting more businesses to discover the “strong connection” the company can provide.
For more information, visit www.eastern.com.ph.