JOS Innovation Awards 2018-19: Winning Teams give Customer Experience a Creative Makeover
Judges from JOS, Manulife, Hong Kong Maxim’s Group and Sino Group impressed with innovative ideas and the integration of everyday technology
The JOS Innovation Awards, an annual competition designed to showcase and nurture Hong Kong students’ creativity and innovation, has announced the four winning teams for 2018-19. The Awards, now in their fourth year, invited student teams to provide ideas on improving customer experience in different sectors, including technology, insurance, food & beverage services and property.
Supported by JOS, a technology solutions provider for Asia’s changing environment, and its partners Manulife, Hong Kong Maxim's Group and Sino Group, the JOS Innovation Awards this year attracted over fifty teams. Those shortlisted attended an interactive sharing session and received guidance from business leaders via the mobile app, Gnnovation. Following an exciting final contest, four teams each won HK$30,000 and further mentorship sessions.
“The JOS Innovation Awards have become a magnet in attracting students interested in demonstrating their creativity, critical thinking, enthusiasm and fresh approaches when troubleshooting,” said Eric Or, Managing Director, Greater China, JOS. “All the teams participating in this years’ Awards demonstrated these qualities and are clearly destined to make a great impact in the business world of the future.”
Over fifty teams of between two and five students responded to the initial call to entry back in December last year, and were then whittled down to thirteen teams. Following a panel discussion on customer experience, the shortlisted teams took part in insight and learning ‘huddles’ with business leaders. These huddles gave students the opportunity to understand and ask about the challenges faced by corporations in closed door sessions.
“This has been a valuable experience for us. We were presented with innovative and actionable ideas aligned to our ambition of becoming a digital, customer-centric market leader,” said Francesco Lagutaine, Chief Marketing and Experience Design Officer, Manulife Asia. “The JOS Innovation Awards 2018-19 dovetails with our own talent programmes to identify, develop and nurture the next generation of future industry leaders.”
“Traditionally, the customer experience at the retail level can have a short lifecycle and needs to be refreshed regularly to remain relevant. This is an area where tremendous time, money and energy is invested,” said Louis Mah, Director of Information Technology, Hong Kong Maxim's Group. “What was especially refreshing to see, was how this was approached by the students and how their ideas utilized current trends and technologies.”
“The Awards provide us with a first-hand look at how students see opportunities for customer experience and how these can be addressed using existing technologies,” said Andrew Young, Associate Director (Innovation), Sino Group. “All the ideas were well thought through, impressive and raised the Awards bar even higher.”
The JOS Innovation Awards 2018-19 winners are:
- JOS Team Pioneer for a sophisticated internal system using AI to facilitate decision-making at the sales stage. Team members are Leung See Lok Michael, Poon King Yi Jimmy and Chan Cheuk Yin Keith from City University of Hong Kong.
Idea: Our idea for JOS, JOSales. It is a sophisticated internal system using AI to help decision-making at the sales stage. By extracting key information of past cases from the existing CRM system and inputting the current situation of sales engagement, the sales can be calculated through a well-designed algorithm with the application of AI. Deal prioritization can be achieved when there are numerous cases simultaneously. Apart from sales, JOSales can help companies identify prospects via analysing past cases in the database and enhance efficiency by researching customers’ information, and improve sales performance.
- Manulife Team Smart L for a mobile application aimed at shifting customer habits and minimizing repetitive procedures. Team members are Hui Chui Yi Vicki, Liu Yao Xin Mena from The University of Hong Kong, Yu Ho Wing Lawrence from University of Oxford and Mo Tin Yau Alex from The Chinese University of Hong Kong.
‘Smart L’ minimises Manulife’s repetitive procedures at execution. A mobile application aimed at shifting customer habits from face-to-face meetings and data-based documentation to virtual meetings and electronic signatures. Main features include an online video-call booking system for technical support, drastically reducing transportation and time costs of agents, and a discussion forum for customers’ queries. Entertainment and education can be achieved simultaneously with life simulation games to develop customers’ change of attitude towards insurance products and online processing systems. With ‘Smart L’, an easier management of insurance makes lives better.
- Hong Kong Maxim’s Group Team Finnovate for a mobile application with a focus on customer health. Team members are Kwong Hing Tim Kony, Irving Teh, Cha Lok Yiu Rachel and Ngai Tak Ki Gary from The University of Hong Kong.
This idea has a focus on customer health and is two-pronged. Firstly, the idea expands Maxim’s mobile app to include a personalised health tracking portal that provides key insights generated through data analytics and photos of food uploaded by users. Secondly, incorporates a one-click smart ordering function. Overall, by leveraging big data and analytics, customers gain value through valuable insights on their eating habits, intelligent and adaptive food recommendations, effortless one-click ordering, and facilitating a healthier diet and lifestyle.
- Sino Group Team Sporty Teens for an all-in-on e-wristband provided for hotel guests that achieve multiple functions. Team members are Lee Pui Yi Jennifer from The Chinese University of Hong Kong and Lo Chung Yi Joey from The University of Hong Kong.
Sino EmBracelet is an all-in-one contactless e-wristband provided for hotel guests that achieves five functions:
• Access: used to unlock hotel rooms and access facilities, gain iPrestige rewards, event tickets and vouchers.
• Payment: Record all payments and subsequently route back to the final bill.
• Cross-selling: Collect a full set of 'e-stamps' from different locations of Sino Resorts to gain points or other rewards.
• Security alert given when children, the elderly and disabled exceed preset distances, identify and assist in inconvenient places.
• Energy saving: Detect human existence, e.g. turn off electrical appliances when users leave the room.
“Maxim’s” and any name, logo or trademark of any restaurants and any intellectual property right therein used or referenced in this article belong to Maxim’s Caterers Limited, a company operating in Hong Kong, and/or its affiliates.”
Please click to view high quality photos：
(From left to right): Ivan Yau, General Manager – Community Affairs, Sino Group; Eric van der Hoeven, Chief Executive of JTH Group; Louis Mah, Director – Information Technology, Hong Kong Maxim’s Group and Hamish Bruce, Asia Head of Talent Acquisition, Manulife Asia
About JOS Innovation Awards
Founded in 2015, the JOS Innovation Awards aim to inspire, nurture and recognise students in Hong Kong for their smart ideas and innovative thinking in improving industry performance. The JOS Innovation Awards are open to all full-time undergraduate and post-graduate students from local universities and higher education institutions and accepts group applications of two to five members in a team.
JOS is committed to inspire Hong Kong students on the path to make the world a more efficient and better place to live. To date, the JOS Innovation Awards have inspired over 500 Hong Kong university and tertiary education students to go beyond their day-to-day curriculums and create innovative ideas that solve real-world problems.
This is not simply a one-day event, but a holistic programme that expands students’ horizons by giving them exposure to the working world and expert mentorship. Under the leadership and guidance of JOS experts, student teams build upon their innovations and hone their presentation skills.
HKBN Appoints Edith Ngan to Chair ESG Committee
Purpose and Diversity Deepened to Lead Global Benchmarks
HKBN Ltd. (“HKBN”; SEHK stock code: 1310) is thrilled to announce the establishment of an Environmental, Social, and Governance Committee (“ESG Committee”) and the appointment of Edith Manling Ngan as an Independent Non-executive Director of its Board and as Chairman of its ESG Committee. NiQ Lai, Agus Tandiono, and Stanley Chow will serve as members of the ESG Committee, enabling HKBN to steer, review and monitor its overall ESG strategies, including policy and compliance, risk management and new initiatives, as well as relevant progress and performance.
The establishment of this ESG Committee puts HKBN among the few HK-listed companies to champion ESG at the highest level. Moreover, HKBN has also introduced its new ESG vision to “lead as an innovative enabler” via “Talent Co-Ownership”, “Technology for good”, and “Transforming business”. As an industry ESG enabler, the Group is currently developing new business opportunities that will empower customers to balance operational sustainability and profitability. Internally, HKBN continues to integrate ESG priorities across every facet of its operation, to create real tangible impacts for its many stakeholder groups.
HKBN Independent Non-executive Director and Chairman of the ESG Committee, Edith Ngan said, “I am thrilled to join HKBN’s Board and become a part of its journey to lead in so many areas, particularly in ESG. I’m also excited by this opportunity to help the Group enhance its ESG governance, long-term goals and performance.”
HKBN Co-Owner and Group CEO, NiQ Lai said, “Edith’s solid experience and expertise will enrich our Group’s value with a more diversified perspective to governance. Through her appointment, our Board of Directors has transformed to a new level of diversity, aligning HKBN’s long-term vision to exceed international standards in representation and gender diversity.”
As a leader in Purpose, HKBN tops Hong Kong’s telecommunications industry with AA ratings in ESG. In 2021, HKBN earned an AA rating from MSCI’s ESG Ratings. Since 2016, HKBN has been a constituent of the Hang Seng Corporate Sustainability Benchmark Index and has been recognised with AA ratings for the past two consecutive years (2020 and 2021).
OpenRice Partners with Equinix and HKBN to Fuel Post-Pandemic Business Growth and Footprint Expansion
Achieving new business heights with robust digital infrastructure and solutions to drive seamless online-to-offline dining experiences in Asia-Pacific
OpenRice, Hong Kong’s most popular dining platform, collaborates with Equinix, Inc. (Nasdaq: EQIX), the world’s digital infrastructure company™, and HKBN Enterprise Solutions (HKBN), one of the fastest growing leading integrated telecom and technology solutions providers headquartered in Hong Kong, to further enhance infrastructure for its all-encompassing O2O foodtech services platform. Such collaboration allows OpenRice to further support the food and beverage (F&B) industry in Hong Kong as restaurants continue to realize the increasing importance of delivering a seamless online-to-offline (O2O) experience for consumers to ride the post-pandemic growth wave.
Leveraging Equinix’s global footprint and robust ecosystem, along with HKBN’s integrated digital solutions and connectivity services, this collaboration paves the way for OpenRice’s Booking Service to further expansion into other Asia-Pacific (APAC) markets beyond Hong Kong, including Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Japan, supporting F&B companies to grow their business by offering seamless and enjoyable O2O dining experiences to their customers.
“We are pleased to have Equinix and HKBN supporting our digital transformation and business expansion journey. They provide us with a robust digital infrastructure for us to architect digital solutions that work across our extensive portfolio of services and user base in Hong Kong and the wider APAC region. In the new era of dining, it’s critical for us to adopt these future-proof digital infrastructures and continuously upgrade to support our rapidly expanding services and offerings, so that we can continue raising the bar in providing dining experiences for consumers,” says Joe Yau, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Technology Officer at OpenRice.
Almira Chan, Co-Owner and Chief Strategy Officer at HKBN Group shares the value of this collaboration, “Creating business values through multiple wins is core to HKBN. We strive to work with partners and like-minded organizations such as Equinix, to drive digital innovation for customers like OpenRice. With Equinix’s award-winning reputation, sweeping global presence, and rich ecosystem, we are confident that this collaboration will help OpenRice strengthen its technical capabilities and business agility, as well as enhance its customer experiences when serving the larger Asia market of collaborators, making them the ideal partner to bring next-level solutions to customers.”
Larry Tam, Managing Director, Equinix Hong Kong shares, “The online behavior of consumers has been shifted due to the pandemic. Businesses of all industries need to embrace a digital-first approach that closes performance gaps, accelerates returns and supports the new way of operations. We are excited to champion far-sighted digital leaders like OpenRice to fast-track their digital transformation journey to prepare for the opportunities present ahead in the post-pandemic era. We are also proud to collaborate with Hong Kong’s leading telecom and technology solutions provider HKBN, and its powerful broadband network to deliver greater value.”
For the highlights and key facts, please click https://bit.ly/3PrIIt2.
HKBN Group (“HKBN” or “The Group”) is proud to announce the appointment of William Ho as CEO – Enterprise Solutions, starting today. William will lead HKBN’s enterprise services arm, expand and leverage their system integration capabilities, and further consolidate and develop the blue ocean business growth strategy across Hong Kong and mainland China.
With nearly 30 years of professional experience in the ICT industry, William brings many holistic dimensions having been a customer-side user and a service provider, covering network technology, Internet, cloud, big data, e-commerce, and more. He is amongst the few senior executives with a broad range of experiences in technology R&D, sales and marketing, and business development. He also has an extensive background in technology having managed companies ranging from start-ups to Fortune 500 businesses, with deep experience in local, mainland China and international markets.
HKBN Co-Owners, Executive Vice-chairman William Yeung and Group CEO NiQ said, “William Ho is putting his skin-in-the-game by investing an amount equivalent to ~2 years’ salary into our Co-Ownership scheme. With William leading HKBN Enterprise Solutions, our goal is to bring digital solutions that go beyond connectivity services to our 110K corporate customers fortifying our customer relationship, driving efficiency and business impact in Hong Kong and across mainland China, especially the Greater Bay Area. We welcome William to our Elite Sports Team.”
HKBN Co-Owner-to-be, William Ho said, “Talents are our key to success. In a dynamic evolving business landscape, HKBN’s Talent-Obsession culture uniquely empowers our Talents to embrace changes and do everything to help our enterprise customers to foster their digital transformation and gain their competitive edge rather than merely save money. I am thrilled to have my skin-in-the-game as a Co-Owner and to achieve our goals together with our Elite Sports Team.”
Prior to joining HKBN, William held senior executive positions at local and international companies, including Juniper Networks, Cohesity, ARRIS, Cisco, Hong Kong Jockey Club, and others.
As the economy is returning to growth mode, HKBN Enterprise Solutions (“HKBNES”) has launched Enterprise Grow & Save: from 1 June to 31 August, 2022, enterprise customers who successfully subscribe to any HKBNES solution and meet the designated service fee amount can enjoy two-out-of-six value-added free-of-charge offers. Eligible subscriptions include Business Broadband, Mobile Services, System Integration, Cybersecurity, Cloud Service and more! Both new and existing enterprise customers can “earn more” whilst they “spend less”!
Mikron NG, HKBN Co-Owner and Chief Commercial Officer – Business Market & China Business, Enterprise Solutions said, “Our LUCA (Legal Unfair Competitive Advantage) is our broad customer base and versatile platforms. Together, we empower enterprises in their digital transformation through our collaborative efforts. Our new campaign lets customers enjoy HKBNES’s trusted services, and at the same time it brings them extensive customer reach with less promotion expenses. Customers can then focus on expanding and growing their businesses for multiple wins!”
Once subscribed to an HKBNES solution at the designated requirement, customers can pick two offers, one from each column respectively:
Terms and conditions apply. For more details of the offer, please visit www.hkbnes.net/en/sme-growandsave or call 128-1111.
Appendix：Examples for reference
The examples below show how different industries can benefit from the Enterprise Grow & Save Value-Added Offer
1) Online shop
For online shops to stand out from the competition, brand and product awareness is key. Business customers interested in e-Commerce can pick “Free My HKBN App launch offer” from the Grow section. With ~1 million users on My HKBN App, this solution can help boost your company’s brand presence by connecting 1 million potential customers with your brand. Together with the “Free 1000Mbps Residential Broadband Service for 2 years” from the Save section, you can easily manage your business from home while business is booming.
2) Local travel agency
Hong Kongers are famous for their love of travelling. With international travel yet to be fully reopened, local tours have become a popular alternative. Local travel agencies can pick “Free HOME+ product listing and banner ad” from the Grow section. Listing the local tours and activities details on HOME+, and the banner ad can bring you a reach of more than 400,000 times per week. Furthermore, you can pick “5G 30GB Mobile Service 7-month monthly fee rebate” from the Save session, and with that, you can enjoy high-speed mobile Internet and stay connected with colleagues and clients, anytime, anywhere.
3) Tutoring centre
Cashless payments are the trend in Hong Kong. More and more parents are now opting for e-payments when settling tutoring fees for their kids. HKBNES’s ePayment solution supports 12 payment options, satisfying the needs of all customers. To minimise the costs and stay scalable for business growth, tutoring centre clients can pick “Free e-payment solution device rental offer for 2 months” from the grow section and “Enterprise Solutions Service Total rebate up to HK$3000” from the Save section.
DIDF, HKBN Talent CSI Fund and HKBN Co-Launch Cyber Wellness in the Dark
New experience jointly designed with HKBN cybersecurity experts
Well known for providing experiential activities to promote social inclusion, Dialogue In The Dark (HK) Foundation (“DIDF”) has teamed up with HKBN Talent CSI Fund and HKBN Group (“HKBN”) to launch a brand new experience themed on cybersecurity – Cyber Wellness In The Dark (“Tour”). Framed around Hong Kong’s first and only pitch-dark experience, this experiential analogy will empower participants with cyber wellness knowledge through navigating the unknown risks and perils in the online world.
Cora Chu, Chief Executive Officer of DIDF said, “Today, the younger generation is growing up in a pervasively digital world. Their awareness to cyber safety may not be vigilant enough. In view of this, we designed this immersive experience for youths to experience what life is like for the visually impaired. Walking into complete darkness, as it is similar to going online without cyber safety awareness.”
Wilson Tang, HKBN Co-Owner and Director – Information Security said, “As a leading force in customising cybersecurity solutions for residential and corporate customers, we are delighted to Purposefully leverage our e-security knowledge and create a fun, engaging and uniquely educational Dialogue in the Dark experience, benefitting our communities and their well-being with a digital inclusive future.”
Funded by HKBN Talent CSI Fund, this Tour is co-designed by DIDF and HKBN cybersecurity experts. Throughout the 60-min Tour led by a visually-impaired guide, participants will be given a white cane to experience life as a visually-impaired person, followed with a post-event debriefing about cyber wellness: like how to create and manage secure passwords, identify true and fake information online, how to protect personal data, develop online empathy, and etc. Refer to the below for more.
|Cyber Wellness In The Dark|
|Target participants||• Students aged 9 to 12|
|Features||• Hong Kong's first cybersecurity education experience in a completely dark environment
• Learning in complete darkness to draw similarities with risks of the cyber world
|Key focus||• Creating and managing secure passwords
• Identifying true and false information on the Internet
• Learn how to protect personal data
• Develop online empathy
|Duration||• 60-min dark experience + 30-min sharing session|
|Ticket price||HK$180 per student|
HKBN Receives Amazon Web Services’ HK Managed Service Award
Cloud technology enhances scalability and flexibility
HKBN Enterprise Solutions ("HKBN") is awarded Amazon Web Services’ (“AWS”) Managed Service Provider Partner of the Year. With the largest number of AWS certifications in Hong Kong, HKBN is actively embracing innovative technologies to support its enterprise customers in their digital transformation journeys via cloud technology.
During COVID’s fifth wave of outbreak in Hong Kong, with increased demand for anti-pandemic supplies and food items driving huge traffic in a short time period. HKBN’ s team of experts responded with customised solutions for HOME+ via AWS cloud technology to scale up HOME+ platform's capacity by five times in just an hour, enabling it to support the sudden surge in demand, without additional staff – saving nearly 30% in time and human resource costs. (Click here to read more about HOME+’s case study.)
“We saw an exponential growth in the consumption of digital services across industries: from retail, eCommerce, to F&B delivery, virtual banking, insurance and more. With Cloud and our high-bandwidth, high-availability Fibre-to-the-Cloud Direct Connect, we can enable you to multiply your infrastructure capacity on-demand to support your mission-critical applications – like we did for HOME+ and our many other customers,” Samuel Hui, Co-Owner and Chief Transformation Officer of HKBN said. “The AWS Managed Services Partner of the Year award is a testament to the high technical and service capability – so you can Go BIG with AWS x HKBN.”
Chris So, Head of Sales and Partner, AWS Hong Kong said: "At AWS, we see our partners as an extension of our own team. We are delighted to work with HKBN and serve the clients with a 'customer-centric' mindset. This year marks the 10th anniversary of AWS in Hong Kong, we look forward to working further with HKBN, to continue to help customers accelerate innovation and contribute to digital transformation for Hong Kong."
Looking ahead, HKBN will leverage AWS cloud technology's AI and machine learning for a deeper analysis of its big data. The platform will launch a smarter product experience in July, allowing better personalised online shopping.
Alibaba Cloud and HKBNES Launch Seamless Fibre to The Cloud Solutions
Boost Synergies for GBA Opportunities with Digital Transformation Partnership
Alibaba Cloud, the digital technology and intelligence backbone of Alibaba Group, and HKBN Enterprise Solutions (“HKBNES”) announce they have come together as Digital Transformation Partners to strengthen the development of cloud and network technology solutions, with an aim to help enterprises more effectively capture the burgeoning business expansion opportunities in the Greater Bay Area (GBA). These solutions, which are backed by HKBNES’s “Double Refund” bandwidth guarantee^, will provide companies in Hong Kong with the network connectivity and one-stop technology solutions needed to win GBA business opportunities, and empower their digital transformation with fast and reliable service in a cost-effective way.
Speed and Technology Combo Helping Companies Seize Larger Opportunities
Alibaba Cloud and HKBNES will each leverage their own advantages to support Hong Kong companies and their array of business development needs in other GBA cities. These advantages include HKBNES's strong fiber network, deep understanding of enterprise needs, solutions management capabilities and expertise, as well as Alibaba Cloud’s technical experience in supporting Hong Kong enterprises, rich product portfolio and extensive coverage in the GBA, which suit different business scenarios of companies.
Leo Liu, General Manager of Hong Kong SAR, Macau SAR and Philippines, Alibaba Cloud Intelligence said, “HKBNES has always been a pivotal partner of Alibaba Cloud. We are delighted to strengthen our cooperation with HKBNES, working together to support Hong Kong enterprises, especially those in the financial sector. Alibaba Cloud offers a variety of refined solutions to cater for the needs of financial and retail industries. Coupled with HKBNES’s rich experiences in consultation and deployment, as well as the deep understanding into enterprises’ needs, we will make every possible joint effort to assist Hong Kong enterprises in improving operational efficiency and accelerate business growth through digital transformation.”
Samuel Hui, Co-Owner and Chief Transformation Officer of HKBN said, “As an integrated Telecom and Technology Solutions provider, we can uniquely guarantee you a seamless, stable and secure experience with Alibaba Cloud. We’re so confident in our ‘Fibre-to-the-Cloud’ Direct Connect, we will refund you double your money, for each day service drops below our bandwidth guarantee. Together with Alibaba Cloud’s leading-edge solutions and our professional team of expert Cloud Engineers, we look forward to powering your Digital Transformation journey to the next level.”
An Advanced Partnership Backed by Proven Client Success Stories
Enterprise customers of HKBNES can enjoy integrated end-to-end solutions that include system integration, as well as cloud and managed services. With this advanced collaboration, Hong Kong’s financial services industry can benefit across a broad range of areas. For example, financial enterprises can obtain deployment advice under different cloud environments, or streamline their mobile app development processes through Alibaba Cloud’s platform, as well as receive consultation on security compliance requirements.
Over the years, Alibaba Cloud and HKBNES’s joint collaborations have accumulated many success stories, like, empowering companies such as YF Life and Chief Group with one-stop solutions that include cloud products and technical consultation, design, delivery, operation and maintenance services. In serving YF Life, both companies unleashed their expertise in cross-region connectivity, and cloud, digital transformation and managed IT services, which helped to significantly enhance YF Life’s technical capabilities and customer experience in serving the GBA market.
In order that more Hong Kong enterprises can enjoy this powerful solution bundle, which enables customers to enjoy low latency and ultra-speed connectivity, HKBNES is now offering a limited-time up to 50% off* exclusive discount with “Double Refund” bandwidth guarantee^, to enterprise customers with business expansion needs in the GBA. For more offer details, please visit https://bit.ly/3kbsyGf or call 128-1111.
^ Bandwidth Guarantee for connections from HKBNES Cloud to Alibaba Cloud Hong Kong Point of Presence (PoP). During the contract period, if HKBNES fails to deliver, customers will receive double refund based on their Cloud service fees of the number of days affected. Terms and conditions apply.
* 50% discount is calculated based on contract plan of HKBNES Direct Cloud Connect (50Mbps) + Alibaba Cloud Global Accelerator (5Mbps), of which original price is HK$13,000. Offer valid till 30 June 2022. Terms and conditions apply.
HKBN Announces Solid Results for the 6 months ended 28 Feb 2022
A Solid Foundation for Realising Synergies and Meeting Challenges
HKBN Ltd. (“HKBN” or the “Company”; SEHK stock code: 1310) today announced solid operational and financial results for the six months ended 28 February 2022 (“1H2022”). Despite a challenging economic environment posed by the prolonged pandemic, HKBN’s performance remained solid through synergies from business integrations and strategic collaborations with business partners. Key highlights of 1H2022 results include:
- Revenue, EBITDA (Adjusted) and Adjusted Free Cash Flow (“AFF”) continued to grow year-on-year at 9%, 1% and 94%, respectively, to HK$6,803 million, HK$1,320 million and HK$758 million; half-on-half compared to 2H2021, the growth in 1H2022 is more pronounced with 30%, 5%, 2% respectively.
- Revenue increased by 9% year-on-year to HK$6,803 million, mainly driven by significant growth in smartphone sales and growth from Enterprise Solutions related product revenue. As a result, EBITDA (Adjusted) increased by 1% year-on-year to HK$1,320 million.
- The Board has recommended the payment of an interim dividend of 40 HK cents per share (1H2021: 39 HK cents per share), resulting in a 3% year-on-year increase.
Enterprise: Unique partnerships boosting market share and competitiveness
Despite a gloomy economic outlook brought by COVID-19, HKBN continued to grow its market share and expand its ICT capabilities through mergers and partnerships to become a leading telecom and technology solutions provider in Hong Kong. This solid foundation via partnerships provides HKBN competitive advantages to thrive in the challenging business environment. The pandemic has made remote working even more critical than ever. In response, HKBN introduced various innovative solutions that included the inaugural Microsoft W365, exclusive Cisco Umbrella bundled solutions, cross-border FixIT, cybersecurity, cloud solutions, and more. Through these solutions, companies can run their businesses remotely and securely at affordable costs.
Residential: Infinite-play poses strong returns
Despite intense price competition, Residential Solutions revenue remained stable at HK$1,224 million due to HKBN’s Infinite-play with partners strategy, which includes exclusively teaming up with Disney+, ultra-fast 5G mobile services and Wi-Fi 6 router bundles. Monthly churn rate remained low at 0.9% and subscriptions increased to 889,000. Mobile ARPU increased by 3% to HK$111/month as HKBN launched best-in-town 5G mobile offers for both entry level and high usage customers. HKBN will continue to bring more innovative 5G plans to continue its growth strategy in the mobile segment.
Powerful partnerships to foster upsell, expand market share and sustain growth
William Yeung and NiQ Lai, Co-Owners of HKBN Group said, “By launching exclusive offers with our business partners, we can upsell infinite products and services to our massive customer base of 1-in-3 households and 1-in-2 active companies in Hong Kong. In addition to driving customer loyalty and expanding our base, this Partnership+ strategy will sustain our growth through connecting world class vendors to our customers at minimum distribution cost. Furthermore, as a Purpose-driven company, we ‘eat what we cook before we sell it’. We recently transformed our 2016 ‘Something from Nothing’ energy plus cost savings programme into an Enterprise-grade solution, to uplift the ESG performance for our corporate customers.’’
For more details of HKBN’s results in 1H2022, please refer to the announcement:
Cisco and HKBN Partner to Safeguard SMEs in Digital Space
Cisco Umbrella Offers Enterprise-class Cyber Protection to SMEs
Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) and HKBN Enterprise Solutions (HKBN) are jointly launching Secured Business Broadband Bundle with Cisco Umbrella Easy Protect to strengthen the Internet security for companies of all sizes in the digital era. The partnership brings users a flexible cloud-delivered security protection to their network, reducing risk and improving performance with minimal costs.
Today, getting on the Internet without some form of cybersecurity is like living in a house without any locks on doors and windows. More devices being used in the digital transformation journey has also led to an increase in information security threats, with more than 40% of Hong Kong Small-to-Medium Enterprises (SMEs) reported having cyber-attacks in the past 12 months* and this risk will only increase going forward.
Whilst all companies need Internet security, not all companies, especially SMEs have the resources to deploy, maintain and upgrade their own Internet security. As such, Cisco and HKBN have teamed up to integrate the cybersecurity and internet solutions, delivering enterprise-grade protection from the cloud at the domain name system (DNS) level for an affordably priced broadband bundled solution to businesses. The new offering includes one-stop installation and technical support from HKBN's professional team of cybersecurity experts.
Wilson Ching, General Manager of Cisco Hong Kong & Macau, said, “Today, cybersecurity is a CEO priority rather than merely an IT issue, because cyber threats can result in devastating impact to business continuity. Cisco is excited to work with HKBN to provide cloud-native cyber protections for Internet users, helping them identify cyber traps, automatically mitigate outages and defend against ransomware at an early stages.”
Almira Chan, Co-Owner & Chief Strategy Officer of HKBN, said, "With the right customised solutions, the challenges from cyber-attacks are not insurmountable. By integrating Cisco Umbrella Easy Protect with HKBN's fibre business broadband, we are empowering SMEs with single-point-of-contact enterprise-class network security at an affordable price, and bolstering their first line of digital defence.”
Operating from the cloud, Cisco Umbrella Easy Protect blocks malicious attacks from the DNS and, together with HKBN's business broadband, prevents malware from entering the customer’s networks or end systems. As it is cloud-based, complex hardware and software upgrade investments are not required, making it cost effective and easy to install. In addition to Cisco Umbrella Easy Protect, which serves as a primary defence against IT threats, enterprises can also leverage HKBN's professional information security team to analyse or eliminate information security risks at an early stage. HKBN also offers other related information security services. To learn more, please visit https://www.hkbnes.net/ciscooffer/en or contact HKBN at 128 1111.
*According to Cisco's “Cybersecurity for SMBs: Asia Pacific Businesses Prepare for Digital Defense”
HKBN and TP-Link Join to Drive Mass Adoption of Wi-Fi 6
Around the Clock Support to Deliver One-Stop Network Experience and Ultra-fast Connectivity for Online Gaming and 4K Streaming Era
(Hong Kong – 10 January 2022) Hong Kong Broadband Network Limited (“HKBN”) is thrilled to announce the close collaboration with TP-Link, a global leader in network equipment, to provide customers with a range of high-performance routers. Unlike the traditional way of buying routers from retail channels, HKBN will provide one-stop professional on-site installation, assessment of home Wi-Fi conditions and 24-hour service support, for optimal speed performance with peace-of-mind.
First to Market by HKBN: TP-Link’s All-new Deco X50 Wi-Fi 6 Router
As high-definition video streaming and online gaming become more ubiquitous, consumers are demanding higher network stability and speeds. The first router offered via this collaboration is TP-Link's all-new Deco X50 Wi-Fi 6 router, available as a timed-exclusive at HKBN. Featuring a sleek design, the Deco X50 is one of the few Mesh Wi-Fi products to support 2x2 dual-band and 160MHz frequency band. Ideal for homes plagued by Wi-Fi dead zones, users can easily use the Deco X50 as a host to connect one or more other Deco devices and extend wireless coverage1. Customers can now use flexible payment methods to purchase the TP-Link Deco X50 Wi-Fi 6 router (double pack) through HKBN and enjoy one-stop support service for only HK$78/month (on a 24-month contract)2.
As part of HKBN’s one-stop Wi-Fi network experience, a powerful range of TP-Link Wi-Fi 6 routers are offered for customers to meet their different needs for high performance connectivity.
Elinor Shiu, Co-Owner and CEO – Residential Solutions of HKBN said, “Providing customers with more 'Choice' and 'Beyond Connectivity' experiences is what sets HKBN apart from our competitors. From streaming 4K ultra-HD quality videos on platforms like Disney+, connecting with players worldwide for high performance online gaming, to joining video conferences from the home office, stable high speed wireless Internet is an absolute must. We are excited to team up with TP-Link to go far beyond legacy connectivity service to meet customers’ needs, by offering a greater selection of premium routers with professional on-site installation and 24-hour service support.”
Alvin Ou, Regional Director of TP-Link said, “With the rapid development of network technology, demand for high-speed wireless devices have risen dramatically, especially during the epidemic. This has spurred us to continuously push the technology envelop of our devices. TP-Link, the world's No. 1 brand in wireless Wi-Fi equipment sales for the past ten consecutive years, was one of the first brands to bring Wi-Fi 6 routers to Hong Kong. We are honoured to work with HKBN as it leverages a timed-exclusive deal to sell our high-performance routers first to its residential customers. Through the competitive advantages that we enjoy in terms of transmission speeds, signal coverage, and resilience against network interference, we are confident that our products will be favoured by more users.”
For more details, please visit https://www.hkbn.net/personal/broadband/en/coverage-series#DECO-X50!
1 The actual Wi-Fi coverage varies with environmental factors, including unit area, unit interval, building materials and structure, and other external factors. 2 Applicable to new and existing customers of designated HKBN broadband service. Terms and conditions apply.
StarHub Strengthens Regional ICT and Enterprise Business through Acquisition of Majority Stake in HKBN JOS in Singapore and Malaysia
- Joint venture continues to scale StarHub’s Regional ICT segment, furthers StarHub’s DARE+ strategy and creates synergies for the entities and the StarHub Group
- StarHub and HKBN to deepen partnership by collaborating broadly across provision of telecommunications services and development of ICT solutions
Singapore and Hong Kong, 10 November 2021 – StarHub Ltd (“StarHub”; SGX: CC3) and HKBN Ltd. (“HKBN”; SEHK: 1310) announced today they have signed an agreement in which StarHub is acquiring from HKBN a 60% stake in HKBN JOS (Singapore) Pte. Ltd. (“JOS SG”) and HKBN JOS (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd. (“JOS MY”) respectively, for a total consideration of S$15 million (representing approximately HK$87 million).
JOS SG and JOS MY have a track record of success of over 30 years respectively in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) market. Today, they serve close to 1,500 government entities and blue-chip companies across industries such as Banking, Beverage, Electronics, Healthcare, Media, and Retail. JOS SG and JOS MY have deep expertise in delivering end-user computing, IT maintenance and IT infrastructure support services. They have also been developing solutions and services that meet the changing needs of enterprise customers who are accelerating digital and cloud transformation as well as embracing hybrid work models.
Following StarHub’s investment in Strateq in July 2020, the acquisitions of JOS SG and JOS MY will accelerate the execution of its DARE+ strategy (next stage of five-year transformation), further strengthening the company’s ICT capabilities, enterprise solution offerings and customer footprint across Singapore and Malaysia. The addition of JOS SG and JOS MY is also expected to harvest cost synergies in fixed operating costs and improved supply chain, between StarHub and JOS SG as well as between Strateq and JOS MY. Pro forma for these acquisitions for the nine-month period ended 30 September 2021, JOS SG and JOS MY will contribute S$86 million1 to StarHub’s Enterprise Business revenue, which would amount to S$610 million for the financial period. JOS SG and JOS MY collectively would contribute 14% of StarHub’s overall Enterprise Business revenue for the same period.
More broadly, the overall partnership between StarHub and HKBN will boost revenue and profits through cross-selling and upselling of capabilities, connectivity as well as solution offering, to provide end-to-end value to corporate customers across Singapore, Malaysia, and Hong Kong. StarHub and HKBN will strengthen collaborations including the provision of telecommunications services, such as international services, backhaul and local network services, fixed-line voice services and mobile services. StarHub and HKBN will also look at opportunities for the co-development of ICT solutions and services.
“Our Enterprise business has been achieving strong double-digit year-on-year growth, as we empower our customers’ transformation efforts with our Cybersecurity, Regional ICT and Network Solutions. We intend to accelerate our Enterprise growth, by deepening our capabilities in Singapore as well as extending these enterprise digital services capabilities across the region. With JOS SG and JOS MY onboard to complement our prior acquisition of Strateq, our strategy is well underway. We also look forward to working closely with HKBN, to open up business opportunities for both companies in the provision of bundled connectivity and ICT services, delivering real value to our customers across our respective markets and creating significant business synergies,” commented Nikhil Eapen, Chief Executive of StarHub.
“On a strong foundation of technical excellence and silo-less teamwork, JOS SG and JOS MY delivered outstanding business results. We believe they will enjoy even greater synergy upside and growth potential to be backed by both StarHub and HKBN. We are also excited to forge deeper partnership with StarHub across a wide range of network and ICT services for mutual growth. This bolsters HKBN’s and StarHub’s ICT leadership positions in our respective markets to support enterprises customers expanding into the region,” said NiQ Lai, HKBN Co-Owner & Group CEO and Ms Almira Chan, HKBN Co-Owner & Chief Strategy Officer and Head of Beyond Hong Kong of HKBN JOS.
Upon completion of the proposed acquisition, JOS SG and JOS MY will be majority-owned by StarHub. The transaction will be funded by StarHub’s internal resources. It is expected to be completed by the end of 2021, subject to the satisfaction of mutually agreed conditions.
1 For comparative purposes, the management account for JOS SG and JOS MY for the financial year ended 31 August 2021 has been adjusted to a nine-month financial period.
HKBN Announces Solid FY21 Annual Results
Emerging Stronger and Transformed for Post COVID-19 Growth
HKBN Ltd. (“HKBN” or the “Company”; SEHK stock code: 1310) today announced solid operational and financial results for the year ended 31 August 2021 (“FY21”). Despite a challenging economic environment, HKBN’s performance remained strong in FY21 through synergies from integrations and strategic partnerships with business partners. Key highlights of FY21 results include:
- Revenue, EBITDA and Adjusted Free Cash Flow (“AFF”) recorded a growth of 21%, 3%, and 2% respectively to HK$11,464 million, HK$2,569 million and HK$1,132 million.
- Revenue increased by 21% year-on-year to HK$11,464 million, mainly driven by significant growth in smartphone sales and growth from Enterprise Solutions and related product revenue, as a result of the full year contribution of HKBN JOS* (FY20: eight and a half months).
- EBITDA increased by 3% year-on-year to HK$2,569 million mainly contributed by lower operating expenses as a result of the Group’s continuous effort to drive operational efficiencies.
- The Board has recommended the payment of a final dividend of 37.5 HK cents per share (FY20: 38 HK cents per share), resulting in a 2% year-on-year increase in full year payment to 76.5 HK cents per share (FY20: 75 HK cents per share).
*HKBN JOS represents HKBN JOS Holdings (C.I.) Limited and its subsidiaries, Adura Hong Kong Limited and ADURA CYBER SECURITY SERVICES PTE. LTD..
Enterprise Solutions: Successful transformation into Asia’s leading ICT solutions provider drove customer and ARPU growth
Despite slowing business activities due to the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic, HKBN’s enterprise business achieved growth in customer numbers and in ARPU, which is contributed by the Company’s efforts in transforming its enterprise business from pure sales of products & services to relationship management. The Company stepped up to help businesses overcome challenges during the pandemic with a series of innovative solutions offers enabling them to continue their businesses remotely and securely at affordable costs. The total number of HKBN’s enterprise customers increased 105,000 to 107,000 and enterprise ARPU improved from HK$2,948 to HK$3,036.
Residential Solutions: Infinite-play strategy setting solid foundation for growth
Despite intense price competition, Residential Solutions revenue increased by 1% year-on-year to HK$2,465 million as a result of the Company’s Infinite-play strategy, which includes teaming up with Netflix to bring more entertainment choices to customers, expansion of 2 smart home solutions and ultra-fast 5G mobile services. Monthly churn rate remained low at 0.9%. In October 2021, the Company became the exclusive broadband service provider for Disney+ in Hong Kong, a game-changer that will improve its customers’ stickiness and reward the Company with a higher ARPU and market share. HKBN will continue to expand its Infinite-play bundle services through a number of breakthrough services, delivering unprecedented household savings and service convenience to disrupt the legacy broadband, fixed-voice, content and mobile standalone segments.
Transformed into a stronger and purposeful business
“As we continue to drive market share gains in our connectivity services, our synergies in ICT solutions and system integration capabilities for enterprise business, together with our extraordinary OTT choices and ever-expanding Infinite-play offerings for households, will enable us to grow far beyond basic connectivity services. With our new Co-Ownership Plan IV, we will have a deeper vested interest to ride on the post COVID-19 rebound and deliver more value to all our stakeholders,’’ said Co-Owner and Executive Vice-chairman William Yeung, and Co-Owner and Group CEO NiQ Lai.
For more details of HKBN’s results in FY21, please refer to the announcement:
PwC HK & HKBNES Team Up to Defend SMEs from Ransomware
Industry-leading assessment identifies vulnerabilities in 24 hours
As companies scramble to take their operations online in the new normal, they also risk exposing critical data and infrastructure to cyberattacks. And while companies of all sizes are being targeted, SMEs are especially vulnerable due to a relative lack of IT resources. Understanding the importance of early detection, PwC Hong Kong and HKBN Enterprise Solutions (“HKBNES”) have joined hands to launch an internationally recognised, enterprise-grade Anti-Ransomware Assessment service. For an affordable fee, SMEs can now enjoy state-of-the-art information security assessment in as fast as 24 hours*, and be informed of any vulnerabilities across their outward-facing services.
Anti-Ransomware Assessment brings world-leading network and information security expertise in a single-use service of HK$5,000 per instance. The quick and comprehensive assessment informs businesses about the network health status of their outward-facing services, lists known and potential vulnerabilities, and prioritises them by risk levels for proactive rectification. The professional information security experts at HKBNES will then follow up with strategic recommendations or best-fit solutions to promptly remedy identified ransomware vulnerabilities or lay-down preventive measures, ensuring all-around company network security.
Danny Li, HKBN Co-Owner & Chief Technology Officer said, “In today’s digital era, cybersecurity is a basic need rather than a privilege for some. With cyberthreats lying in wait 24/7, all it takes is one open vulnerability to result in tens of thousands, even millions, in damages. Our game-changing joint solution with PwC Hong Kong gives all businesses, including SMEs, a quick ‘health-check’ to pinpoint vulnerabilities, all done as fast as 24 hours and at just HK$5,000. With our detailed report in hand, our specialist information security team will then tailor a solution for our customers for maximum value protection, deploying best-fit products as they need them.”
PwC Hong Kong Cybersecurity and Privacy Partner Kok Tin Gan said, “PwC offers industry leading cybersecurity solutions. We are excited to team up with HKBNES and extend the globally recognised cybersecurity suite of advanced offerings to the local SMEs of all industries. As both companies share a common mission to solve important problems, I am confident that PwC and HKBNES will continue to help SMEs tackle operational challenges and stop ransomware attacks before they happen.”
HKBNES and PwC Hong Kong will also host a free virtual seminar, featuring key industry experts, on 29 July 2021 to share insights on future cybersecurity trends, defensive tactics and real-life cyberthreat case studies. Sign up online at: www.hkbnes.net/en/e-security-webinar-210729
*Terms and Conditions apply.
HKBN Talent CSI Fund Launches Two Youth Funding Initiatives
Breakthrough model integrates capital, networking and knowledge for holistic support
Sharing the disruptive DNA of HKBN Group, HKBN Talent CSI Fund (“CSI Fund”), an independently operated charity, today announced the launch of two game-changing social funding initiatives: “404 Not F_und?” and “Zero to Hero Fund”. The former encourages youths to unleash their boundless creativity without fear of failure, while the latter helps youths blaze their own future by upgrading work skills, resilience and/or technological capabilities. Besides providing capital support, the CSI Fund will also match the needs and goals of selected projects with the resources and strengths of HKBN Group and its broad network of partners, to ensure their success.
404 Not F_und?: A chance for youthful creativity to shine
Social funding programmes which assess applications based on the likelihood of success, rather than on innovation,= have a knock-on effect of stifling creativity and outside-the-box ideas among youths, who typically lack the resources to even try. CSI Fund’s “404 Not F_und?” initiative works differently, prioritising creativity and personal growth by giving youths aged 16 to 29 everything they need – networking, experience and capital – to turn the most outlandish ideas into reality. Accepting applications starting today, CSI Fund will grant up to HK$100,000 in support for each selected project, regardless of success or failure. This way, youths will gain invaluable experiences through the journey, building a solid foundation for future development and success.
Zero to Hero Fund: Supercharging youth support in partnership with SPOs
To massively scale up support throughout the communities, CSI Fund’s “Zero to Hero Fund” will sponsor social profit organisations (SPOs) in various innovative and scalable projects aimed at upgrading skillsets and capabilities of youths. Starting today, SPOs can submit applications to receive HK$2 million over a two-year period (up to HK$1 million per year). In addition to funding, CSI Fund will work closely with each organiser for the project’s duration, leveraging HKBN Group’s technology resources and its network of business and community partners for maximum impact.
CY Chan, Chairman & Director of HKBN Talent CSI Fund, said, “The creativity and inventiveness in youths never ceases to amaze. As a society, we should provide our young talents with the resources and encouragement to dream big! These new initiatives will provide the much needed capital and a robust support network to help our young talents turning their ideas into reality. By working with SPOs, our investments can empower more youths to grow, learn and be inspired .”
For more details about the new funding initiatives under CSI Fund, please visit:
404 Not F_und?”: www.csifund.org/en/404notfund
Zero to Hero Fund: www.csifund.org/en/zerotoherofund
HKBNES is the First in Hong Kong to Attain Cisco ACI Black Belt Stage 3 Certification Demonstrating Tech Superiority with Regional & Local Cisco Awards
HKBN Enterprise Solutions (“HKBNES”) is proud to be the first company in Hong Kong to attain the world’s leading technology solution - Cisco’s Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) Black Belt Stage 3 certification. HKBNES was also awarded three regional and local Cisco accolades, recognising its outstanding technical capabilities to support the diverse ICT needs of companies of different industries and sizes. These accolades include:
- Managed Services Partner of the Year (Greater China): Recognising HKBNES as the top performing managed services partner in Cloud Voice solutions throughout the Greater China;
- Innovative Solution Partner of the Year (Hong Kong): Recognising HKBNES’s technology excellence in deploying ACI for a leading financial institute; and
- Cisco Partner of the Year – Fast Growing (Hong Kong): Recognising HKBNES as a fast growing partner of Cisco Hong Kong in FY20.
Matching an astute eye for best-fit tech solutions with end-to-end expertise in cloud technology deployment – including capabilities needed for complex, large-scale cloud voice hosting projects – HKBNES has helped numerous enterprise customers digitally transformed their voice systems for enhanced productivity. Powered by a team with unparalleled ACI expertise, HKBNES recently helped a leading financial institution deployed a large-scale ACI system, meeting the customer’s stringent requirements for connectivity, infrastructure setup, network services planning, automation and coding. The expert team also helped design a secure management portal to seamlessly link up complex cloud extensions.
Danny Li, Co-Owner & Chief Technology Officer of HKBN said, “Beyond merely selling services, our goal is to co-grow with enterprise customers, advising them on the latest and best-fit technology choices that’ll help their businesses run much better. We are excited to partner with Cisco, which shares our vision in supporting the transformation and growth of enterprise customers.”
Wilson Ching, General Manager of Cisco Hong Kong & Macau shared, “As staunch partners, Cisco and HKBNES share the same goal of forging multiple wins through our comprehensive technological solutions for customers. With their exceptional technical capabilities and dedication to excellence, HKBNES is well-deserving of our recognition and endorsement.”
As part of its commitment to help enterprises maintain growth in the new normal, HKBNES will continue partnering with Cisco to bring the latest digital solutions to market.
YF Life and HKBNES Team Up to Launch Hong Kong’s First Google Cloud-Powered Cantonese Voice Chatbot for the Insurance Sector
Next-gen AI chat optimises customer experience with shortened queuing time
YF Life and HKBN Enterprise Solutions (“HKBNES”) have teamed up to launch Hong Kong’s first Google Cloud-powered Cantonese voice chatbot dedicated to insurance services. In a game-changing breakthrough for the finance and insurance sectors, the innovative chatbot leverages Google Cloud AI technology and HKBNES’s one-stop ICT capabilities to deliver seamless voice dialogue and enhanced services for YF Life’s customers. This innovative service is set to be launched early next year.
To support its business development strategy, YF Life seeks to deliver optimised customer experiences to effectively service the multi-lingual needs of customers. To facilitate YF Life to meet customer expectations, as well as the finance and insurance regulatory compliance requirements, HKBNES has developed a next-gen chatbot using Google Cloud’s Contact Center AI. This advanced speech recognition system can support seamless text and voice conversations across three languages, including Cantonese - previously a major challenge for legacy systems.
Daryl Cheng, Senior Vice President of Management Information Systems of YF Life said, “The Cantonese voice chatbot initiative demonstrates our determination to harness FinTech opportunities. Thanks to the technological capabilities of HKBNES and Google Cloud, we can have comprehensive solutions that go beyond market norms and offer our customers outstanding service. Going forward, YF Life will continue with its customer-oriented approach to innovate and provide the best risk- and wealth-management solutions to enhance the customer experience. Our aim is to evolve into a technology-enhanced insurance company serving Hong Kong, the Greater Bay Area and beyond.”
Lucy Werner, Head of Google Cloud Hong Kong said, “We are happy to see Hong Kong companies choosing Google Cloud to innovate and expand their business. HKBN is working with Google Cloud's on Contact Center AI to develop for YF Life the city's first Cantonese voice Chatbot for insurance. It is also a promising case of digitalisation in the financial services industry and insurance industries.”
Sam Tan, Co-Owner & Chief Innovation Officer of HKBN said, “Getting the best-fit technology will be the key for enterprises to navigate success in the new normal. With outstanding end-to-end capabilities and deep knowledge of different industries, we play an essential role in matching our customer’s unique set of needs with world-class technology partners, tailoring and implementing the most suitable tech solutions. By launching Hong Kong’s first Google Cloud-powered Cantonese voice chatbot, our collaboration with YF Life delivers a true win-win with better customer service experiences and more business opportunities.”
The Cantonese-enabled voice chatbot combines Interactive Voice Response (IVR) and cloud platform solutions for enhanced scalability, and shortened queuing and chat times. In addition, via interactive dialogue, the chatbot can also engage in product up-selling and cross-selling. As a result, YF Life can now allocate its manpower more flexibly and focus resources on digital transformation, in line with its mission to serve customers innovatively. This tripartite collaboration between YF Life, HKBNES and Google Cloud truly demonstrates how enterprises can adopt digital transformation strategies to improve their operational efficiency, workflow and human resources deployment.
HKBN and HOME+ Join Forces to Deliver Breakthrough Shopping Rewards to 5G Mobile Services Customers
HKBN Group (“HKBN”) and HOME+ are thrilled to spoil HKBN’s 5G mobile services customers with up to HK$2,800 in online shopping e-coupons. By subscribing to HKBN’s brand new 5G mobile plans, customers will enjoy not just blazing speed of a quality 5G network but also free HOME+ e-cash coupons, allowing them to experience the convenience and quality products at HOME+. An HKBN’s latest unlimited data 5G mobile plans (first 20GB at 5G speeds, unlimited 4.5G thereafter) starts at just HK$298*.
One-stop e-shopping platform HOME+ is jointly operated by HKBN with leaders of multiple industries. HKBN enjoys a unique market edge with HOME+, bringing wave after wave of exciting offers to its 1 million residential customers, penetrating 1/3rd of all Hong Kong households, and over 100,000 corporate customers.
Ben Yeung, Co-Owner & Chief Commercial Officer – Business Development & Partnership of HKBN said, “Offering market-disruptive packages is part of our DNA that sustains HKBN’s pioneering status. Our debut of high calibre 5G services for personal and corporate customers, bundled with generous HOME+ e-cash coupon giveaways, is a breakthrough value combination for the market.”
June Lam, CEO of HOME+ said, “We help businesses do more business on our rapidly growing e-shopping platform by not charging merchants fixed slotting fees or annual fees, allowing them to extend their marketing reach at far lower costs. We’re pleased to work with HKBN to offer its 5G users HOME+ e-cash coupons, which they can use to shop around 10,000 products on HOME+. In addition, we offer an extensive range of latest 5G smartphones at very attractive prices.”
Customers of HKBN’s 5G mobile services will be able to access 3 Hong Kong’s strongest 5G network enjoying a blazing fast speeds and ultra-low latency 5G experience. To date, 3 Hong Kong boasts 5G coverage of 99%^ including over 600 indoor and outdoor premises and facilities across Hong Kong, like major transportation systems, shopping malls, skyscrapers, hospital complexes, hotels and university campuses and more.
Despite COVID-19, HKBN Delivers Solid Growth for the 6 months ended 28 Feb 2021
Business Integrations and Infinite-play Strategy Buttress Resilience & Growth
Despite the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic, HKBN Ltd. (“HKBN” or the “Company”; SEHK stock code: 1310) today announced solid operational and financial growth results for the six months ended 28 February 2021 (“1H2021”). Through a series of mergers and acquisitions in 2019 and integrations afterward, HKBN has evolved from a traditional telecom company in Hong Kong into a leading information and communications technology (ICT) provider across Asia. By offering innovative solutions to the market, the Company sees these difficult times as an opportunity to assist the business transformation of enterprise customers, beyond merely selling connectivity services.
Since the start of COVID-19, the Company has received government subsidies from the regions it operates in and has substantially passed all of these to its Talents. This set of interim results are inclusive of those pass throughs:
- Revenue and EBITDA continued to grow year-on-year (“yoy”) at 40% and 2%, respectively, to HK$6,230 million and HK$1,312 million, while Adjusted Free Cash Flow (“AFF”) dropped by 11% yoy to HK$391 million mainly due to the one time premium paid on senior notes redemption. Core AFF after excluding premium paid on senior notes redemption increased by 7% yoy to HK$505 million.
- Revenue increased by 40% yoy to HK$6,230 million, which was mainly contributed by six months of operating results of HKBN JOS*.
- Reported EBITDA increased by 2% to HK$1,312 million, mainly contributed by the smooth integrations with WTT# and HKBN JOS which brought operational efficiencies to the Company.
- The Board has recommended the payment of an interim dividend of 39 HK cents per share (1H2020: 37 HK cents per share), resulting in a 5% yoy increase.
* HKBN JOS represents HKBN JOS Holdings (C.I.) Limited and its subsidiaries, Adura Hong Kong Limited and ADURA CYBER SECURITY SERVICES PTE. LTD..
# WTT represents HKBN Enterprise Solutions Development Ltd and its subsidiaries.
Enterprise Solutions: integration synergies drove stable customer base and ARPU growth
The integrations with WTT and HKBN JOS have greatly enhanced the combined group’s capabilities, in terms of extended customer reach and far wider service offerings, thereby empowering the Company to differentiate its offerings in the enterprise space. Due to HKBN’s new competitiveness, despite the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic, the Company’s enterprise business delivered growth in this difficult time with a stable number of enterprise customers at 105,000 by raising its enterprise ARPU from HK$2,775/month in 1H2020 to HK$3,028/month in 1H2021. To weather the storm with its enterprise customers and minimise the financial impact on the Company, HKBN offered innovative solutions such as FixIT outsourcing IT service, remote cloud-based HR applications and e-Security to the market. Looking forward, the Company will transform its enterprise business from pure sales of products & services to relationship management, thinking and acting from its customers’ perspective to solve their business problems.
Residential Solutions: multi-play price strategy brought upsell opportunities
During 1H2021, HKBN Residential Solutions revenue slightly dropped by 2% yoy to HK$1,224 million, mainly contributed by the residual impact of the monthly fee waiver for COVID-19 relief in March 2020 and a drop in mobile services revenue. Meanwhile, the Company sees lower customer switching activity and higher upsell opportunities on its OTT and other services. Overall, Residential Solutions continued to show resilience during economic uncertainties. As always, HKBN will continue to extend its integrated multi-play price strategy to deliver unprecedented household savings and service convenience to disrupt the legacy broadband, fixed-voice, content and mobile standalone segments.
Win-Win partnerships to further penetrate the enterprise and residential markets
“By forming multi-win partnerships through Barter & Bundle and new shared economy platform HOME+ with like-minded partners, we are bringing different partners together into one bill for each customer. While customers enjoy better value offers riding on our partnerships, we are also in the best position to further penetrate the enterprise and residential markets, in turn, sharing a larger wallet of spending. We believe that HOME+ will be the key component of our infinite-play services to drive ARPU growth,” said HKBN Co-Owner and Executive Vice-chairman William Yeung, and Co-Owner and Group CEO NiQ Lai.
For more details of HKBN’s results in 1H2021, please refer to the announcement: https://reg.hkbn.net/WwwCMS/upload/pdf/en/e_InterimResultsAnnouncement_FY21.pdf
HKBN and Microsoft Hong Kong Team Up to Support Hong Kong SMEs
Best-in-class Remote Applications now supported by HK’s Largest Accredited Team of Engineers at HKBN
HKBN Group (“HKBN”) and Microsoft Hong Kong (“MSHK”) have joined hands to provide the best-fit remote applications for local enterprises. As part of this strategic collaboration, HKBN and its team of Microsoft Accredited Engineers, the largest in Hong Kong, will deploy and implement Microsoft’s suite of applications to support enterprises, especially SMEs, operate more efficiently and effectively under the new normal.
Boasting a team of around 100 accredited engineers, HKBN is fully equipped to support Microsoft’s range of key products, including the essential multidimensional and secure Microsoft 365, cloud platform Azure, and all-in-one business management solution Business Central. These applications, and more, will be deployed through HKBN’s proven market solutions FixIT (token- or subscription-based IT support) and TaaS (Transformation-as-a-Service), supporting enterprise’s needs with everything from hardware connectivity and maintenance to accredited software licensing, all from one-stop.
Billy Yeung, Co-Owner and CEO – HKBN Enterprise Solutions & JOS Group said, “Change is a matter of survival for enterprises in the new normal. Digital resiliency and adoption of a cross-expertise resource pool makes all the difference between success and failure for businesses. Leveraging our incredible team of Microsoft accredited engineers and our Microsoft Partner of the Year service accolade, HKBN continues to be the ICT provider of choice in delivering all-round technical and digital resources, helping businesses grow and thrive.”
Kelvin Tse, One Commercial Partner and Small, Medium & Corporate Customers at Microsoft Hong Kong said, “2021 will be a game-changing year as companies deepen the adoption of technologies, such as data and AI, to optimize their operations and increase business resilience. Our collaboration with HKBN aligns with our mission to empower Hong Kong, providing local SMEs with the technologies and know-how and be their partner on their digital transformation journey.”
Besides enjoying professionally accredited support across Microsoft’s range of products and applications, enterprise customers using HKBN's FixIT service will also be able to enjoy end-to-end solutions that come at a favourable price with protection from cyberthreats. For more details about FixIT, please visit: www.hkbnes.net/web/en/solutions/fixit
HKBN Enterprise Solutions Offers Prompt Support to Catering Businesses with PHILIPS UV-C Air Disinfection Device
Eliminates viruses and raises the bar to provide better customer protection
Understanding the special operational needs of catering businesses during COVID, HKBN Enterprise Solutions (“HKBNES”) has teamed up with Signify (formerly Philips Lighting) to bring to the market – in particular restaurants and catering premises – PHILIPS UV-C Disinfection Upper Air CM. With the delivery and standard installation support# by HKBNES’ professional team, catering businesses can now leverage technology to better protect their customers and staff from COVID, while meeting the relevant government requirements for continued operation.
PHILIPS UV-C Disinfection Upper Air CM device complies with the government’s air purification standards as listed in the voluntary declaration scheme, and is an effective alternative to the fulfilment of the ventilation air change requirement (a minimum of 6 air changes per hour). The device is also certified by Boston University National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratories (NEIDL)* for effective deactivation of COVID. Meanwhile, compared to traditional air change systems, the UV-C disinfection device is much more energy-efficient and economical to run and maintain, allowing catering businesses to uplift the standard and protect public health, while keeping expenses to a minimum.
“Having access to equipment with high anti-epidemic professional standard that meet the government requirement is essential to our customers as they strive to steer their business back on track amid COVID,” said Billy Yeung, Co-Owner & CEO – HKBN Enterprise Solutions & JOS Group. “HKBNES and Signify’s collaboration to launch the PHILIPS UV-C Air Disinfection device ensures our customers can live up to and exceed the market expectation – and turn their focus back to business and service.”
“Signify is the leader in UV-C light sources and has been at the forefront of UV technology for more than 35 years. Through collaborating with HKBNES, we hope to raise awareness on health and safety in the hospitality industry and introduce an effective air disinfection solution for F&B service providers who are searching for ways to safeguard their employees and customers against airborne transmission and ensure a completely risk-free dining experience. “said Timothy Mak, Group General Manager of Signify Hong Kong Ltd.
As a home-grown technology partner to local businesses, HKBNES understands how operational needs may evolve as circumstances change. Besides disinfection equipment, HKBNES also offers a range of affordable smart or remote work solutions to help businesses transition to new work modes under the new normal. Please contact us to learn more. For details about Philips UV-C Air Disinfection Device, please visit www.hkbnes.net/en/philips-uvc, or call our sales hotline 128 1111.
* Report from Boston University National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratories (NEIDL) https://assets.researchsquare.com/files/rs-65742/v1/aff09723-35d8-4424-9ad8-08f7f52c2570.pdf