When HKBN launched in 1999, it was with one simple mission: to make ultra-fast fibre broadband available and affordable to everyone in Hong Kong. Today, our company serves more than one in every three residential households and one in every two active companies across the territory, with more than 1 million residential subscribers and over 100,000 enterprise customers.\nAnd we\u2019re not stopping there. Now, we\u2019re building on that success to transform from a traditional telecom carrier selling connectivity services to a powerful information and communications technology (ICT) partner for our enterprise customers. Over the last five years, that\u2019s seen us rapidly evolve from an organization with a focus on product innovation to one that\u2019s obsessed with engaging directly with our customers.\nAs Chief Transformation Officer (CTO) and Chief Innovation Officer (CIO), as well as the Co-Owners of the company, we\u2019re deeply involved in driving this shift. Unlike many other companies where CTOs and CIOs might be seen as rivals to secure various resources, we work closely together to identify and then integrate the systems and technologies that our people need to deliver great multi-winning experiences to our customers, partners, and employees. This also includes helping our enterprise customers with their own business transformations.\nWe\u2019re also involved in HKBN\u2019s development of new enterprise ICT solutions: from integrated cloud and information security solutions to system integration services. You could say it\u2019s all about offering a full toolbox, rather than just a single tool, to help our customers solve their business problems and achieve their strategic goals.\nBelow, we outline four approaches that have helped us create a digital-first, customer-focused strategy which is helping HKBN grow faster than any other ICT provider in the marketplace.\n1.\u00a0\u00a0 Drive change with a talent-first culture\nAt HKBN, we describe ourselves as talent obsessed. We believe if we look after our people, they\u2019ll go out of their way and go the extra mile for our company, even during tough times. This has led to a corporate culture that champions continuous training, learning and development, and a clear life-work priority, allowing great flexibility for personal and family well being.\nFrom the IT point of view, this approach extends to arming our frontline customer-facing teams with the cutting-edge tools they need to succeed in the highly competitive Asian telecom market. That means empowering them to create seamless digital experiences tailored around consumers.\nFor example, we\u2019re leveraging the automation and collaboration capabilities of Salesforce Sales Cloud and Salesforce Marketing Cloud to help our sales and marketing teams save effort on low-value tasks, like report generation, and instead focus on higher-value activities like customer engagement.\nWe\u2019re also deploying Salesforce MuleSoft, an API-based integration tool, to help our people unify all available data to create a single view of the customer, automate business processes, and build better connected experiences.\nAll these changes stood us in good stead with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. When lockdowns were imposed and our frontline team members couldn\u2019t engage with customers face to face, we worked intensively with our people to ensure they could rapidly embrace virtual engagement tools and so continue to sell via digital platforms, including social channels.\n2.\u00a0\u00a0 Embrace an integration mindset\u00a0\nAt HKBN, we see digital transformation as an organization-wide upgrade that runs much deeper than a simple technology upgrade. It\u2019s about rethinking our daily operations across the company and how departments can collaborate to achieve common business goals.\nOur starting point is always to work intensively with our frontline teams to identify their sales and servicing pain points. Based on that understanding, we co-create omni-channel solutions to address the customer needs. The process also involves harnessing the power of digital tools and technologies organization-wide to integrate data and gain a single, shared 360-degree view of every customer.\nWe also turn to experts from\u00a0Salesforce Professional Services\u00a0to guide the process. That gives us valuable insights into how best to implement and use our new tools to quickly achieve our transformation goals.\nAll this is helping us to deliver value to our customers dynamically and efficiently. When COVID-19 struck, we launched a customer engagement campaign #ToughTimesTogether, which included offering 1-month fee waivers of our fixed-line service to our entire customer base in Hong Kong \u2014 comprising 1 million customers territory-wide.\nSuch service fee waivers represented a significant part of our annual revenue \u2013 it was a major commitment. Aimed to be a quick relief to all our customers from the pandemic\u2019s outset, we targeted to roll out the campaign as fast as possible. We\u2019re proud that from planning to execution, it took us just one week. If we hadn\u2019t had the digital foundations ready in place, we would never have been able to move so quickly.\n3.\u00a0\u00a0 Unleash a fresh approach to CIO leadership\nHKBN\u2019s transformation strategy has shone a spotlight on the role of the company\u2019s Information Technology (IT) department. When HKBN started out, IT played the traditional role of a maintaining back-end systems. But as the company began to embrace its transformation program, it realized it needed to bring IT out of the back office so it could play a more central role in driving overall business strategy.\nCreating the roles of Chief Transformation Officer (CTO) and Chief Innovation Officer (CIO) embodies HKBN\u2019s commitment to unleashing change across every aspect of the business \u2014 from customer engagement strategies to new, agile ways of working together across teams.\nAs CTO, Samuel works to help our workforce of nearly 6,000 people transform as a group, seamlessly adopting the tools and technologies they need to deliver exceptional customer experiences for great business results. Meanwhile, our CIO, Sam, draws on his industry knowledge to create the architecture landscape that can enable HKBN\u2019s ambitious growth plans.\nWe work in tandem to ensure we can execute change quickly and effectively. That includes making the right judgement calls when it comes to prioritizing technology investments and keeping HKBN moving in the right direction. And while we may sometimes disagree ultimately, we know we\u2019re both working towards the same goal: enabling our customers to be more successful.\u00a0\n4.\u00a0\u00a0 Create competitive advantage with Co-Ownership\nWhat\u2019s the safest way to ensure a bridge doesn\u2019t collapse? You get the builders to live beneath it to ensure they have a vested interest in supporting what they put up.\nThat\u2019s the thinking behind HKBN\u2019s unique Co-Ownership scheme. No one gets free stock options here \u2014 instead, we allow our people the choice of having skin in the game by investing a significant portion of their savings into the company.\nOur Co-Ownership scheme was established in 2012 after a management buyout. Today, it\u2019s evolved to open to everyone at supervisory level and above.\nEligible Co-Owners sign up to invest 2-24 months of their salary to buy HKBN stock at market price under the Co-Ownership scheme. If HKBN achieves or exceeds a key company performance target in a period of three years, Co-Owners enjoy free shares at a certain ratio.\nIt means we\u2019ve created a common set of incentives - from growing the company to saving costs - across all parts of the business, from IT to customer service and even key external partners.\nToday, we have hundreds of proud Co-Owners, representing majority of our managerial workforce and 100% of our top management. We all have a vested stake in HKBN\u2019s overall success, creating what we like to call our \u201clegal unfair competitive advantage\u201d (or you\u2019d hear us saying \u201cLUCA\u201d). Together, we share a common vision and a drive to create long-term value for our customers and our company.\nSeizing new growth opportunities\nLooking ahead, we\u2019re seeking to leverage the capabilities we\u2019ve built via our internal digital transformation projects as we work with customers on their own transformations. For example, we are now seeking to empower our team of system integrators to offer \u201cdigital transformation as a service\u201d across Asia-Pacific.\nThe past year has brought so many challenges. But, by using technology to stay connected to our customers, we\u2019ve been able to keep making the agile decisions that will help us scale. While we\u2019re not the market leader yet, that\u2019s where our sights are set - and we\u2019re getting closer every day.\n Salesforce\n\n(left)\u00a0Sam Tan, Co-Owner & CIO, HKBN\u00a0 (right)\u00a0\u00a0Samuel Hui, Co-Owner & CTI, HKBN\nSamuel is the one without glasses on\n\n\nSam TanCo-Owner & Chief Innovation Officer HKBN Group\nSam has over 30 years of solid experience in IT, automation and consulting; serving global MNCs with 23 years in senior leadership roles. He was also a full-time Soldier with Singapore Armed Forces for 5 years. Prior to joining HKBN, he was the Asia Pacific CIO for AECOM. Not only has he achieved cost\/efficiencies improvement through Data Center consolidation, Network redesign as well as user experience\/satisfaction were also greatly improved.\u00a0 Most importantly, he managed to uplift the IBM outsourcing relationship and services to AECOM Asia Pacific users when the rest of the world were still suffering, and later AECOM outsourced the entire IT globally to IBM in 2017. Sam previously held regional leadership roles in MNCs including Liz Claiborne, UPS Supply Chain Solutions, Hewlett-Packard and FedEx.\nSamuel HuiCo-Owner & Chief Transformation Officer HKBN Group\nSamuel and his team are responsible for both the digital transformation of HKBN and that of our partners as a trusted advisor and delivery expert, with competencies across Customer Relationship Management in the digital age, Data Analytics, as well as the use of new technologies such as Internet of Things and Digital Solutions. Samuel is also active in the startup ecosystem in co-developing innovative ideas with leading entrepreneurs and match-making these solutions with the enterprise market. Samuel brought onboard a breadth of experience as a management consultant advising Fortune 500 Financial Services clients on business growth and transformation strategies at Oliver Wyman NY.