In the News:
A.S. Watson Group (ASW), the world’s largest international health and beauty retailer, announces the launch of its first ever Technology Partnership Programme to build a network of technology expert partners to support the acceleration of its digital transformation.
Transformative Partnership to Win Customers’ Hearts
Malina Ngai, Group Chief Operating Officer of ASW, explained why the company introduces the partnership approach. “We believe every technology partner whom we have chosen to work with is more than just a vendor. Traditional client-vendor relationship is short-term. There is lack of transparency and continuity in the way we work with each other. Besides, project base contract makes it difficult for their resource planning.
“The Partnership Programme is designed to transform the short term contractual relationship to a longer term strategic relationship to create a win-win for both parties. Our Tech Partners will have access to senior management, visibility on our growth strategy and technology roadmap, as well as a longer term financial commitment from us. We can benefit from their commitment in providing consistent resources, expert advice and services, as well as first hand access to innovation they develop.
“The appointment of our first batch of worldwide Tech Partners shows our determination to accelerate our digital transformation. The goal of such transformation is to enable A.S. Watson Group to build on our solid retail foundation to fuel further growth through a smarter and more efficient organisation. Our purpose of putting customer first and putting a smile on their faces continues. We recognize that our customers are changing rapidly and technology has become an ever more critical ingredient to deliver our purpose.”
Paving the Way for Future with Technology and People
ASW embarked on its digital transformation journey since 2011 when it introduces its first Customer Strategy. Investment initially was dedicated to CRM, eCommerce and mobile experience, amounted to USD70m. It has subsequently established eLab in 2015, an in-house digital agency focusing on supporting all operating businesses to develop eCommerce and digital marketing. In 2017, ASW kicked off another major investment of USD70m in big data to build new capabilities in analytics and machine learning.
In the meantime, ASW has launched a re-engineering programme in People Development in order to attract, train and retain the right talents to serve the customers of the new world.
For the first batch of Tech Partners the company appoints comprises of expertise in the areas of eCommerce, store systems, data science, artificial intelligence, data visualization, technology ecosystem and services. ASW will continue to identify potential expertise to join the Partnership Programme to support its digital transformation journey.
Partnering for New Heights of Retail
Cally Chan, General Manager of Microsoft Hong Kong is delighted about the collaboration opportunities to spark the next wave of growth, “Microsoft is thrilled about the opportunity to work with A.S. Watson as a trusted partner. ASW’s unique approach to partnership and full transparency has enabled us to work hand-in-hand to accelerate their digital transformation journey. With Microsoft Cloud, we are committed to empowering ASW’s employees to collaborate globally in ways which were never possible before.”
Balazs Fejes, EVP & Co-Head Global Business of EPAM is honored to be selected as a technology partner of ASW, “EPAM is pleased to serve A.S. Watson Group in four countries in Europe at present and is exploring new opportunities in its Asia portfolio. We appreciate ASW’s approach to making its technology roadmap transparent, whether a partner is large or small, as this facilitates a mutual understanding of needs and expectations. This partnership, combined with our focus on rapidly developing disruptive solutions in the areas of big data and digital experiences, will enable us to collectively support a full range of digital transformation strategies within ASW.”
Matteo Da Pont, CEO of Ovolab is excited about the partnership with ASW, “We at Ovolab are a close-knit team of passionate mobile developers and designers. As a small company, we are especially proud to be among the select list of suppliers that were appointed ASW Tech Partners and briefed on the vision of ASW’s digital strategy. This is an incredible opportunity for us, and we look forward to working even more closely with ASW to deliver compelling apps that will delight ASW customers in their everyday interactions with ASW brands.”
According to Kerry Liu, CEO of Rubikloud, the company aims to support ASW to further enhance its capabilities in personalising customer offers through advanced targeting, as well as optimising promotional effectiveness, “We are thrilled to partner with a global retail leader like A.S. Watson Group. At Rubikloud we focus on applying machine learning and flexible big data architectures in practical applications, which means driving tangible business impact.”
Willy Wong, CEO of Mtel is enthusiastic about the collaboration with ASW, “While many companies look at mobile app development as a project, it is evolving into a strategic tool for consumer brands to engage its customers. I am pleased to create a long-term partnership with a successful international retailer like A.S. Watson who sees mobile as more than a one-off project. Our initial scope is in Asia and I am confident that we will help ASW to make a difference in the role mobile plays in their business.”
Alexander Varghese, Chief Administrative Officer of UST Global said, “At UST Global, we are at the forefront of innovation and are focused on bringing cutting-edge technologies for our large global customers. We are excited to work with A.S. Watson and thank them for having us onboard.”
Original article is here.