Hong Kong Broadband Network

We are rethinking our daily operations across the company and how departments collaborate to achieve common business KPIs.”

Samuel Hui, Co-Owner and Head of Digital, HKBN

12 months

to double revenue contribution


higher open rates for marketing emails


Hong Kong Broadband Network partners with Salesforce to power organisation-wide digital transformation

Hong Kong Broadband Network (HKBN) has built its incredible success by putting its 6,000 employees – called Talents - as priority number one. Now, the company has turned to Salesforce to empower its Talents further via digital transformation across the organisation.

HKBN’s core purpose is to ‘Make our Hong Kong a better place to live’. The company was launched in 1999 with the noble mission to democratise the internet by making ultra-fast fibre broadband affordable for all. This is now apparent with Hongkongers enjoying amongst the world’s fastest and best-value fibre services.

“We ask ourselves: ‘What would the Hong Kong telecom landscape look like without HKBN?’” says NiQ Lai, Co-Owner and CEO of HKBN. “In our view, Hongkongers would be paying far higher prices for incumbent legacy services, if there was no HKBN disrupting the status quo. This is what we mean by our core purpose to ‘Make our Hong Kong a better place to live’.”

By 2004, the company was amongst the world’s pioneers in launching Hong Kong’s first 100Mbps residential broadband service. A year later HKBN rolled out its 1000 Mbps service, which made Hong Kong the first city in the world where one third of households could enjoy fibre-to-the-home 1000Mbps broadband.

HKBN now serves more than one in every three residential households and one in every two active companies in Hong Kong with more than 1,000,000 residential subscribers and over 100,000 enterprise customers, and in 2015 debuted on the main board of the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong with a highly successful IPO.

HKBN also puts priority on the shared prosperity of its own Talents. Employees – known within the company as ‘Talents’ – are invited to take part in a Co-Ownership programme to essentially become shareholders in the company they work for.

“The idea is that you don't just make money from HKBN, you make money with HKBN,” says Samuel Hui, Co-Owner and Head of Digital at HKBN. “No-one gets free stock options here. Instead, we put our skin in the game by investing a significant portion of salaries into the company. In short, the best way to ensure a bridge is built safely is to get the builders to live underneath that bridge with their families… this is what we do at HKBN.”


We've seen huge performance improvements in terms of our engagement as a result of our move to laser-guided, context-sensitive campaigns that are managed through Marketing Cloud.”

Samuel Hui, Co-Owner and Head of Digital, HKBN

Driving real digital transformation

The team at HKBN took their first step towards digital transformation in 2018 with the deployment of Marketing Cloud. Prior to Marketing Cloud, Hui says that it took up to 10 days to send out marketing campaigns, and this process involved multiple people from data, customer service, and IT teams all working in a hands-on capacity. There was no personalisation involved, and marketing content was distributed in a spray-and-pray approach.

“Today, with Marketing Cloud, it takes us less than two days to send effective, segmented campaigns, and it only requires input from one department,” says Hui. “We've seen huge performance improvements in terms of our engagement as a result of our move to laser-guided, context-sensitive campaigns that are managed through Marketing Cloud. For example, if a customer gives us a good customer service rating, an email is automatically triggered asking them to refer our services to their friends and family with their personal promotional code.”

Hui says this approach has helped HKBN achieve as high as 50 to 60 per cent open rates, up two to threefold from before, as well as doubling the Digital team’s contribution to top-line revenue in less than 12 months.

“It also allows our Talents to spend more time thinking about marketing and how to engage our customers more effectively, and less time actually coordinating those email campaigns with different internal stakeholders. Marketing Cloud has been an astounding success for us.”

But the Marketing Cloud deployment is only the first step in an organisation-wide digital transformation strategy that runs much deeper than a technology upgrade.

“This is fundamentally an organisational upgrade across the entire company,” says Hui. “It’s not just about one team pushing out a new tool, but much more about rethinking our daily operations across the company and how departments collaborate to achieve common business KPIs.”

Co-creating a best-in-class sales organisation

This organisational upgrade spans the entire B2C and B2B sides of the business, and the benefits of this approach are evident in the way HKBN is currently deploying Salesforce Sales Cloud.

“We worked with our sales and services teams to set the ground work for a successful Sales Cloud deployment and change management,” says Hui. “Even before procuring Sales Cloud, we had already identified key champions from each and every one of our teams to help assess the products. Then we worked with these champions to identify their pain points so we could co-create a best-in-class sales organisation. By involving our sales and services teams early in the assessment phase, we have created tangible excitement among our Talents to embrace Salesforce as Co-Owners of HKBN’s digital transformation. Now, many Talents are clamouring for earlier deployment of Salesforce. They see Salesforce as directly helping them generate more commission per sales person, rather than as a top-down push.”

“I estimate that prior to Salesforce, 70 per cent of our corporate sales time was spent on administration, reports and manual transactions, while only 30 per cent was spent on selling. We love working with Salesforce and Samuel’s Digital team to reverse this equation with Sales Cloud,” says Brian Lee, Co-Owner and Associate Director - Sales, Enterprise Solutions at HKBN.

“The objective for our digital transformation is to drive up revenue per sales to the extent we can achieve both a lower commission rate to increase company profitability AND a higher commission per sales person due to our enhanced productivity.”

Another major part of HKBN’s organisational upgrade includes reimagining the sales function and co-creating a new approach that better integrates online and offline sales.

This is being achieved with personalised QR sales codes that sales Talents can give to offline connections to ensure they receive attribution when the contract is closed online. This makes online a powerful tool of the physical sales channel rather than a competitor to it.

Top sales people have seen a 20 to 30 per cent boost in commissions. This has proved to be an effective way to demonstrate technology as a powerful enabler Talents can use to gain better insights and push innovation in the sales arena. This, in turn, helps significantly ease change management through achieving buy in at all levels within the organisation.

“We see digital transformation as an organisational upgrade, not merely a technology upgrade,” says Hui. “To prepare for our Sales Cloud deployment, we worked intensively with our frontline Talents to identify their sales and servicing pain points such that we can co-create an omni-channel solution to address them. This has made everyone extremely motivated to start the project. We looked at this upgrade from a cultural change perspective so we feel that we're all in the same boat.”

Making our Hong Kong a better place to live

This all-aboard approach is reflected in HKBN’s ongoing Corporate Social Investment (CSI) initiative. The CSI programme is built on three key pillars – social partnership, caring for community, and respect for the environment.

“We volunteer and invest back into the community. HKBN offers paid volunteer leave to Talents so we are encouraged to give back to the community with great flexibility,” says CY Chan, Co-Owner and Head of Talent Engagement and Corporate Social Investment at HKBN. “Similar to our approach in business, for CSI we also look for Legal Unfair Competitive Advantage (LUCA) to stretch our CSI dollars further. An example of this is to promote cyber wellness through our ‘Net’s Be Wise’ programme that aims to educate primary schoolers to fight against cyber bullying. This is very much aligned with our core business.”

And the CSI initiative is set for a significant boost with the introduction of a new funding model that will be driven by Talent donations.

“Our Co-Owners are all personally investors in the company. We are invited to donate part of our potential earnings three years from now and a significant number of us have already pledged to donate a certain per cent to the HKBN Talent CSI Fund,” says Chan. “The idea is to make sure we have a perpetual stream of funds coming into our CSI so it can continue to do great things in the future.”

“The foundational value of our company is to make Hong Kong a better place to live. This CSI programme is really about setting a legacy and creating a culture of giving back. We want our kids and grandkids to know that HKBN isn't just an ICT solutions provider, but is deeply embedded into the social fabric of Hong Kong,” adds Hui.

That’s a value that cements HKBN's relationship with Salesforce as both companies embrace the concept that every business has the opportunity to be a platform for positive change through the shared commitment to engage with our communities.


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