Increase operations efficiency and enhance transaction and donation transparency for the public and NGOs with Azure, Dynamics 365, Power Platform and Power Apps
April 28, 2020, Hong Kong – The COVID-19 outbreak has sent people scrambling to buy basic medical supplies like face masks and hand sanitizer. The city’s mask shortage lasted for quite some time as bulk orders from overseas were not able to ship to Hong Kong due to logistics restrictions. Many of us had to search for masks across Hong Kong, queueing up through the night just for two boxes of masks. People from all walks of life are impacted – some are even struggling to go out and purchase daily necessities without masks.
Due to the mask shortage, many businesses, organizations and individuals have stepped forward and contributed to the safety and health of the public at every way they can. Among them is Mr. Ho Sik Hon, Founder and Chief Executive of OneMask. When he noticed the shortage of mask supplies during the early stage of the virus outbreak, he started to explore the feasibility of setting up a local mask production line. After announcing his ideas on social media, Sik Hon received support from more than 2,000 people within a short period of time. After several days of discussion and evaluation, he and several friends decided to establish OneMask.
It took only a few weeks from fundraising to setting up a production plant and allowing pre-orders, during which the team had to make a lot of quick and precise decisions. It was almost impossible for the team to process and analyze large amounts of data. With the assistance of Microsoft Hong Kong, OneMask began to explore the use of technology to stream business processes and make business decisions through data analysis.
OneMask uses Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central to facilitate its Financial Management, Inventory Management and Production Planning & Processing, which streamlines business processes while maintaining compliance and security at the same time. The Artificial Intelligence (AI) Demand Forecast offered by Business Central helps OneMask to efficiently and cost-effectively plan and meet upcoming demand.
OneMask had received tremendous number of responses in the first round of pre-orders in early March. To support the upcoming round of pre-order next month (May), OneMask will leverage Microsoft Azure, the company’s enterprise-grade cloud computing platform, which can process up to 3 million registration applications in one minute, mitigating the chance of server overload while supporting large number of customers to register on the site at the same time.
To further enhance the customer experience, OneMask’s customer delivery and receiving process will run on Power Apps to ensure a smooth experience at pick-up point, and flow near real-time data back to Power BI for business analysis.
The partnership with Microsoft comes right on time. “We expect to receive tens of thousands of orders within a few minutes in the next round of pre-orders. It may take us several months to process all orders if we adopt traditional data classification and processing methods. With the help of technology provided by Microsoft, we succeeded in simplifying many processes such as order entry, payment, and even future fulfilment, allowing us to deliver masks to the people in need quickly, ” said Ho Sik Hon, Founder and Chief Executive of OneMask.
In addition, Microsoft will support OneMask’s 1:1 donation matching program by nominating more than 300 technology-enabled charity beneficiaries under the Microsoft Philanthropies program, as well as empowering all OneMask’s NGO partners with PowerPlatform technologies, including license donation and onboarding services. The NGOs will be able to track all mask donations from OneMask through a common portal supported by PowerPlatform to ensure data integrity and accuracy throughout the entire donation process.
“Microsoft has been rooted in Hong Kong for nearly 30 years. We have been working hand-in-hand with many sectors, empowering them to achieve more with the help of technology. We truly believe that each of us can play a role in helping to combat COVID-19. We are very happy to partner with OneMask to provide them with trusted and efficient technologies, and work together to help the community in this challenging time,” said Cally Chan, General Manager of Microsoft Hong Kong and Macau.
Microsoft has also partnered with HKTVmall to support a masks purchase registration service using Azure cloud services. With Azure’s powerful data processing capability, the public was able to register and purchase masks smoothly and securely.
Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.