Due to the COVID19, businesses of all industries are hit hard. The Hong Kong Innovation and Technology Bureau announced allocating $500 million from the 2nd round of Anti-Epidemic funds to set up the “Distance Business Program (D-Biz Program)” to support enterprises to continue business with technology adoption. Below are the crucial tips for you to win this fund.

Since last month, the Innovation and Technology Commission (ITC) has launched the Distance Business Programme (D-Biz) to support enterprises via funding for their IT adoption to developed distance business and fight the pandemic. After helping with many clients prepare their applications, we concluded 5 noticeable tips for a winning D-Biz Application.

1. Clearly Understand the aims of D-Biz Program & application procedures

First and foremost, make sure you fully comprehend the target of this program, requirements, and procedures. Although these are basic factors, they will decide if your application can be processed or not.

As long as you defined the IT solution, you also should be clear the procedure process with all required documents including:

  • Company BR
  • Evidence of operation – For example, invoices/receipts or commercial contracts issued within three months before submitting an application, the latest audited account, profits tax returns and taxation assessment issued by the Inland Revenue Department.
  • Project Title – Make a single project name that describes the IT solutions that you are applying the funding for.
  • Describe your Existing Business – Write a few paragraphs describing your current business & how the pandemic affect your operation
  • Quotations – Write a paragraph for each IT solution that you are applying for that solve the problems you mentioned above. Note, all stories written must be reasonable and explainable. You need to explain how the solutions in your quotation could help you enhance your business operations. If the quotes you are getting do not provide direct benefits to your business, your application will be rejected.
  • Project Details per solution –  You can obtain this from the vendor.
  • External Audit Quotations – Find two auditors to get a d-biz program audit service quotation from them.
  • Letter of Authorization – issue a letter of authorization by your company to authorize the in-charge person as the contact point between your company and the HK Government.

You can consult your IT service provider on this preparation. Once you are confident that your application complies with all these basic requirements, you are almost getting this fund.

2. Identify your need for IT solutions relevant to the program 

Ensure you understand that this program focuses on supporting IT adoption projects to help enterprises survive during this tough time. That means if you are seeking a sponsor for your staff salary, you may be barking the wrong tree. The list of 12 IT solution categories that this program covers are:

  • Online business
  • Online order taking and delivery, and smart self-service systems
  • Digital customer experience enhancement
  • Online customer services and engagement
  • Digital payment / mobile point of sale
  • Online / cloud-based financial management systems
  • Online / cloud-based human resources management systems
  • Remote document management, cloud storage, and remote access services
  • Virtual meeting and conference tools
  • Virtual team management and communications
  • Cybersecurity solutions
  • Other online/custom-built / cloud-based business support systems

The relevance of the solution you propose and your business are the primary criteria. You should be able to prove that it will enable enterprises to continue their business and services during the epidemic. For instance, if you are seeking a solution for your remote operations, the possible options are online / cloud-based human resources management systems, remote document management, cloud storage, and remote access services, or virtual team management and communications. With the solution of remote storage, you need to clarify how it is important to enhance remote staff’s collaboration and productivity, thereby how it can contribute to your business’s growth. Moreover, each applicant can apply up to 3 solutions. So, you need to work closely with your chosen IT partner to ensure you made the right choices and write persuasive project plans.

3. Make sure the quotation you obtained is reasonable

Another important criterion is that the detailed and reasonable cost plan. You must propose a quotation which clearly describes every item and service that this funding could cover: 

  • Engagement of IT Service Provider – You should provide the expected deliverables from the engagement of the Service Provider, as well as the breakdown of payment to this Service Provider including manpower cost (in man-hour) and any other related costs for the purpose of the project.
  • Purchase, rental, or subscription of custom-built equipment/hardware, software, and other IT services or solutions that form an essential part of the project.
  • Purchase, rental, or subscription of off-the-shelf / readily available equipment/hardware, software and other IT services or solutions that form an essential part of the project.
  • Training expenses related to the adoption of the IT solution for the employees to be capped at 10% of the solution cost.
  • Project auditing for projects with approved funding exceeding HK$30,000 (please refer to paragraph 40(d) below). The maximum audit fee is HK$3,000.

Notably. you will gain more chances to win once you can show the proof that the proposed prices are adequate with the market. 

4. A strict and detailed implementation plan

You also must submit clear implementation details that show the delivery schedule and project outcomes. Thus, make sure you and your service provider are on the same page of the detailed service scope and project budget prior to the commencement of the project and set out the information in the application. This will be assessed through the feasibility taking into account factors such as the complexity of the IT solution and the project duration; and the capability of your service provider.

For example, if you are targeting the ERP solution, make sure the IT partner you choose has proven experience in this field. Thereby, your application will appear highly competitive with strong evidence that your project will be implemented efficiently.

Upon completion of the project, you need to submit the project to your appointed auditor to audit your project. You will receive the final funding after your project is successfully audited.

5. Choose the right vendor for your D-Biz Program project

As mentioned above, the capability of your partner takes the vital role of having a competitive application. Choose a partner that has track records on the project you are applying for.

Arestós distance business solutions provide all essentials of a successful D-Biz Program application and implementation. We offer all IT solutions this fund covers:

  • Online Retail & E-commerce – Transform physical store to online store remote Document Management – Remote real-time access and co-edit of shared tex
  • Remote Document Management – Remote real-time access and co-edit of shared text documents, spreadsheets, presentation files.
  • Remote Telephone System – Making use of advanced VOIP technologies, taking the company phone system to the internet, allowing employees to answer and make calls using company phone numbers.
  • ERP system – allows employees from different departments to interact within a single platform to get things done.
  • Remote CRM system – allow sales and teams to collaborate online and close deals through an online customer relationship management system.
  • Online Financial Management – Allow financial teams to remotely take care of company financials, including billing, invoicing, and more.
  • HR and Attendance Management – Allow HR departments to remotely manage employees’ attendance and HR matters.
  • Business Intelligence – Access to your company’s data and get actionable insights in a timely manner from anywhere

Last but not least, we will walk you through the whole project, from defining the right IT solution, prepare the winning application to complete the project successfully. Therefore, with Arestós, enterprises can seize this opportunity of digital transformation and revive business development during the epidemic.