Businesses from Vietnam to the Philippines are turning small budgets and traffic jams to their advantage by harnessing employees’ familiarity with online platforms to exploit the latest and cheapest technologies to boost productivity.

A Microsoft-backed survey found small and medium firms in emerging economies in the Asia Pacific embracing tools such as Skype, Dropbox and Whatsapp more readily than their peers in advanced nations. Vietnam and the Philippines topped the region in using four or five such online tools, including e-mail, social networking, file sharing, document collaboration and virtual meetings, according to the survey of 10 countries excluding China and India.

Of the 2,000 respondents from small and medium-sized businesses, about 80 percent from Vietnam and the Philippines said they used four or five of these tools, compared with 35 percent in Australia and 40 percent in Taiwan.