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Live updates: HR Tech Interactive 2017, Malaysia

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Welcome to HR Tech Interactive 2017, Malaysia - the third annual edition of Asia’s most innovative, invite-only specialised conference on managing HR in the age of digital disruption. We're reporting live from Aloft Kuala Lumpur Sentral, with Human Resources' Wani Azahar and Aditi Sharma Kalra on-site.

The most recent updates will appear first:

With that, we come to the end of HR Tech Interactive 2017, Malaysia. Human Resources would like to thank all speakers, panelists and table hosts in pulling together facts and case studies for insightful presentations. Thanks also to all delegates for their active participation in the event and leveraging on the various networking and interactive opportunities. Finally, but not the least, we thank the following sponsors and partners:

1.   Platinum sponsor – Harrison Assessments

2.   Gold sponsors –

  • a.   Accendo
  • b.   Pulsifi
  • c.   Workday
3.   Silver sponsors –
  • a.   Excelity Global Solutions
  • b.   Guidebook
  • c.   iTalent
  • d.   NGA Human Resources
4.   Exhibitor – Ramco Systems

The final item on today's agenda is a rapidfire round where our esteemed table hosts sum up some of their key takeaways from today's conference as well as from the four table discussions they have hosted through the day. Using PigeonHole, some of the top keywords being mentioned by the speakers have been compiled in the following word cloud:

word cloud


We will now move on to a panel discussion on aligning IT and HR to build a sustainable business. We are fortunate to have an HR expert moderating this - Chuah Chan Hoon, head of HR, DHL Global Business Services [seated in the centre].

Joining her are panellists [from left-right]:

  • Zailani Ali, executive director, group human resource, UMW Corporation
  • Xico Kashambo, compliance and quality specialist, iTalent
  • Brett Armstrong, solutions director, Harrison Assessments
  • Vikram Anand, recruitment manager, JAPAC, BAE Systems Applied Intelligence

Next up, we have a keynote presentation by Brett Armstrong, solutions director, Harrison Assessments, who specialises in a number of high-impact areas, which include organisational capability, performance management, executive coaching, among many more. He shares his expert opinion on optimising the recruitment process by leveraging technology.

He talks about the need for building the employer brand through the recruiting process: "We may have found the right person, but if that right person has not bought into our strategy, then the chances of them being productive and driven are going to be reduced.

"Half of the recruiting strategy is getting them onboard. The tables are turning - the hunted are now the hunters, i.e. the candidates are now coming out for us. So we want to be able to proactively develop the employer brand."


This next speaker and his HR team spent hundreds of hours and millions of dollars in improving the processes and capturing terabytes of personal data. They affirm that investment in technology only truly creates value if it is able to drive performance by outperforming their competitors and keeping our talent. We hear it from the person in the driving seat - Jeffrey Fong, senior manager, HR technology, Applied Materials SEA.

He has accumulated 17 years of implementing HR technology solutions across the globe, including talent management, time and attendance, and employee self-service. Today, he is here to explain just how to create a performance-driven culture through talent analytics.

applied materials

With more than 14 years of experience around driving HR technology and integration projects across New Zealand, UK, Ireland, Singapore and Thailand, our next speaker most recently spent close to decade in Sydney before returning to Malaysia close to a decade ago.

For a presentation on the human touch in people technology, we have on stage Sharma KSK Lachu, CEO, Accendo. On ensuring the human touch in the midst of technology, Lachu clarified: "What is the one thing that we all often lack when we talk about leaders listening to employees? I think it is leaders taking time out to speak to people."

He adds: "Technology plays a very important role in enabling engagement. But the moment we allow technology to be at the forefront of this environment, we lose. Technology should be an enabler for what organisations do best."

accendo 1

The first of today's four interactive sessions is now underway - we've got four topics, being covered by eight hosts across the room, for an intense round of two-conversation. Leading the table conversations are:

1. Talent analytics

  • Kevin Tan, international business director, Harrison Assessments
  • Jeffrey Fong, senior manager, HR technology, Applied Materials SEA
harrison, kevin


2. Mobile HR

  • Mohamad Roslan Bin Mohamad Nasir, general manager - HR, Denso
  • Bryan Koh, head of sales and marketing APAC, Guidebook
  • bryan, guidebook

3. HR cloud

  • Jayshree Krishna, head of client delivery ASEAN, Excelity Global
  • Chin Weng Fee, regional director, digital HR services - Asia Pacific and Japan, NGA Human Resources
  • chin weng fee, NGA hr
4. Social media and collaboration
  • Daphne Lok, director human resources, Southeast Asia, Surbana Jurong International Consultants
  • Vikram Anand, recruitment manager APAC, BAE Systems Applied Intelligence

For the next presentation, we've brought in the experts on big data, machine learning, and artificial intelligence. The first speaker is Pulsifi's co-founder and CEO, Jay Huang, a strong believer in realising the potential of people for organisations to succeed. Before Pulsifi, he was the head of strategy at CtrlShift.

Joining Jay on stage is Ashley Narayanan, director of strategic client engagement, bringing more than 20 years of experience in managing operations and sales, including a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt. He was previously head of strategic client services at ManpowerGroup, and also tenured with Kelly Services.

In tandem, Jay and Ashley are going to present the trends and challenges currently facing big data and AI in HR.


Inaugurating the conference is a veteran from the Motorola team, the MD of Motorola Solutions Malaysia. Having been with the organisation for more than 25 years, Dr Hari Narayanan is currently responsible for the company’s operations at its Penang site, which include the supply chain, R&D and the global solutions and services centre.

Today, he gets the ball rolling, with a presentation on deploying HR technology in the age of disruption, affirming that at Motorola Solutions, the cloud buoys the employee's entire journey. In an example, he shares, "From the rewards point of view, our pay grade and salaries, everything is published on Converage. Nothing is secretive - that's the kind of culture we are creating in Motorola."

dr hari



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