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Photos and highlights: HR Tech Interactive 2017, Singapore

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Marking the successful completion of the regional conference, HR Tech Interactive 2017, Singapore, was held at InterContinental Singapore on 14 September 2017. The fifth annual edition of Asia’s most specialised conference on managing HR in the age of digital disruption was produced by Priya Veeriah, and attended by over 100 delegates.

A quick introduction by senior journalist at Human Resources, Wani Azahar, set the pace for the day, where she said: "With the aid of technology in our processes, knowledge is being transferred, competencies are being built, and employees are using self-services to get their queries answered in what are known as boundary-less organisations."

"With the HR function getting leaner, the focus is on integrating technology into the world of work like never before – and here’s where HR Tech Interactive comes in," she added.

[Check out the photos from the event]

She went on to invite the day's first speaker, who heads the global organisation and people analytics team at Merck Group, supporting its three business sectors of healthcare, life sciences, and performance materials. Alexis Saussinan, the head of organisation development and people analytics at Merck Group, shared a case study on evolving your HR operating model to support business transformation.

"What we have done over the past eight months, is we have connected every single people data point of the company into one platform. We track that every month, and we try to derive insights out of it. We have a multi-year roadmap in place. Currently, it includes business data such as sales, and we are also looking to plug in external data," he said, explaining the technology journey at Merck so far.

This was followed by our first interactive session, with five table themes being facilitated by table hosts across the room, the first of which was Talent Analytics, faciliated by Sandeep Mookharjea, global human resources business partner, Standard Chartered Bank; and Richard Lee, principal solution consultant-HCM, Workday. Joining them on the topic of HR Cloud, were Gary Tan, regional head of strategic people programmes, Bridgestone; and Jayshree Krishna, head of client delivery, ASEAN, Excelity Global Solutions.



Coming just after this was Tom Holz, senior director, Blackboard for Business and Government, who in his role as leader of the Blackboard for Business team helps MNC clients achieve their business goals through technology-driven L&D programmes.

With 17 years of success in consulting and sales leadership roles at Blackboard and Cornerstone, he has partnered with more than 300 organisations in their transitions and implementations of Blackboard. In his presentation, he shared best practices from global companies that measure competencies, inspire collaboration and leverage online technology to meet learning goals.

Back-to-back panel discussions dominated the air just after the networking tea break, the first of which was on the topic of turning talent into a strategic business force, moderated by global HR business partner at Standard Chartered Bank, Sandeep Mookharjea. Joining him were expert panellists: Victor Phang, regional director, iTalent Pro; U-Jin Lee, human resources vice-president, Asia, Sibelco; Deepti Bhanot, head of human resources, Tagit; and Dr Timothy Low, CEO, Farrer Park Hospital.

Taking the stage right after was the VP of people, international and operations from Workday - Mandy Jeffery, who moderated a conversation on digital HR, between Jeffrey Fong, senior manager – HR technology, Applied Materials SEA; and Jennifer Asuncion, regional HR manager, Middle East and Asia Pacific, Hotelbeds Group.

[Check out the photos from the event]

An interactive session followed these conversations, where Sarah Forbes, vice-president, Asia, PageUp; and Blackboard's Tom Holz, were among the specialised moderators facilitating the conversation on Mobile HR.

Post lunch, we heard from the head of regional rewards and HR programmes management from Fuji Xerox, Jacely Voon Hui Mien, who shared how the firm has built a business case to reform HR, as well as drive transformation. Voon is currently spearheading regional HR transformation covering 14 countries across Asia Pacific. She is setting up a platform to not only increase talent capability but enhance cross-country collaboration.

"We want to leverage the right tools for the future of HR," she explained. "To drive the business in the future, we were clear that we needed some kind of intelligence to provide details like employee turnover to the company. So we adopted the three principles of linking process, people, and technology."



The next three sessions were marked by interactive conversations that kept that delegates engrossed, facilitated expertly by Gary Lee, chief human resources specialist, global talent development, Grundfos; and Kristine Cheong, associate director of human resources, Duke-NUS Medical School for Social Media and Collaboration. As for Modern Recruitment Tools, on-table conversations were led by Luke J Falvey, CEO, APAC, Sonru; and Sue Anne Lee, head of talent and leadership, APAC, Rolls-Royce.

Coming in to the last segment, Gary Lee, chief human resources specialist, global talent development of Grundfos took charge of moderating a panel discussion focused on cognitive analysis.

Joining him was a capable pool of panelists: Cindy Dermawan, head of talent and learning management, diversity and inclusion, Citi; Reddiam Raghu Ram, head of human resources, Shell; and, Aparna Kumar, regional human resources lead, Monsanto.

[Check out the photos from the event]

The day concluded successfully with a rapidfire round where table hosts rounded up their key observations over the day's conversations [keywords shared in word cloud below]. With that, we came to the end of HR Tech Interactive 2017, Singapore.

roundtable topics


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:

Platinum Sponsor Blackboard

Gold Sponsor Workday

Silver Sponsors:

  • Excelity Global Solutions
  • iTalent
  • PageUp
  • ManpowerGroup
  • Ramco Systems
  • Sonru

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