Conversations with our SGTech Chapter Chairman Series - Part 1: Lim Soon Tein, Richard Koh & Lau Shih Hor

As 2018 closes, SGTech thought it would be a great idea to profile three of our Chapter Chairmen that has been contributing to our cause throughout the year. We found the chance to catch up with them in person and at the Meet-The-Member Session held on the 6th of December. SGTech spoke to each chairperson on their vision for their chapters and plans going forward in the months ahead. 

(Four of  SGTech’s Chapter Heads. From Left: Mr Goh Eng Choon, Cybersecurity  Chapter; Mr Lau Shih Hor, Smart Nation Chapter; Ms Sharon Teo, Singapore Enterprise Chapter; Mr Lim Soon Tein, Cloud and Data Chapter)

Cloud & Data Chairperson – Mr Lim Soon Tein


SGTech (SGT): Tell us more about yourself Soon Tein.
Soon Tein (ST)
: I started my career with Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) as a Naval Engineering Officer, and held several key appointments in HQ-RSN as well as Command appointments in the Naval Bases. Currently, I am the Vice President (IT) for ST Engineering as Head of IT Service Delivery, as well as Head of IT-BP for ST Engineering Electronics. Prior to my IT appointment, I was a Business Head in ST Engineering Electronics (Info-Software System) for 6 years to deliver and support Defence systems as well as Enterprise solutions locally and abroad. 

I represented ST Electronics in Cloud Chapter back in 2014 and that started my exciting journey with SGTech. The members in SGTech’s Cloud & Data Chapter are our local industry experts in Cloud and Data Technology, and we do hone each other skills in this area of technology.

This enables me to represent SGTech CDC in IMDA’s Cloud Outage Incident Reporting (COIR) Committee to work on the Cloud Outage Incident Reporting (framework which is now established as a Technical Reference Guide by Spring Singapore, now Enterprise Singapore). I find my journey with SGTech CDC fulfilling and rewarding as we get to be at the forefront in the technology and help shape future businesses. 
SGT: What are the plans for the Chapter for this financial year?
Our plans this year can be summarised with the acronym C.L.O.U.D, which aims to grow and give value to members through;

Collaboration: To share information on latest technology, issues, and business trends in Cloud & Data. We have since created a LinkedIn account for Cloud & Data Chapter to bring our members together to collaborate on shaping CDC activities and events, aimed at growing Cloud awareness and businesses. We will also continue with our Networking night to deepen the collaboration among members.

Leverage: To leverage our members’ experience and expertise collectively, to engage our Regulatory (e.g. IMDA) as well as other Associations. Our regulators find it easy to engage us directly as one group, rather than calling upon each company to get their opinion. We now have representatives in IMDA’s Multi-Certification Cloud Security (MTCS) as well as COIR committees. Our members are also involved in the Going-Green & low Carbon-initiatives with IMDA. 

Organise: To organise events in business vertical areas and grow awareness of Cloud & Data technology and business applications including the public. We hope to help our members grow internationally. We are planning to organise overseas business trips for our members to understand the needs of other countries and to entice the latter with our capabilities for possible business opportunities.

Undertake: To undertake social related tasks like mentorship of the millennials, and that contributes in building the next generation of IT talent. We will encourage  our members to take on volunteer roles in SGTech’s Tech4Community Event to encourage the community, both young and old, to adopt IT. This is also a good opportunity for our members to give back to society.

Deliver: To deliver good value to our members with the above activities. In addition , we will continue our good efforts to publish our CLOUD & DATA Directory of Companies to let members and the public know each of our companies better. 

SGTech: How are these activities helping the chapter members and industry to progress? 
I do hope that activities in C.L.O.U.D. will progress us in the following ways:

Collaboration will lead us to Co-create i.e. to innovate new areas of Cloud & Data technologies or businesses.
Leverage will not just allow us to engage but to connect closer and strategically with the Regulators and other Associations to do more.
Organise will bring us more Opportunities to create awareness of Cloud adoption and of the importance in Data Analytics, to the general public.
Undertake will enable us to Unite those non-IT individuals with ICT tools and mindset so that all in Singapore can contribute in making a Smart Nation
Deliver the CDC values Deeper, not just to our members but to authorities, as well as the general public in all our undertakings

AI & High-Performance Computing Chairperson – Mr Richard Koh


(Mr Richard Koh at our recent CloudAsia Conference)

SGT: Hello Richard, pleased to meet you. The AI & High-Performance Computing Chapter is one of our newest chapters. Could you share a little more about yourself?
Richard Koh (RK):
Hi everyone, I am currently serving as the Chief Technology Officer of Microsoft Singapore. In my role, I work with key executive leaders across government, industry and academia, to navigate the macro technology landscape. The goal is to help everyone leverage innovations, build a digital mindset, guide technology policies, standards, legal and regulatory matters, as well as security, privacy, and compliance decisions.

At home, I am a proud father of two rambunctious boys, serving as their chief ethics-morals-principles, digital literacy, learn-it-all growth-mindset officer, a role which I truly cherish and love 24/7.  

SGT: What are the plans for the Chapter for this financial year?
This year, since we are a brand-new Chapter, my Exco team is starting with efforts in what I would like to call “learning events” for our members to learn more about AI & HPC, demystify all of it and focus on democratizing not just the knowledge but also access to the vast amount of AI services, tools and infrastructure that is available to everyone. 

But more importantly, AI is transformational in many ways both at work and in our personal lives, and the ethical use of AI, respect for privacy and robust security are key because it is not just about what AI can do but also about what AI should do. 

SGT: How are these activities helping the chapter members and industry to progress?
The goal of these “learning events” is to help chapter members and the industry to learn more about AI, and ultimately, be more well informed when they are making decisions for their organisations regarding the use of AI. 

This helps to ensure that our chapter members are equipped with the facts and not be making decisions because of misinformation or wrong perceptions due to a lack of real knowledge in this area, as the unintended consequences can be dire. With more of such “learning events”, we can then advance faster to our aspiration of being an AI-first nation. 

Smart Nation Chapter – Mr Lau Shih Hor


SGT: Hello Shih Hor, thanks for coming for our MTM Session. Could you tell us a little about yourself?
Shih Hor (SH)
: I started my first job 30 years ago as a software engineer in a government research and development institute, specialising in Software Engineering, Knowledge Systems and Computer Communications back then.
5 years later, together with my colleague we started Elixir Technology to further pursue commercial opportunities particularly in Software Engineering. And interesting to note, today our company is into providing Smart Solutions based on our own Business Analytics Platform and Tools, riding on the convergence of software, hardware, and communications advances.

Today we are just at the onset of this perfect storm of a new era of transformation where there are virtually limitless possibilities of new solutions in every facet of our lives and businesses.  The excitement has only just begun, and I can’t wait to see how things will unfold in the next 30 years! 

SGT: What are the plans for the Chapter for this financial year?
Smart Nation Chapter was birthed out of the inherent market demand for end-to-end Smart Solutions, which individual companies may not be able to provide.  So, the key objective of the Smart Nation Chapter is the formation of an ecosystem of early adopters, aggregators, solution providers and platform players with close interaction with regulatory bodies where applicable, focusing initially on the Built Environment industry cluster. 

The overall plans for the Chapter are: 
a) Align with Smart Nation related government bodies to explore and prepare for collaborative initiatives.
b) Engage early adopters to explore solution matching to problem statements which have potential for large local or international deployment. 
c) Facilitate formation of alliances among solution aggregators with point solution providers as well as platform providers to address user problem statements. 

SGT: How are these activities helping the chapter members and industry to progress?
The challenge of any player in the Smart Nation arena is the problem of scale and coverage.  Any customer asking for a solution will typically need a combination of solutions from new technologies such as IoT, Analytics, Robotics, as well as backend solutions like workflow automation, digitalization solution, etc.

Such solution coverage is most likely than not beyond any single provider’s internal resources and expertise, making an alliance approach necessary for both large and small solution providers.  In addition, the scale of deployment will usually not just be for a few sites only but may require to cover a large geographical area like an industrial park, or even the size of a city.  This poses a challenge for both adopters and solution providers, and this is exactly where the Smart Nation Chapter comes in. 

The Smart Nation Chapter plays a critical role in facilitating formation of smart solution alliances through its various activities to align with the government regulators, while engaging early adopters.

Stay tuned for our next “Conversations with” as we speak to Singapore Enterprise Chairman, Ms Sharon Teo, Digital Transformation Chairman, Mr Chris Lee, and Cybersecurity Chairman, Mr Goh Eng Choon!

Published Dec 2018