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All systems are go for firms

Published on Friday, 26 Mar 2010
Illustration: Bay Leung
Chan Wai-foon
Director of technologies management and sustainment
Jardine OneSolution
Catherine Fong
Senior human resources manager
Yahoo Hong Kong

Setting up a building's computer system in a week is a complex enough task, but imagine trying to do it in just one day. This is what technical consulting manager Jeffrey Tse and a team from Jardine OneSolution were asked to do by a construction company recently.

By employing detailed planning and working through the day to relocate computers and set up software, telephone lines and other supplementary technology, the team ensured that the whole system was operational by the start of the next day.

Businesses everywhere are racing to keep up with the latest technology, which increases demand for information technology (IT) services. As a result, IT companies are recruiting extra staff to cope with the workload. Jardine OneSolution is hiring people for roles including service managers, project managers, technical consultants and desktop support engineers.

"We are seeing more projects coming in," says Chan Wai-foon, director of technologies management and sustainment. "The recruitment is primarily to cope with business growth." He says more construction sites need engineers to support IT services. Meanwhile, many mid-market companies across different sectors are receptive to outsourcing IT systems. Jardine OneSolution is building a team to provide services for these accounts.

As the company is an IT business in itself, working for it is very different from working for the IT function within a company. "We offer a lot more exposure and career development, from technical [roles] to supervisory people looking after teams, to managerial, even looking after part of the business," Chan says.

Tony Chow, who recently joined Jardine OneSolution as a service manager, says the wide exposure attracted him. His role, which involves talking to customers about their needs and working with teams to provide solutions, requires strong communication and problem-solving skills.

"Meeting customer expectations is a challenge," he says. "They allow us only a short time to provide the best and most cost-effective solutions."

Internet company Yahoo Hong Kong is also seeing a growing demand for its services. It is continuously seeking advertising sales staff to help tap into the growing desire of businesses to engage in online marketing.

Alongside this, it is looking for business managers to pursue the expanding opportunities for alliances with internet providers, websites and telecom operators.

"We see lots of opportunities coming up in the internet world, particularly on the mobile side," says Catherine Fong, senior human resources manager. "We want to have dedicated people to take care of this area ... to come up with creative ideas and drive this kind of initiative."

One such person is Vivien Au-Yeung, who joined the company earlier this year as an associate business manager in the search marketing department. Her role involves meeting customers and resellers of Yahoo products to get feedback on their needs.

"I am a bridge between [customer and engineer]," she says. "We always think from the customer's perspective, but the engineers might not know this and so we explain it to them."

She says her work is interesting because the internet's fast-moving world means there are new products and challenges every day. People in her role need to be flexible and able to adapt quickly to change.

Another challenge, she says, is clearly explaining to customers the different products and their benefits. Excellent communication skills are needed to explain concepts such as pay-per-click advertising, with which customers may not be familiar.

Fong says the company provides training, including workshops, for staff to keep up to date with internet developments and what other employees are working on.

New hires are given a 90-day "on-boarding process" to learn about the culture of the company and its objectives. Extensive online training resources, including an archive of webcasts and an information database, are available for new staff. There is also team sharing, with employees tied to different people and mentored to help them learn. 

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