Amazing people

Some of the Amazing People I Know: Many people amaze me — let me give two examples — one outside IBM and one inside IBM.

Outside IBM, one person who is a constant source of wonder to me for his energy and activities is Prof. Jay Kandampully  Ohio State University, Professor of Services Management , Editor: Journal of Service Management , Editor: International Journal Managing Service Quality (http:, New Book – Services Management: (, and New Conference –  International Research Symposium in Service Management (IRSSM) in Mauritius 2010   (

Inside of IBM, I am amazed by Sew Bun Foong (IBM Singapore), an IBM Distinguished Engineer, CTO of IBM Singapore and the broader ASEAN region (for the IBM Software Group), he is also a certified IT Architect, member of the IBM Academy of Technology, and Open Group Distinguished Certified Engineer.   Also, Sew Bun Foong is our service science lead for Singapore, and has help worked with the Singapore government to develop a deep appreciation for  T-shaped skills as discussed in many service science related presentations and papers.    The demand for T-shaped people in Singapore is quite large, and there is even a policy mandate adopted by the Government of Singapore and one of the important recommendations from the Economic Strategic Committee:

Sew Bun Foong is also Chair of the National Infocomm Competency Framework (NICF) Steering Committee on behalf of the Workforce Development Agency (WDA) and the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA).  In NICF, they are currently developing competencies, job roles and working with leading training partners for service science skills upgrading.  Check out for more details and competencies/course/job roles descriptions.  In addition, WDA is defining new competencies and courses upgrading for T-shaped skills beyond infocomm industry, while NICF focuses on infocomm industry.  In the meantime, those interested in opportunities in Singapore need to think about acquiring the right skills, and might want to  check and STMI (announced for current service science related course upgrades; these two institutions work closely with industry practitioners.

Upcoming, a national employee conference is being organized by the Singapore National Employee Federation with a strong focus on T-shaped skills and innovation in service economy.  Several members of the Singapore SSME Council (industry partners, government and universities) will share insights regarding T-shaped skills and sustained service innovation in the service economy.  For more information see.

I am seeing more and more discussion of T-shaped people in the US as well, most recently in the EE Times, when the Dean of Stanford Engineering, Prof. James Plummer was interviewed and said ” Regarding changes in education, Plummer said, “We’ve got to give students a skill set to prepare for a multi-company career. A lot of what we are doing now is creating T-shaped people. The vertical part is deep technical education and the horizontal part is a set of softer skills-creativity, innovation, the entrepreneurial way to look at work, how to speak and think creatively.”

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