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Strike a balance

Principal solution architect Cliff Teh successfully mixes work and fun

Strike a balance

Bosch Software Innovations walks the talk when it comes to providing good work-life balance for employees — everyone here is entitled to a 40-hour work week.

Mr Cliff Teh, 34, a principal solution architect, for example, has time to enjoy a game or go on outings with his colleagues who hail from Singapore, India, Malaysia, Germany, China, Vietnam, France and Indonesia.

He says: “In order to get to know each other better, we have regular team events and enjoy a fun day away from the office.”

For instance, the last team event was held at Pulau Ubin where he and his colleagues had fun kayaking together. They also bond at rooftop gatherings held several times a year.

Bosch Software Innovations, the software and systems house of the Bosch Group, boasts a flat hierarchy that makes it is easier for employees like Mr Teh to have access to management for discussions or guidance.

Working in the area of pre-sales, Mr Teh provides support to its sales team to design solutions for customers in the banking and financial services sector.

Mr Teh joined the company three years ago and is based in Singapore, Bosch Software Innovations’ Asia Pacific headquarters and the Southeast Asian headquarters for the Bosch Group.

He says: “We globally design, develop and operate innovative software and system solutions for the Internet of Things and Services. In this environment, we focus specifically in the areas of connected mobility, connected energy and facility management, connected industry and enterprises and connected health care.

“These areas are very exciting — we are actively participating in creating sustainable solutions for the future using future technologies and innovative platforms.”

 For instance, Bosch Software Innovations implemented an electric vehicle charging infrastructure project in Singapore.

Mr Teh’s work requires him to be in several discussions with various team members from specialised areas. “This expands my knowledge horizon in terms of learning about new avenues on a continuous basis,” says Mr Teh, who holds a degree in network computing from Australia’s Monash University and a diploma in information systems from the Singapore Polytechnic

Providing large-scale solutions for critical applications to customers requires plenty of liaison work with different team members. It is a challenge to complete tasks with several teams.

In between trips, he works with his product management team to study about their existing and new product features to figure out how these can be integrated in prototypes.

He also travels to Asian countries to discuss proposals or demonstrate prototypes to customers, something that he enjoys as he likes meeting new people.

Crossing the language barrier between the local and foreign teams can be a challenge and so is meeting customer expectations based on the local culture, says Mr Teh. He adds: “This can never be taught theoretically. One has to work in such an environment to understand and learn about this unique experience.” 

He also liaises regularly with his colleagues in Germany. He says: “There is always a need for coordination due to our large variety of solutions. I have even learned a few German words like ‘Guten Morgen’ which means good morning.”

Mr Teh joined Bosch Software Innovations because he was looking for a company that could provide him with the opportunity to work on a technology-based approach, rather than a solution or vertical-based approach.

Of his trip to Germany when he first joined the company, he says: “It was a great learning experience to better understand my German colleagues and the corporate culture of Bosch Software Innovations. Everything is quite informal — people address each other on a first-name basis — even the top management members are being addressed by their first names. And I was able to put a face to the names of colleagues with whom I interact with regularly.”

He adds: “To excel in this job, apart from technical and product skills, it is important to be extroverted and to have good analytical and presentation skills.” 

 

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