PHOTO - IBM Corporate Service Corps (CSC) volunteers.
An international team of 12 volunteers from technology solutions giant IBM has completed its sixth Corporate Service Corp (CSC) assignment in Malaysia.
IBM geographic expansion leader, Malaysia, Brunei and Cambodia, Tang Choeng Weng said the volunteers, identified as high achievers and potential leaders from across the globe, arrived in Kota Kinabalu, East Malaysia, on 19 March to deploy essential projects to help local organisations from diverse industries to develop and enhance the necessary skills required to grow in the global marketplace.
Tang said the volunteers, from Canada, Denmark, France, Hong Kong, India, Spain, Switzerland and the United States, worked with selected organisations for more than a month, sharing their skills and expertise in marketing, communications, record governance and financial management. "Each IBM volunteer commits six months of his time - three months for pre-work, one month in Kota Kinabalu, and two months for post-service work - as part of the programme."
"This programme is an example of a unique programme that combines the tenets of transformational leadership, values-based culture and a global mindset that organisations need to develop and have as they aspire to be successful global players," said Tang.
"We believe that through programmes such as this, we can help organisations reach, benefit and make a difference to the communities and environment they operate in," said Tang, adding that this initiative also helped to build smarter cities throughout Malaysia.
"The volunteers are selected based on their expertise, professional skills in business development and marketing, and their passion to serve the community. We believe that they have transferred much knowledge and extended their best practices to the various organisations," he said.
The IBM CSC, launched in 2008, is modelled after the US Peace Corps, and is part of IBM's Global Citizen's Portfolio, a suite of investment programmes to help IBM employees enhance their skills and expertise. Since 2009, five CSC teams, comprising 43 IBM staff from across the globe have been deployed to Johor, Penang and Kota Kinabalu.
Tang said the organisations that the volunteers assisted were local financial institutions Sabah Credit Corporation (SCC) and Sabah Development Bank (SDB), micro credit institution Yayasan Usaha Maju (YUM), non-profit organisation Befrienders Kota Kinabalu, the Sabah State Library, and Sabah Tourism Board.
He said the assignments included:
- Developing a strategic plan that will enable Befrienders Kota Kinabalu to address its challenges and strengthen the association's capacity for the future.
- Identifying a suitable centralised photo or multimedia catalogue and inventory system for Sabah Tourism Board (STB) to store, organise, manage and share photos.
- Reviewing Sabah Credit Corporation's (SCC) present organisational efficiencies in terms of business management systems and practices.
- Assisting Sabah Development Bank (SDB) to improve the knowledge and skills of its personnel in project management and business planning training.
- Improving Sabah State Library's management and preservation of digitised information, and the formats of the publications involved.
- Providing business transformation analysis and capability building for Yayasan Usaha Maju's (YUM).
Commenting on the CSC team's contribution, Sabah Tourism Board communications manager, Hana S. Harun, said: "Tourism promotion in Sabah relies heavily on resources such as high quality images to portray the destination for those who are intrigued by the mysticism and exoticness of Borneo. In the days of film and slides, storing these resources were manageable. However with the availability and affordability of digital technology today, these resources have since doubled and tripled, filling up the image bank almost to its maximum capacity. It has become the least managed resource of our organisation for the past six to seven years. Too much of our precious time is wasted on locating those photos scattered in many computers."
"The IBM volunteers made our access to the most complete and updated photo collection possible by implementing the Multimedia Management System," she said. "We are able to store, organise, share, manage and search our photos in a fast and effective manner. They have also given us valuable advice on connecting the system among our branch offices. We wish to express our gratitude to the two volunteers assigned to STB for turning our photo 'storeroom' into a 'library'."
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