At 26 years old, Philemon Lim is something of a poster boy for the Quintiq philosophy that lets employees steer their careers and write their job descriptions if that’s what they want. After graduating from Monash University with an IT degree, he joined Quintiq as a Quintiq specialist. Like the star striker of a football team that every club wants to have, he started getting loaned out on assignments to different teams when his superiors noticed his thirst for knowledge and strong work ethic. This experience gave him a tremendous breadth of knowledge and opportunities to try his hand at many different skill sets. So when Quintiq began work on the idea of a support team, Philemon was drafted in to join the original team.
What originally began as support for a single business unit rapidly evolved into supporting several business units. Eventually, the decision was made for the support team to become a 24/7 operation. Somewhere along the line, Philemon decided that he didn’t want to go back to being a developer and threw himself wholeheartedly into the new support team.
Little over a year after joining the support team, Philemon is now the 24/7 team manager. His role involves interfacing between business units and the technical operations consultants on a range of issues, from rolling out new support services to fine-tuning the internal processes to ensure the support services provided by the team meet an increasingly higher standard. Having spent time in the trenches as a technical operations consultant (TOC) himself, he’s also tasked with the role of ensuring team morale and motivation remains positive at all times. It's a unique position and one that he pretty much crafted and designed for himself, based on his expansive and varied experiences in Quintiq.
As a pioneer TOC and a former developer, Philemon has a uniquely personal perspective on the opportunities afforded by the role to fresh IT graduates. “A lot of fresh graduates want to be a programmer or a developer,” he notes. What they don't realize is that being a TOC affords fresh IT graduates the rare chance to be more well-rounded employees because it gives them opportunities to develop and nurture their leadership skills. “Developers respond to instructions — they make what they are told to make. TOCs on the other hand, have to make decisions and need to demonstrate decisiveness on the job,” he explains.
For Philemon, his time as a TOC was an opportunity to gain new skills — from learning how to deal with people to understanding every facet of the Quintiq business. He also relished the empowerment that came from being part of a smaller, newer team and seized the opportunities to exercise and hone his leadership skills. It's these skills that he’s leveraged to create the role he currently holds in Quintiq.
Perhaps he’s a little bit biased, but from Philemon’s point of view, becoming a TOC is the first step towards being a part of something with great growth potential and opportunities. “Support is a very new team — the future is still being built, and everyone who joins us becomes part of that building process. It’s a very involved role. Our processes are not yet entirely defined which means there is a chance here to challenge the way things are done and then create the solution that will do it better.”