Interview with VP Global Product Strategy & Transformational Leader, SumTotal Systems – Morne Swart


1. Tell us about your role in SumTotal Systems?
As VP, Global Product Strategy and Transformation I split my roles between product strategy and value evangelist. Dealing with the C-Suite execs of our largest customers and prospects, I have a unique opportunity to understand their pain points, maturity in relation to that, how it intersect with their Digital Transformation needs to formulate a plan to help them achieve their business outcomes aligned with the right blend of technology and process alignment.

2. Can you tell us about your journey into this market?
I have been in this space for, wait for it, 20 years. Amazing that most folks have that number as a milestone these days. Speaks to the close nit nature of people in HCM. Once you are in, you stay in. My passion is to help organizations and people achieve their fullest potential and it started early when we started up a small WFM technology organization to track people’s scheduled, absences and time to create better schedules and minimize workforce fatigue. After that company was acquired, I moved into the Talent and Learning space and fell in love with the value of helping people reach their potential.

3. How do you think technology is changing the HR Sector?
Well, today its essential for any organizations sustainability. People are the most important asset for any organization and skilling them to meet the digital age essential for innovation and growth.

4. How has digitalization helped in easing recruitment process?
For sure, but more to come. There is still a fair bit of unconscious bias influencing the decision process and technology will help put the right people in the right role, irrespective of gender and race or how well you may interview.

5. Why do you think learning management plays an important role in employee development and wellness?
It helps you grow, intellectually and behaviorally. The days of LMS’s just tracking and recording what was pushed onto you are long gone. Today best in class systems actually HELP the learner.

6. Why is employee engagement gaining so much attention from almost all the employers, according to you?

You have to love your company before you love your customer.

Being engaged at work is an important aspect of loving your company.\

7. For our employer and HR audience, can you give some tips which can help them in obtaining better employee performance and also providing better employee satisfaction?
First, know your people, really know them. What they are good at, what they would like to do at the company if they had freedom of choice to pick a role. Help them understand what goals are needed to be set to get there and what it would take to reach that goal. Then coach and mentor them through the process and continue to provide feedback, recogniztion and opportunities to keep growing at a pace they can absorb, that aligns with the business strategy.

8. What advice would like to give to the upcoming HRTech Start Ups?
Partner, Partner, Partner.

9. What technology according to you that will leave its mark in 2019?

10. How do you prepare for a tech.-centric World?
Stay current and keep an eye out towards the future. Speak to your customers, understand their goals 5 years from now. Look at your competition and see what they are doing and innovate while not losing focus on what you already have.

11. What are the major developments you are planning, in recent times?
Watch the space. We have some really cool new tech that will support managers and employees like never before.

12. Can you tell us about your team and how it supports you?
My team meet with prospects and customers daily, assess their maturity and readiness to take on a project and be successful in doing so. They provide guidance to the customers to support them on their journey and bring essential information back to the business in support of those goals.

13. Which Book are you reading these days?
Mostly short articles and thought leader publications.

14. We have heard that you have a very joyful work culture, so can you share with us some of the fun pictures of your workplace?

15. Can you give us a glance of the applications you use on your phone?
The SumTotal Mobile application – all things talent and learning, Spotify, MINT, lots of airline apps, Uber, News apps, twitter.

Morne Swart VP Global Product Strategy & Transformational Leader, SumTotal Systems

Morné is the VP, Global Product Strategy & Transformational Leader at SumTotal. He has been responsible for leading innovation and driving product strategy with more than 20 years of experience in enterprise-wide HR Technology products and services. He has a passion for building higher-performing organizations by optimizing the effectiveness of people, process, information, and technology.


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