It seems that an overarching theme in my life in the past few years has been Mobility – with all the many meanings Mobility entails – let me explain:

On (5G) Mobility

A few years back, I was working remotely for a few months from Shanghai, working intensely on a (4G/5G) Mobility launch for a fortune 100 company, ahead of Mobile World Congress, the world’s largest mobility conference. At that time, 5G and Edge computing were (and still are) all the rage.

My wife and I were expecting the birth of our son in a foreign land where language, administrative requirements, and customs were foreign to me. I remember not even knowing what the equivalent of dialing 911 was in case of an emergency during my wife’s pregnancy; nor did I know how I could call a taxi or ambulance… just in case. I was working on California time zone, on a high-intensity launch and with a life-changing event looming, weeks before flying to Barcelona, directly from Shanghai.

On (Global) Mobility

This life episode highlighted how important it was for me to remove any unnecessary hurdles and stress in matters relating to travel, process, workflow, immigration, expenses, consular affairs, tax implications (see below) so that I could focus on what mattered most.

Examples of challenges 

  • Local tax implications of remaining in China for 2+ months
  • Minimum US residency requirement for me to obtain a US passport for my son (I was very close to the maximum time abroad due to extensive international travel)
  • The fact that I needed an exit visa for my son to exit China
  • California (state, county/city) parental leave policies for children born abroad 
  • Qualification for healthcare coverage (US policy) involving birth and residence abroad (and ensuing escalations/exception management) 

It would not be an understatement to say that I experienced the challenges of Mobility (in the broader sense) first-hand. 

Fast-forward a few years, and looking back, I could have greatly benefited from a completely seamless experience where I could have managed all aspects of my temporary global assignment from the palm of my hand:

  • Efficient and fast global mobility workflow, with full visibility and control
  • “At-a-glance” dashboard of tasks to complete or impending deadlines
  • The near-real-time resolution and/or escalation for policy exceptions
  • A pleasant, delightful and intuitive GUI that helped remove the anxiety and stress out of the whole process – with full back-end integration with all the required systems and platforms (HRIS, payroll, tax, rewards, employee profiles, and MBOs, expenses, etc.) 

On (Career) Mobility

If you can visualize a platform that would provide such a level of seamless experience, operational efficiency across very sophisticated systems with an unprecedented level of employee engagement and a premium experience, you would understand why I decided to join a company that is at the heart of solving exactly that.

I decided to join a team of very seasoned professionals that are set to tackle this disruption-ripe market with force and enthusiasm: i.e. excelling at solving the challenges of Global Mobility.

On to a new adventure with the Topia team – stay tuned!

Mehdi Sif

About the author

Mehdi Sif

Mehdi oversees Product Marketing at Topia. He has an extensive tech background, most recently at Dell.

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