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Opinion

Singapore Fintech Festival meets virtual reality

Launch of landmark fintech event hit by IT snafu.

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Monday brought the Singapore Fintech Festival, a week-long event of quite extraordinary scope.

Twenty-four hours a day for a full week with sessions for every time zone and featured addresses from several world leaders, the chief executives of companies as big as Google and Microsoft, and the heads of many of the world’s largest banks.

Bill Winters? Check. Jane Fraser? Check. Noel Quinn, Jes Staley, Piyush Gupta, Ralph Hamers, Thomas Gottstein? All on board.

It must have taken thousands of hours to pull it all together.

'Not recommended'

There was just one problem. When the day dawned, a large number of people found themselves completely unable to join the virtual meeting. We even heard of sponsors who couldn’t log on unless they did so through their personal phones.

As Twitter fumed at the irony of IT issues at a fintech event, senior calls were made behind the scenes and eventually the problem emerged.

The conference was being streamed through Microsoft Teams, but was inaccessible to people who were logged in to that programme through a company-issued computer and a company account – which is to say, quite a lot of people.

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