CeBIT Australia Blog

Media Release: KORE Systems deploys M2M Service Management Platform for StarHub

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KORE Systems deploys M2M Service Management Platform for StarHub

KORE M2M Systems Group, a leader in M2M optimized OSS/BSS application software, has deployed an M2M service management platform for Singapore’s StarHub, which in turn provides M2M services to enterprises, service providers and developers. The feature-rich platform from KORE will be locally hosted and fully integrated with StarHub’s mobile network and business systems that ensures StarHub customer’s data privacy is fully protected.

The introduction of the customised StarHub branded M2M portal is one of a series of initiatives undertaken by StarHub to advance its M2M solutions and to offer creative pricing packages designed specifically to meet the needs of various M2M applications and business models. Through the platform, StarHub also offer end-to-end solutions such as fleet and asset management and IP surveillance solutions, and starter kits to developers to test new devices and build new applications.

“We are pleased to have chosen KORE for our M2M service management platform.” said Michael Ng, Vice President of Managed Services & Solutions at StarHub.

“StarHub is driving M2M awareness, adoption and innovation in Singapore by collaborating with partners in our M2M ecosystem. The platform is the first step towards enabling us to offer valuable, differentiated and complete M2M services to our M2M partners and customers.”
KORE is providing StarHub with a robust business management platform for controlling all aspects of a connected device’s lifecycle from StarHub’s M2M SIM ordering to SIM provisioning and SIM states to network usage, billing and troubleshooting. Through tight integration with existing mobile network elements and business systems, StarHub is able to provide differentiated services to service providers, enterprises and developers while at the same time, automating major business processes in order to speed up and minimize the cost of delivering and supporting M2M services.

“Leading operators like StarHub have identified the growth that M2M markets can provide and the revenue opportunities it represents particularly in the face of slowing growth in traditional business lines. KORE has delivered a complete service platform with the applications required for operators to monetize their networks, control costs, optimize M2M services delivery and provide an ideal end-user experience” said Pat Verrington, Vice President at KORE.

About KORE Systems
KORE M2M Systems Group Inc. was formed exclusively to provide solutions to operators worldwide that help them maximize their M2M potential. With more than 10 years of practical experience supporting large-scale multi-carrier platform services in a number of world markets, KORE leverages this proven success and ‘know how’ in serving the M2M market to deliver optimally integrated and customized solutions to operators including a carrier-grade, redundant, flexible and scalable 2nd generation M2M connected device platform. KORE Systems augments the M2M SDP with technical, marketing and project resources and expertise to deliver an M2M optimized solution to operators who are just getting started or who are looking to improve and scale an existing M2M business.
For more information about KORE Systems Group please visit: www.korewireless.com.au/kore-systems/operator-solutions

About StarHub

StarHub is Singapore’s fully-integrated info-communications company, offering a full range of information, communications and entertainment services for both consumer and corporate markets. StarHub operates a mobile network that provides 4G, 3G and 2G services. It also manages an island-wide HFC network that delivers multi-channel pay TV services (including HDTV, Internet TV and on-demand services) as well as ultra-high speed residential broadband services. StarHub operates an extensive fixed business network that provides a wide range of data, voice and wholesale services. Over Singapore’s fibre-based Next Generation Nationwide Broadband Network, StarHub offers a broad range of home and business broadband plans along with a host of advanced media-rich value-added services, such as IPTV for commercial entities.

Launched in 2000, StarHub has become one of Singapore’s most innovative info-communications providers, and the pioneer in ‘hubbing’ – the ability to deliver unique integrated and converged services to all its customers. StarHub, listed on the main board of the Singapore Exchange since October 2004, is a component stock of the Straits Times Index and the MSCI Singapore Free Index.

For more information about StarHub, please visit: www.starhub.com
For more information, please contact Gray Management Group:
Sarah Stokes
PR Consultant
P: 0401 755 819
E: sarah@graymanagementgroup.com.au

PRESS RELEASE: Maestrano Announces New Partnerships, Global Growth

https://maestrano.com

Maestrano, makes the cloud easy and affordable for SMBs

Innovative Cloud based solutions provider Maestrano has secured ten partners to its newly launched global partner program. The program, launched in April, spans industries including business administration services, private equity, technology consulting and public relations.
The global partner program enables key partner companies in focus industries to market Maestrano solutions. Co-founder and CEO Stephane Ibos explains, “we quickly received an excellent response to our global partner launch and have attracted some impressive names. Maestrano is in advanced partnership discussions in the Middle East, Europe and North America which will support our global growth efforts.”

Among the initial partners are Polyglot Group, an international business administration provider, and Alchemy Equities, an Australian private equity firm.
“At Alchemy we are always looking for solutions for our clients. Our clients are often start-ups, created by former corporates who recognise the need to establish systems that can scale quickly with their business. Maestrano fits that bill perfectly”, said Kate Ingham, Partner at Alchemy Equities. “It’s cost-effective, scalable and integrated. An excellent platform to build a business and one we have referred to a number of our clients.”

Maestrano launched in late 2013 and quickly attracted over 600 business customers to its integrated business solutions service. In February 2014, Maestrano successfully attracted $1 million of funding from leading figures in the information technology sector including Ian Buddery, founder of eServGlobal, ASX:ESV, who is also Maestrano’s Chairman, Gary Jackson, former Australia CEO of Microsoft and Cisco and current Vice President APAC Aruba Networks, and James Studniberg, Director of Scythian Global Capital.

Maestrano’s revolutionary approach smashes the Cloud silo model, whereby each vendor offers only a portion of functionality, by aggregating the best open source applications into a seamless, secure and intuitive interface using advanced software engineering that is its core intellectual property. The integrated platform allows SMBs to streamline applications, bringing together some of the most valuable Cloud-based business tools in one intuitive interface. Maestrano is the one stop shop for integrated tools to power businesses.

About Maestrano Pty. Ltd.

Maestrano began from the observation that Cloud services are difficult to access for many businesses, whilst a proprietary application model has produced silos of functionality. e.g. one service offers ERP, another sales management and yet another HR. No one provider delivers a full suite. The huge cost of building and maintaining competitive business software precludes integration. Meanwhile, the same cost base dictates a charging model that quickly climbs into hundreds of thousands of dollars per year. Maestrano breaks the silo model by aggregating a broad range of open source business applications. Maestrano offers simplicity and ease of use, with no hidden costs. No need for expensive technical assistance, no complicated plans and subscriptions. Simply choose what you need and how you need it.

Media Contact
Taurus Marketing
Leah Dunford
T+61 2 9415 4528
leah@taurusmarketing.com.au

Ninja moves for Startups at CeBIT

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3D Printing at CeBIT: Eiffel Tower Replica

A BLOG BY SAASU.

Who is Saasu?

Saasu leads innovation in the cloud accounting industry. A multi-award winner and loved by customers in 50 countries, Saasu is transforming the way business owners and advisors interact with financial data.

Try it free today at saasu.com

What is a Ninja move in sales and marketing. It’s fast, powerful, low cost marketing. I make no secret that I love CeBIT. It was one of the best early Ninja moves here at Saasu. Our involvement with CeBIT over the years has had excellent ROI. It’s actually more accessible than ever for Startups to get involved. CeBIT is very committed to supporting the startup community and it shows with the pay to display fee of just $550 for legitimate new startups.

Saasu receives no financial benefit from promoting CeBIT. It comes from the heart, some Karma points repaid. CeBIT’s Jackie Taranto, Gilad Greenbaum and the team have supported our business over the years during it’s startup phase and we want to assist them in their continuance of that spirit they have for the startup ecosystem.

Here’s some Ninja moves if you are considering getting your startup to CeBIT:

1. Getting exposure to thousands of buyers

Displaying at CeBIT is only $550 for some serious brand awareness. Thousands of Professionals, C-Levels and Business Owners pass through their halls over 3 days. There are very few “nearly free” events you can get your startup into that creates brand awareness in front of the key people that write the cheques to buy product and services. You can’t buy or create a list of leads of that quality for that price, think about it. Register to Display here.

2. Getting exposure to hundreds of investors

You’ll get access to Angels investors, Family/Private money and even some VC’s. It’s hard finding ways to expose your brand to that many investors in a time and cost effective way. My tip is to have a one page Investor Briefing document handy. Spend time designing this well. Tell the investor you will send through your details with the briefing as a means to solicit their details. Have it ready in PDF form so you don’t fail on the promise. If you give them the document you may miss the chance to get their details. Investors need to be nurtured just like buyers do. They invest in your selling process and execution not just your IP and this is the first example they get to see how you do sales.

3. Connecting with influencers

Influencers also get to these events, influencers are your best early marketing opportunity for a startup. The build the conversation around your brand in the ecosystem. Even if you only connect with a few, it is these individuals who often end up retweeting, writing, speaking about your brand and can wind up being you first early PR spikes. Follow them in the major social networks they inhabit straight after meeting them. You are fresh in their mind and they are more likely to follow you back in this moment than any other.

4. Creating channel sales partnerships

From Saasu’s perspective, in our previous involvement in CeBIT, we have acquired some of our best channel sales partnerships. In our first year a franchise group owner we met on the first day ended up turning into an instant ROI covering the entire event cost. For us this was the biggest payoff (apart from winning the CeBIT.AU Awards two years running). Channel partners are effectively off-balance sheet sales teams. Startups don’t have the cash for big sales operations but you can create the sales resource in other ways.

5. Get motivated and inspired

I’ll admit I finish CeBIT spent but it’s the good kind of spent. I’m on an absolute high. There are so many conversations and opportunities pre-primed. You make it work though. What you do after the event with all those leads is what makes CeBIT valuable. We worked out later that you go back to everyone with a thank you but you chase up the prime leads only. All sales and marketing activity needs to be filtered for best efficiency.

6. Get offline content ideas and moves

One of the great thing about the content in CeBIT is it is quite different. It’s a combination of experienced presenters with track behind them but CeBIT is also not afraid to let new young players talk to a topic and that’s where I found the real Gold. These speakers often have the left field out of the box ideas. I was the same, I used to say things in my speeches that I wouldn’t dare say online because I didn’t want competitors learning my tricks. I know other business owners are the same. These are the gems you don’t get outside the event in mainstream press and blogs. Check out the Campus streams. This looks to be the best area to access this. I saw several in there I’ll be getting to. Register here for the Startup Campus

7. Pitch as often as you can

If your have product in early commercialisation, seeking increased traction from investors then Pitchfest is an excellent opportunity. Submit your idea to CeBIT via this form for Pitchfest. This room will literally be filled with pre-qualified investors.

8. Special Deals

If you’re a new startup and you’re not yet using an accounting system you can attend and exhibit at CeBIT 2014 for $550 and Saasu in partnership with CeBIT will provide you with a Free 1 year $385 subscription. We grant these under the Saasu Futures Program which is all about helping students, educators and startups accessing Saasu for free. To access this simply signup for the free trial to Saasu and then email accounts@saasu.com and mention “CEBIT14 deal for exhibitors”, Saasu will crosscheck your startup business name against those that have exhibited at CeBIT and then we will issue a free licence for a year.

9. Content creation

Just being at the event creates content opportunities. Thought leadership in your industry. The best relevant learnings shared with your market and customers. Social network sharing opportunities including visitors sharing things about you and your business. Photo’s you take can be used for brand development and content. Some exhibitors organise quick videos with customers that visit them. We got a lot of traction in terms of link traffic from an interview we did with Goto Meeting a couple of years ago. Even in this post I’m using some content I snapped last year at CeBIT 2013. The image is a 3D printer creating an Eiffel Tower replica.

10. Cool Tech

If you have even the smallest geeky bone in your body you’ll love the Robots, 3d printers, Virtual Reality and other cool tech stuff they have lined up. This is alongside a huge array of enterprise grade tech so they have the spectrum well covered. You also get a chance to see what new technology might directly apply to your own business or even if the idea has merit once translated and applied to your own industry.

There’s not a lot to lose through participation, but everything to gain.

Hope to see you there!

BOOMERANG BUYBACK SHOWCASES A NEW WAY TO RECYCLE ELECTRONICS

We all have old iPhones, iPods, laptops, game consoles, cameras and all sorts of electronics sitting at home, gathering dust. Boomerang Buyback is a company that allows you to recycle your electronics for cold hard cash.

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Case Study: Pizza Capers grew from one store to hundreds. Managing rosters with Tanda.

Pizza Capers’ much loved combination of delicious pizza and gourmet eating helped them grow from one store in western Brisbane to hundreds of stores in just a few years. Let’s see how the original group of 15 Pizza Capers stores in Brisbane use Tanda to help keep the pizzas cooking.

Every week, managers put together rosters in Tanda using the drag and drop editor. By comparing last week’s budget to sales, they are able to forecast spendings for the week ahead, set their budget accordingly, and ensure the roster stays within it. Colour coding is used to distinguish between roles and locations.


Once the roster is written, it’s passed on to head office for approval — HQ sends it out to staff by email and SMS when they are happy with it. Some managers will print the roster out too, so there’s no way staff can miss it.


Staff clock in and out of work during the week using a Tanda time clock. In every store there’s one installed on the wall as you enter the kitchen, so everyone walks past it regularly, making it hard to forget! The time clock logs the hours everyone works and enters the data into their timesheets online, in real time.


At the end of each day, managers approve timesheets for their staff from that day. Usually it’s a matter of clicking approve all; occasionally they’ll make minor changes or add in a time someone forgot to clock.


Every morning, Pizza Capers HQ get an email with cost breakdown of the day before. This report compares rostered and actual costs across each store, broken down by line of business, so they can see exactly where costs are blowing out and how they can curb them.


If they want more information on costs, they can log in to Tanda and check out the detailed costs on each timesheet, broken down by award. The award interpretater makes it easy to spot areas where costs are blowing out through overtime or penalty rates.


At the end of the week, someone from HQ clicks a button to download their timesheets to MYOB. Tanda’s been configured to work with their award, including different rates for each employee based on their age and ranking — all of which is mapped to the hours automatically, saving the days of data entry that used to take place.



With Tanda, Pizza Capers have a firm grip on staff costs across all of their stores


See the original post at https://www.tanda.co/franchise-time-and-attendance#

Visit Tanda at https://www.tanda.co

Spotlight: Mnet showcases world-first App, and creates first virtual tennis court at CeBIT this year.

Mnet integrates innovative solution ideas into client’s mobile solution offerings and we would like CeBIT attendees to experience the power of mobile technology innovation in providing an interactive, engaging experience.

During the Australian Open this year, Mnet launched a world-first interactive App called Kia Game On, giving fans the chance to experience what it’s like to be in the firing line against the world’s fastest server, Sam Groth (263 kph).

Turning viewers’ smartphones into tennis racquets and synching with the TV broadcast making the screen come to life, this innovative solution delivered extremely strong results for Kia. The strong engagement and brand exposure was integral in delivering Kia record monthly sales.

The Game On App was downloaded 193,000 times in the two week period, and hit #1 on the iTunes and Playstore charts.

Attendees at CeBIT will have a chance to experience this innovative technology, to return 6 seriously fast serves and compete for a daily $500 prize.

Look out for Mnet’s virtual court and have go!

http://mnetmobile.com/

Press Release: Icom Australia’s Advanced IP Radio System launch at CeBIT 2014

Icom Australia is proud to announce the release of a revolutionary new IP Radio System at CeBIT. The IP Advanced Radio System is easy to set up and use, working over a Wireless LAN and IP Network, requiring no license fee or call charges.

Ideal for hospitality, manufacturing and security industries, Icom Australia’s IP Advanced Radio System seamlessly provides license-free, yet secure communications for organisations unable to gain coverage or run conventional two-way radios. With up to 100 users communicating at the same time, a Wireless LAN System extends your communication coverage.

The IP Advanced Radio System allows for individual, group or area communication whereby staff can communicate seamlessly over an extended site, such as a hotel or warehouse. With an optional headset, users can talk and receive communication simultaneously, like a phone call. If organisations deploy access points along the IP network, the Advanced Radio System will communicate all the way from a basement to the top floor. When connected over an Internet VPN, the Advanced Radio System can communicate between dispersed sites such as offices or shops in different cities.
Icom Australia’s new IP Advanced Radio System simplifies communication and technology enabling central communication points within organisations to enhance full-duplex communication.

You can find Icom Australia at stand #F103 in the Communications and Network area.
For further information visit www.icom.net.au

Press Release for CeBIT

The implications for cyber security in a post-Snowden world

CEBIT Snowden Lindsay Banffy

Press Release: GovReports TaxAid Mobile App

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TaxAid Mobile App – first of its kind in Australia

GovReports new mobile app will get your tax refund with a push of a button.

Are you dreading the task of filling out a simple tax return?

Fear no more as a new mobile app will make you breeze through your tax return at the push of a button.

TaxAid is the first tax return application to be developed by GovReports for cloud lodgment. It is the first push tax return model of its kind in Australia.

Recently Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced that he would like to see the Australian Tax Office work towards the release of a “push” tax return model so that individual can lodge their returns within minutes from a system he described as having already pre-filled forms from the ATO. But this is yet to happen.

As one of the leading technology companies who is continually building and providing innovative management solutions to the Australian market and beyond, GovReports, has developed a first model of this ‘push’ tax return solution.

GovReports is one of the few technology companies – if not the only – that provides a cloud lodgment portal that is SBR ready.
With its new TaxAid Mobile App technology, GovReports can confidently say it is once again at forefront of developing cloud technology that could start the ball rolling for ‘push’ tax returns.

GovReports’ TaxAid will allow people to use their mobile to fill their tax returns on the app and then submitted to a tax agent registered on its iTax Portal. The tax agent will then lodge on be-half of the user.

This process can be done within 10mins – over people’s lunch breaks etc. More importantly, people would get their refunds within ten working days

The TaxAid App is designed for low income, students/pensioners – those having simple tax returns.

And according the PM there are about 4.5 Million simple tax users. TaxAid is the ideal solution for them.

About GovReports

GovReports is Australia’s leading XBRL and Standard Business Reporting (SBR) product and solutions provider. It has the largest collection of SBR forms in the market to date.

GovReports is the leading product from Impact Management Group Pty Ltd (eImpact).

For media enquiries please contact:
Dai Le
GovReports
0410899787
dai.le@eimpact.com.au

Spotlight: GalaxC, Lead Generation Made Easy!

Lead generation has never been made so fair and easy for businesses! GalaxC.com introduces the most advanced technology for the benefit of consumers and businesses frustrated with current expensive and complex methods whether it is Pay Per Click, Pay Per Lead or traditional advertising and marketing online or offline.

GalaxC is a game changing technology which proves that these methods are not only cumbersome, difficult to execute but also that neither the business nor the consumer gains from using these methods. It is only the advertising platforms that can laugh all the way to the bank.

GalaxC’s platform changes all this. Both consumers and businesses get exactly what they want when using GalaxC’s lead generation platform, which creates win-wins and saves time, effort and most importantly generates value for money!

Businesses can look forward to laser targeted leads for relevant jobs when they are available, can provide bids via their online account confidentially via the desktop or mobile and get market feed-back on all bids made to improve bid performance in a transparent and level playing field.

The innovative application also simulates the requesting consumers specific decision making process as per their requirements set and delivers clearly compared bids for selecting exactly what they want. Never before has technology provided this level of flexibility for the advantage of consumer and businesses and the superior benefits that this technology provides.

Visit http://au.galaxc.com and sign up to join the one platform that really cares about the community, whether local or global and support the better e-marketplace to reap its benefits.

White Paper: Bricks & Mortar Retailers Strike Back!

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Read more

White Paper: Learning Analytics with Martin Kallenborn, IMC

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Read more

Media Release: KORE WIRELESS AND ATRACK ESTABLISH GLOBAL PARTNERSHIP

KORE Wireless, the world’s largest dedicated M2M wireless network provider, together with ATrack, Taiwan’s leading Telematics hardware manufacturer, have established a global partnership to provide ATrack customers access to KORE M2M network services in over 150 countries worldwide.

This partnership allows ATrack to provide eligible customers free of charge the KORE M2M Starter Kit, including two KORE Global Connect SIM cards, with 90 days of M2M data and SMS for testing hardware on the KORE M2M Network.

Vice President and General Manager of KORE Wireless Asia Pacific, Mr Shane Murphy said “With providers like ATrack, finding a quality Telematics device is now easier than ever before. It is very complex and time consuming creating relationships with local network operators in every country you want to deploy in. By partnering with KORE, ATrack can now provide their customers with a single SIM that will work in multiple countries, across multiple carriers and get them connected instantly.”

“Working together with ATrack further cements KORE’s commitment to developing relationships and growing through Asia regionally.”

“Asia is poised to be the fastest growing region for M2M over the next 5 years. Our goal is to partner with quality device and application providers across the region to make sure that our customers have all the tools necessary to take advantage of this exciting market shift.”

This marks the first partnership of its kind between KORE and ATrack, who have historically focused purely on providing hardware, leaving their customers to find their own network provider in each country.

Frank Tang, CEO of ATrack said, “Our customers are still free to select their own network when they use our hardware, however what we are doing with this partnership is allowing those customers who don’t have an existing relationship or want to deploy using the power of a dedicated M2M network provider with easy, quick access to test their new device on one of the world’s largest M2M networks free of charge.”

New and existing ATrack customers can contact their ATrack sales manager for a referral code allowing them to sign up for the KORE M2M Starter Kit at http://www.korewireless.com.au/m2mstarter/

ATrack customers who sign up will receive 2 KORE Wireless SIM Cards with 90 days access to the KORE Global M2M Network including 30MB of data across 2G & 3G networks, 20 SMS Messages and service in over 150 Countries (network availability may vary by country).

About KORE Wireless Group

KORE Wireless is the world’s largest wireless network provider specialising exclusively on the rapidly expanding global machine-to-machine (M2M) communications market. Serving customers in many regions of the world, KORE staff are based in its eight offices in North America, Asia and Europe, providing unified control and management for cellular network service delivery in more than 180 countries worldwide. KORE empowers its application, hardware and wireless operator partners to efficiently deliver M2M solutions for connected devices across the globe. M2M applications in industries as diverse as healthcare, utilities, enterprise IT, transaction processing and fleet management rely on the KORE network to deliver operational efficiencies and cost-savings. KORE offers a range of technologies — including GSM, HSPA, CDMA and EV-DO — that ensures the greatest possible reliability and coverage.

For more information, please visit: www.korewireless.com.au

About ATrack:

ATrack specialises in Telematics hardware designing and manufacturing. Our core research and development team has over 10 years of industry experience, and our professional technical support team deliver unmatched responsive support. In addition to a wide range of products, ATrack has been particularly successful in providing customised firmware/hardware solutions to help our clients win different projects in this dynamic market. Through continuous commitment to valued clients and Telematics industry, we are recognised as the most advanced manufacturer out of Asia and a proven reliable hardware partner. ATrack is backed by ADATA Technology, one of the world’s largest memory and flash product manufacturer.

For more information, please visit: www.atrack.com.tw

Scott Borg Discusses Cyber-Security

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We sat with Scott Borg, Director or the U.S. Cyber Consequences Unit, to discuss why Cyber-Security needs to be a national priority for Australia.

Do you think cyber-security needs to be a national priority for Australia? Why?

Australia is a relatively rich country with a highly developed economy that utilizes advanced technologies. All its most lucrative industries are highly vulnerable to sophisticated cyber attacks. It has everything an attacker would be looking for. If adequate defensive measures aren’t adopted, the damage cyber attackers could do to the Australian economy could be great enough to make the difference between prosperity and economic hardship.

What are some of the most common forms of cyber-attacks?

We’re seeing a lot of e-mails right now that look exactly like real e-mails from specific business associates, but are devised by attackers with the sole purpose of inducing the recipients to open attachments. The attachments themselves also look plausible and innocent when opened, but they are loading very sophisticated spyware in the background. These highly customized cyber attacks are not usually aimed at stealing account information for credit card fraud. They are going after competitively important business information, such as new technologies, acquisition plans, marketing strategies. Anything that will allow a competing business to replace the targeted business in the global economy. The aim here is not to make some bogus credit card charges. The aim is to steal entire industries.

How prevalent is cyber-crime?

Fraudulent credit card charges are now extremely common. We don’t know just how common, because so many of them go unnoticed. Those charges on your credit card bill that you can’t remember and that are too small to be worth making a fuss about may well be the result of someone using your personal account information that they obtained by cyber attacks. Some of the criminals have discovered that if they make the charges look plausible enough and modest enough, they can keep up their fraudulent billing during several months each year for many successive years. By controlling their greed, they can keep the money pouring in indefinitely.

More serious cyber attacks that are designed to steal competitively important business information are being carried out against the majority of companies that are technology leaders, cost leaders, market share leaders, or any other kind of leader that a competitor would want to supplant. Most of the companies that have had their information stolen never discover that this has happened. They simply find themselves undercut in the global marketplace or displaced in other ways. They go out of business without ever realizing that cyber attacks were one of the main reasons.

How can cyber-attacks compromise an organisation?

In the modern information economy, the profits a company makes are largely determined by the information it can utilize that its competitors can’t. Steal all that information and the company’s profits can shrink to almost nothing.

Who is behind cyber-crime?

Criminal enterprises sheltered in countries or ethnic regions that are unwilling to cooperate with foreign or international law enforcement agencies are responsible for the bulk of ordinary cyber crime. Beyond that, the big new development over the last two or three years has been techniques that were originally developed by national intelligence services being offered for hire to any companies willing to pay enough. So the people who are increasingly behind much of the worst cyber crime today are unscrupulous corporate executives.

Do cyber criminals tend to select strategic targets?

Nation states have long used cyber attacks to go after strategic targets, such as defense contractors. Criminal enterprises and rogue corporations have only started going after strategic targets more recently. Of course, for a corporation, a strategic target might simply be an industry leader. Even a leading fashion house could be a strategic target from a business standpoint.

Who is at risk of a cyber-attack?

Any business that has information-based capabilities that other businesses would like to possess.

What are some of the indicators of compromise?

There are often no indicators that a company will see unless the company has thought through exactly what cyber attackers would want to do to it and set up special programs to watch for those things.

How can you safeguard a company against these risks?

A company can no longer get away with generic, general-purpose cyber defences. A company today needs to figure out exactly what sort of attacks it needs to defend against and how great the losses from these would be. This means thinking through how possible attackers could gain by attacking it and what they would do to obtain those gains. Once a company bases it cyber defences on a quantitative risk analysis, counter-measures can be deployed selectively and cost-effectively.

Register now to attend Scott Borg’s keynote address!
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Digital tools for a better, more sustainable health system

By Sarah Dods, CSIRO

It seems that almost every politician, health economist, policy expert and health-care worker has a different take on the state of the nation’s health system and ways to make it more sustainable. But notably absent from the debate so far is the role of technology.

So, how can digital innovation improve the health system’s bottom line?

Rising health costs

We know that Australia’s health system, in its current form, is not sustainable. Treasury projections show that we currently spend more than 20% of all government tax revenue on health, and that if current trends continue, this will rise to 40% by 2043.

State government expenditure is even more dire, currently at 40%, and rising to 100% in the same period. Over the past ten years, health-care spending has risen faster than the growth of our gross domestic product (5.4% vs 3.1%) and in 2012 health overtook retail as Australia’s largest employment sector.


Source: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare

The drivers of this growth are an ageing population that is living longer but not in good health, increasing rates of chronic disease (such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer and asthma) that require long-term health management, and increasing expectations around medical advances and what our health system can treat.

For my grandparents’ generation, the expectation for failing hip joints was a pair of walking sticks and self-management. Today, we expect hip replacement surgery, and new hips. The social outcome today is much greater, but there is an economic cost that we need to acknowledge.

The exact maximum proportion of our national budget that can sensibly be spent on health is still up for debate, however it is clear that this limit is in sight. So, economically speaking, what are the alternatives?

Keeping a lid on spending

One approach is to look for new sources of funding into the system. Individuals already fund nearly 20% of health-care expenses through out-of-pocket payments. The current proposal of GP co-payments is one way to increase this.

But when people can choose how they interact with the health system, they will generally opt the lowest-cost option (to them) that meets their needs. So, if they have to pay to visit their GP, then they are more likely to go to the emergency department at their nearest public hospital as an alternative – at much higher cost to the health system.


Raising the out-of-pocket costs of primary care could drive more patients to emergency departments.
Ragne Kabanova/Flickr

A second approach is to look at how the system spends the current funding, and whether it is possible to improve what is achieved with the current budget. The best places to seek these improvements are the parts of the health system with the biggest expenditure, which are hospitals (40%), and medical services (18%).

Savings could be found through efficiency gains (doing the same things, but in smarter ways), better utilising lower cost parts of the health-care system that meet patients needs, and by changing operating models (doing smarter things to get desired outcomes).

Technological solutions

There is a growing collection of technological solutions that started as research to demonstrate their clinical safety and economic value, and are at, or rapidly moving towards, early roll out.

Big data analytics can predict who, when and why patients arrive at hospitals. These tools can predict emergency department arrivals and how many will need admission, and days when there will likely be insufficient beds available to meet these needs.


Patient prediction tools are beginning to be rolled out.

This kind of forecasting enables hospitals to move from reactive planning (need a bed now), to proactive planning for emergency department and elective surgery needs, and look to reduce waiting times, improve bed usage, and reduce staff stress levels along the way.

Decision-making around how patients are discharged from hospital is equally important, including understanding and overcoming the barriers that keep people in hospital after they are clinically ready to go.

Patients with chronic diseases, for instance, are high users of our health-care system. For some of these patients, there is growing evidence that their needs may be better met – clinically and economically – through guided self-care at home using broadband communications.

In rural areas, broadband can also improve access to essential health services, enabling better early diagnosis and treatment of conditions before they become major and require hospitalisation. CSIRO is helping to deliver specialist ophthalmology (eye care) services, for example, to remote communities in Southwest Western Australia and the Torres Strait Islands.


Janice from Bacchus Marsh, Victoria, measures her blood oxygen with the help of her husband and carer Bill. Her health stats are sent via a telehealth device to a local diabetes nurse who checks on her daily.
CSIRO

At CSIRO, we are also exploring the options to take patient prediction tools to the next level: whether forecasting can also predict health deterioration. This would enable simpler, earlier medical intervention, saving the social and economic cost of a visit to hospital.

The health system is going through a profound generational change in the transition from paper to fully electronic records. The computational standard SNOMED CT is emerging internationally as the tool that will enable these records to exchange detailed, precise concepts and information.

Figuring out how to implement and manage the complexities of the standard across the many non-standard (and often text-based) health record systems is a research challenge in itself. But once implemented, the potential for big data analytics, machine learning and decision support will result in higher quality and safer patient care, as well as enormous efficiency gains in reporting, health business systems, and population health.

Australia is rightfully proud of our record of medical research achievements. But there is a strong case to refocus a significant part of our investment in clinical research towards building an equally strong capability in health-care services research.

Finding ways to deliver high-quality care with good patient outcomes at an affordable cost to the nation is just as important as finding cures for diseases.

The Conversation

This post was written by Sarah Dods, Research Theme Leader, Health Services at CSIRO. You can find Sarah on Twitter at @sarahtmb

Sarah Dods will be holding an e-Health workshop at CeBIT. Register now to attend Sarah’s workshop!

Sarah Dods CSIRO Workshop CeBIT
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CSIRO Health Services receives funding from the Australian Government, Queensland Health, WA Department of Health, Australia’s National E-Health Transition Authority (NEHTA) and a number of individual public hospitals.

This article was originally published on The Conversation.
Read the original article.

Innovative ideas invited from Australian IT students

Nasscom Student Innovation Awards

NASSCOM Australia’s third annual NASSCOM Student Innovation Awards 2014, presented for excellence in the field of Information Technology is expecting a record number of submissions this year. The date of submission has been extended to April 14, to allow more students to participate.

The awards have been specifically tailored towards encouraging and supporting creative innovation, and ICT students across Universities in Australia are invited to submit their concepts through the newly launched website at www.nasscom.com.au. NASSCOM Australia aims at recognising young talent with the potential to develop into future leaders within the IT industry globally.

The two award categories are IT Innovation, a broad category for any IT-related technical innovation, and encompasses new processes, innovative design, systems and device innovation; and IT-enabled Business Innovation, Any innovative business application or process and could be systems based, cloud based or mobile.

All submissions will be reviewed by a high-profile panel of judges from the technology and business sectors. They will be looking for submissions ‘beyond a good idea’, showing depth of functionality and research to address each of the key criterion of Innovation, Performance and Potential.

The prizewinners will enjoy an all-expenses paid five day work experience trip to India in a placement at one of the NASSCOM member companies’ offices. “Our aim is to offer all ICT students in Universities across Australia an opportunity to showcase their talent through the Awards by submitting their creative concepts in information technology to a panel of discerning judges,” said Sameer Arora, General Manager of NASSCOM Australia.

The final presentation and judging will be on April 29 in Sydney, and prizewinners will be announced on the same day.

Students visiting the website www.nasscom.com.au will find all the details of the awards and how to apply on the site.

The awards are supported by the ICT Chapter of the Australia India Business Council (AIBC), Australian Computer Society (ACS), Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) and CeBIT, with sponsors TCS, Wipro and Mindtree.

The winners will be presented with a certificate, trophy and cash prize at the CeBIT Gala Dinner and Awards Night on 6 May 2014 at the ANZ Stadium. Book your tickets now.

NASSCOM Australia is the Australian chapter of NASSCOM. Its twelve members have currently invested upwards of $100M to setup more than 20 development centres in Australia and currently employ more than 7000 people in Australia. They have strong links with many universities in Australia to recruit students for global projects, run student internships programs and have established scholarships.

Work 3.0, Flexible Workplace and Technology Strategies

Canon Australia distributed a media release detailing on how technology can be harnessed to grow business in unorthodox methodologies.

One in three Australian CxO’s say they will officially support activity based working (ABW), telework and mobile working in 2014, according to a survey of 1047 Australian organisations. Technology will underpin these strategies with mobile devices, apps, solutions to digitise and mobilise workflows and cloud based office productivity tools, as the key enablers.

CeBIT Canon Business Facts One

Released today, the survey commissioned by Canon investigated the views of Australian small, medium and large businesses. These CxOs identified growth as the top business goal for 2014, followed by cost management and customer engagement. Notably, 78% expect greater productivity and growth through mobilising their processes.

Australian CxOs are aware that inefficient processes like manual administration tasks are a barrier to achieving the benefits of flexible working. 63% acknowledge the average worker wastes between 2 to 10 hours per week on repetitive and manual admin tasks. This can cost up to $16,000 per worker, annually.
Craig Manson, Director, Canon Business Services said, “The nature of work is changing, giving rise to ‘Work 3.0’ – a new reality that sees people, different work styles, workspace, and technology that enables smarter working, come together to create an organisation that is highly responsive to the needs of their customers, engages their employees and in turn is more agile to market and achieves smarter growth.

CeBIT Canon Business Facts Two

“Flexible working styles are becoming more apparent as businesses start observing all the benefits like improved employee health and wellbeing, made possible by high performance working and other styles of mobile working. Unfortunately 63% of businesses say they struggle to find the technology solutions to make this a reality. Smart technologies such as Canon’s uniFLOW, IRIS and recently launched cloud-based software – Therefore Online, are creating a workforce that is more agile through their ability to work anywhere, anytime and from any device with the added benefit of increased productivity,” Manson added.

Canon partnered with Yarra Valley Water in Victoria to implement new approaches to help improve efficiency and sustainability as well as reduce costs throughout its entire office environment. As part of its strategy, Yarra Valley Water refurbished its office and invested into new technology that supported its movement toward an open-planned ABW environment. Canon’s solution helped Yarra Valley Water save over $100,000 in its first year of implementation.

CeBIT Canon Business Facts Three

Other key research findings include:

  • Top 3 impacts on organisations are: industry specific issues, changing customer needs and competitive threats from emerging players
  • 64% of respondents want automating admin tasks to be a high priority in 2014
  • 88% of the most commonly performed admin tasks involve data, document and paper processing
  • Customer engagement is a strong focus for many sectors and will be a theme in 2014
  • ABW, teleworking and mobile work is supported by 20-27% of organisations. 59% still expect to have traditional desk-based work.

To read more about the findings, Canon has provided .pdf files for your reading:

SAS Visual Analytics in the Cloud

Data visualisation plays an increasingly critical role in business communication, and with the tools to create compelling data visualisations now becoming widely available, the trend is set to continue.

Combining Visualisation and Analytics techniques allows you to uncover hidden opportunities, identify key relationships and make more precise decisions to drive success faster. Self-service, ad-hoc visual data discovery and exploration puts lightning fast insights within everyone’s reach.

In this interactive Hands On Workshop, you will experience a guided overview of SAS® Visual Analytics and have the ability to:

  • Explore datasets interactively, leveraging built-in auto charting features
  • Quickly design reports that are attractive, interactive and meaningful
  • Leverage an intuitive, point and click interface to drive sophisticated analytics, including decision trees, network diagrams, on-the-fly forecasting and scenario analysis

Whether you’re a business user with limited technical skills, a statistician or a data scientist, powerful analytics are at your fingertips.

The workshop is proudly sponsored by SAS. It is facilitated by a Visualisation expert and will allow you to get all your questions answered in this interactive session.

Visit SAS at Booth G41 for more information on SAS® Visual Analytics. If you wish to attend a Driving Actionable Insight using Data Visualisation Tools Campus Session to experience the technology hands on, register now with promo code “sasvip-c” for your complimentary entry.

Use hashtag #VisTheFuture to join the conversation!

CeBIT Data

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Press Release: UDC Systems Releases New UDC Mobile

UDC Systems has released a new version of their Mobile Data Capture solution. This solution changes the way that employees are assigned work, capture and submit data back to administration offices. It provides two way communications in submitting work as it occurs as well as updating mobile workers with the latest set of job orders, parts lists, clients or whatever data they require.

UDC Mobile is a cloud-based service with no local IT installation or infrastructure overhead. It is easy to implement and can be used in a wide range of industries. The UDC solution enables an organisation, with a mobile workforce to simply design forms specifically for its business, deploy them to their workers mobile phones or tablets. Workers then record activities on their mobile devices. It captures the date time stamp, calculates the duration of tasks and jobs, GPS coordinates plus any other function inherent in the device.

PC Phone and Ipad

UDC Mobile reduces the cost of data collection, improves the productivity of employees, increases the accuracy of data and improves processing of transactions. In addition, using UDC Mobile on your Smartphone or Tablet opens up a whole range of other features. For example, you can track where your employees are working with GPS, scan barcodes for product identification, take photographs of work completed and issues that may occur and, of course, you can obtain signatures.

For more information, please visit https://www.udcsystems.com.au/node/more-info

CeBIT 2014 will show you how the digital revolution is shaping the future of how we do business, and demonstrate the huge opportunities available for businesses who embrace it. Register your interest at http://www.cebit.com.au

Changing the way ESOPs are taxed

Ask yourself: would you accept a job offer if the employer was offering you half your market salary, an upfront tax bill, and a punt on the future value of company shares three to five years out with only a 5% chance of success?

We need to stop thinking of Australia’s innovation industry as an island. It is instead a small pool of high-quality talent that will hop across the pond if we don’t do everything we can to attract and retain it. In some areas we need to ensure we’re ahead of the game in terms of supporting an innovation industry, but in other areas we need to act fast  just to match the baseline in other markets. One example of the latter is addressing the tax treatment of employee share options for early-stage tech startup ventures in Australia.

Why is there a tech startup brain drain?

Australia’s startup community is increasingly mobile — the move to cloud storage and processing for many technology platforms means the founders of a new tech startup venture need little more than an airfare, a visa and a laptop to relocate to whichever global destination offers the most attractive business environment for establishing their business.

In the past, Silicon Valley has been the major destination for startup founders due to the large and well-funded community there. However in the past decade competitive startup communities have been established in several other major US cities (LA, New York, Chicago, Boulder, Las Vegas, Austin) and in several major international cities (London, Berlin, Singapore, Tel Aviv, etc). Like in Australia, these startup hubs are increasingly supported by a community of early-stage investors, mentors and service providers.

While Australia enjoys a significant quality-of-life advantage in attracting the best global startup entrepreneurs, we face several disadvantages too:

  • Very high cost of living;
  • Relatively isolated and expensive to travel from/to if customers and markets are primarily overseas;
  • Small, under-developed seed stage and venture capital ecosystem; and
  • Relatively unfavourable tax treatment for investors, founders and employees.

Employee Share Option Scheme (ESOP) reform

In most countries, ESOPs are used as a cost-effective way to motivate and reward the early-stage employees who will make the biggest difference in developing a new tech startup, while at the same time reducing the cost of employee compensation to cash-poor tech startup businesses.

Under an ESOP, employees are granted share options they can “exercise” or “strike” to buy stock in the company at a future date based on the current share price. Because successful tech startups enjoy significant capital growth, the difference between the sale price of the granted share and the exercise price of the ESOP stock option can produce a significant windfall for the employees participating in the ESOP. Employees are retained by making a proportion of the total ESOP grant available over time, typically in a series of annual tranches over three, four or five years.

It’s important to note that ESOP schemes are not without their risks and costs.

For the employee, ESOP options are granted as part of a compensation package featuring a salary significantly lower than their current market rate. The employee balances the salary foregone against their ability to contribute to the market value of the company, which in turn may provide a return when share options are exercised.

For the employer, ESOP schemes can be expensive to establish and maintain. If the future share price drops below the strike price, employees may be demotivated rather than motivated by remaining with the company.

Australia’s tax treatment of ESOP equity makes ESOPs almost completely impractical to setup and administer, and makes them difficult to offer as a means of attracting and retaining key talent.
Currently employees granted ESOP share options in Australia are taxed on receipt at the market value of the underlying share. For instance, an employee granted 10,000 options to purchase shares in 12 months time at a strike price of $0.10 is considered by the ATO to have received a taxable benefit of $100,000.00 and tax is payable in the tax year the options are granted.

This is inequitable because the employee owes tax immediately, and yet is unable to earn anything from exercising the 10,000 share options for another 12 months, and even then, will only receive a benefit if the shares they receive are worth more than the $0.10 strike price.

A tool meant to motivate and retain employees in other markets actively demotivates employees in Australia because instead of receiving a benefit, the employee receives an immediate and significant tax debt, without any assistance to bridge the gap between tax owed and the potential and uncertain future profit on the sale of ESOP shares.

It’s important to remember that the odds of Australian employees seeing a profit from the sale of ESOP shares are low — the 2012 Startup Genome report on the Australian startup industry found that fewer than 5% of Australian startups went on to achieve success.

 About the author:

Sebastien Eckersley-Maslin, BlueChilli CEO (www.bluechilli.com)

3 time 30-under-30 winner, top UNSW post graduate researcher, Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year state finalist and former Navy weapons engineer Sebastien Eckersley-Maslin is the founder and CEO of Venture Technology BlueChilli.  BlueChilli builds and invests in online companies, with a goal of building 100 startups by 2016, a model pioneered by Sebastien called Venture Technology. BlueChilli gives startups all the services of a digital agency, training and support through their Sydney and Melbourne incubators and funding support through their venture fund, all of which contributed to being named BRW’s 3rd most innovative company of 2012.

With a mandate to empower entrepreneurs, the profitable BlueChilli company has already invested in 33 start-up businesses, providing technology solutions and support to entrepreneurs who have identified a commercial need but don’t know how to realise it technically.

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