SPECIALIST BUSINESS mass data storage and management company, Cloudian, has officially launched its operations in Australia and New Zealand.

Cloudian, founded in 2011 by CEO Michael Tso, who attended high school in Melbourne, has become the world’s most widely deployed ‘independent object storage provider’ – a term used to describe Cloudian’s management, protection and leverage of massive data sets without sacrificing ease-of-access.

Cloudian’s award-winning HyperStore solution allows businesses to manage mass data without having to capitalise, exceed budget limitations, or run afoul of data sovereignty requirements.

Cloudian has a strong network of partnerships with some of the world’s largest cloud and technology companies, including Cisco, HPE, Lenovo, Rubrik, Veeam and VMware.

Led locally by Australian industry veterans James Wright and Jason Mantell – both with prior experience at Nutanix and Pure Storage – the company believes it is well positioned to capitalise on Australia and New Zealand’s heightened reliance on data. 

“Around 80 percent of the data created by organisations today is unstructured, primarily images, video and voice data,” Cloudian regional director for Australia and New Zealand, James Wright said. 

“But A/NZ enterprises and governments are struggling to store this data, protect it and analyse it, particularly given the limitations of traditional storage systems.

“Cloudian addresses this challenge, providing a limitlessly scalable, highly cost-effective and secure means to store and create real value from increasingly large data sets. We also deliver seamless integration and data movement across on-premises/private cloud and public cloud environments,” he said.

“With data playing an ever more central role in A/NZ and increased concern about public cloud data being stored outside national borders, there is a great opportunity to expand the company here.”

Cloudian aims to bolster its local team and partner network in the region and has already signed distribution agreements with Exclusive Networks and NextGen. The company has also begun working with managed service providers (MSPs) with expertise in the government, financial and other sectors across Australia and New Zealand.


Mr Wright said Cloudian saw a significant opportunity in the increasing number of organisations rethinking public cloud storage due to unexpected costs, concerns about data security and control – including data sovereignty – and highly variable performance.

He said a leading industry analyst firm recently reported that 85 percent of IT managers surveyed said they were  moving some portion of their workloads back from public clouds, a process known as ‘repatriation’. 

He said Cloudian offered guaranteed compatibility with the S3 API, the widely adopted protocol of public cloud storage. This allows the full ecosystem of S3-compatible applications to employ Cloudian storage systems on-premises or as part of an in-country service provider’s offerings, which also preserves data sovereignty.

“A/NZ businesses are becoming more aware of the drawbacks of storing large volumes of data in the public cloud, but they want that same user experience,” Mr Wright said. 

“Because of our fully native S3 compatibility, we can provide the scale, flexibility and ease-of-use of the public cloud within a customer’s own data centre at up to one-third the cost.”


Ransomware attacks have become a rapidly growing global threat, and this region far from immune.

Mr Wright said research last month showed that such attacks had increased by 10 percent in Australia during COVID-19, while New Zealand has been named among the most vulnerable countries susceptible to a cyber-attack.

With a feature called Object Lock that prevents hackers from encrypting data, Cloudian can help Australian and New Zealand organisations to protect against this threat.

“We know that ransomware attacks often come more than once, as cyber criminals both identify the vulnerability and know the company is willing to pay to unlock their data,” Wright said.

“Object Lock creates an immutable copy of backup data, ensuring a clean copy for reliable recovery so businesses are covered when security measures fail.”



THE Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Kate Carnell said new research from the NBN proves "once and for all" that digitisation is a key driver of success in small businesses.

A survey of more than 1000 Australians conducted on behalf of NBN Co, has revealed close to half (49%) of respondents had increased their online shopping during the pandemic shutdown period and 70 percent were consciously supporting local businesses online.

But more than two thirds of respondents said even though they would like to support more local businesses, they were restricted by the limited digital presence of those businesses. 

“COVID-19 has delivered a harsh lesson that small businesses can’t rely on outdated business models and brick-and-mortar stores anymore,” Ms Carnell said.

“Digitisation is now essential for a small business to be truly competitive.

“PwC modelling estimates small businesses could unlock more than $49 billion of private sector output over a decade by adopting better use of mobile and internet technologies. More than half of this benefit could be realised in rural and regional Australia.

“The recent Buy from the Bush campaign is an excellent example – in just four months the 275 regional businesses profiled saw an average revenue increase of 300 percent. The campaign delivered $5 million to those featured small businesses – all of which had an online presence," Ms Carnell said.

“Equally, new research for the Shop Small campaign, revealed about a third of shoppers surveyed feel comfortable with returning to shops even though COVID restrictions are easing. It’s clear as we enter this new normal and live with this virus, having an online presence is critical for small businesses.

“We’ve found the most common roadblock to digital adoption has been not knowing where to start and fear of technology.

“There are a number of online workshops that offer good tips to small businesses. In particular, my office has supported the free Grow with Google sessions that cover everything from managing your business remotely to helping your business stand out online.

“We are also backing Kochie’s Business Builders’ Small Business First campaign, offering small businesses a free online directory listing, learning hub and community forum as they work to get back on their feet in these challenging times.”



JUST 29 percent of data centre user decision-makers say their current facilities are meeting their needs, and just 6 percent say their data centres are updated ahead of their needs.

These are among the findings included in a new report from Forbes Insights and Vertiv.

The Modern Data Centre: How IT is Adapting to New Technologies and Hyperconnectivity examines the results of a survey of 150 data centre executives and engineers from various industries around the world. 

The survey results indicate a troubling lack of planning and preparation for today’s evolving data ecosystem. A closer examination of the results reveals a stark contrast between executives and engineers: 11 percent of executives say their data centers are updated ahead of current needs while just 1 percent of engineers say the same.

“As today’s data centre evolves to incorporate enterprise, cloud and edge resources, thorough planning and foresight is needed to meet organisational computing requirements and business objectives,” Vertiv Global Edge Systems vice president, Martin Olsen said.

“It is clear, however, that many organisations are lagging on that front. With that in mind, we anticipate considerable investment and activity among businesses trying to catch up and get ahead of the changes.”

Tony Gaunt, senior director for cloud, hyperscale and colocation at Vertiv in Asia and India said, "In Asia, we are seeing growing interest and attention among organisations in future-proofing their critical infrastructure to adapt to the expanding connectivity and network requirements.

"But there is much work that still needs to be done. There is a need to re-examine existing strategies and continuously improve upon them to achieve business success."

Other notable results from the survey included: 

  • 92 percent of CIOs and CTOs say their business will require faster download and response times in the near future.
  • 63 percent say they have difficulty meeting bandwidth needs at all times.
  • Security (45%) and bandwidth (43%) are the two areas most in need of upgrades.
  • Security (43%), backup and emergency preparedness (33%), the ability to implement new technologies (28%) and bandwidth (27%) were the most commonly identified features that will give businesses a competitive advantage.
  • Respondents are bullish on self-configuring and self-healing data centers. 24% said more than half of their data centers will be self-configuring by 2025, and 32% said more than half would be self-healing.



By Leon Gettler >>

EUGENE Dubossarsky, head of the Analytics Academy and the chief data scientist at AlphaZetta believes the big challenge for companies was knowing how to manage their data.

He said data was very important for some businesses – and critical for some that don’t even realise it. Data should be used to help companies make the best possible decisions, Mr Dubossarsky said.

The greatest challenge for business owners and executives is data literacy. 

“I don’t think I need to convince anyone that anyone adding any economic value as a professional today is massively computer literate,” Mr Dubossarsky told Talking Business. “They would have been considered a total computer nerd 30 years ago.

“This is everyone from the age of eight onwards and everyone from an entry level graduate to a CEO in a large organisation.

“Something that hasn’t happened yet, but is in the way of coming, is the advent of data literacy where, in order to be economically useful and economically productive as a professional, people are going to need to know how to turn data into decisions, how to infer insights from data, how to be curious with data, how to self-served with data, in ways they currently aren’t now.”


Mr Dubossarsky said a lot of productivity and value is being held back by the lack of data literacy on the part of most professionals, including most leaders today.

He said the way leaders can develop data literacy is to engage with data for the purposes of making decisions. Data analytics, he said, helps them make good decisions.

Mr Dubossarsky said managers needed to look at data in an interactive and curious way, identify opportunities and threats and turn those into business actions.

He is critical of companies resorting to hiring data scientists and avoiding doing the work themselves.

“Is hiring a bunch of very competent people in a particular field the right first step when you don’t know how to tell if they’re good or not, when you don’t know how to assess their work, when you don’t know what to do with their work?” Mr Dubossarsky asked.

“The sort of people who couldn’t tell a good data scientist from a bad one without a certificate, are they the sort of people who would know what to do with a good data scientist if they had one?”


Mr Dubossarsky said hiring data scientists should not be the first step. What executives should do, instead, is engage with the data themselves and learn – then bring in expertise on an ad hoc basis.

“People who want to get into data analytics in a serious way need to spend a lot of time exploring and very honestly saying ‘I don’t even know where to start’ and very honestly accepting the fact that they will hit a lot of dead ends,” Mr Dubossarsky said.

“People need to be able to engage directly with this task of making better decisions and learning and growing towards it.”

He said one of the best historical examples of this was Winston Churchill.

“My favourite data enabled manager was Winston Churchill in World War Two,” he said. “One of the first things he did in his underground bunker office was to put another office right next to his, where his statistical unit was.

“Their job was to provide him with graphs of fighter plane production, ship production, ships sunk, troops lost, all the things he needed to run the war, because the stakes were high.

“He knew he had to make good decisions and good decision support was one of the first things he required.

“That bit of analytics, done with paper and pencil and stuck on walls, was way more effective than a lot of stuff being done with cloud technology these days.”



 Hear the complete interview and catch up with other topical business news on Leon Gettler’s Talking Business podcast, released every Friday at www.acast.com/talkingbusiness.


WORLD-RENOWNED global futurist, Roey Tzezana, will today speak at QODE, a Brisbane-based virtual  conference broadcast on YouTube, discussing the impact of coronavirus on the world.

Dr Tzezana is a futurist and foresight expert who lives in the United States. He uses data to predict global events and has appeared on radio and television networks around the world discussing the future of technology and society.

Dr Tzezana will be conducting a keynote presentation at the virtual QODE Brisbane conference titled Global Impact of Coronavirus which will be streamed live on YouTube. 

With physical gatherings now banned in Australia, the organisers behind a Brisbane technology conference partnered with YouTube to stream the conference live, and in what’s believed to be an Australian-first, attendees will be able to visit exhibitor booths using virtual reality.

With more than 4000 people having been expected to attend the conference yesterday and today, QODE Brisbane was quick to team up with the world’s best-known video site, taking the event to the global stage.

QODE’s focus is the future of technology, and chief QODE officer Jackie Taranto said they’ve also teamed up with a Brisbane VR company, Visitor Vision, to offer a new way for people to view the conference exhibits.

“One of the key reasons people attend conferences is to visit the exhibitor booths to gain further insight into the products and information available, and for those exhibiting, it’s a really important way to access that market,” Ms Taranto said.

“We wanted to ensure attendees could still have that experience, and now they can. Using virtual reality, they can walk through the exhibitor booths as though they’re at the convention centre and can even jump on a call to chat with the exhibitor as they would face-to-face.”

As a result of the program being online, the exhibitor can access information about who has visited the booth, the company they’re from and if they’re interested in chatting further, which is often more information than they might be able to gain about a potential customer in a traditional expo setting.

Queensland Innovation Minister Kate Jones said moving the event online was in the best interests of all Queenslanders.

“No one can think outside the box quite like an entrepreneur or a small business person,” Ms Jones said. “The organisers of QODE have been clear – the show must go on. Or in this case, go online. In the true spirit of this event, rather than cancelling the festival, they’re taking the entire program online.

“This festival is about showcasing our best and brightest to the world. What better way to achieve that, than by sending the world a message – we have the resilience and the brains to keep this show on the road.”

Brisbane Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner said it was fitting that a technology-based solution would see QODE Brisbane proceed.

“These extraordinary circumstances call for innovative solutions and what better way to ensure this important global event goes ahead than by embracing the latest technology,” Cr Schrinner said.

“While it is unfortunate that thousands of world-leading experts and delegates will not experience our great city at this time, I am pleased that Brisbane will still facilitate discussions on the technology trends and issues shaping the way we live and work.”

Speakers from the US and Israel are among those taking part in the virtual event, while some local speakers include Nine CEO Hugh Marks and Queensland Chief Scientist Paul Bertsch. QODE is supported by the Queensland Government through Tourism and Events Queensland and the City of Brisbane. All those who originally purchased a ticket to attend the event in person will be refunded.

The live-stream YouTube link is here.



By Leon Gettler >>

COLIN ANSON created Pixevety, a photo management system designed to provide families and schools with a secure but accessible means of sharing photos and videos, in a way that protects children’s right to privacy.

His challenge: selling solution to a problem that people don’t know exists. 

But according to Mr Anson, a growing number of schools are becoming aware of this need, with hundreds of thousands of images stored by schools these days. The schools might have a desire to use those photos in all sorts of ways from a brochure, to a yearbook to Facebook.

“It’s been designed with privacy at its core and it enables a school to efficiently collect, organise and share media,” Mr Anson told Talking Business.

He said this applied to photos and videos.

“It’s a digital asset management system at its core so it will handle any file type,” Mr Anson said.

“The interesting thing is schools are becoming more and more aware of this. Some are choosing to stick their heads in the sand and others are embracing it and really running with it.

“What we’ve seen is that technology has created a situation that only technology can handle.”  


Mr Anson said schools tend to have few policies and processes for where the images are kept, whether they are shipped offshore and who has access to them. There were also enormous issues around privacy laws.

“Really what it’s boiling down for schools is consent management,” he said. “Consent has to be voluntary, current and specific and that poses a reasonable challenge for schools when you have hundreds of children, multiple parents all with different opinions and it is just too hard to manage day to day photo permissions effectively in relation to Australian privacy principles.

“So Pixevety was created with a consent module that takes care of that for them.” 

He gave an example of a school wanting to use the photos on its Facebook page, with name tags.

“You couldn’t possibly deal with the variables unless you had something like Pixevety behind you,” Mr Anson said.

“We’ve had many schools saying this is going to open a can of worms. Effectively, there are incidents where content has been shared without permission, and that’s caused concern.”

Mr Anson said Pixevety provides a simple solution that gives families a choice.

He said most of the schools Pixevety works with at present are in Victoria and Queensland. The education departments in those states are more active in the space.

However, he said, Pixevety was expanding to New South Wales and Catholic dioceses around the country. It has also moved into New Zealand and Singapore. .

He said a school in San Francisco had already been in touch with Pixevety and the company was opening an office in Los Angeles.

“Without a doubt, it is a global problem,” he said.



Hear the complete interview and catch up with other topical business news on Leon Gettler’s Talking Business podcast, released every Friday at www.acast.com/talkingbusiness.  


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