FOR PROESSIONALS in the architecture, engineering and construction sectors, an Australian IT innovator named Novius seems destined to change how projects are successfully managed and executed forever.

What Novius achieves sounds simple – providing a collaborative three-dimensional (3D) modelling environment in the ‘cloud’. However, achieving this in a way that enables all stakeholders to participate in real time, smoothly and effectively, has been the ‘holy grail’ for the interrelated industries Novius refers to as the ‘AEC’ sector.

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IT HAS BEEN called the ICT industry’s David and Goliath battle – and two Davids won again when Brisbane-based companies SuretyIT and Cloud Plus beat out Telstra and Vodafone at the inaugural CRN Impact Awards. 

The CRN Impact Awards were established to recognise IT providers for projects that delivered real benefits for customers. Cloud Plus and Surety IT were awarded for their partnership on an information and communication technology (ICT) solution contract for John Deere dealer Chesterfield Australia. 

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FINANCIAL software company, myprosperity, has strategically partnered with The Institute of Public Accountants (IPA) to assist accountants to better service their clients.

The partnership, which joins one of the country’s oldest representative professional bodies with a relatively recent addition to the financial technology (fintech) scene, aims to help accountants implement technology into their practices to make them more efficient. 

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AUSTRALIA’S largest enterprise software provider, TechnologyOne can now claim to be the first, and only, company in Australia to have its enterprise Software as a Service (SaaS) solution, certified to the highest standard by the Federal Government.

TechnologyOne executive chairman Adrian Di Marco said the business has been endorsed as the safest and most trusted provider of enterprise SaaS by attaining the Australian Federal Government’s Information Security Registered Assessors Program (IRAP) certification. 

IRAP Assessors recommended that the Federal Government’s Certification Authority certify TechnologyOne’s SaaS solution as compliant to the Australian Government’s Information Security Manual (ISM) and be included on the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) Certified Cloud Services List.

“This endorses TechnologyOne as the safest and most trusted provider of enterprise SaaS in the world,” Mr Di Marco said.

“In the wake of the recent malware attacks across Europe, and with Australia’s investment in cloud solutions is set to approach $800 million by 2019 (according to The Telsyte Australian Infrastructure & Cloud Computing Market Study 2015), it has never been more important to verify the highest level of security for software provided and managed from the cloud.

“Businesses and governments must demand that their cloud software providers demonstrate the highest levels of security and data protection, to ensure business continuity.

“TechnologyOne has taken this step because there is too much at stake to overlook the importance of cloud security. It’s non-negotiable, especially as we approach the digital revolution when a cloud first, mobile first world is the norm.

“Having our software accredited to the highest standards possible enables our customers to acquire their security accreditations too,” Mr Di Marco said.

Elaborating on the measures TechnologyOne has taken around cloud security, Mr Di Marco said, “For us, it’s simply a matter of reiterating to our customers the multi-tiered security measures that come linked to the TechnologyOne SaaS solution.

“Automatic, highly secure and fail safe. This is the premise behind cloud technology of the future. There’s no excuse for omitting these measures in today’s cloud environment or taking short cuts,” Mr Di Marco said.

www.technologyonecorp.com

 

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EXTRA >>

INTERNATIONAL robotics designer and manufacturer, Lakeba, is about to bring its in-store robot, Shelfie, into the Australian market.

Shelfie, which utilises Microsoft Azure cloud software, is described as being able to monitor and help intelligently manage stock levels in retail outlets and supermarkets. Lakeba, which has offices in Melbourne and Sydney, is aiming to help “transform the sector” by shaving costs and boosting revenues.

Shelfie aims to transform retail by melding robotic technologies with image capturing and data analytics running on the Microsoft Azure cloud.

Shelfie CEO and non-executive director at Lakeba, Darren Younger said the technology was available as a robot, drone, or hand-held device.

Mr Younger said Shelfie scans shelves and price tickets, “delivering real-time stock reporting via the Dashboard which is built on Microsoft Power BI to help identify sales trends and provide intelligent insights to optimise merchandise layouts”. 

Mr Younger said  not only could retailers shave costs by tackling under or overstocking issues, they can for the first time measure how quickly stock gaps are addressed, or new merchandise planograms and ticketing are rolled out – giving them a metric to manage and improve.

“We call this the Shelfie Index – a 0-100 score based on store stock, and layout,” Mr Younger said. “We forecast that beyond optimising existing revenue chains, Shelfie can deliver cost savings of up to $300,000 per store per year – for a grocery retailer operating hundreds of stores it can quickly equate to a sizeable saving, freeing up time and resource to be invested in other operational areas.

A study by IHL Group suggested global retailers already forego $1.1 trillion of revenues each year because they run out of stock of popular items, or are overstocked with unwanted product.

Mr Younger said Shelfie tackled the problem by providing real-time transparency regarding in-store demand.

 

THE SHELFIE SYSTEM

 

Set loose in a store, a Wi-Fi connected robot or drone Shelfie maps the store’s layout, scans shelves, identifies stock levels and captures pricing information from shelf labels. An automatic aisle scan identifies when stocks are running low, automatically alerting staff to the need to restock. 

At the same time the data collected is analysed in Microsoft Azure and quickly reveals what lines are racing off the shelves, and which are not selling as fast – allowing purchasing to adjust procurement.

A full supermarket-scale inventory takes around three hours to complete.

Marcy Larsen, the retail leader at Microsoft Australia, said basing the solution on Azure allowed Shelfie to scale rapidly and be made available internationally.

“The rich and growing array of Azure services also supports Lakeba’s plans to integrate Shelfie with supply chain management solutions and add in more cognitive services injecting additional intelligence into retail,” Ms Larsen said.

“Microsoft Azure is the cornerstone of Shelfie, which leverages Active Directory, SQL Database and Content Delivery Network. This supports image capture and data analysis in real-time.

“In the future, Shelfie will be integrated with Microsoft Dynamics 365 to automate stock ordering – and Azure’s rich range of machine learning and cognitive services will allow Lakeba to create solutions that will truly transform retail.”

Australian Retailers Association executive director Russell Zimmerman said the Shelfie robot would revolutionise a retailer’s ability to review stock levels, ensure that out of stocks are kept to an absolute minimum, and allow retailers to meet customer demands by understanding what products are the premium selling products, thereby ensuring that retailers have stock as and when required.

“The Shelfie robot is an innovation developed by Australians that will revolutionise supermarkets’ ability to forecast stock requirements both in Australia and overseas retailers,” Mr Zimmerman said.

“Initially targeted at the grocery sector the Shelfie solution will soon be piloted at UK-based supermarket Co-Op.”

Lakeba worked with Design+Industry and Marathon Targets to finalise the design and the robotics of Shelfie which is one of the sector’s leading innovations being showcased at the National Retail Federation’s BIG Show in New York.

 

www.lakeba.com

 

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About Lakeba

Lakeba is an international innovation-focussed enterprise that conceives, develops and commercialises ground breaking solutions that meet the specific needs of particular sectors and industry partners.

 

About Microsoft

Microsoft is the leading platform and productivity company for the mobile-first, cloud-first world, and its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

 

ENDS

POSITIONING technologies are already part and parcel of daily life and business across Australia – from using Google Maps on smartphones to emergency management and farming – but there is a lot more to come.

With increasing us and new technologies to come, the Australian Government has announced an investment of $12 million in a two-year program looking into the future of positioning technology in Australia.

Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester said the funding would be used to test “instant, accurate and reliable positioning technology that could provide future safety, productivity, efficiency and environmental benefits across many industries in Australia” including transport, agriculture, construction, and resources. 

Research used by the government indicated the wide-spread adoption of improved positioning technology had the potential to generate upwards of $73 billion of value to Australia by 2030.

Mr Chester said the program could test the potential of Satellite Based Augmentation System (SBAS) technology in the four transport sectors—aviation, maritime, rail and road.

“SBAS utilises space-based and ground-based infrastructure to improve and augment the accuracy, integrity and availability of basic Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) signals, such as those currently provided by the USA Global Positioning System (GPS),” Mr Chester said.

The future use of SBAS technology was strongly supported by the aviation industry to assist in high accuracy GPS-dependent aircraft navigation.

“Positioning data can also be used in a range of other transport applications including maritime navigation, automated train management systems and in the future, driverless and connected cars,” Mr Chester said.

Minister for Resources and Northern Australia, Matt Canavan said access to more accurate data about the Australian landscape would also help unlock the potential of the North.

“This technology has potential uses in a range of sectors, including agriculture and mining, which have always played an important role in our economy, and will also be at the heart of future growth in Northern Australia,” Senator Canavan said.

“Access to this type of technology can help industry and government make informed decisions about future investments.”

The two-year project will test SBAS technology that has the potential to improve positioning accuracy in Australia to less than five centimetres. Currently, positioning in Australia is usually accurate to 5-10m.

Mr Chester said the SBAS test-bed is Australia's first step towards joining countries such as the US, Russia, India, Japan and many across Europe in investing in SBAS technology and capitalising on the link between precise positioning, productivity and innovation.

The Minister said Geoscience Australia, with the Collaborative Research Centre for Spatial Information (CRCSI), would soon call for organisations from a number of industries including agriculture, aviation, construction, mining, maritime, rail, road, spatial, and utilities to participate in the test-bed.

www.ga.gov.au

 

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BUSINESS owners and leaders will have to count extra cyber security and data breach contingency plans as part and parcel of everyday business from now on, with the recent passing of the Federal Government’s Privacy Amendment (Notifiable Data Breaches) Bill 2016.

The Bill further enshrines Australian Privacy Principle 11, which requires all Australian entities to take reasonable steps to secure personal information they hold.

According to the ACS, the professional association for Australia’s ICT sector, the legislation will produce a heightened focus within the public and private sectors on all aspects of cybersecurity. 

The ACS said for ICT professionals, the Bill gives overdue recognition to the importance of data in the digital economy and the potential for serious harm where, through accident, malfeasance or cyber attack, a data breach occurs.

“As we transition to a digital economy, now more than ever the focus must be on ensuring Australia captures the opportunities of the information age, while protecting the rights of the individual,” ACS president Anthony Wong said. “This legislation will be a critical step forward in the elevation of data protection and cybersecurity issues on the C-suite agenda.

“In an era of Big Data, the protection and privacy of personal information must be a primary consideration in the planning and construction of large scale ICT systems, not an afterthought.

“Given the growing problem of cyber crime, the ACS strongly supports initiatives which demand both the public and private sectors act to prevent cyber threats and address their consequences.

“Over and above the specific legal mechanisms of the new Act, the ACS believes it will give issues concerning data protection and cybersecurity a new level of transparency, lifting overall awareness of cyber safety, how to mitigate risk and ultimately providing better protection for individual citizens. While nothing is ever 100 per cent secure, the Act promises to give Australians who provide personal information to government and business greater confidence,” Mr Wong said.

“To deliver on the promise of this new legislation it is critical to recognise that cybersecurity is a collective responsibility, relevant at all levels of an organisation.

“The ACS looks forward to working with government and industry on best practice approaches to ICT security systems and protocols and the education and training of ICT professionals to meet both the spirit and the letter of the new legislative requirements.”

Mr Wong said the ACS had for many years been a vocal advocate of regulation mandating data breach notification and strongly endorsed the guiding purpose of the Bill, “to allow individuals to take steps to protect themselves from a likely risk of serious harm resulting from a data breach”.

www.acs.org.au

 

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