San Francisco based eSignature specialist DocuSign plans to increase its data centre footprint in Australia, as part of a push to target a key opportunity around public sector digitisation.
Specifically, the firm – which already operates from data centres in Sydney and Melbourne – has flagged the build of a new Microsoft Azure-powered facility in Canberra.
DocuSign expects the data centre – which is slated to come online by early 2019 – to meet the Australian federal government’s requirements for dealing with classified and sensitive data. “With the National Digital Economy Strategy moving through a refresh, DocuSign will be positioned to support both public and private sectors to develop world-leading digital capability,” it said during a launch event in Sydney.
“It’s really because of the commitment of the Federal Government to digital transformation, and the work that the Digital Transformation Agency has been doing in digitizing the citizen [user] experience that has really been the underpinning of the decision around us making some investments in local data centres here in Australia,” said DocuSign APAC VP Brad Newton.
“That’s going to continue to enable us to, not only make these investments in the local data centres, but we’ll continue to invest in people, and we’ll continue to maintain our Asia-Pacific head office here based in Sydney,” Newton added.
Newton also noted some key existing Australian customers, including Telstra and the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, as well as the Federal and State Governments and local councils.
Also on hand at the event were the firm’s SVP of international sales Scott Barmmer, and Michael Keenan, the Federal Minister for human services and Minister assisting the Prime Minister for digital transformation.
“You should know that actually within the international portfolio, APAC is one of our fastest growing areas,” said Barmmer as he prepared to introduce Minister Keenan.
“I think a lot of it is due to the work that Brad and the team have done; and actually thanks to the customers here who have understood the value that we bring and have helped us kind of begin to get a beachhead.”
“I think the digital first notion of Australia; we feel it as a vendor,” Barmmer added. “As I understand it, Prime Minister Turnbull has set a pretty audacious goal for 2025, for you guys to be one of the top digital nations.”
Keenan, for his part, said that as a nation Australia perhaps in some respects tended to take its place in the world for granted. Hot on the heels of his announcement of the Coalition’s ambitious digital roadmap, Keenan again underlined the government’s commitment to digital transformation.
“In many ways, I sometimes think that our mindset is that we might not necessarily need to try as hard as other parts of the world,” he said.
“But what has been absolutely apparent to me since I got the role in December, is that if we consider ourselves to really not to have to try too hard in this area, that we’re going to miss our place in the fourth Industrial Revolution,” warned Keenan. “And we’re not going to be able to take our rightful place in the world.”
“If we are not absolutely in the midst of it – if we’re not taking advantage of everything it has to offer us – then we will be left behind, particularly in relation to our international affairs,” he emphasized. “There’s absolutely no question of that.”
“The absolute fundamentals that we need to get right in the first instance are things like digital ID, which I’ve been very keen to make sure we have in place by the end of the year – a working digital identity that all Australians can use to access government services,” he said.
“Of course, services like the ones that DocuSign here in Australia is working on, will also be very important,” Keenan continued, saying trials of the tech with the Federal Government were already in place.
“The Defence Department has a keen interest in this technology as well,” he said. “And this is part of the building blocks, the things that we are going to have to get right.”