OpenText earmarks APAC as next key growth market

Toronto-based enterprise information management firm OpenText has flagged the Asia-Pacific region as a key market in which to step up investments in its headcount, go-to–market approach and innovation drive.

Addressing the company’s inaugural Enterprise World Asia summit in Singapore, CEO and CTO Mark Barrenechea classed APAC as an increasingly significant region for OpenText.

00000img_00000_burst20190416092518351_cover3964484730906263322.jpg“We have been increasing our sales and engineering capacity in this strategic region by investing in talent and go-to-market programs. Our customers see us as a partner in their journey of digital transformation and we have built an organisation with the ability to execute globally, with regional strength.”

“As supply chains and IT organisations continue to diversify and outsource, information sprawls and the war for talent intensifies, businesses need information solutions and strategies to deliver growth,” Barrenechea said, adding that OpenText – which has some 4,000 employees in the region – is forecasting to see double-digit headcount growth rate over the next three years.

Barrenechea explained to a select group of international media and analysts, how the company had previously focused mainly on helping enterprises gain a clear process advantage.

“Over the next ten years, we want to become the go-to company to provide that digital information platform to help companies… to not just automate their information processes but to help them truly gain insights into their supply chains, their employee database; all the big sources of data,” he said.

Barrenechea also highlighted the region as a significant market to drive revenue growth, saying APAC accounted for ten per cent of company revenue in fiscal year 2018, delivering US$278 million.

“Twenty-five per cent of the world’s largest 10,000 companies are located in Asia Pacific, and OpenText serves many of the region’s most innovative businesses,” Barrenechea added, naming customers such as Malaysia Airports Holding Berhad, DHFL Pramerica Life Insurance Company, DIC Asia Pacific Pte and Bank Mega as prime examples.

00000img_00000_burst20190416140454450_cover-14962076573668883856.jpgWhile OpenText specialises in providing a plethora of EIM-related offerings, including business network and B2B managed services as well as security and eDiscovery services, Barrenechea told Telecom Times on the sidelines of the summit that the firm’s main focus in terms of investment and innovation in the APAC would continue to center on its core proposition of delivering content services.

“I’ve never felt better about our strategic position,” he said. We defined EIM as a very wide set of technologies. This distinction between process and information I like very much. We’re well differentiated. We are very well-positioned to be different in the marketplace.”

Richard van der Draay is in Singapore as a guest of OpenText

 

‘JUST 5% OF DIGITAL TRANSFORMATIONS WORK’ WARNS FORMER CISCO EXEC & AI ADVOCATE TOBIAS

The emergence of artificial Intelligence should not be seen as a threat but opening a plethora of opportunities for jobs, business and individual ventures, according to transformation strategist and founder of The Strategy Group, and AGSM Fellow Jeffrey Tobias.

Tobias, who will be a co-presenter at next month’s Artificial Intelligence and Creative Intelligence seminar in Sydney said that recent research showed that only 5 per cent of digital transformations proved successful. “Organisations need to understand how to adapt to the new world of AI and what effects the new digital economy will have on them,” he emphasised.

Tobias – who previously served as Cisco’s global lead for Innovation Strategy in the Internet Business Solutions Group – said that while the future for society is bright with the continuing onset of AI, there will be many who will suffer job losses and insecurity.

“However, this is not new; technology has been shaping our workforce through every industrial revolution so far,” he added.  “The many company leaders do not even begin to understand the problems and challenges their organisations face before commencing a digital transformation, often featuring AI.”

“It is important for leaders to understand how the digital economy is eroding their companies’ current business models, the many opportunities offered and timeframes in digital transformation, as well as the need bring the entire organisation along for the journey,” Tobias said, adding that only after considering these factors organisations, faced with disruption of their usually out-of-date business models, could actually benefit from the process of digital transformation.

Dr Tobias will be joined by experts, Bem Le Hunte, Associate Professor Faculty and Founding Director of the Bachelor of Creative Intelligence and Innovation at UTS, together with Professor Bogdan Gabrys, Professor of Data Science in the Faculty of Engineering and IT, UTS,  to break down these concepts at a seminar next month.

AIIA HAILS ONGOING GOV’T-INDUSTRY PARTNERSHIP ON DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION

The Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA), the peak member body for the ICT industry, is celebrating the progress made by government and industry since a memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed with the Digital Transformation (DTA) one year ago.
Michael Keenan, Minister for Human Services and Digital Transformation, was the keynote speaker at the AIIA hosted Ministerial Luncheon held on Tuesday 19 March at the National Press Club. The event marked the anniversary of the shared commitment to continue to deliver the Australian Government’s Digital Transformation Agenda.
MK-HeadshotIn his valedictory speech, Minister Keenan emphasised he is an ongoing supporter of the MOU between the DTA and AIIA, highlighting some of the positive outcomes benefiting the industry.
The MOU was entered into on 13 March 2018 in order to facilitate practical ways for the DTA and AIIA to engage industry and government agencies in meaningful dialogue. During the first year, participating AIIA members have benefited from ongoing updates on the DTA’s activities relating to its digital transformation agenda. This included the opportunity for AIIA members to contribute directly to DTA on user research.
Commenting on the anniversary of the AIIA and DTA MOU, Ron Gauci, CEO of the AIIA, said: “We’ve made great progress identifying opportunities for the parties to exchange information and draw on expertise to deliver better government online services for individuals and businesses.
“Our members think this has been a ‘great start’ for industry and government agency dialogue. We hope this model will continue to evolve, and that it can be applied across other agencies.”
Several initiatives and activities have been undertaken to support the opening of the dialogue.
These include:
  • Regular meetings between DTA CEO and AIIA CEO
  • Cadence meetings between AIIA members and DTA Senior decision makers
  • Being part of the October 2018 USA delegation visiting the following AIIA member offices: Amazon, Microsoft, Salesforce, IBM, Cisco, Infosys, Qlik, WIPRO, Singtel Innov8 and Oracle. The delegates also attended think tanks such as the World Economic Forum and the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, as well as startup incubators at Berkley SkyDeck and the Australian Landing Pad, all showcasing innovative Australian technology start-up companies

TIME IS RIPE FOR BUSINESS DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION: ORANGE

The time is ripe for almost any type of business to step up efforts to implement a digital transformation strategy, according to Christian Maitre, Global Operations Transformation Director at Orange Group.

Addressing WeDo Technologies’ WeMeetAsia event in Kuala Lumpur, Maitre said that while consumers until recently had concerns around security, most users were now comfortable using connected devices for banking as well as entertainment and communication.

“In fact, now people are [no longer] reluctant using smartphones – using these on-line things. A couple of years ago people were thinking: ‘Oh, security is a big problem’,” he added.

“And today, really, everything is possible. Every business today must rethink the way they are doing their business, because of that.”

“That’s really part of the digital transformation,” Maitre said, emphasising however that this shift to digital must focus on business orientation as well as purely technological drivers.

“One example is Smart Buildings,” he said. “Changing, completely, the way you are using buildings now; think about flexible desks, or also having some shared services, shared places, in different cities where you can rent places for your employees wherever they are, so they don’t need to go to the main office.”

“It will save money in terms of transportation; it will save planet in terms of CO 2,” he said. “So a new way of doing things.”

Richard van der Draay was in Kuala Lumpur as a guest of WeDo Technologies

 

 

New Australian start-up adds key community component to sharing economy

Today marks the launch of Australian start-up PocketDolla, an online marketplace that enables Australian communities to lend or rent spare items including camping and sports equipment, cameras, DJ sets and more.

Lenders can post their items on the website, choosing from a wide range of categories and setting their own price and availability. Renters can search for items they need and make a request to book. Once accepted, the renter makes a secure payment using online payment system Stripe, which is received by the lender once the rental is marked as complete.

PocketDolla aims to address a significant gap in the Australian sharing economy, in which more than two thirds of the population now participate, by connecting a community who can either earn by sharing their stuff or save by sharing someone else’s.

The company has been started by friends Emma Hickley and Scott Ferguson, who moved to Sydney from the UK in 2017 and found themselves spending a huge amount of money on single-use items to help them get settled and explore the wonders Australia has to offer.

“More than 600,000 people move into or around Australia every year,” said Emma Hickley, co-founder, PocketDolla. “Many arrive with little to nothing and don’t know how long their stay will be. This can lead to difficult and expensive decisions on what to invest in, and while there is a strong resale market here, there are few inexpensive avenues for people who need single or seldom-use items.

“The flipside is that many of us have valuable items we barely use. Take camping for example – investing in a full suite of high-end camping equipment could cost thousands, but many people already have this lying around for most of the year. PocketDolla can help these items gather money rather than dust and reducing costs for people trying out new activities or settling into a new home.”

PocketDolla believes the ‘waste less, share more’ nature of the platform will reduce the level of waste being created in Australia. According to the National Waste Report 2018, the country generated 67 million tonnes (Mt) in 2016-17, equivalent to 2.7 tonnes per person.

“Our habit of buying what we don’t need or investing in activities we don’t commit to too often ends up with a trip to the tip,” added Scott Ferguson, PocketDolla. “As people become more environmentally conscious, we see a huge opportunity for the community to come together and reduce their carbon footprint while saving cash or earning some on the side.”

The platform has been trialled across New South Wales since November 2018 and is now fully operational across Australia. The company hopes to expand internationally as users and demand increase.

 

Lack of decentralised tech leaves mobile operators prone to major outages: Bluzelle CTO

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Bluzelle Networks CTO Neeraj Murarka

Last week, UK mobile network operator O2 left millions of customers unable to get online as its 4G data services went down due to an expired security certificate.

According to Bluzelle Networks CTO Neeraj Murarka, a specialist in blockchains and decentralized technology, the outage brings to light the risks of failing to implement a comprehensive security certificate management plan, and the general problem for operators relying on a single provider of proprietary software.

Murarka offers a warning to global mobile carriers:
“The bigger issue here is that mobile carriers all over the world, including in Great Britain and in Japan are all running some of the software in question, with control over maintenance of this proprietary software completely in the hands of a single vendor, in this case Ericsson.
Indeed, if it was just human error, it is understandable and a statistical reality. But this very fact is precisely what makes such dependence so vulnerable.
The software is likely not open source, therefore, nobody other than Ericsson themselves was likely to be aware of it. This, combined with a failure to update the software has resulted in misery for millions of people and huge costs to O2 as a result.
Yet again, this is another example where a more decentralized approach should be adopted. For example, if the software in question had been deployed by the carriers themselves, who took open source software, customized it to their needs, audited it and then deployed it, the carriers would have had the foresight to anticipate this and avoid these losses.
Additionally, another form of decentralization that I expect to see introduced in the near future is the use of mesh networks, where mobile phone users no longer directly depend on a centralized carrier.
Rather, mesh network technology will allow users to collaborate to share connections to the Internet such that dependencies such as those we see now, are minimized or eliminated altogether.
It is imperative that dependence on centralized owners of code (proprietary software) is reduced over time to give the public an opportunity to contribute to this code and catch problems long before they happen, and for the provision of services to move from large, oligopolistic providers to decentralized approaches that we see the beginnings of with the likes of RightMesh, Orchid, Bluzelle, etc.”