Featured IT News

vivo X50 pro joins the crowd of 5G devices vying for attention in Australia

07 August 2020 in Mobility

Chinese smartphone maker vivo, which so far has not made its presence felt in Australia, has announced that it would…

AFP says it made three requests for assistance in breaking encryption in 2019-20

07 August 2020 in Government Tech Policy

The Australian Federal Police has told the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security that it has used technical assistance…

Regulators need to keep pace with growing power, influence of digital platforms, says ACCC chief

06 August 2020 in Technology Regulation

Regulators globally must keep pace with the growing economic power and influence of digital platforms, according to Rod Sims, the…

Macquarie Telecom wants government action ‘now’ on cyber-security strategy

06 August 2020 in Security

Macquarie Telecom Group has called on the Australian Government to act on its new cyber security strategy immediately, saying that…

Australian Government launches new $1.67b cyber security strategy

06 August 2020 in Security

The Australian Government is investing $1.67 billion in its 2020 cyber security strategy which it says will protect and strengthen…

ISPs grapple with outages during COVID-19 lockdown, but Australia stays below peak in March

06 August 2020 in Internet of Things

In contrast to both the Asia Pacific region and rest of the world, the outage numbers for Internet Service Providers…

Huawei says TikTok treated on merit while it was given raw deal

06 August 2020 in Government Tech Policy

Huawei Australia chief corporate affairs officer Jeremy Mitchell has expressed disappointment over the difference between the treatment according to Chinese…

Qualcomm says new Samsung range designed to take advantage of its latest SoC

06 August 2020 in Mobility

Global semiconductor, services and software firm Qualcomm Technologies says the new Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra and Note20 in select regions,…

Samsung unveils a galaxy of new devices, including new foldable phone

06 August 2020 in Mobility

South Korean smartphone giant Samsung Electronics had its hardware bonanza night on Wednesday, revealing regular smartphones, a new foldable phone,…

Telstra set to sell Clayton data centre for $416.7 million

05 August 2020 in Data Centres

Telstra is selling its data centre complex in the outer-Melbourne suburb of Clayton for $416.7 million to industrial property investment…

Sophos says WastedLocker has many similarities to Bitpaymer and Dridex

05 August 2020 in Security

The new kid on the Windows ransomware block, WastedLocker, may be causing foreheads to wrinkle over at companies that fear…

ACCC takes Sumo Power to court over allegations of misleading consumers on electricity plans

05 August 2020 in Strategy

Electricity, gas and Internet provider Sumo Power is facing court action by Australia’s competition watchdog the ACCC over allegations it…

Turnbull book shows no 'smoking gun' to prompt Huawei 5G ban: Xenophon

05 August 2020 in Government Tech Policy

Former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull recent memoir clearly shows that there was no "smoking gun" to ban Chinese telecommunications equipment…

Small, regional publishers share in $5 million in ACMA grants

05 August 2020 in Strategy

Forty-one small and regional Australian publishers will share in $5 million in grants made available in the 2020 round of…

Life's no good: Hackers use Windows Maze ransomware to steal LG Electronics data

05 August 2020 in Security

More than a month after cyber criminals claimed to have attacked the website of South Korean electronics giant LG Electronics…

Huawei unleashes P40+ Pro 5G smartphone in Australia

05 August 2020 in Mobility

Chinese telecommunications equipment vendor Huawei Technologies on Tuesday brought to mind the prediction made by Linux creator Linus Torvalds back…

Turnbull accused of falsely stating he was first to propose Huawei ban

04 August 2020 in Government Tech Policy

Former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull is wrong to claim that he was the first person to raise the subject of…

Australia bucks trend as global broadband speeds plunge with COVID-19 lockdown

04 August 2020 in Market

Global broadband speeds have dropped significantly during COVID-19 lockdown periods, according to a new report which reveals that Australia bucked…

Breaking IT News

CommsChoice expands Microsoft Teams calling into China, Japan and the Philippines

07 August 2020 in Cloud

Sydney, 4 August 2020. VENDOR ANNOUNCEMENT: Leading cloud communications provider, ASX listed CommsChoice Group Limited (ASX: CCG), today announced that…

State Government says smart tech will make NSW the ‘smart state’

07 August 2020 in Government Tech Policy

The NSW Government is planning to build smart technology into infrastructure and buildings in a move its says will create…

Envirosuite to acquire AqMB Holdings for $1.35m

07 August 2020 in Listed Tech

Australian-listed environmental management technology company Envirosuite has inked a binding share purchase agreement to acquire 100% of water modelling R&D…

Qualcomm's latest innovation just happens to be its best

07 August 2020 in Open Sauce

Global semiconductor, services and software firm Qualcomm Technologies has been an innovator for a long time and nobody would deny…

Smartphones: dumb loyalty now a factor in retaining market share

07 August 2020 in Open Sauce

The extent to which the smartphone market is being flooded with new devices can be gauged from the fact that…

Parallels puts Windows on Chromebooks

07 August 2020 in Business Software

Virtualisation specialist Parallels has worked with Google to create Parallels Desktop for Chromebook Enterprise.

NY ventilator innovator hit by Windows DoppelPaymer ransomware

07 August 2020 in Security

A company that used its engineering expertise to develop a ventilator in a month because it was needed in New…

Wikipedia did not accept author's word as truth about his own work

07 August 2020 in Open Sauce

Globally renowned author Philip Roth, him of Portnoy's Complaint fame, who passed away two years ago, faced an unusual situation…

SpaceX selected by SES for Launch of new C-Band Satellites

06 August 2020 in Space

Space flight company and satellite launch provider SpaceX will launch up to three of global content connectivity solutions provider SES’…

Dubber services for cloud call recording, AI available on business telephony, mobile services.

06 August 2020 in Listed Tech

Australian-listed call recording vendor Dubber has announced availability of its services for cloud call recording and AI on business telephony…

Germany's NETZSCH group hit by Windows Clop ransomware

06 August 2020 in Security

Cyber criminals have used the Windows Clop ransomware to attack the German NETZSCH Group, an owner-managed, international technology company, which…

Logitech G releases high-performance racing wheel to improve sim racing experience

06 August 2020 in Entertainment

Logitech G, a division of computer peripherals maker Logitech, has released the Logitech G923 Racing Wheel and Pedals, a high-performance…

Windows Maze ransomware pays a visit to Japanese firm Canon

06 August 2020 in Security

Japanese multinational optical and imaging products vendor Canon appears to have become the victim of an attack by a gang…

Despite pandemic, IDC sees AI global revenue rising by 12.3%

06 August 2020 in Development

The global artificial intelligence market, including software, hardware and services, will generate revenues of of US$156.5 billion (A$217 billion) in…

Gartner predicts global government IT spending in 2020 will fall by 0.6%

06 August 2020 in Development

The technology analyst firm Gartner has predicted that the amount of IT spending by governments across the globe will be…

Why you should consider an Independent Tribe for your next project.

05 August 2020 in Recruitment

GUEST OPINION: Digital transformation is a necessity for many organisations to stay competitive. However, it often involves the rollout of…

How business can lift protection against mobile threats

05 August 2020 in Networking

VENDOR PROMOTION: The increased use of personal phones for work and the growth of mobile malware create a risk to…

NBN satellite outage caused by extreme weather event

05 August 2020 in Climate

The NBN Co's Sky Muster satellite was hit by an outage today due to an extreme weather event, with services…

SolarWinds AppOptics Brings Application and Infrastructure Performance to Light

05 August 2020 in Software

REVIEW PROMOTION It's imperative in today's complex interconnected world of software and infrastructure to have proactive, efficient, insightful monitoring in place.…

Trump suggests Microsoft give govt a cut from price paid for TikTok

05 August 2020 in Technology Regulation

In an act that has led to him being labelled a grifter, US President Donald Trump has suggested that the…

Nextcloud adds new feature to enable creation of forms or gather data

05 August 2020 in Cloud

Open-source file syncing and sharing software company Nextcloud has added a new app: Forms.


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Monday, 06 July 2020 10:52

Business software providers hit by impact of COVID-19, says ABSIA Featured


Over half (54%) of Australian business software industry providers experienced considerable to major immediate or short-term impacts from COVID-19, with a further 35% experiencing few or minimal impacts - while for approximately 10% there was no impact or change as a result of the pandemic, according to new research.

Research by the Australian Business Software Industry Association (ABSIA) - a not-for-profit association representing the Australian business software industry - also found that while nearly one third (32%) of respondents are worried about the longer-term impacts of the pandemic on their customers, the same percentage reported a small or large increase in customers during that period.

ABSIA will present the full research report findings at a free webinar on Tuesday, 7 July at 10:30am (AEST).

“While our survey revealed that the business software industry has not been immune to the impacts of COVID-19, the majority of our members responded effectively during the pandemic and are optimistic about the future of their businesses,” said Chris Howard, director and president, ABSIA.

Howard said that three quarters (74%) of the companies surveyed didn’t reduce staffing levels during the pandemic, and more than half (55%) expect to increase staffing levels in the next six months, either to grow (48%) or to refill (6%).

And he says a “resounding” 66% believe that the next 12 months will be a significant time for innovation and technological change, with a much smaller percentage uncertain (17%).

“Innovation and technological change will be critical to Australia’s road to recovery and the ongoing resiliency of our economy. The business software industry can play a key role in that, but a lot also depends on the government’s policy direction and what that does to foster business and consumer confidence,” Howard said.

ABSIA says its survey also uncovered the industry’s ability to adapt and respond to the challenges of COVID-19, and the longer-term impact of the pandemic on their businesses - and when asked if they will be implementing changes in how they operate, 39% responded that they would, while 32% said that they would not.

However, feedback from this second group indicated that they had already largely implemented more flexible and distributed working, as well cloud-based systems and products, ABSIA noted.

ABSIA says AccountKit, an Adelaide-based provider of integrated cloud applications for accountants and bookkeepers, was able to keep the business operating by relying on videoconferencing calls and Slack collaboration to replace their daily stand-up meetings - with additional functionality included in its software to meet the specific requirements in response to COVID-19, such as payment deferrals, and with the team “a lot more hands-on and engaged with existing clients”.

“Our main users are accountancy firms, who have been incredibly busy supporting their own clients during the crisis,” said Paul Murray, founder, AccountKit.

“We knew it would be difficult to win any new business, so we took the lockdown as an opportunity to reach out to our existing client base and offer whatever assistance we could to use our applications more effectively. We found that a lot were not using our cloud platform to its full capacity and they really appreciated our help, so we will definitely maintain a more hands-on engagement with our users in the future.”

ABSIA says AccountKit has also seen an uplift in business in the last few weeks, with accounting firms who had struggled to access their systems during the lockdown realising that they need “flexible, cloud-based applications to operate more resiliently in the future”.

ABSIA cites cloud-based recruitment software provider FastTrack as implementing its business continuity plan in early March to safeguard its service and Melbourne team, a large number of whom were using public transport to travel into the office.

According to ABSIA, FastTrack was already well prepared for the scenario with the implementation of ISO27001 and an existing working from home policy with staff who had already been regularly working remotely.

“We have an obligation to the health and wellbeing of our staff as well as the services we deliver to our customers, so we consulted with staff and made the quick decision to switch to working from home,” said Jason Quirk, Chief Technology Officer, FastTrack.

“Staff were instructed to take whatever they needed from the office to work effectively from home, which in most instances was only their laptop. It wasn’t even a blip on the radar – there was no difference in the service experience for our customers. If anything, our team put in even more effort to make sure things ran smoothly. In staff surveys, most of our people have appreciated the amount of time they have back in their daily lives with no travel. We will definitely be maintaining a permanent work from home arrangement for part of each week for those who want it.”

ABSIA says that as a provider of critical business applications including payroll processing services, ReadyTech (ASX:RDY) had prepared well in advance for any lockdown and quickly enabled its teams around the country to work remotely.

“With ReadyTech’s client base spanning multiple diverse industries, it witnessed the challenges (both negative and positive) of COVID-19. To support clients during the period, ReadyTech ran a series of webinars to educate them on any changes and new features to its systems, and provided support to ensure critical services were maintained throughout,” ABSIA said.

“Our top priority has been to help our clients in any way possible to make sure they don’t miss a payroll. Some industries – particularly in travel and hospitality – have been severely impacted through this pandemic, so having the right internal resources in place to manage this process has been confrontational for some,” said Daniel Wyner, Chief Executive, Employment, ReadyTech.

“We also had to make sure our clients were JobKeeper-ready and, now that we have reached end-of-financial-year, it’s more important than ever for their information to be accurate. There’s going to be extra government scrutiny on employers to make sure they have been correctly applying the various financial stimulus and support packages available,” Wyner concluded.

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Peter Dinham - retired and is a "volunteer" writer for iTWire. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).