Wednesday, 20 November 2019 13:34

Australian businesses, public sector ‘beacons’ of innovation, says Microsoft’s Nadella Featured

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Microsoft's Satya Nadella speaking at Microsoft Innovate Microsoft's Satya Nadella speaking at Microsoft Innovate

Australian businesses and leading public sector organisations – including Qantas, Telstra, Westpac and the CSIRO, NSW Government and NSW Pathology – are emerging as global innovation beacons, signalling how state-of-the-art technology can drive growth, enhance customer experience and tackle some of Australia’s most pressing societal and environmental issues, according to Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella.

Nadella, who is currently visiting Australia, said that Microsoft’s mission was to empower the sort of “transformational tech intensity which derives from enterprises becoming rapid adopters of technology, building their own digital capability, and having trust in the technology they use and the technology companies they partner with”.

“Digital technology is transforming every industry and every aspect of society in Australia,” said Nadella.

“We are focused on being the trusted partner of choice and providing the technology platforms for every Australian organisation to build their own digital capability so they can thrive during this time of rapid change — and beyond.”

Speaking at a customer and partner event in Sydney, Nadella said every sector of the economy is facing “unprecedented levels of change, mounting competition and the prospect of digital disruption”.

Cognisant of that, Nadella said savvy businesses are applying an innovative digital lens to their business, exploring how leading-edge technology solutions can transform operations, inject efficiency and improve the customer experience.

“At a time when many are calling attention to the role technology plays in society broadly, our mission remains constant. It grounds us in the enormous opportunity and responsibility we have to ensure that the technology we create always benefits everyone on the planet, including the planet itself,” Nadella said, adding that Australia now boasts “some of the world’s leading examples of how technology is being used to improve outcomes for everyone, everywhere”.

Here’s what Nadella had to say about three of Australia’s major companies:

Qantas – After an aircraft undergoes maintenance, Qantas engineers carry out engine runs to ensure the engines will perform as required. To do that engineers need to know their way around the flight deck – a task that can take up valuable and scarce flight simulator hours. Now HoloLens 2 is being trialled as an alternative digital training environment – with the added advantage of deeper data insights to strengthen the learner experience and outcomes, helping the airline with its number one priority – to keep passengers safe.

Telstra – When a Telstra field worker goes to a customer’s home or office to set up a service or fix a problem, they need to have all the facts at their fingertips. Using Microsoft Teams Telstra has created a unified source of information for firstline workers, and connected them to its Brains Trust of expert engineers for additional support. The ease with which PowerApps can be developed is also encouraging employees to develop their own applications and share best practice Telstra-wide, enhancing both the employee and customer experience.

Westpac – In order to provide real-time, personalised insight to its customers, Westpac is developing its Data Driven Experiences Platform (DDEP), a Microsoft Azure based data and analytics hub, which draws on data sources from across the Westpac Group to provide customer insight. Partnering with Microsoft, using engineering resources from both companies, the DDEP is designed to catapult Westpac to the forefront of digital banking and support the bank as it complies with the Open Banking requirements of Australia’s Consumer Data Right Legislation.

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year 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).

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