Monday, 06 August 2018 11:17

CommBank partners tech giants in Vic SME digital, innovation programs

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CommBank partners tech giants in Vic SME digital, innovation programs Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The Commonwealth Bank is partnering with Amazon, Google, Salesforce, Mastercard, Phoria, and UsTwo in delivering a program aimed at assisting small businesses in Victoria realise the benefits of embracing innovation and digital technologies.

CommBank announced the program on Monday at the launch of the 2018 Small Business Festival Victoria.

The bank, as principal partner of the Small Business Festival, hosted the opening event with The University of Melbourne and the Victorian Government.

During the month-long festival CBA’s Innovation Lab is running a series of workshops and events, aimed at equipping small business owners with “world-leading” tools of innovation to develop new ideas for their business alongside some of the world’s best technology experts.

As part of the program, Amazon, Google, Salesforce, Mastercard, Phoria, UsTwo and CBA will deliver a "collective impact" approach, with small business owners having access to industry leaders who will discuss topics such as search experience, user experience, payment experience, cloud experience, customer experience, and developing an entrepreneurial mindset.

And the small business owners will also be able to workshop their innovative business solutions.

According to Heath Brown, executive manager of CBA’s Innovation Lab, delivering clarity around business challenges and opportunities is the first step towards innovation and success for small businesses.

“We interviewed hundreds of small business owners and many said they feel invisible in the Australian innovation eco-system, meaning they get no resource or cash investment in comparison to start-ups," he said.

“Many small businesses don’t have a chief technology officer, chief information officer, chief marketing officer or an innovation team — business owners wear all of those hats — which means they need tools, tactics and approaches to compete, stay relevant and respond to disruption.

“This is why we are thrilled to be working with global tech giants, government and leading academic institutions to help small business owners get the know-how to remain competitive in the future economy.”

On the importance of a so-called "collective impact approach", Claire Roberts CBA’s executive general manager, business banking SME, said: “No single brand, or government department, has enough horsepower to help small businesses solve the increasingly complex brand and economic problems we face as a business community. It is crucial to take a collective impact approach, and band together as big brands to help small business owners prepare themselves for the future of work.”

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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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