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What’s the digital health of your city?

Business and Enterprise

Posted on November 20, 2017

4 min read

San Francisco, Berlin, Singapore and Seoul are known for their vibrant technology ecosystems. However, new research by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) highlights business confidence in these cities doesn’t necessarily match their reputation for innovation.

As part of a new ‘Connecting Commerce’ report commissioned by Telstra, the EIU has released the first ever Digital Cities Barometer, a ranking of 45 cities around the world across five key categories relevant to business performance: innovation and entrepreneurship; the financial environment; people and skills; development of new technologies; and ICT infrastructure.

The rankings show mixed results not only for traditionally strong innovation hubs, but also the five Australian cities surveyed – Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney. This is despite government support at the national level in the form of the National Innovation and Science Agenda and the state level, such as Innovation SA. Instead, confidence is high in emerging Asian cities like Bangalore, Mumbai and Jakarta.

So what are some of the top performing cities doing that has led to high business confidence in the city’s digital environment, and what value can Australian cities derive from replicating some of this activity?

Grassroots activism and an entrepreneurial spirit

A vibrant digital ecosystem cannot be directed by government alone. A relatively intangible factor that needs to be considered is a city’s entrepreneurial spirit, which leads to activity being initiated at a grassroots level. Take for example the fact that 80 per cent of business executives in Bangalore and 74 per cent in Jakarta say their city’s ICT infrastructure is ineffective at meeting their companies’ digital transformation needs, as do more than 60 per cent of respondents in San Francisco. Yet all three cities are ranked in the top 10 for overall confidence. Raw entrepreneurial spirit is at the heart of many of the world’s cities with soaring digital confidence. For Australian cities, it highlights the importance of having a passionate appetite for digital transformation.

Tapping into digital ecosystems for support

More than 40 per cent of respondents in Shanghai (ranked 7th), Guangzhou (ranked 13th) and Singapore (ranked 14th) say innovation labs are helpful in addressing their digital challenges. All three US cities surveyed (New York, Chicago and San Francisco) also boast a plethora of formal and informal networks, communities and other support structures that can provide assistance. The Bay area, in San Francisco, is home to some of the oldest and largest accelerator networks, while in Shanghai the number of co-working spaces reportedly doubled in 2016 to nearly 500. Interestingly, survey respondents in four of the five Australian cities surveyed – the exception being Adelaide which cited innovation labs – point to more traditional structures, such as business associations, as the most helpful external sources of support for their digital initiatives. This suggests Australian cities might benefit by following the lead of confident cities and tapping into less traditional external resources, such as innovation labs.

Effective use of open government data

More than eight in 10 of the survey respondents (83%) say their firm makes at least occasional use of open government data provided by city agencies. The primary value of this data lies in leveraging it to provide new or improved services to customers, or identify new business opportunities. Start-ups in San Francisco, for example, have based their entire business models on the use of this data. One such example is BuildZoom, an online platform that matches homeowners looking to renovate their homes with local contractors. The platform catalogues licensing and building permit data made available by city governments across the US. Interestingly, 57 per cent of Australian executives surveyed said their city governments make poor use of the data collected.

Find out how business leaders rate the digital health of your city:

About the Economist Intelligence Unit Connecting Commerce report

The Connecting Commerce report includes the Digital Cities Barometer which is based on a survey of 2,620 executives in 45 cities conducted in June and July 2017. The list of cities includes 23 in Asia-Pacific, 19 in EMEA and three in North America. Eleven industries are represented, with the greatest numbers of respondents coming from professional services, financial services, manufacturing, retail and education. C-level respondents account for 42% of the survey sample, with the balance being other senior executives. 

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Telstra Cisco Alliance – Driving innovation in Asia Pacific

Business and Enterprise

Posted on November 9, 2017

2 min read

Telstra Team accepting a Cisco Partner Award

For more than a decade, the Telstra-Cisco Alliance has been helping our customers to leverage technology to deliver on business outcomes.

With our growing network strength in Asia Pacific, the benefits of the Alliance for our customers extends to supporting their success and innovation aspirations in the hotly contested Asia Pacific market.

Our Alliance brings together the strength of our global network and solutions, with the best of Cisco’s solutions, extending across Collaboration, Networks, Data Centres, Cloud and Security technology solutions.

We help our customers modernise their data centre to take advantage of digital capabilities, building workspaces of the future to boost efficiency and create the most effective workplace environments, and building robust, secure and future proof networks that allow a better application performance on any device in any location.

Last week at the Cisco Partner Awards 2017 in Dallas, we were awarded three awards including Australia and New Zealand Data Centre Partner of the Year, Asia Pacific and Japan Service Provider of the Year and the prestigious Asia Pacific and Japan Partner of the Year.

These awards are a result of strong in-market performance in the Asia Pacific region and innovative customer solutions. But none of this could be achieved without a strong Alliance relationship that enables Telstra and Cisco to deliver the best solutions and service offerings to the market.

We are incredibly proud to receive these awards from Cisco. It is a true representation of our partnership, not only in Australia where we are Cisco’s largest partner, but it is also acknowledgement of our rapidly growing engagement in Asia.

We’re looking forward to driving more innovation in Asia Pacific with Cisco in the future.

Tags: cisco, partners,

Three things you can expect at Vantage™ 2017

Telstra Vantage™

Posted on August 29, 2017

3 min read

It’s that time of year again! Soon we’ll open the doors to Telstra Vantage™ 2017, where we’ll be joined by most Australian enterprise and government organisations to share stories and experiences focused on insights, inspiration and innovation.

Now in its fourth year, Vantage will bring together industry leaders, thought leaders and technology, providing our customers with an experience where they can explore how the magic of technology will power the businesses of tomorrow. I personally look forward to Vantage, which gets bigger and better each year! This year’s event will be no exception!

What can our customers expect in 2017?

You can hear first-hand from Anousheh Ansari, the first female private space explorer about making your dreams a reality

2017 Keynote Speaker Anousheh Ansari

In 2006, Anousheh Ansari captured headlines around the world as the first female private space explorer. Her trip to the International Space Station also meant that she was the fourth private explorer to visit space and the first astronaut of Iranian descent.

Today she calls herself a ‘serial entrepreneur’. She’s started a number of inspiring journeys, including her own technology company, Prodea, which specialises in IoT platforms.

She’ll be speaking at Vantage 2017 about how you can become the change you want to see in the world to achieve your dreams.

You can learn to think more like a freak with New York Times best-selling author, Stephen Dubner

2017 Keynote Speaker Stephen Dubner

Stephen Dubner is one of the minds who co-authored the Freakonomics series, which has sold over seven million copies around the world. I’ve read all of his books, Freakonomics is a personal favourite. He provides readers with a blueprint for an entirely new way to solve problems. His keynote will present ideas on how you can adopt his counter-intuitive style, challenging how you think.

You can see world leading tech solutions first hand and get the right advice on how you can use tech to deliver business benefits

Each year we pack the Telstra World village floor with unique technology experiences that will help our customers find better ways to do business. This year will be no exception! Some of the cool technology on display will include:

  • Smart Bins, Connected Vehicles and Smart Lights, part of the future made possible by the Internet of Things
  • A live Security Operations Centre staffed with Telstra Sec. Ops. Staff ready to give you advice on managing cyber risk.
  • A demonstration of the flexibility and control you can get with Telstra Programmable Network
  • Next Generation unified communications and collaboration solutions, including something brand new from Telstra.

We’ll have more awesome tech to share from our sponsors and partners, and I for one look forward to getting my geek on in the Telstra Village to learn more!

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Digital concierge connects tech savvy seniors

Tech and Innovation

Posted on November 29, 2016

3 min read

Recently named ‘World’s Best Place to Retire’, a Sydney-based aged care facility is pioneering the tech offering by digitally connecting its residents.

While the traditional ‘cuppa’ remains firmly on the menu, it’s the way in which residents at the Mark Moran Vaucluse Spirit of Life (SOL) Precinct engage with technology to order the ‘cuppa’ that’s new. The move represents a true marker of the new era in retirement and aged care facilities – using technology to deliver on its vision of disruptive innovation.

The facility replaced the outdated (and mundane) paper-based approach, instead looking to digital technology to provide innovative ways to engage, communicate and entertain their residents through Telstra’s Guest Service Solutions.

 “We have created a lifestyle precinct, a resort in the middle of the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney, that brings together the latest technology solutions including Scandinavian gymnasiums connected to cloud based systems, robot technology from Japan for rehabilitative activities and Telstra as a leader in innovation,” says Co-Founder Mark Moran.

In an Australian first for retirement and aged care living , Telstra’s Guest Service Solution technology not only digitally connects the ‘new-age’ aged care residents to one another but also enhances the value of independent living that all aged-care residents desire.

With the use of in-room Digital Concierge, residents are able to access rich electronic content and services at their fingertips. The Digital Concierge tablet fully integrates into the IPTV, enabling residents to watch Free to Air TV or in-room video on demand whenever and wherever they choose. In addition, the Digital Concierge also includes events, spa and restaurant booking capability as well as ordering room service, maintenance and housekeeping.

One resident shared the benefits of digital technology in enhancing their independent living and quality of life.

“The Digital Concierge tablets here are so helpful! I order my groceries on it twice a week and they’re delivered to my door. I can let the Concierge know if there’s anything I need in my suite, or maintenance if I need something fixed. I don’t need to make phone calls or drive anywhere to get these bits and bobs sorted out – I just use my tablet! But the best part has got to be how simple it is… or how I can watch TV on two different screens – my television or my tablet – at the same time!”

Voted the ‘World’s Best Place to Retire’ this year by The Seniors Global Awards London, Mark Moran is truly raising the bar in the retirement and aged care industry. Yet as many fields have done in the past, it’s going to be of vital importance for aged care to take advantage of powerful new technologies in order to satisfy demands for our increasingly computer literate population. These interactions will help residents and staff in bridging the communication gap, as well as provide reassurance to families in the level of care and support that is being delivered to their loved ones.



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Does Asia have what it takes to drive digital transformation?

Business and Enterprise

Posted on November 22, 2016

5 min read

In cities like Tokyo, Singapore, Shanghai and Hong Kong, Asia boasts some of the most technologically advanced and connected communities in the world. However, new research by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) highlights there is still a long way to go for the region to be a global leader in digital infrastructure, skills, and technology ecosystems – the building blocks of success in the modern economy.

As part of a new ‘Connecting Capabilities’ report commissioned by Telstra, the EIU has released the first Asian Digital Transformation Index, a ranking of 11 markets in the region plus three global comparators on 20 indicators covering digital infrastructure, human capital and industry connectedness.

We commissioned the research to improve understanding of digital capabilities in the region as access to high quality network services and a vibrant technology ecosystem are increasingly a core competitive advantage for countries and companies alike. This view was confirmed by the research, which found that 94 per cent of businesses believe a country’s infrastructure is important to their organisation’s digital transformation.

The Index shows that Singapore, South Korea and Japan are leading the pack in Asia thanks in large part to the fact they have strong enterprise grade networks, access to the latest services and technology, generally high education standards and well-connected industries.

While these countries lead Asia, they are still behind the United States and indeed Australia and the United Kingdom as well on many key measures. Moreover, the Asian region as a whole has some catching up to do.

The research shows the challenge is particularly great for large developing countries like India, the Philippines and Indonesia. So while India is renowned for their large pool of well trained, technically literate workers and Indonesia and the Philippines have some of the most active social media communities in the world, they still have a long way to go to be globally competitive right across infrastructure, human capital and ecosystems.

Asia has been a growth engine for the global economy for a sustained period now and with the region’s middle class expected to double by 2030 to more than 1.2 billion households the potential is there for further success. However, a significant deficit in areas like network quality or technical skills, will impact the ability of businesses operating in the region to succeed in the connected, digital first world of the future.

Most businesses recognise they need to act, with nine in 10 business leaders interviewed wanting to see digital transformation in their organisation. However, without access to infrastructure and a skilled workforce, the long term return on investment for business embracing digital transformation could be compromised.

The question every country needs to ask itself is – are they doing enough to ensure they have the tools their citizens and businesses will need? Countries like China, which ranked in the middle of the Index, recognise they need to improve. China plans to invest over US$100 billion in the development of internet networks in 2016 and 2017, while their ‘Internet Plus’ action plan is promoting the use of digital technologies across different industries.

China already has the largest population of internet users and one of the most advanced e-commerce sectors in the world, and this level of investment is likely to drive a climb up the Index in the years ahead.

The growing focus on digital transformation is translating into increased demand for services. As a leading provider of connectivity, managed network and cloud services in Asia, we already work with thousands of companies across the region to deliver them the technologies and tools they need to drive digital to the core of their business. We’re committed to continuing to invest in our business in Asia to deliver the latest technologies and scale up to meet growing demand and sophistication. We believe that when it comes to Asia’s digital transformation the best is definitely yet to come.

Read the full report here:   

About the Economist Intelligence United Connected Capabilities Report

Connecting Capabilities: The Asian digital transformation is a report from the EIU, commissioned by Telstra. The report is based on three interrelated research efforts.

First, the Asian Connecting Capabilities Index, which is a quantitative ranking of 11 economies in the region (China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand) and three global comparators (Australia, the UK and the US), is comprised of 20 indicators across three categories: digital infrastructure, human capital and industry connectedness. The categories and the individual criteria in them, are weighted according to the EIU’s assumptions of their relative importance.

Digital Transformation Index

Country Score
1 Singapore 75.6
2 South Korea 72.5
3 Japan 70.7
4 Hong Kong 65.7
5 Taiwan 65.1
6 Malaysia 42.0
7 China 33.9
8 Thailand 23.9
9 India 19.3
10 Philippines 18.8
11 Indonesia 16.0
Comparator countries Score
United States 77.3
Australia 74.3
United Kingdom 72.6


Second, the report and Index draws on a survey of 870 executives in the same 14 countries primarily across six industries: manufacturing, financial services, media, healthcare, professional services and logistics.

Third, the index and the survey findings were supplemented by interviews with senior executives and experts.

The EIU bears sole responsibility for the editorial content of this report. The findings do not necessarily reflect the views of Telstra.

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