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Inspiring ideas with our 2018 Innovation Challenge

Tech and Innovation

Posted on April 23, 2018

2 min read

We’re continuing to see great innovation and breakthroughs in technology thanks to the connectivity offered by the Internet of Things (IoT). As more devices are connected, the benefits are being seen across every industry in Australia.

Each year as part of Telstra’s Innovation Challenge (TIC), we invite future and current leaders in innovation and technology to create brilliant connected solutions for real-life problems. We challenge the innovation community – universities and the general public – to form teams and develop IoT solutions that could improve our lives.

Teams will be able to leverage Telstra’s Cat M1 technology, which includes three million square kilometres of IoT coverage, combined with some of the newer moving devices to create tech solutions focused on the health and wellbeing industry.

Together with Bupa as our industry partner, we’re challenging teams to solve some of the most interesting issues facing the health and wellness industry. Teams can choose what specific areas they focus on, which could range from preventative healthcare devices, to developing on-the-job tech improvements for healthcare workers.

We provide qualifying teams with everything they’ll need to get their ideas up and running, including a development kit designed specifically for Australian innovators and developers.

The TIC has two streams of participants: one for university teams and one for the general public. The university stream has already kicked off, but it’s not too late to register for the public stream by heading over to the Telstra Innovation Challenge website for more details.

The finalists for both streams will pitch their ideas in front of a panel of judges on 26 May at Telstra Labs in Melbourne, to be in the running for a range of great prizes.

With thanks to the Telstra Innovation Challenge 2018 sponsors:

  • Gold sponsors: Cisco, Ericsson, Telstra Health, Microsoft
  • Silver sponsors: muru-D, Qualcomm, Tekt Industries, Little Bird Electronics, Intel

Tags: IoT, technology,

I feel like I’ve joined Telstra at the right time to help us transform

Telstra Careers Advice

Posted on April 9, 2018

2 min read

I have been at Telstra as a product owner for just over five months, and I feel like I have joined at just the right time.

I’m a Product Owner (Agile) and part of Telstra’s new ways of working, where we nurture and grow scrum teams to deliver amazing digital products progressively.

For this role, I need to balance focusing on the team as well as on our customers. It’s a challenge but I really enjoy it.

The reason I feel like I have joined Telstra at the right time is because my role enables me to be part of our digital transformation, which is a key part of the organisation’s vision of becoming a world-class technology company that empowers people to connect.

I have gone through a similar transformation at a large-scale company, previously in my career. That’s why I know during this journey there will be plenty of opportunities for me to learn and grow my career as a Product Owner.

So what does my average day look like at Telstra? Here are just a few things on my work list:

  • Attend the Agile Scrum ceremonies with my team
  • Ensure that my teams have enough high business value stories from the product backlog to work on, by working with our customers
  • Organise fortnightly demonstrations of the incremental working software to showcase it to all of the relevant stakeholders
  • Lead my teams so that their impediments are addressed on time

Find out the skills you need to be a Product Manager at Telstra.

It’s a pretty busy role but it’s an area I’m really passionate about. Why? Because my dream is for Telstra to become the go-to service provider for all customers in Australia by providing them with a brilliant customer experience. I know it’s something that everyone who works here is focused on.

Lakshmi speaking at the Women in Technology Australia – Conference

So what is my best piece of career advice for you?

Be ready to grab any opportunity that comes along because it’s a chance for you to acquire a new skill and implement that in the job you have taken.

It’ll also help you to stay motivated and feel challenged, which will hopefully lead to a greater purpose and sense of satisfaction.

Interested in a career at Telstra? Explore jobs now.

The technology behind Perth’s newest stadium

Business and Enterprise

Posted on March 23, 2018

3 min read

Perth is now home to one of the world’s most connected stadiums, changing the way fans experience major sporting events. John Khoury, our Director of Business Services, shares how Telstra, as lead ICT sub-contractor under construction contractor, Multiplex, has been instrumental in bringing world-class technology to the West.

Have you ever been at an Eagles versus Dockers derby only to miss out on a game-changing goal because you were stuck in line on a food run for your mates? Or have you tried to livestream your reaction to a questionable umpire decision at the same time as thousands of others – and your post goes nowhere?

At Perth’s new stadium, fans will enjoy a new kind of experience thanks to its world-class technology. This technology forms the nerve centre of the stadium, and controls connectivity throughout the venue – including to one of the biggest integrated LED sports lighting systems in the world.

Live match video and broadcast programming is delivered via Telstra’s tried and tested venue-grade IPTV service across 1,000 television screens throughout the stadium – so you’ll never miss out on the action when you need to step away from your seat.

Fans will be able to access the free public Wi-Fi so they can stream content to their device and keep friends and family updated on social media. We’ve installed one of the largest networks of Wi-Fi access points in any Australian stadium so anyone attending a match or concert will be able to connect once they’ve walked through the gates.

The technology we have integrated has future-proofed the stadium for the people that will enjoy it in years to come by providing a foundation for the venue’s operator and other service providers to add new applications and services.

We’re excited by this new stadium, created for fans in Perth and those who visit from around the country and beyond. It took more than 11,000 hours over a two-year construction period for our team to install all the tech behind the scenes, and we really have been able to deliver on the commitment to create a stadium that puts fans’ experiences front and centre.

Our involvement by the numbers:

  • 200 switches form the nerve centre of the stadium and control connectivity throughout the venue for over 5,500 field points.
  • More than 1,400 wireless access points provide the high-density Wi-Fi solution.
  • Our team spent more than 11,000 hours onsite over a two year period.

These are the skills I look for in a Product Manager

Telstra Careers Advice

Posted on March 13, 2018

4 min read

I’ve been at Telstra for two and a half years and what a journey it has been. My first job was as a Product Manager, today I’m the General Manager of Product Experience and Operations.

Interested in a Product Manager career at Telstra? Search for jobs now.

In my role, I lead a team of Product Managers, and our primary focus is to identify and deliver customer experience improvements to our home broadband customers.

This spans across multiple customer touchpoints such as; when customers join Telstra, when they move home and the migration to the NBN. We also prevent and resolve issues to ensure that customers’ connections are not interrupted.

Besides being able to work with a great team, one of the best things about working here is that there is always something new and exciting to learn, particularly because we’re transforming into a world-class technology company.

So if you want to join us as a Product Manager, here is what you need to know.

The role of a Product Manager at Telstra

Product Managers have end-to-end responsibility for the customer in a number of different ways. These include:

–          How the product presents in the market by way of offers and proposition

–          How the customer purchases their product with us, such as online

–          How the billing presents to the customer

–          The relationship and experience that the customer has with us throughout their lifecycle

–          Development of new products such as the Telstra Gateway Frontier and new NBN technologies

–          Short and long-term profit and loss projections of the portfolio

Customer Experience Roadshow - Product Manager - Telstra Careers
When I was speaking at the Customer Experience Roadshow (I’m in the middle with my legs crossed)

What an average day looks like

The key thing to call out here is how dynamic the day is and that every day is different. Given the broad scope of our portfolios and an expectation of end-to-end management, anything could drop into our diaries.

My team is particularly focused on product and process improvement. The methodology that my team normally follows is the DMAIC approach (Define, Measure, Analyse, Improve & Control) within the Lean Six Sigma framework. This means we do not make decisions without quantification of data, and use that data and insight to drive the solution.

Do you need to have technical knowledge?

In my team, the expectation is technical… to a degree. They need to understand what a frontline agent is expected to do and how the decisions and changes they make impacts the agent and frontline.

A lot of IT changes come from the product team and having a relatively technical understanding of what you are asking for and how to interpret a business requirement document is important to ensure that the right solution is delivered.

Having said this, there are other teams with Product Managers who are more focused on campaign execution and their level of technical understanding does not need to be as significant.

Other important skills you’ll need

  • Commercial: This is not a finance skill but they need to have the ability to understand how their decisions have an impact on the portfolio commercially. Also, some basic business casing skills are preferred
  • Data and insights: Most of our decisions and changes are driven from the data and insights created. Whilst not being expected to be able to pull the data themselves, they need to know how to ask the right questions to derive the right insights
  • Go to market: An ability to take a change to market

Why do you think Product Managers should consider a career with us?

There’s just so much opportunity for Product Managers at Telstra. The roles, responsibilities and portfolios are so diverse, meaning there’s always something new to learn, see, do and experience…and that’s just within the Product team.

Find out where a career at Telstra can take you.

Tags: technology,

Security tips to use your phone as your wallet

Cyber Security Consumer advice

Posted on March 9, 2018

3 min read

Telstra security operations specialist Darren Pauli has spent nearly a year with his smartphone replacing a wallet – securely making payments for everyday items and services. There are some guidelines you should keep in mind if you’re considering doing the same.

Apple and Google have invested billions of dollars into information security, with the goal of making their phones harder to hack. The iPhone – with its closed iOS operating system – is the toughest of all, but Google’s Android platform has come leaps and bounds from its anarchic past.

Google had no choice: over 80 percent of all phones sold in the last quarter of 2016 were powered by its Android platform.

Google’s effort means attacks that may have compromised thousands of users in recent years no longer work on updated phones, and it is now much harder and more expensive for attackers to get their malicious apps into official app stores.

Apple and Google, along with Microsoft, have also boosted security investment for services like Google Drive, iCloud, and OneDrive – making those more sensible choices for storing personal data, although there is still much work to be done.

Yet crucially, all of those billions of dollars in investment can be undone if a wallet-free maverick is reckless in their operational security practice.

The security mindset

Think of operational security (or ‘opsec’) as the measure of your security awareness in the world of technology. You win points for knowing how to spot phishing, and for making up a fake birthday and home address for Facebook and other websites.

In short, you become more security-savvy the more you think like an attacker and build roadblocks to frustrate your opponent.

In 2018 this is a necessary skill: You cannot force your favourite online chat forum to use better security that’s harder to hack, but you can change your forum password to something unique or disposable. You can keep your real information out of your forum profile.

And doing this means hackers who break into that forum will not be able to use your password to get into your emails, or use your real name, birthdate, and address to help open a bank account.

Bringing it together: a checklist

You cannot force your favourite sites to be more secure, but you can choose sites which are. You can also use tools that boost the security of the data you control while minimising or even reversing inconvenience.

These are some operational security guides I use to protect my data – see below. Many informational security experts would use much more severe controls, but the vast number of people use far weaker.