Telstra Vantage™ |

Scam me if you can: former-fraudster Frank Abagnale on how to fix cyber security

By Luke Hopewell October 23, 2020

It’s a question that plagues the technological age: how can we stop scammers and bad actors from stealing cash from innocent people? Frank Abagnale – former conman turned cyber expert – spoke at our Vantage Remixed conference this week on how we can all be more secure, and how we can ultimately fix the problem of scams.

Australians lose tens of millions a year to scammers online. Whether through confidence schemes, investment schemes or even romance scams, hundreds of thousands of us have been duped into parting with our money to the criminal hordes.

And it’s not just Aussies losing funds to the less-than-legitimate online. Millions of others around the world have been duped out of cash for decades due to scams. One such scammer and con-artist is Frank W. Abagnale.

Yes, that Frank Abagnale.

Abagnale is the subject of Steven Spielberg’s 2002 blockbuster film Catch Me If You Can. Starring Tom Hanks and Leonardo DiCaprio, the film tells the story of Frank W. Abagnale as an adolescent, where he became a confidence man and scam artist who defrauded millions and led the FBI on a global chase.

After his arrest and subsequent conviction, Abagnale started working with the FBI to teach scams awareness, and these days he’s a world-renowned cyber security specialist, and author of his most recent book, Scam Me If You Can.

Abagnale said that not a soul on Earth is immune from being scammed, and new scams are being invented to dupe us every single day.

“The whole social engineering aspect of it of scamming hasn’t changed in 40 years. Scammers, conmen and criminals all stay the same, but the methods have changed significantly,” Frank Abagnale tells Adam Spencer at Vantage Remixed.

“In writing my book it dawned on me that these scams are scams that are 50 years old. It’s just the methods have changed. The criminal mind has not changed much at all. There is no foolproof system, and if you think there is you haven’t taken into account the creativity of fools. We can make it so difficult for a criminal, we have the technology, but if you don’t use it, it’s worthless. If you don’t use it, you’re becoming a victim!”

Abagnale added that the best way to protect people from scams is to educate them on the methods scammers use to infiltrate our lives. That way, we can all know what to look for when scammers come calling.

Passwords: flawed from the start

Abagnale added, however, that we need more than just education to protect us from scammers. Passwords – those tricky combinations we all have to remember to access our online gear – have been broken from the start according to Frank Abagnale.

“We have to do away with passwords. They’re invented for treehouses,” Abagnale said at Vantage Remixed.

His solution? Do away with passwords altogether and instead rely on identifying us by our smart devices and apps whenever we make contact with a secure system.

“[Passwords] were invented in 1964 and today that’s 72 years on and we’re still using them. We have developed technology to eliminate passwords and identify you by your device. You might walk up to an ATM with your iPhone and open the bank’s app and it identifies you from your device. If I call the bank’s call centre, they recognise my device and I’ll open the app to verify.

“There will be no security questions and they won’t know the answers, I’ll be recognised by my device. That technology is called Trusona, funded by Microsoft. We’re slowly now in Japan and Europe getting away from passwords, and I predict as Gartner does that in the coming years we’ll see passwords go away, and that will put a huge dent in cybercrime.”

Telstra Vantage wall
Telstra Vantage™ |

Our top 5 leadership moments from Vantage Remixed

By Luke Hopewell October 23, 2020

As Vantage Remixed draws to a close for 2020, we take a look back at the top 5 leadership moments from this week.

The Hon. Julia Gillard AC on adapting to a new world

When Former Prime Minister Julia Gillard stepped away from her role leading the nation, she didn’t stop helping Australians who needed it. Now as the Chair of mental health advocacy organisation Beyond Blue, Gillard sat down virtually with Adam Spencer at Vantage Remixed to talk about life pre-pandemic, and how we can hope to emerge on the other side.

Her message to business? “Things will never go back to the way they were before COVID.” As a result, we all need to act accordingly to thrive. We need to understand that some groups – like working women – are bearing the brunt of COVID’s impacts more than others, and we need to be prepared to listen to their anger.

Gillard said that businesses who want to thrive through the pandemic will learn to grapple with this additional complexity. These businesses will need “thoughtful management of the problems of today” and “scan the horizon” for opportunities and problems, Gillard added.

“It used to be that you had to walk and chew gum at the same time. These days you’ve got to run while juggling, hurdling and making sure that you know what’s around the next corner,” Gillard told Spencer.

Telstra Chief Executive Officer, Andy Penn on what we can learn from the pandemic

Our CEO, Andy Penn, shared similar thoughts at Vantage Remixed, saying that there needs to be change in how we do business and how the Government creates legislation so we can pursue future success.

“I am asking myself…how do we use the disruption and pain brought about by COVID for good in the future? How do we use it as an accelerant to the transformation of our businesses? How do we use it to bring new experience to our customers?”

Andy Penn shared the state of doing business in 2020 and how it’s primarily digital as a result of COVID-19. The rate of digital adoption following the pandemic means that we now have an opportunity to deliver on the promise of becoming a leading digital economy by 2030.

“Achieving this will not only require businesses to accelerate their own digital journeys but it will require Government too to set the policy and regulatory framework to support a digital economy.

“In this regard there are I believe three areas where policy and regulatory change will be important and for which we can jointly advocate.

“Firstly a systematic review of legislation and regulation at all levels of government – federal, state and local – to remove rules and regulations that stand in the way of a paperless economy, a virtual economy and a cashless economy.

“Secondly, to ensure we have the right policy and regulatory settings in place to support a thriving telecommunications sector. The digital economy is fundamentally dependent on the country’s telecommunications networks.

“And thirdly, with so much at stake, robust and effective cyber security has never been more important.

Andy Penn closed by adding that: “businesses that will be successful in the future will be those that can embrace this newfound humanity and make it the foundation of their culture. It will bring them closer to their customers and the communities they serve and create an environment in which their workforce will be motivated and engaged.”

Expert 360 CEO & Telstra Board Member, Bridget Loudon on creating an adaptive workforce

“The wave of flexible working has been a long time coming, and for many, COVID has been the tsunami for change. But it hasn’t derailed flexible working, it’s accelerated it. COVID has shown us just how much flexibility we have to respond to the world around us. This time it’s COVID, but next time it could be a new competitor to your business.

Through COVID, we’ve broken a 150-year practice and expectation forged by the industrial revolution where people get up every day and come to a place of work, usually Monday to Friday for largely fixed hours.

We’re never again going to get a such a fundamental opportunity to change the way we work, and rather than stop this new world, we need to adapt. Success and productivity is directly linked to how we allow the work to get done – once the tech is in place, we need to shift the mindset and culture to allow this.

There’s three major ways to think about flexibility; firstly, where the work is done, when the work is done and finally setting the right work arrangements such as permanent, part time, contract or project based. If you can keep these things flexible, you can transform your ability to respond to challenges of the day, week and year.

In Australia, demand for digital talent is expected to outstrip supply four-fold over the next two years. Flexible working also means your talent pool is no longer confined to a 20-kilometre radius around your office, your talent pool is global.”

Telstra Enterprise Group Executive, Michael Ebeid, on helping Australian businesses thrive in today’s digital world

“It’s easy for us to simply say businesses need to up their digital game, but what if they don’t know where to start, let alone decide their next steps? We saw a huge shift to online platforms and digital tools when the pandemic hit, but we know there are many businesses out there still struggling with the new tech-led environment we now live and work in. Many of these businesses now run the risk of being left behind as the economy rebuilds and consumer behaviour and expectations continue to change.”

To help businesses navigate today’s increasingly digital economy, Michael Ebeid announced the launch of the new Telstra Digital Maturity tool.

“This is about supporting and guiding Australian businesses, to ensure they thrive in today’s digital world. Knowing how your business stacks up – where you’re doing well and where and how you could improve – is powerful knowledge when you are deciding how to respond in the pandemic.”

Developed by Telstra Purple, the tool can provide operators with their own personalised ‘Digital Maturity Score’ as well practical advice. It asks users a series of simple questions to produce a customised Digital Maturity Score, which users can benchmark against other businesses in their industry. The tool also provides insights and advice on what a business’ next steps could be in its digital transformation journey.

“It could be as simple as adding an online ordering feature to your website, rolling-out video collaboration tools for your employees or implementing automation into your processes to maximise efficiency.”

Find out more about the Telstra digital maturity tool here.

Frank Abagnale, former con-man turned cyber-security expert on keeping safe from scams

If the name Frank Abagnale sounds familiar to you, don’t be alarmed. Abagnale is the subject of Steven Spielberg’s 2002 blockbuster film Catch Me If You Can. Starring Tom Hanks and Leonardo DiCaprio, the film tells the story of Frank W. Abagnale as an adolescent, where he became a confidence man and scam artist who defrauded millions and led the FBI on a global chase.

After his arrest and subsequent conviction, Abagnale started working with the FBI to teach scams awareness, and these days he’s a world-renowned cyber security specialist, and author of his most recent book, Scam Me If You Can.

Abagnale said that not a soul on Earth is immune from being scammed, and new scams are being invented to dupe us every single day.

Abagnale added that the best way to protect people from scams is to educate them on the methods scammers use to infiltrate our lives. That way, we can all know what to look for when scammers come calling.

Check out more of our Vantage Remixed highlights.

Business and Enterprise |

Unlocking businesses’ $90 billion digital potential

By Michael Ebeid AM October 21, 2020

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Australians embraced virtual experiences – working, learning, shopping and entertaining ourselves online. Many businesses also pivoted quickly when the pandemic hit and have continued their operations virtually. Unfortunately, we know there are many businesses out there still struggling with the new tech-led environment we now live and work in. These businesses run the risk of being left behind as the economy rebuilds and consumer behaviour and expectations continue to change.

Working from home and online shopping has exploded, along with virtual classrooms, telehealth consults, online gym classes and just about everything else virtual you can think of, thanks to a massive shift to online and digital platforms.

How big is the digital opportunity?

New economic modelling Telstra has commissioned by PwC has underscored the profound effect accelerating the digital economy could have on the nation.

The modelling found increased digitisation could add up to $90 billion to the Australian economy and create up to 250,000 new jobs by 2025.

The jobs created in a digital Australia aren’t just roles you need an engineering or IT degree for either. Accelerating the digital economy will create a ripple effect across industries, creating jobs in all sectors from customer service, logistics, design and professional services.

Are you digitally mature?

Running a business in a post-COVID world is very different to how we did things pre-pandemic. When COVID-19 first hit, we were there helping our business customers implement digitisation solutions, moving thousands of people out of physical offices and stores, so they could conduct their business virtually.

The businesses who embraced digital tools were among the most successful during the pandemic, but what about the ones who didn’t, or didn’t know where to start?

Based on our experience and expertise helping businesses from every industry across Australia on their digital transformation journey, our business technology experts at Telstra Purple have developed a new Digital Maturity tool designed to measure a business’ ability to respond to the new technology-enabled environment we all now operate in.

The tool is really easy to use. After answering some simple questions, you’re given a Digital Maturity score, which you can compare against your industry standard, as well as insights and advice on what your next steps could be in your digital transformation.

Knowing how your business stacks up – where you are doing well and where and how you could improve – is powerful knowledge when you are deciding how to respond to changing business environments. It could be as simple as adding an online ordering feature to your website, rolling-out video collaboration tools for your employees or implementing automation into your processes to maximise efficiency.

This is about supporting and guiding Australian businesses and organisations to ensure they thrive in today’s digital world. It is in addition to our recent free website initiative for our small and medium business customers, to help them connect with their customers online.

A strong Australian economy requires a thriving digital economy. Organisations that embrace digitisation not only stand the best chance of success but will also pull the Australian economy up and be the job creators of tomorrow.

We are proud to play our part to ensure Australian businesses have the best chance of not just bouncing back, but bouncing higher, in a stronger, future-proofed economy.

Telstra Vantage™ |

Welcome to Vantage Remixed 2020

By Luke Hopewell October 21, 2020

Follow our live coverage of Telstra Vantage Remixed 2020 right here on Telstra Exchange.

Welcome to Telstra Vantage Remixed, our seventh annual celebration of world-class ideas, technology and business solutions with our incredible showcase.

Across Wednesday 21 and Thursday 22 October, we’re running 38 sessions, panel discussions and keynote presentations from Telstra, our partners and special guests live, online and on demand, exclusively for our enterprise customers.

Here we will share live coverage from each of the keynotes so you can get the most out of Vantage Remixed.

Day One

9am, Wednesday 21 Oct

Welcome to Vantage Remixed

And we’re off! Stay tuned for all the highlights from our seventh annual celebration of world-class ideas, technology and business solutions at Telstra Vantage Remixed across today and tomorrow.

Today, it’s all about finding new ways to accelerate the digital economy and solve real business challenges, so we don’t just bounce back – we walk out stronger. We’ll also explore the role our networks, cyber security and digitisation capabilities will play in this new economy.

And finally, we’ll hear from conman turned cyber security expert Frank Abagnale this morning and former Prime Minister Julia Gillard this afternoon.

You can check out the full agenda here.

9:30am, Wednesday 21 Oct

Andy Penn delivers his Vantage Remixed keynote

Our CEO, Andy Penn, has just delivered his keynote at Vantage Remixed 2020. Andy delivered his keynote from his home in Melbourne, where lockdown measures continue to affect the state. As an optimist, Andy wondered what we can all learn from COVID-19.

“I cannot help but think and believe the experiences and learnings from this time will be important in the decades ahead.

“But like you I am asking myself what are these learnings, how do we use the disruption and pain brought about by COVID for good in the future? How do we use it as an accelerant to the transformation of our businesses? How do we use it to bring new experience to our customers?”

Andy Penn shared the state of doing business in 2020 and how it’s primarily digital as a result of COVID-19. The rate of digital adoption following the pandemic means that we now have an opportunity to deliver on the promise of becoming a leading digital economy by 2030.

“Achieving this will not only require businesses to accelerate their own digital journeys but it will require Government too to set the policy and regulatory framework to support a digital economy.

“In this regard there are I believe three areas where policy and regulatory change will be important and for which we can jointly advocate.

“Firstly a systematic review of legislation and regulation at all levels of government – federal, state and local – to remove rules and regulations that stand in the way of a paperless economy, a virtual economy and a cashless economy.

“Secondly, to ensure we have the right policy and regulatory settings in place to support a thriving telecommunications sector. The digital economy is fundamentally dependent on the country’s telecommunications networks.

“And thirdly, with so much at stake, robust and effective cyber security has never been more important.

“Our economy, our society and our future depends on Australia’s cyber defences being strong and built around a framework that is coordinated, integrated and capable.”

Andy Penn closed by adding that: “businesses that will be successful in the future will be those that can embrace this newfound humanity and make it the foundation of their culture. It will bring them closer to their customers and the communities they serve and create an environment in which their workforce will be motivated and engaged.”

Check out the new economic modelling we commissioned from PwC, underscoring the profound effect accelerating the digital economy could have on the nation.

10:40am, Wednesday 21 Oct

Frank W. Abagnale, Scam Me If You Can

If the name Frank Abagnale sounds familiar to you, don’t be alarmed. Abagnale is the subject of Steven Spielberg’s 2002 blockbuster film Catch Me If You Can. Starring Tom Hanks and Leonardo DiCaprio, the film tells the story of Frank W. Abagnale as an adolescent, where he became a confidence man and scam artist who defrauded millions and led the FBI on a global chase.

After his arrest and subsequent conviction, Abagnale started working with the FBI to teach scams awareness, and these days he’s a world-renowned cyber security specialist, and author of his most recent book, Scam Me If You Can.

Abagnale said that not a soul on Earth is immune from being scammed, and new scams are being invented to dupe us every single day.

“The whole social engineering aspect of it of scamming hasn’t changed in 40 years. Scammers, conmen and criminals all stay the same, but the methods have changed significantly,” Frank Abagnale tells Adam Spencer at Vantage Remixed.

“In writing my book it dawned on me that these scams are scams that are 50 years old. It’s just the methods have changed. The criminal mind has not changed much at all. There is no foolproof system, and if you think there is you haven’t taken into account the creativity of fools. We can make it so difficult for a criminal, we have the technology, but if you don’t use it, it’s worthless. If you don’t use it, you’re becoming a victim!”

Abagnale added that the best way to protect people from scams is to educate them on the methods scammers use to infiltrate our lives. That way, we can all know what to look for when scammers come calling.

11.40am, Wednesday 21 Oct

Accelerating the delivery of 5G and Mobile Edge Computing

Telstra’s Group Executive of Networks & IT Nikos Katinakis led a panel discussion to explore how 5G and Mobile Edge Computing will deliver the lowest latency networks to connect devices and revolutionise how organisations operate.

Luciano Ramos from Rogers Communication, Shawn Hakl from Microsoft and Srini Kalapala from Verizon spoke to Nikos about the need for a seamless global experience to unlock the full potential of 5G and Mobile Edge Computing, as well as the first set of standards specifically designed to accelerate these technologies.

The discussion included how 5G and Mobile Edge Computing has the potential to truly revolutionise how organisations operate, and be a game changer for a range of applications that demand a lower latency closer to the users, as well as delivering operational efficiencies and changing the way businesses engage and deliver services to customers.

Nikos also touched on the recent expansion of our 5G network and our ambition to grow our footprint to 75% of Australia’s population by June next year.

2:00pm, Wednesday 21 Oct

IR 4.0 – The real growth opportunity of 5G, Cloud, Edge, AI & IoT

We’ve just heard from Telstra’s Kim Krogh Andersen, University of Queensland’s Prof. Bronwyn Harch, and AATLIS’ Grant Statton talk about the technologies and growth opportunities in the fourth industrial revolution. The panel highlighted some real-life use cases and industry examples of work that’s already happening, and why collaboration with government, industry and academia is needed to drive success in this new era.

The panel also emphasised why it’s important to build new skills and capabilities in emerging technology areas for the future. And the need to put these transformative technologies into the hands of the smartest people across all different industries, provide them access to the resources they need to learn about them, and create the best environment in which to build and test their vision.

2:00pm, Wednesday 21 Oct

Humanising cyber security in the new normal

Covid-19 caused a mad rush to move entire workforces home and created a whole new wave of technology users from kids being home schooled to GPs using technology for the first time to connect with patients. The advice from today’s panel featuring Telstra’s CISO for Asia Pacific, Narelle Devine, Telstra’s GM for Cloud & Security NSW, QLD and ACT, Geneveive White and Forrester Principal Analyst Serving Security and Risk Professionals, Jinan Budge, was to take a breath, reassess and think about where your vulnerabilities are and what tools you have at your disposal to address the most important security issues.

With greater scrutiny on security and IT budgets, and growing cyber risks in the wake of COVID, throwing more money at the problem is not the answer. What’s most important is having visibility of what’s on your network, which now extends beyond the company headquarters and into the home, understanding what is of value to criminals so you can see where you’re most likely to be targeted, and knowing the tools you already have available.

A key tool in any organisation’s kit is its people who are the first line of defence against cyber risk. Building a cyber safe culture is key. Your security is only as strong as “Gary in Accounts” who likes to click on links and download applications. Businesses that take the time to train their people get the best results.

Security is a team effort involving the whole organisation and the broader industry requiring open sharing and collaboration.

3:20pm, Wednesday 20 Oct

Innovation and agility with Mirvac, OMDIA and Adaptive Networks

Earlier today we heard about Adaptive Networks from Telstra’s Executive Sanjay Nayak. Sanjay was joined by Brian Washburn from analyst firm OMDIA, who shared insights on how IT spending and behaviour has changed as a result of COVID-19, making business agility more important than ever before.

“At the onset of COVID-19, IT executives had to work out how to rapidly shift their workforces to remove working, how to rebalance their network and how to adapt their security model,” said Washburn.

Network agility became absolutely critical,” said Nayak, “because the network and application performance impacts employee productivity and therefore your ability to serve customers.”

Washburn added, “Interestingly, our surveys have shown that while ICT budgets have been paired back, networking budgets have stayed the course and in some cases networking projects have accelerated. This is because the network is so essential in driving digital transformations and moving businesses forward in this new environment.”

Nayak and Washburn also discussed how SD-WAN is a lynch pin in network transformation projects, with Washburn adding that he has spoken to very few dissatisfied SD-WAN customers and that they tend to get more value and satisfaction out of these platforms when they take the dedication to “go big”.

This afternoon we heard from Chris Pogson, General Manager, Technology at Mirvac about their implementation of adaptive infrastructure.

Discussing the impacts of COVID-19 and Mirvac’s focus on building a culture of innovation, Pogson discussed the role Adaptive Networks is playing in supporting the business’s rapid growth.

“When COVID-19 hit, it was timely that we had invested in an agile network and technology infrastructure that enabled us to be resilient and adapt,” said Pogson. This solution allowed us to pivot and bring solutions to market at speed.”

Sharing his advice on making these big transformations as smooth as possible, Pogson said it’s often the simple things that cause the biggest issues.

“I’ve learned over the years that getting some of the practical things right – such as understanding how the site will be coordinated, and having your team come together and communicate effectively allows everything to be a lot smoother.

This is why Mirvac chose to work so closely with Telstra as one team during its SD-WAN hybrid network implementation where their relationship was focused on trust and transparency.

Telstra Client Executive Leeanne Bligh described it as both companies having ‘opened the kimono’ and said that the more you get to know your customers the more you can be part of the team.

You can learn more about Adaptive Networks in the video below and in this blog from Sanjay.

If you’d like to know more about SD-WAN you can also download OMDIA’s report on SD-WAN: Tips for Enterprises to Unlock More Value.

4:30pm, Wednesday 21 Oct

In conversation with Julia Gillard

When Former Prime Minister Julia Gillard stepped away from her role leading the nation, she didn’t stop helping Australians who needed it. Now as the Chair of mental health advocacy organisation Beyond Blue, Gillard sat down virtually with Adam Spencer at Vantage Remixed to talk about life pre-pandemic, and how we can hope to emerge on the other side.

Gillard highlighted that trends of incresing nationalism; a changing global pecking order; growing inequality, and technology take-up have all been exacerbated by COVID-19. And those trends have given way to new ones as we work together to combat the virus.

As a result of the pandemic, Gillard identified a renewed reliance on both government to help us all navigate COVID-19, as well as scientists. Similarly, we’re now seeing the way we work in new light as we reevaluate our relationship with our careers.

Gillard said that businesses who want to thrive through the pandemic will learn to grapple with this additional complexity.

“It used to be that you had to walk and chew gum at the same time. These days you’ve got to run while juggling, hurdling and making sure that you know what’s around the next corner,” Gillard told Spencer.

End of Day One

That’s a wrap for day one, we hope you’ve enjoyed it.

Join us tomorrow for more keynotes about our latest initiatives in the Bigger Picture channel. Hear from the world’s leading tech companies in the Power of Partnerships. And learn about new ways to adapt and create progress for your business in Solving for Today.

Day Two

9:00am, Thursday 22 Oct

Welcome back to Vantage Remixed

Good morning and welcome to day two of Vantage Remixed.

Today we’ll explore ways to create an adaptive workforce to respond and thrive in today’s environment. We’ll also be looking at how we can empower teams with the capabilities, tools and culture to perform at their best.   

9:30am, Thursday 22 Oct

How COVID-19 forever changed the workplace

Founder of Expert 360 and Telstra’s newest board member Bridget Loudon opened the session today with her insightful view of how COVID-19 hasn’t derailed the workforce, but accelerated change that should have happened years ago.

Through COVID, we’ve broken a 150-year practice and expectation forged by the industrial revolution where people get up every day and come to a place of work, usually Monday to Friday for largely fixed hours,” said Bridget.

Even when everyone is able to go back to the office, many will want to continue working from home. Yet many organisations are still wedded to the way things were 150 years ago.

Bridget said this wave of more flexible working has been a long time coming, and now with COVID it’s a tsunami.

COVID showed us how much flexibility we have to respond to the world around us and flexibility in how we allow work to get done.”

Flexibility also unlocks so many things we’ve been working hard for – like diversity.

People have been ready for this for so long and we are waiting for the companies to catch up. First with the infrastructure to make it possible, and now for them to shift their mindset.

Bridget closed her keynote with a challenge for the audience. “We may never get another opportunity to fundamentally rethink the way we work, so I encourage you to move bravely into the future.

What embracing flexible working means for organisations

Bridget was joined by social commentator Bernard Salt, Telstra’s Enterprise Executive Michael Ebeid and Founder of Rezilium Kamal Sarma to dig into the challenges and opportunities flexible working creates.

Bernard Salt suggested that the trend towards working from home will be retained post-COVID.

“Working from home was at five per cent before COVID and had been since about 1996. It’s now at 45 per cent but will probably go back somewhere around 10 per cent,” said Bernard. He also mentioned that there will be different preferences from different generations, for example, he doesn’t think the millennial generation will go back to the way things were and will want far more control over how they deliver their work.

To support this new-found flexibility, Kamal Sarma said organisations have got to re-evaluate culture.

“Culture will be much more important. How do you create a connected culture when you don’t see your colleagues that much? We’ll start to see some tension around the edges, for example a lot of people are lonely. And has the culture kept up (during COVID-19)? How do you lead?” said Kamal.

Telstra’s Michael Ebeid said it’s also important for organisations to consider how they continue to support mentorship.

I learned so much from looking over a colleague’s shoulder, and having people look over my shoulder. We need to make time for non-transactional calls, check-ins, mentoring, and training people in how we do things in the organisation. If we don’t do it, we’re missing something, said Michael.

Bridget mentioned that the Zoom window is like a window into someone’s life that you’ve never seen before, and the panel agreed there have been many positives to showing more of who we are, including kids appearing in the background no longer being taboo.

The panel also answered a question about whether track pants were okay on video calls (and you’ll be pleased to know the answer was yes!).

I’m a big fan of people wearing what they’re comfortable with,” said Bridget. And other panel members agreed it’s important for people to wear what makes them feel good.

For Kamal, getting dressed for work is a ritual he enjoys. “When I get into my work clothes, I’m ready to go. My mind switches on, it projects in my energy, in my voice.

Whatever you’re wearing, it sounds like an exciting time ahead as organisations and society shift to this new definition of the workplace.

2.00pm, Thursday 22 Oct

Meeting the demand for digital skills

Earlier today, Bridget Loudon mentioned that in the coming years demand for skilled talent in Australia is expected to outstrip supply fourfold.

One of the blessings in disguise of building the infrastructure for people to work from anywhere – which quickly became necessary with COVID-19 is that talent can be anywhere.

Big businesses are saying, we have to get the best talent and we’re going to be flexible about when, where, and how work gets done,” said Louden.

But in order to get the right mix of skills your organisation needs, there’s also a huge opportunity to develop existing employees.

This afternoon we heard from Telstra Group Executive Alex Badenoch and UTS’s Fiona Anson about the role of short courses, or microcredentials, in meeting the accelerated need for digital skills.

We’re seeing technology develop at such a rapid rate. Previously you’d do a three or four year degree and you’d get a piece of paper to say you’re qualified for a new job. But now we’re seeing technology disrupt jobs every single day. It’s a matter of responding in weeks, not years,” said Alex.

There are people who may have 60 or 80 per cent of the skills we need, but we need to augment that. So, enabling our people to do a 6week course means they can keep growing in their job, or as some jobs disappear and new ones emerge it allows them to move roles.

We heard from past microcredential students, Stephanie Virgato and Adam Caudell, about their experience building their capability at Telstra. You can watch the video here.

Fiona Anson added, “There’s a broader opportunity for universities to work more closely with organisations to truly co-design what they need as needs evolve. We need to build them faster to be able to respond to this changing market.”

Employers need to step up and bring their knowledge and needs to the table, and work with universities to create the skills they need,” said Alex. “We’re all grappling with this fast pace of change. I encourage large organisations to get your people enrolled in the courses we’ve created or sign up to a partnership to build the next set of credentials we all need. This will impact the quality and quantity of digital skills we all need for the future.

Badenoch closed by saying there’s an opportunity to work with universities and the VET sector to think about how these microcredentials become ‘stackable’, and combine to create further qualifications.

12:40pm, Thursday 22 Oct

Fast-track the future with wireless and 5G

This session discussed how the world of 5G is about more than just fast speed for consumers, it provides new opportunities for enterprise connectivity.

Panel members Peri Moris (Telstra); Sanja Marais (Aspen Medical); Gavin Wilson (Cradlepoint), and Dustin Kehoe (Global Data) discussed a range of use cases for 5G in the enterprise, and how it unlocks a seamless and resilient applications for new connectivity.

Sanja Marais of Aspen Medical, for example, shared how Enterprise Wireless was able to deploy connectivity for over 100 pop-up respiratory clinics to help test and assess patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. The devices were so easy to use, Aspen Medical were packing up connectivity kits in a box so that staff members on the ground could self-install at their own clinics.

5G offers advanced network features and flexibility, allowing enterprise to deploy networks faster, smarter and cheaper than ever.

3.00pm, Thursday 22 October

Igniting the spark in tech-savvy youth to make a difference in society

“How can we use technology to support the people in our community impacted by COVID, both now and in the future?” That’s the question the Telstra Foundation and partner Young Change Agents posed to digital-savvy, community conscious young Australians from four tech schools based in Victoria. Today, they pitched their ideas thousands of Telstra Enterprise customers and the judging panel consisting of Telstra CFO and Group Executive for Strategy & Finance, Vicki Brady, Young Change Agents CEO and Co-Founder, Margaret O’Brien, Yarra Ranges Tech School Director, Ashley Van Krieken and Tech Schools Director, Dr Sarah Hayton.

Danna, Muntaka, and Saanvi from John Monash Science School presented COVID Care, a gifting business that sends care packages to nurses and frontline healthcare workers from community members to thank them during this time

Rhiannon from Yarra Ranges Tech School presented Study Sync, an app that tracks how much work youth are doing and what they have left to do. It notifies users when to take a break or start a new subject. Users can also find contacts for teachers if they need help with their work.

Fei, Zengquin, and Jenny from Dandenong High School (KIOSC) presented Hax and Tipz, a social media page that helps users organise their day start to finish with suggestions on how to be productive, have fun and connect with loved ones.

Bendigo Tech School had two submissions.

Lily presented Project Plant, a business that sends plant boxes to users with fun social media and online competitions that advocate the benefits of plants and how they can be grown at home

Then, Cooper and Adler presented Ed Level Up, a service that integrates rewards for completing schoolwork and getting good marks into gaming platforms to motivate students to learn remotely.

Thanks for joining us!

That’s a wrap for Vantage Remixed 2020, we look forward to seeing you all again next year.