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Unico welcomes Thomas Crawford as CFO

Unico welcomes Thomas Crawford as CFO

7 June 2021

John Rowland, Managing Director Unico is pleased to announce the appointment of Thomas (Tom) Crawford as Chief Financial Officer of the company. This follows the announcement that David Goode will be stepping into a strategic advisor role assessing investments for Unico and uSpark.

Tom will join Unico on Monday, 7 June 2021, and will be supported by David in the transition and handover.

Commenting on the appointment, John Rowland, Managing Director said “I am excited to have Tom on board and look forward to continuing our diversification strategy and achieving our strategic growth ambitions. He joins us from Adecco Group where he worked in the UK and Australia, and his experience includes professional services technology, and recruitment. I would also like to thank David Goode for his tremendous effort over the last couple of years and look forward to continuing to work with him on Unico and uSpark investments.”

Tom Crawford, CFO

Tom Crawford said “I am thrilled to be joining Unico. I have long held a passion for optimising business performance through technology, and I look forward to working with John, the Executive, and the wider Unico business on achieving the company’s strategic growth objectives.”

Tom Crawford

Before joining Unico, Tom Crawford was the CFO of the Adecco Group’s New Zealand operations, driving a return to profitability for the country and successfully diversifying the business into high-growth industries.

Tom held several senior leadership roles with Adecco and was talent-tracked through Adecco’s international future leaders’ program, gaining exposure to a wide range of industries and markets.

Tom helped to set up the finance function and provide strategic direction to a fledgling technology company of the Adecco Group and worked for several years as a finance business partner for the professional technology services brands of the Adecco Group.

Tom started his career in finance on a graduate program with Reed, the largest privately owned recruitment business in the UK. From there, he successfully secured international assignments to help transform finance operations in South Korea and Australia for the Reed Global Group.

Professionally, his key passions are in empowering and developing high-performing teams, optimizing finance and business processes through technology, and positioning finance as a business partner to help drive profitable sustainable growth.

Outside of work, Tom is passionate about travel, learning new languages and cultures, and enjoys cooking and spending time with his family.

Tom is a member of the chartered management accountants (CIMA) and holds a master’s degree in linguistics from the University of York in the UK.


John Rowland

Managing Director

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Case studies

FX – CX design model for foreign currency and international payments

FX – CX design model for foreign currency and international payments

Target state customer experience CX design model for foreign currency and international payments


Project

  • FX end customer experience CX design business model

Problem

  • Customers moving to other banking institutions due to a lack of transparency with foreign currency charges
  • Unsophisticated product and service offering

Approach

  • Series of initiatives that are focused on closing out business function gaps and ultimately winning back market share for the organisation.

Outcome

  • A sophisticated end-to-end CX design business model that segmented customers in the correct channel and identified key pain points in the product and services delivery value chain
  • A clear view of the Target State Business Operating Model for FX and international payments

Foreign currency exchange is a complicated process. For customers of an
Australian bank, sending money overseas involves foreign banks providing
additional services to ensure the transaction is settled as per customers
instructions.

One issue was that the bank was unable to provide their customers with
transparency of fees charged for the end to end service. Understandably
customers weren’t satisfied with the service, with some leaving to find
a more sophisticated banking institution with greater transparency and
confidence.

An end-to-end customer experience view was developed through CX design which identified key pain points by customer type and channel (i.e. banker, branch, online etc.) through to the relevant front, middle and back office support functions. The focus was on customer demand types and how well each of the relevant business processes, technology and people were aligned to support customer needs.

This solution provided the banking institution with a clear view of the Target State Business Operating Model for FX and International payments along with a series of initiatives focused on closing out business function gaps. This regained much needed customer confidence, winning back market share for the organisation.


Grant Minchin

Principal Consultant

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Insights

Life saving medical equipment for children

Life saving medical equipment for children

Our team believe that we all have a role to play in community support, and a responsibility to actively contribute to and support environmental sustainability, making our world a better place.

The Unico Community Fund works with community partners in Australia and developing countries on locally based development projects in the areas of sustainable environment, income generation, self-reliance, education and training. We believe these key focus areas are vital in creating sustainable communities, environments and a healthier world.

At the start of this year, our team nominated not for profits and charities to support. This month our team made a $5,540 donation to the Humpty Dumpty Foundation for the purchase of life saving equipment for sick and injured children, in paediatric wards, neonatal units, maternity and emergency departments in hospitals across Australia.

The Humpty Dumpty Foundation is a not for profit organisation with a mission to raise funds to provide hospitals with essential life-saving medical equipment for children.

Unico is proud to help the Humpty Dumpty Foundation purchase:

  • A Alaris GP Large Volume Pump for Nganampa Health Council Clinic. Alaris GP Large Volume Pump is used to administer intravenous fluid and drugs including antibiotics to children who suffer from diarrhea, gastroenteritis, or respiratory infections. It is especially important in remote Northern Territory clinics, as a medical evacuation can often take up to 24 hours. Replacements are needed at the 6 main clinics to ensure they remain reliable in medical emergencies.
  • A Neopuff Resuscitation device for the Nepean Hospital Special Care Nursery, NSW. This equipment provides life saving resuscitation and ongoing ventilation assistance to infants using up-to-date, user-friendly technology. It will be used daily and can be moved to the bedside of each baby or young child at risk.

We look forward to hearing how this equipment helps the Nganampa Health Council Clinic and the Nepean Hospital Special Care Nursery.

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Case studies

The largest Oracle MySQL NDB Cluster in the Southern Hemisphere

The largest Oracle MySQL NDB Cluster in the Southern Hemisphere

When one of Australia’s largest telecommunications providers needed a new mission-critical platform for provisioning millions of mobile, fixed, and broadband services, they turned to us – Australia’s leading Oracle MySQL technology partner – to develop a solution.

We developed an “always on technology” mobile provisioning and fixed service orchestration solution that deployed the largest Oracle MySQL NDB Cluster in the Southern Hemisphere.

The solution stores millions of services and involves:

  • Taking provisioning orders from multiple CRMs and orchestrating these orders across many network devices to activate fixed and mobile services.
  • Maintaining a comprehensive service inventory of customer network data that is used throughout the provisioning process.
  • Complex service and cross service orchestration when provisioning these services into various network systems.
  • Zero touch provisioning, with self-healing through existing state determination and use of automated retry with no manual intervention.
  • Fully configurable so new services and devices can be added as needed.

Oracle MySQL enabled us to deliver a single centralised database for all service inventory data resulting in significant cost savings. These solutions incorporated the MySQL database and have benefitted extensively from its function, performance, and reliability.

We have been working with Oracle MySQL for over ten years, resulting in numerous highly complex mission critical technology solutions. We have also deployed the Oracle Communications Service Gateway (OCSG) into a leading Australian Telco to provide a ‘Network As A Service’ (NaaS) gateway.

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Insights

Using workplace technology to engage your workforce

Using workplace technology to engage your workforce

31 May 2021

Earlier this month we hosted a face to face executive luncheon on the future of workplaces and workplace technology. Attendees included executives from LinkedIn, MYOB, Seek, Colliers, and leading universities.

The discussion was focused on how attendees were using workplace technology to engage workforces and encourage them back into the office. The five key takeaways were:

1) A data-centric approach to building management
Real-time data can help property managers and landlords fully understand how a building and its systems are used which can enable proactive maintenance.

2) Enhancing user experience through one platform helps create an easier back to work journey
One platform is needed to streamline workforce management and keep staff engaged and invested in the workplace experience.

3) Automating & accelerating inefficient workplace processes
Automating inefficient manual processes helps property operators and businesses optimise space usage and work more efficiently.

4) Keeping data safe, secure & private
User data must be anonymised and protected to give employers and employees reassurance around how their data is stored and utilised.

5) PropTech a passing phase or the bedrock of a new normal?
COVID-19 has accelerated PropTech adoption, but SMART tech demand will continue as generations become increasingly digitally native and tech-savvy.

So, what is the solution? A central platform that integrates company applications and COVID Safe technology in one place. To find out more visit www.JourneyHub.com.au

Ramnik Singh

Business Development Manager

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Business update Media

Defence Strategic Advisor – Harry Moffitt

Retired SAS Team Commander, Harry Moffitt, leading defence charge

31 May 2021

Harry Moffitt is a strategic defence advisor to Unico in the Defence and Government sector. He brings to the table over 30 years of experience in defence and holds top security clearance.

Harry is supporting Unico with our diversification strategy and continues to build out our experience in the Defence and Government sectors. Unico offers an extensive range of services for Defence, government and public sector including satellite provisioning, digital transformation, information and communications technology, system integration and bespoke technology solutions.

Recently retired, Harry is a former SAS Team Commander turned organisational psychologist. He has extensive military and government experience at operational and administrative levels and an exceptional track record in strategic and tactical decision making and leadership.

Harry is engaging, transformative, and highly principled with an excellent ability to build strong strategic relationships. He has extensive experience working at the board and senior executive level across industry and habitually engages at Ministerial levels of the federal government. He has a unique and deep understanding of cultural and organisational transformation and is passionate about sovereign capability development.

Harry’s outstanding strategic and political acumen, combined with his background as a strategic advisor for various defence transformation projects, perfectly matches Unico’s ambition to expand capability offering in defence and government.


Harry Moffitt

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Business update Media

Land Forces 2021

Unico is excited to be attending Land Forces 2021

1-3 June 2021

Unico is excited to be heading to Brisbane next week to attend Land Forces 2021. Our Public Sector specialist Brent Wijnberd will be flying solo, if you see him make sure to say hi. Fun facts: Brent is a massive fan of country music, plays guitar, and loves Bruce Springsteen.

As an Australian founded and 100% resourced technology company, we pride ourselves on serving the Australian community and its people. Our people are NV1 and NV2 cleared, and are based in Canberra, Melbourne, and Sydney, and are experienced with Microsoft Azure.

Unico offers an extensive range of services for Defence, government and public sector including satellite provisioning, digital transformation, information and communications technology, system integration and bespoke technology solutions.

We look forward to connecting.


Categories
Case studies

Building a SMART workplace that forecasts space needs and supports a flexible workforce: Deakin University

Building a SMART workplace that forecasts space needs and supports a flexible workforce: Deakin University

How IoT, data visualisation and a web application for booking helped one of Australia’s major universities transform their office spaces for a flexible workforce.


Summary

  • A consulting engagement to identify Deakin’s technology requirements and scope out a solution proposal
  • Installation and integration of IoT sensors to monitor occupancy of desks, meeting rooms, kitchens, and other communal areas
  • Development of a custom web application that enabled staff to book desks, meeting rooms and check-in on arrival
  • Live Power BI reporting with data visualisation on space and asset usage for analysis by a client administrator

Deakin University (Deakin) has a flexible workforce that utilises office buildings on interchangeable days with varying schedules.

With a finite number of desks, meeting rooms, and other communal areas, they needed to find a solution that ensured their existing workspaces could support a dynamic and growing workforce. This included the ability to forecast how many desks they would need for staff on an ongoing basis.

Failure to do so would result in a costly process of expanding their office facilities and inefficient use of space.

Unico engaged in an initial consultation engagement which identified that the best way forward for Deakin would be to:

  1. Implement hot desking as a workplace practice for designated office spaces
  2. Integrate a SMART spaces solution with asset booking and people counting capability

We also identified that this solution would have to be scalable and transferable to other shared spaces such as libraries to accommodate for future growth.

Our solution consisted of three major parts that solved Deakin’s problem of supporting a flexible workforce whilst optimising space usage of the building, including:

• Installation and integration of IoT sensors to monitor occupancy of desks, meeting rooms, kitchens, and other communal areas


• Development of a custom web application that enabled staff to book desks, meeting rooms and check-in on arrival


• Live Power BI reporting with data visualisation on space and asset usage for analysis by a client administrator

By adopting our proposed technology solution, Deakin was able to accurately forecast their workforce space and asset needs. This has driven a significant reduction in costs and optimised office space usage. Our platform also played a crucial role in enhancing the employee experience and supporting a flexible workforce model via our booking application.

Ramnik Singh

Business Development Manager

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Insights

The future of the workplace – New ways of working and what it means for businesses and commercial real estate

The future of the workplace – New ways of working and what it means for businesses and commercial real estate

2020 was the year that redefined the way we work and shaped the future of the workplace. The global pandemic resulted in dramatic shifts in how businesses operate, and how people are safely managed across shared spaces. As we near the end of FY21, hope is on the horizon with vaccine rollouts in progress around the world.

However, international peaks in COVID-19 cases, second waves, vaccine supply concerns and the threat of new strains indicate there is a significant degree of unpredictability and health concerns to manage for years to come, and long-term impacts to consider.

Distinct changes in office behaviour and protocol once born out of necessity have given way to more enduring shifts in workplace policy that will outlast COVID-19.

The global pandemic has changed the way we work for good. Companies have not only pivoted to an immediate existential threat; they have reconsidered how they function and operate


Erica Volini , Global Human Capital Leader,  Deloitte

How is the way we work changing?

Initially, most businesses were thrust into remote working scenarios due to safety concerns surrounding a world amid a global health crisis.

Although the pandemic endures, and the public health impact will continue, there is growing evidence to suggest COVID-19 has permanently changed employer and employee expectations around the way we work. Employees are no longer married to the concept of working in the office five days a week. Fundamentally, this is the future of the workplace.

The removal of strict in office attendance requirements and presentism has blown open traditional recruitment that has been restricted to location and inner city talent pools. At Unico, we have seen firsthand that the widespread acceptance of remote working has opened up the job market, allowing us to employ team members in locations where we don’t typically operate.

A 2021 Roy Morgan Research poll found that in Melbourne alone three quarters of city workers are reluctant to go back to work full time. The same poll found more than 30% of respondents would prefer to work mostly from home and 42% would like some regular days in the office. Roy Morgan’s research also found that in January 2021 CBD traffic had reduced by 72% in Melbourne and 66% in Sydney compared to the same time last year.

On a global scale, recent data from Linkedin’s Workforce Confidence Index showed 47% of US professionals believe their companies will allow them to work remotely, at least partially after the coronavirus pandemic subsides. Employees in tech and finance had even greater expectations of flexibility with 73% and 67% of individuals respectively sharing this belief.

As workers have experienced the extra time and flexibility working from home affords, their desire for a ‘flexible working model’ has continued to grow. Documented benefits to working from home include flexibility to juggle life, creating work-life balance, limiting distractions, and home based child care. Exposure to a new way of working has undoubtedly changed the way staff work and employers need to listen.

Employees will demand greater flexibility and organisations will require it


Ashley Williams, Assistant Professor – Harvard Business School

In July 2020 a Gartner survey amongst global business leaders revealed 82% of respondents plan to allow employees to work remotely some of the time. Experimentation with remote working has proven these work models can work effectively in certain scenarios and build more resilient business operations. Companies are beginning to apply a more agile and creative mindset to work policies and realise the employee experience is not necessarily limited to a traditional office environment.

Big tech is leading the charge with giants like Facebook, Microsoft, and Salesforce embracing flexible work models. Salesforce recently declared the “9-to-5 workday dead” and cited the employee experience as being “more than ping-pong tables and snacks”.

In our always-on, always-connected world, it no longer makes sense to expect employees to work an eight-hour shift and do their jobs successfully


Brent Hyder – Head of HR – Salesforce

Salesforce’s Head of HR Brent Hyder emphasised that workers need ‘flexibility to be successful’ which means striking a balance between personal and professional obligations. For many companies embracing this philosophy could mean the difference between losing or retaining their best talent as flexible working fast becomes the norm, not the exception.

One of the most popular models that are being embedded into corporate life is the 3-2-2 model or flex work model. This model allows employees to come into the office one to three days a week with a typical focus on collaborative tasks, customer meetings, and presentations. Research indicates that models such as these offer many benefits to both employees and employers.

Flexible work policies also act as an effective tool for improving employee engagement through empowerment and indicating respect. Those engaged with their jobs miss fewer days of work, have less turnover, and have improved career longevity. Engagement is a proven way business leaders can improve the KPI’s of their employees if they proactively work at it. Years of Gallup research has shown that when employees are engaged their performance improves dramatically, highly engaged workplaces can claim 41% lower absenteeism, 40% fewer quality defects, and 21% higher profitability.

What does that mean for the future of the workplace? How does this affect businesses reassessing their workplace needs and the wider commercial real estate market?

In Australia alone, it is forecast that in 2021 half of all office workers will spend two days at home. Consequently, a fall in net demand for office space of up to 5% will be triggered. Similarly, Gartner found an increase in remote working due to flexible working policies will allow some organisations to support up to 40% more workers in the same amount of space they use today.

These statistics indicate some significant shifts in commercial real estate for businesses which can be separated into two key areas:

1) A surplus of space in existing tenancies will drive down demand for larger office spaces

Due to changes in workplace norms many tenants will reduce their leased space needs as they expire and renewals transpire or slow demand as surplus capacity is absorbed. Businesses may even make the shift to smaller, cheaper premises without necessarily reducing the size of their workforce. To persuade tenants who are not set on changing their lease, property operators and developers will have to provide additional value to convince them to stay. A marketable point of difference for building owners will make leasable spaces more appealing for both new and existing tenants. This could come in the form of IoT-enabled SMART spaces and technology that can enhance the tenant experience and protect staff. Such technology can be offered in the form of tailored tenancy packages.

2) A need to manage a dynamic flow of people in and out of the office

As flexible working becomes increasingly normalised, challenges emerge for businesses seeking to manage staff across multiple sites and environments. A consistent flow of staff in and out of the office will be highly demanding for HR departments and management as well as a strain on company resources. From workforce planning and coordination to asset booking and desk allocation, there is a range of tasks that will be made overly difficult due to flexible working.

Shifts to a hybrid way of working will involve remote and on-site staff having to collaborate together virtually and physically, often simultaneously. Ensuring high quality audio visual facilities exist in offices will be crucial for businesses seeking to maintain the benefits of flexible working without sacrificing productivity or creativity.

Hot-desking once declared dead, will now become essential for many larger businesses looking to support a flexible workplace that allows for a dynamic flow of people. In a world beset by COVID-19 tracking, managing, and protecting staff compliantly is crucial but unnecessarily complex without the right tools.

Technology is the answer to the future of the workplace. Workplace management platforms, software, and the data-gathering potential of IoT offer a highly effective solution for these challenges when combined.

What next?

COVID-19 has led to enduring changes that have changed how we work and how we use our spaces. The new normal is flexible working. It is hot desking. It is creating a safe environment for our team. It is being supportive of employee wellbeing.

Whenever a major external event forces us to change, new opportunities and challenges emerge. Businesses have to grapple with change and technology is the best resource to effectively and efficiently deliver the results needed.

If you are interested in what your future workplace could look like, or how technology can help you prepare for flexible working we are happy to guide you through our technology solutions including JourneyHub.

Evan-Harridge

Evan Harridge

Head of Innovation

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Insights Media

All-Star Mile voting shows horse racing continues to strengthen female audience

All-Star Mile voting shows horse racing continues to strengthen female audience

Highly secure website and All-Star Mile voting platform with a validation rate of 96.4%


Unico is proud to have supported Racing Victoria deliver their vision for the All-Star Mile for three consecutive years. The All-Star Mile is the world’s richest mile and the only race where the Australian public choose who races on the day.

Racing Victoria and Unico collaborated to create a highly secure website and All-Star Mile voting platform that is auto-scaling, auto-healing with cloud-first design, and the ability to handle high levels of user traffic. Unico is proud to announce for the third year that a Big 4 Advisory firm’s Cyber Security team were unable to penetrate the platform and a validation rate of 96.4% was achieved through SMS verification codes and Salesforce marketing cloud campaigns.  

The All-Star Mile was designed to attract a new and more diverse audience, which was achieved for the second year in a row with over 32% female voters. This could not have been delivered without the teamwork and collaboration between Racing Victoria and Unico – our team more than halved the number of unverified votes from last year worked on tight deadlines and had to adapt to meet regulatory constraints” Racing Victoria GM Customer Strategy & Engagement Marcia Allan.

This year’s All-Star Mile continued to engage fans with 10 wildcard Owner Ambassadors who shared a prize pool of $500,000, with Matt Fory from Shepparton taking home the top $250,000 prize alongside winner Mugatoo.

If you would like to find out more about Unico’s All Star Mile secure website and voting platform, please contact Evan Harridge.


Evan Harridge

Director Innovation

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Business update Media

Melbourne Business School Wandering Warriors Scholarship

wandering warriors veterans scholarship program
veterans scholarship program

Omni Executive & Unico are proud to support the Melbourne Business School ‘Wandering Warriors Scholarship’

7 April 2020

Omni Executive & Unico are proud to support Wandering Warriors through the Melbourne Business School ‘Wandering Warriors Scholarship’. The Wandering Warriors Scholarship program will provide veterans with the opportunity to study, grow, and develop through Australia’s leading MBA program, equipping them will the skills, experience, and network to successfully transition out of defence and further their future career. 

Omni Executive and Unico, have joined forces to deliver end to end high availability mission-critical solutions to the Australian public sector. Both look forward to working with Wandering Warriors and the Melbourne Business School to grow the veterans scholarship program and continue to support our deserving veteran community.

On Thursday, 22 April, Unico and Omni Executive will be hosting a launch event, if you are interested in attending please register your interest below:

Event details:

Date: Thursday, 22 April

Time: 5.30pm -7.30pm

Location: Situation Room, National Press Club of Australia, 16 National Circuit, Barton ACT 2600

RSVP: Please click here to confirm your attendance by Friday, 16 April. We look forward to seeing you at the launch

John Rowland, Managing Director


John Rowland

Managing Director