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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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UCF

International Day for the Eradication of Poverty

How the Unico Conservation Foundation is helping eradicate poverty

Sheree Marris

International Day for the Eradication of Poverty on the 17th of October, focuses on ending persistent poverty, respecting all people and our planet. The World Bank estimates that recent global events will push 143 and 163 million people into poverty. These ‘new poor’ will join the ranks of the 1.3 billion people already living in poverty.

There is no simple solution, it’s a multidimensional phenomenon that encompasses a lack of income, food security, basic healthcare and education.

At the Unico Conservation Foundation, we work with projects and people in developing countries through; training programs to equip communities with the skills, knowledge and resources to build sustainable livelihoods.

This includes training women to set up marine protected areas that provide food security and drives the economy through eco-tourism as well as investing in restoring fragile mangrove communities that are vital nurseries for fish.


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Case studies

SAFe Agile adoption (including DevOps with Agile) and organisational change management

SAFe Agile adoption (including DevOps with Agile) and organisational change management

Unico supported a leading Australian Telco transform organisationally to meet future needs of customers and improve adoption of a ‘cloud-first’ approach and SAFe Agile ways of working, including DevOps with Agile.


Summary:

  • Real time charging and billing functions
  • Improved people, culture and capability of a cloud-first principle and Agile ways of working
  • Uplift of software quality
  • DevOps with Agile approach
  • Joint organisation change management plan
  • SAFe Agile delivery and SAFe coaches
  • Data driven decisions.

A leading Australian Telco recognised the necessity to completely transform to continue to meet the future needs of its customers. It sought improved people, culture and capability via the adoption of a cloud-first approach and Agile ways of working to increase competence, knowledge, team performance, improved organisational governance, harness and improve innovation opportunities and decrease time to market for a new product through implementation of DevOps with Agile approach.

The project called for a new approach for more effective change management and improved governance, including adopting a whole of business Future Ways of Working (FWOW) transformation.

Key objectives:

• Improve responsiveness for internal and external customers

• Compress the time taken to market for new and updated product

• Increase operating efficiency

• Uplift software quality

• Lower resourcing costs

• Increase visibility of the development pipeline between the two partners

• Undertake the change with a seamless transition representing minimal disruption.

We worked closely with the Telco to form a Joint Organisation Change Management Plan. The plan included a shared transformation vision and plan, clear roles and responsibilities between the Telco and our team. Shared Tools that supported collaboration and alignment between the SAFe Coach and the Telco’s FWOW Coaches were adopted, and Unico led the adoption of SAFe agile delivery across the partnership.

The Telco is now empowered by transparency and this leads to evidence and data driven decision making. This ensures there is clearer visibility on its product roadmap and the organisation is positioned with the confidence to deliver to it. The result for the customer is that they are delivering more effectively and with greater consistency.

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Case studies

Online Charging System (OCS) integration eliminating bill shock

Online Charging System (OCS) integration eliminating bill shock

We supported a leading Australian Telco to eliminate bill shock through an Online Charging System (OCS) integration providing real time charging and billing functions.


Summary:

  • Real time charging and billing functions
  • OCS management and orchestration
  • Mapping OCS specific API’s
  • Core IT systems underwent minimal change
  • Elimination of bill shock.

A leading Australian Telco was receiving negative feedback due to bill-shock from excessive mobile data usage, from both domestic and international mobile traffic. In addition, the Australia Regulator (ACMA) was moving to enforce protection for customers against such bill-shock for roaming data. As a result of this and the desire to improve the customer experience, the Telco wanted to move towards a ‘real-time’ charging solution that involved the introduction of an Online Charging System (OCS).

The OCS Integration Layer allowed a series of the Telco’s defined interfaces to be supported into the network, with the OCS managing any orchestration, mapping to OCS specific API’s, and commands and data models – especially as these OCS API’s and commands evolved over numerous versions. This allowed the Telco’s ‘Core’ IT systems to undergo minimal change and be isolated from the numerous lifecycle upgrades that occurred in the network and Online Charging System architecture.

The solution bridged the gap between classic networks and the ‘IT’ systems that delivered the rating, charging and billing function for hundreds of thousands of orders daily with very low fallout, whilst maintaining a regular release program.

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Case studies

Defence Telco migration to a microservice database

Defence Telco migration to a microservice database

Our team helped a key Defence Telco enhance a Network Design Tool and migrate to a microservice database. The project included uplifting the design tool to achieve greater automation, reduced errors and better visibility.


Summary:

  • Reduction in errors and enhanced visibly
  • Transition to Microservices based architecture
  • Migration to a microservice database.
  • Automatic generation of design artefacts.

As the services the Defence Telco provided to Defence evolved, the design tool had not been updated in-line with the changes and significant manual tasks were required. The Defence Telco contracted us to work on uplifting the design tool to achieve greater automation, reduce errors and better visibility for Defence.

A sprint plan was provided that outlined the content of each sprint, including the business value that would be delivered in each iteration. While this formed the foundation for the commitments to the Defence Telco, requirements and design were continuously evolved and improved upon in each iteration and for each Sprint, and the Defence Telco had the opportunity to refine or re-prioritise tasks.

The existing solution was a Ruby on Rails monolith application. The uplift work that we performed transitioned the solution to a Microservices based architecture. This provided the Defence Telco flexibility and the additional benefit of allowing development across differing classifications. As Microservices are independent of each other, new services may be developed in an unclassified environment while others are developed in a classified environment.

The applications included:

•  Site application providing summary information regarding a Defence site

• ‘Baseline’ application allowing the automatic generation of design artifacts at a given point in time

• Document application managing linkages to reference and design documents

• Concession application managing design concessions and variances

• Approval application tracking and linking design approach.

The solution resulted in several enhancements and automatic generation of two key design artefacts that previously required creating a document and significant manual work.

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Case studies

Agile data migration of ICT personnel resources

Agile data migration of ICT personnel resources

A leading Global Telco’s ICC platform had reached end of life and would no longer be supported. After a thorough market evaluation and procurement process, the Telco selected the Matrixx Digital Commerce Platform (DCP) to deliver the RTC program and agile data migration for all their mobile subscribers.


Summary:

  • Migration of 8 million subscribers
  • Matrixx DCP
  • Agile SAFe™ management and principles
  • Delivered in 7 weeks, 6 weeks ahead of schedule.

Unico was engaged to deliver agile data migration and to ensure multiple stakeholders and relevant system owners were openly collaborating and meeting complex cross-system interfacing requirements.

It was unknown at the start of the engagement what the performance of the legacy platform and interfacing systems was. Therefore, we needed to plan based on our experience with similar technologies and approaches.

This allowed our team to work back from the required completion date and schedule the project accordingly to ensure there were no slippages. The solution we developed was executed through the implementation of our customised Unico migration solution which interacted with the Telco’s middleware.

UMT was designed specifically to follow the Matrixx DCP processes allowing the seamless transition of working documents and the Telco’s ability to continue working throughout the migration on other related critical activities and BAU tasks.

During the migration, the UMT tool was required to hold and retry transaction types for subscribers who were still part of the migration, without causing service failure and with minimal impact. The migration tool also ensured that services did not get migrated in the event of failure during migration.

Unico used a hyper ‘Agile’ approach adhering to SAFe™ management practices and principles. In doing so, we adopted all relevant practices, values and methodologies as defined by the SAFe™ methodology.

Unico successfully migrated all 8 million of the Telco’s prepaid subscribers to Matrixx DCP, the new system and real-time charging. The project was delivered ahead of time in 7 weeks (estimated 13 weeks), there was zero downtime of the migration tool.

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Case studies Partners

Oracle MySQL database replication for senior government office

Oracle MySQL database replication for senior government office

How Unico is supporting a senior government office review architecture and configuration in light of some recent operational issues (Oracle MySQL database replication) and their roadmap.


Summary:

  • Updated configuration
  • Provided MOP (method of procedure) to implement and enable the new configuration
  • Supported the senior office with implementation and support.

Oracle MySQL referred us to this piece of work as we are a trusted and long-standing partner. A senior government office engaged Unico to review their architecture and configuration in light of some recent operational issues (Oracle MySQL database replication) and their roadmap.

We conducted interview workshops to clarify initial requirements, reviewed architecture and configuration, revised configuration and articulated implementation steps including a future roadmap.  

Our team delivered an updated configuration, a MOP to implement and enabled the new configuration and supported the office with the implementation and support including technical queries and troubleshooting.

Replication was successfully re-instated and operational across the Oracle MySQL cluster. A high-level technical assessment of future work items including an Oracle MySQL version upgrade, cluster upgrade, and traffic balancing was also considered.

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Case studies

Digitising business process for leading FMCG

Digitising business processes for leading FMCG

How Unico is supporting a leading FMCG with the digitising of business processes and empower relationship managers with insightful customer data and purchasing trends.


Summary:

  • Enhanced customer experience through data driven insights
  • Highly flexible and configurable solution
  • Purchase history and product preference
  • Complex credit card processing with Stripe integration.

We are engaged with the digitising of business processes to reduce manual work and migrate a core app to a better solution looking for an enhanced user experience. This solution will allow the business to grow and amplify reporting of customer data to make informed marketing and relationship decisions.

We are currently undergoing a review of the FMCG’s systems, including interviewing team members and customers to understand the user and relationship manager experience and understand the tools and processes that are being used at each step.

The solution combines CRM & ERP for product, customer and campaign management, pricing and financial orders, warehouse management for inventory and offers management, and eCommerce functionality including a custom built shopping cart with highly complex business rules, as well as Stripe integration for credit card processing.

The solution is designed to be highly flexible and configurable and is rounded off with reporting and business intelligence analytics capability to drive business agility and value.

The primary purpose of the solution is to create better data connections between the customers and the relationship manager – including purchase history, product preference and buying trends.

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UCF

National Threatened Species Day – Weedy Seadragon

National Threatened Species Day – Weedy Seadragon

7 September 2021

The Unico Conservation Foundation has a commitment to bringing back from the brink of extinction some of the world’s most unique marine animals by supporting conservation projects such as Melbourne Down Under and its flagship species the threatened Weedy Seadragon. This community education and awareness campaign have engaged and created resources for local communities, marine communicators and teachers.

The content and documentary have been showcased on national networks and secured over $5 million in free media coverage to media platforms all around the world.

Key insights about Weedy Seadragons

  • Seadragons hide in plain sight – mimicking floating seaweed swaying in the push and pull of the tides.
  • Weed-like appendages along their elegant bodies help them to disappear into the seaweed, where safely camouflaged they can feed at leisure on small shrimp using their long straw-like mouth.
  • The armour-plated skeleton of this fairytale-like fish also protects it from becoming a meal for other potential predators.
  • What it can’t protect itself from is its fast-disappearing habitat.
  • This giant kelp forest is one of only 5% remaining in Tasmania.
  • The powerful Eastern Australian Current that runs down Tasmania’s Eastern coastline is pushing down increasingly warmer waters, far less rich in nutrients.
  • This heat stresses the giant kelp, and the nutrient depleted water starves it. This combination is lethal.

The good news

The good news is the Unico Conservation Foundation is proactively working to help protect not only threatened species like the Weedy Seadragon, but the habitats which it calls home through a range of education initiatives including Melbourne Down Under.

To find out more about the fabulous work the Unico Conservation Foundation is doing visit unicoconservationfoundation.org.au.

Categories
Case studies Partners

Building a Multi-Club database and shared scheduling platform: Racing Victoria

multi-club database for Racing Victoria though Salesforce Marketing Cloud business units

Building a Multi-Club database and shared scheduling platform: Racing Victoria

How Unico engineered a custom marketing cloud business unit database and shared scheduling platform that enabled Racing Victoria to conduct collaborative events and marketing campaigns.


Summary:  

  • Data engineering and platform development 
  • Salesforce Marketing Cloud (SFMC) integration and consulting
  • Data cleaning, reorganisation and subscriber management
  • LIVE shared calendar scheduling

The Victorian racing industry is made up of sixty nine metropolitan and country tracks and five clubs, hosting over 500 race meetings a year. They are regulated by Racing Victoria. 

Each operates independently, hosts race meetings, manage members and run independent marketing and advertising campaigns with siloed customer data sets.

Consequently, clubs would promote events and race meetings to owners and customers over the same period resulting in scheduling clashes. 

Race meeting overlap leads to three distinct challenges for clubs:

1. Attendees are split between race meetings resulting in lost revenue. 

2. Wasted media spend due to prospects receiving marketing communications for multiple racing meetings scheduled on the same weekend. 

3. The best horses are split across race meetings resulting in lower quality horse talent. 

Racing Victoria recognised that a lack of visibility across race schedules and customer databases was a significant barrier to effective collaboration between clubs. They needed a way to unify their customer data and event scheduling without violating data privacy. 

Racing Victoria’s annual All-Star Mile, an interclub fan voted race meeting, presented the perfect opportunity for Racing Victoria and Unico to develop a multi-club database and live shared scheduling module. 

shared calendar scheduling
Club members were being invited to race events scheduled over the same time period.

The solution is powered by Salesforce Marketing Cloud business units and comprises of: 

  • Shared customer database comprising of five linked salesforce marketing cloud business units, one for each club and regulator.  
  • Local and shared data extensions allowing for layered access to shared customer data sets for marketing campaigns – information includes name, email, postcode, and category (owner, trainer, member etc.). 
  • Hierarchical data structure with a single master control over local data sharing permissions. 
  • Subscription management – enabling club members to opt-in and out of specific marketing email communications depending on preferences. 
  • A custom preference centre allowing users to choose which clubs they want to receive email communications from, as well as opt-in to specific campaigns of interest such as dining events or race meetings.  
  • A custom unsubscribe function that ensures unsubscribed contacts are removed from all lists. 
  • A live multi-club shared calendar accessible to all salesforce marketing cloud business units. 
  • Construction and automation of customer journeys for the annual race meeting calendar for Victoria. 

Racing Victoria’s new multi-club database improved club coordination by enabling collaborative events and marketing campaigns. 

The platform has helped Victorian horse racing clubs and tracks work better together, advancing the interest of Australian racing and creating a partnership mindset across the state.  

This solution has a highly accurate database, adheres to high standards of customer privacy and security, and boosted Racing Victoria’s revenue potential through parallel marketing streams. 


Unico have extensive experience using technology to enhance animal welfare outcomes as well as support traceability, regulation and member engagement.

Speak with one of our specialists today to find out more. 

Evan-Harridge

Evan Harridge

Director of Innovation

Categories
UCF

National Biodiversity Month – celebrating all things underwater

National Biodiversity Month – celebrating all things underwater

Video credit: Sheree Marris, Unico Conservation Foundation Director

September 2021

At the Unico Conservation Foundation, we believe diversity is vital to the success of our work and we work in some enviable places, underwater.

When we are under the sea, our attire includes wetsuits to protect some of the most biodiverse habitats and life on earth from trees with snorkels, dragons with fins and birds that swim.

In celebration of National Biodiversity Month, we’ve collated a video showcasing this biodiversity in Melbourne’s blue backyard.

To find out more about the fabulous work the Unico Conservation Foundation is doing visit unicoconservationfoundation.org.au.