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 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.”
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.
FX – CX design model for foreign currency and international payments
Target state customer experience CX design model for foreign currency and international payments
FX end customer experience CX design business model
Customers moving to other banking institutions due to a lack of transparency with foreign currency charges
Unsophisticated product and service offering
Series of initiatives that are focused on closing out business function gaps and ultimately winning back market share for the organisation.
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.
Mobile enabled ID scanning & mobile number authentication
Automation and digitisation of manual, paper-based process
Automated data integration including connection of vet sampling to a national database.
One of a racing regulator’s key responsibilities is to safeguard the integrity and compliance of race meets across their jurisdiction through vet sampling. Through our extensive project work with a leading Victorian racing regulator, Harness Racing Victoria and RISE, we identified a need to create a seamless, secure and digital process to reduce risk and redefine the integrity of vet sampling.
Introducing Intrax, an end-to-end integrity platform that lets you track, record, and authenticate urine samples via an easy to use mobile app.
Sampling has historically been a time consuming, paper heavy and manual process, leading to a higher rate of user error as well as a range of security vulnerabilities.
With a range of stakeholders performing detailed tasks, there are significant opportunities for human error in a manual paper-based sampling system. This includes minimal authentication checkpoints and multiple single points of failure, that raise the risk of the samples being compromised or non-compliant.
The veterinary sampling process is critical to protect the future of the racing industry. The Intrax mobile platform provides a secure, effective and efficient process that reduces compliance risks and exposure to human error by loading the sample data onto a chosen shared database.
Intrax transforms the vet sampling process by:
Automation of manual paperwork by replacing sample identity documents and the chain of custody so all information is recorded electronically without timely data entry.
Full traceability and historical record keeping of past sample tests to guarantee sampling authenticity and legitimacy
Mandatory, mobile enabled ID scanning and digital signature authentication to improve security, verify stakeholders and reduce the margin for human error
A mobile app for Apple and Android with custom UX design for better accessibility and ease of use
Digitisation of workflows, evidentiary trials, and auditing functions to improve user experience.
Vet sampling technology in action at leading Victorian regulator.
The digital transformation, data integration, and app rollout fundamentally changed how the leading Victorian regulator conducts an essential compliance process at race meets. Their digital Intrax journey:
1. The horse arrives at the vet and is identified by staff responsible for sample collection
2. Trainer nominates authorised representative for sample collection (usually the strapper)
3. Sealed sample kit is opened under trainer representative supervision
4. A sample is collected, packaged, and sealed into bottles
5. Each sample is given a unique code that is recorded via the phone app
6. The witness is asked to confirm that the app data matches the physical sample present
7. Witness identifies themselves with industry pass and completes a digitally signed declaration. This also applies to the staff member responsible for sample processing
8. The trainer receives a copy of the sample identity document via email
9. The sample is securely stored and delivered to an accredited lab for analysis
Unico has extensive experience using technology to enhance animal welfare outcomes as well as support traceability, regulation and member engagement.
If you are interested in the Intrax vet sampling platform or digital transformation capabilities get in touch below.
Monty Mobile announces partnership with Unico providing a complete eSIM consumer ecosystem
Monty Mobile has signed a reseller agreement with Unico to sell and implement the uPair Entitlement Server into the Middle East and African markets. Monty Mobile will be supported by Unico in deploying uPair, an end-to-end world-class Entitlement Server for Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) which aims to drive down costs and address an underserved market in the region.
uPair enables fast end-user activation of primary and secondary eSIM services without the need for on-premises deployment. It allows users to connect multiple SIM and eSIM enabled devices to one number and service – including Google, Samsung, and Apple products. uPair leverages RESTful and TMF interfaces along with a range of additional functions providing support for the comprehensive lifecycle management of connected mobile and wearable devices.
Monty Mobile and Unico will support MNOs with device manufacturer certifications and training to ensure world-class customer service. This alliance will drive the creation of advanced solutions in the smart connectivity space and establish a complete world-class eSIM solution within ME & Africa.
Monty Mobile positions itself as a leader in SMS/VAS and eSIM technologies, facilitating the international flow of Voice and SMS across global markets, by working closely with worldwide enterprises aggregators and mobile operators.
With more than 20 years of experience, Monty Mobile has become a key regional player in the telecommunication business, delivering the promise of the best possible digital innovative technologies; eSIM solutions being the core of the collaboration with Unico.
Monty Mobile is recognised for its in-house development, customised state-of-the-art products, and services. And in its quest to constantly evolve, it has partnered with Unico, providing a complete eSIM solution, including it on wearables.
Unico was founded by Geoff Illing and Mike Palmer in 1984 to solve some of the most complex business and technology problems across Australia & Asia Pacific.
Now boasting a team of nearly 160 members across Australia, Unico is proud to offer its customers full onshore service and support. Its team of highly skilled professionals understand the technology landscape and the business challenges faced by Australian organisations.
Working with some of Australia’s largest organisations within Telco, eCommerce, racing, consumer business, utilities and defence, Unico is highly regarded within the tech industry for the reliable delivery of career-spanning work, including an unbreakable solution for Australia’s largest Telco.
The team of software engineers, developers, technology specialists and consultants are passionate about helping Unico’s customers deliver their business strategy through seamless and smart technology solutions, striving to deliver a high level of service and customer experience.
For interviews or additional information, please contact:
We are the experts in both traditional and modern microservice integration, and manage all projects with a SAFe Agile lens ensuring they are delivered to requirements and on time
What is system integration and architecture?
IT systems integration is the introduction of new applications into an existing IT landscape and architecture to make your IT infrastructure work better as a whole. This means your systems work more seamlessly together, delivering a better user experience and improved business efficiency.
It involves understanding business processes and how multiple sub-systems need to be orchestrated to achieve an interconnected, frictionless experience using technology or IT platforms.
Simply, it is the process of linking IT systems, software, and technologies so that they function better together.
But why is system integration important? Why should your organisation care? Do you really need a strategy built around it?
To answer these questions here are 4 reasons your organisation needs an IT systems integration strategy.
1. Employees need their systems to be accessible, easy to use & reliable
The modern workforce expects IT applications to be able to support them effectively perform their duties and satisfy customers.
This works best when a business’ wide range of IT systems speak to each other. Access to information and data needs to flow freely through them to avoid the perpetual bottlenecks and operational failures that can come from systems operating independently from each other.
For example, disconnected HR and Finance systems could result in payroll being inaccurate. Poor data mapping (integration) between pay type fields and the type of employment (contractor, permanent etc.) in your HR system could result in staff receiving an incorrect payment.
Although these errors would likely be picked up, it’s a huge waste of resources and time to to remedy a problem that could have been prevented through properly integrating a businesses HR and Finance systems.
Furthermore, issues such as these become more common as IT systems age.
As systems become outdated, they become harder to maintain, application upgrades or replacements can flow on and negatively impact multiple parts of your business. This not only frustrates staff but makes system failures more common.
By establishing a robust systems integration strategy, you can ensure all your systems are connected, working their best and future proof your business from a potentially catastrophic systems failure.
2. Customers demand a flexible and frictionless experience
The modern consumer is digitally native and expects to interact seamlessly with your business. Regardless of the industry, customer interactions will touch multiple external and internal IT systems.
Your business may be running marketing campaigns in one system, receiving customer enquiries in another, and managing purchase orders in another. Detailed data needs to flow through to your CRM, financial, legal, and even your document generation systems to effectively fulfil your customer’s needs.
This matrix of systems can be incredibly complex for a business to manage and keep connected to ensure customer interactions run smoothly. No customer will accept the software system as an excuse for a poor customer experience or slow delivery of a service. Organisations lacking proper systems integration end up delivering highly siloed, disjointed customer experiences.
Your systems must talk to each other. For example, your CRM system has contacts that have an associated ‘portal ID’. You may require customers to log into a portal to access your services, this relies on the ID or GUID number integrating correctly with an IDAM (Identity and access management) system.
If ‘Amy Smith’ is (ID) is mapped incorrectly to an IDAM system, every time she tries to log in to a consumer portal (eCommerce website, an educational portal, customer account etc.) she will be met with login errors.
Clearly, this is a roadblock for a customer looking to perform the simple task of logging into a portal to perform a transaction or access a service they have paid for. This can be avoided by developing a clear integration strategy, resulting in an enhanced customer experience that will help you to attract and retain customers.
3. It reduces business costs and simplifies operations
Lean streamlined teams can manage multiple business functions and systems can significantly reduce costs and simplify operations.
Effective system integration strategies allow for this by creating a centralised ESB (Enterprise Service Bus). ESB’s work by standardising and simplifying communication, messaging, and integration of services across an enterprise.
Integrating an ESB into your business means hardware and software costs can be shared by provisioning servers for combined usage and providing a centralised integration solution.
Consequently, a single team of specialists can be tasked (and trained if necessary) to manage multiple systems via a single platform and maintain these integrations. For example, a marketing team with an automation platform integrated using ESB could potentially fulfil functions that used to be relegated by analytics, media planning or a digital marketing team.
Similarly, having an integration strategy in place can reduce operational costs. An ESB allows organisations to seamlessly unify and standardise their capabilities across diverse IT environments.
Specifically, enterprise integration enables you to easily:
Discover valuable services
Applications and data
Access and expose applications functions via API’s
Reducing costs should be more aligned to automation and cloud integration and ESB is more of an older technology term (people moving from SOA to Microservices even if in practice they are the same)
4. It generates a single view of your customer across your business
Unifying your systems can help you consolidate customer data and interactions to create a single view through one platform. Customers expect brands and companies to know their likes, preferences, and interests, and to have them reflected in the marketing communications and the products or services they are recommended.
To do this, your company requires data that captures the target’s traits and behaviours. Marketing teams can then analyse the data, allowing directed messages to be communicated to potential customers through large-scale personalised campaigns.
This relies on your customer data being consolidated from the various business systems they interact with.
Integrating your systems is essential as it allows data to flow freely across organisational silos or departments. The information can then be visualised into reports and dashboards that give you a single view of your customer across your whole business.
Connected systems provide you with data that can be used to gather detailed insights on end-to-end customer processes and introduce new features and functionalities that take these learnings into account.
So what next?
Take a moment to reflect on your company’s integration strategy and implementation approach.
You might consider internal development teams to integrate data, applications, automation and provide service orchestration. However, this is often far more than a business can handle whilst juggling BAU activities.
Our team can help you manage your systems integration strategy, leaving you and your team to focus on what’s important. Get in touch today for a complimentary chat on optimising your systems integration.
Introducing weConnect – a new employee benefits vision
We are excited to launch our new employee benefits vision weConnect. weConnect is driven by a deep understanding of the need for work/life balance, social connection and purposeful collaboration.
weConnect Back-to-Base (B2B) will come into full effect in January 2022, when everyone is back in the office on designated days. weConnect will support social connection and purpose driven collaboration through team meetings, project updates, client workshops, team celebrations and career conversations.
weConnect B2B lunches will be provided in January & February and the team will celebrate each month at the Company Stand-up and famous Friday night food and drinks.
Unico’s other employee benefits have also had a huge transformation. We knew that the pandemic was going to impact the future of work, so we asked our team what they wanted, what they valued and how they envisioned the future. Goodbye to the 5-day slog at the office – hello, to more balance, wellness, and connection.
The complimentary public transport benefit has taken a sidestep as we provide our team with annual employee benefits of choice focused on health, wellness, and travel. The benefit is eligible for qualified expenses such as fitness classes, team sports, sports equipment, private health and travel card contributions.
Our team will also receive a home office allowance enabling them to create a safe and ergonomic environment.
Team members now have the flexibility to choose between paid parental leave or employer sponsored childcare, and secondary carers will now receive paid leave and extended leave options.
Check out all of our new and improved employee benefits, including paid partner certifications, salary sacrifice, salary continuance, and social responsibility.
The environmental impact of COVID – 129 billion masks
National Recycling Week 8-14 November
The ‘C’ word, COVID has come at a massive cost to society, but it’s not the only cost. Our environment is also paying the penalty. This mask will outlive the seagull that it has trapped, by over 400 years! The true environmental impact of COVID.
Sad fact 129 billion disposable face masks are thrown into landfill every month.
New research shows 129 billion disposable face masks are thrown into landfill every month. That doesn’t take into consideration the numbers that are littered and trap wildlife including this seagull.
Disposable masks are also made up of polypropylene, polyethylene, and vinyl, capable of releasing chemical pollutants and nasty nano-plastics into the environment.
This is why you should consider investing in reusable masks where possible and practical (we understand that in some industries and circumstances this isn’t possible) and if you can’t please cut the straps on disposable masks.
Please take a moment to think about your contribution to the environmental impact of COVID and how you recycle in your day to day life – we can all make better small choices that result in a huge collective impact.
Unico has been recognised by Amazon Web Services (AWS) as a Select Tier Consulting Partner in the AWS Partner Network (APN).
As an AWS Select Tier trusted partner, our team leverages AWS products, and services to provide cloud solutions and advisory services to our customers. Unico is proud to be recognised for our specialised cloud services and technical proficiency in cloud deployment, and management.
Unico supports the Wandering Warriors program providing scholarships for veterans with the opportunity to complete an MBA at prestigious Melbourne Business School and seamlessly transition to civilian life.
Unico is a proud sponsor of the Wandering Warriors through the Melbourne Business School’s ‘Wandering Warriors Scholarship’ for veterans. The scholarship provides veterans with the opportunity to further their studies through Australia’s leading MBA program and assist in the successful transition out of defence and into civilian life.
Who is Wandering Warriors
Wandering Warriors is a veteran charity organisation supporting veterans and their families through education, employment, respite and mentoring programs. The Wandering Warriors scholarship for veterans helps the transition of veterans in Victoria looking to fast track their career as an executive in the corporate or government sector.
Harry Moffitt is the Defence Strategic Advisor at Unico and the Victorian State Manager at Wandering Warriors and served 30 years in the Australian Defence Force (ADF). He recognises the importance of support post service and is a strong advocate of education providing a springboard into a career outside defence. Harry is now a practising psychologist and founder and CEO of the corporate performance consultancy Stotan Group.
“The previous narrative for post-service aspirations is that individuals pursue study or careers centred around security, oil and gas, and the defence industry. The scholarship opens up further doors and allows individuals to choose their own paths, unrelated to their service.”
“I wanted to pursue a career in psychology however found it difficult to navigate the correct path due to the lack of resources available, so I took initiative and put myself through university”.
Not only does this misconception narrow prospects for ADF members exiting the force, but it also makes the transition back into civilian life limited and more difficult.
“It is very difficult for defence families as they are required to pack up and move their life every two years. This unique situation is hard on individuals and families, therefore we want to provide as much support as possible to veterans to ease their transition post-service.”
“Completing service and entering the real world can be quite overwhelming, so through the Wandering Warriors program, veterans can feel supported at every level. We are adding value to individuals by assisting their self-journey, and therefore the community as a whole.”
Introducing Ed Harris
Ed Harris, recipient of the Wandering Warriors Scholarship for the MBA at Melbourne Business School, applied for the program after seeing Wandering Warriors had established a connection with Melbourne Business School and Unico through a LinkedIn post. He has now finished his service and is on standby reserves after completing 12 years in the ADF.
“I was ecstatic to be selected for the scholarship considering the competitive nature of the program.”
Ed is intending to use his MBA to bolster his career by working at an executive level for business management with an interest in starting his own company in the future.
“It is a bit of a veil coming from a service role and trying to apply learned leadership and skills acquired in your time at the defence force to your life outside the ADF.”
Ed will use the scholarship and opportunity to transition to his new life and career outside of the ADF in business and continue to be an advocate for supporting defence personnel in their endeavours outside of the force.
A little birdie told us that this week was National Bird Week.
National Bird Week is when we celebrate our feather friends and it seems like we have a lot here in Australia – over 850 species in fact, of which 45% are found nowhere else in the world.
Some of the most fascinating species fly not only in the air but also underwater, and our project Melbourne Down Undercaptured this in their incredible documentary.
The Australasian Gannet, a species of elegant-looking seabirds who aren’t scared to dive into danger headfirst. They are in fact built for it. From the equivalent height of a six-story building, with wings folded back, these streamlined sea birds spear the ocean’s surface at speeds of 100km/h into schools of fish. It’s a topside attack that sends fish into a frenzy.
With double-thick skulls that act like crash helmets, and built-in airbags to protect their bodies, gannets take to the sea like a, well… ‘gannet to water’. If a target is missed, the wings turn into fins and are used to swim around to make another pass. With hundreds, sometimes thousands of birds attacking the one school of fish.
Fun fact Did you know a bird watcher is called a twitcher?
With the built-in cellular capability of Apple Watch (GPS + cellular), the ‘Telstra One Number’ connection allows customers to bundle wearable devices into a low-cost entry point at $5 per month1. This gives customers the freedom to leave the house without their mobile handset. Leveraging uPair entitlement capabilities with Telstra One Number product was an Australian first and allows customers to share a single number with multiple devices, with accurate subscriber identification information within the Telstra network.
“Telstra selected Unico to deliver our mobile entitlement and Websheet server because of their deep integration with Telstra systems.
Unico played an integral role in the launch of the 2017 Apple Watch and were critical in enabling a brilliant customer experience.”
– Miklos Horvath, Group Owner Converged Service Enablement, Telstra
Our team worked with the Telstra architecture and design teams to deliver the entitlement server as part of ‘Telstra One Number’. The full solution involved collaboration and integration between Telstra, Apple, Ericsson and eSIM vendor G&D. The uPair product incorporated third party API’s, Telstra API’s, our own family of new API’s, and with the workflow management and Websheet portal delivered a premium user experience.
Our turn-key entitlement server allowed Telstra to focus on the strategy and product roll out needed to deliver and support ‘Telstra One Number’. uPair successfully abstracted third party API’s, the paired relationship lifecycle management and all related data and user interfaces.
“Telstra One Number has been a highly successful value add service and boosted average revenue per user. Our customers can now get their number on their wrist for $5 per month1.
With the ongoing growth of Telstra One Number, we look forward to expanding our capability to include Google WearOS, connected car, and Apple Family Plans in the near future.”
– Miklos Horvath, Group Owner Converged Service Enablement, Telstra
uPair provides Telstra with a telco grade, real-time highly available entitlement service that was able to meet the aggressive timelines of the 2017 Apple Watch launch. Unico developed and customised the uPair product, and successfully integrated it into the Telstra network on time. The ‘Telstra One Number’ roll out exceeded Telstra’s expectations, as evidenced with high adoption and customer satisfaction rates. Unico also subsequently played an integral role in the launch of the Samsung Galaxy Watch into the Australian market.
Thousands of Australians are connected to the Telstra network for phone calls and messages via their wearable devices using uPair software.