Categories
Case studies

Bridging the gap between racing and post racing

Achieving improved animal welfare outcomes through process digitisation and whole of life horse tracking

Unico is working with a key racing regulatory authority to help them leverage new technology to improve integrity processes and transform the welfare outcomes of racehorses.


Customer

  • Leading Racing Regulatory Authority

Project

  • Integrity & welfare project

Problem

  • Paper heavy processes with low efficiency, vulnerabilities, and increased risk of error
  • Low traceability of retired horses and horses in post racing careers
  • Need to build community engagement and demand for retired racehorses
  • New welfare programs need to be digitally enabled to be effective.

Objectives

  • Digitalise process and eliminate vulnerable paper-based process.
  • Build a tracking platform and industry portal to allow information to be delivered to the post racing community.
  • Deliver efficient and scalable processes focused on welfare outcomes via the portal
  • Ensure horse data capture, visibility, transparency and reporting outcomes
  • Build community engagement, awareness, education, support and connection.

Solution

In and out of race day integrity involving progressive digital automation of Stewards and Vets processes:

  • Preparation of race day form and Stewards reports
  • Animal check in
  • Selection of candidates for blood and urine sampling
  • Registration, weigh in, scratching’s, and associated compliance processes
  • Race review, Corrective action, and discipline
  • Animal ID, Sampling processes, witness, and chain of custody.

Whole of life monitoring and tracking via platform including the following programs:

  • Retrain selection and engagement
  • Funded retraining for animals that fail to get a post racing placement
  • Market Place and new owner registration
  • Post racing competition sponsorship intended to increase the value and desirability of retired animals
  • Retirement or rehoming process
  • Foster care matching
  • Funded euthanasia.

Community engagement portal:

  • Education, awareness
  • Services industry pages
  • Public visibility and transparency though ability to search animals and view status and history
  • Industry statistics.

Outcomes

  • Welfare programs that efficiently executes process flows with minimal intervention and manual steps
  • B2B engagement with third party players who have a role in ensuring welfare outcomes
  • C2B engagement across a broad ecosystem of users
  • Development of an OTT community through a central go to portal
  • Horse records that ensure visibility of and reinforcement of post racing careers
  • Engagement with a wide range of users with a simple, easy to use user experience encouraging participation and repeat visitation
  • Incentivisation for support and involvement in ongoing horse welfare outcomes
  • A portal to build community awareness and provide channels for delivery of educational content
  • Support for data driven decision making on success of the various programs
  • A flexible and modular foundation capability to enable addition of new functionality and programs in future
  • Integration with existing regulatory and third-party systems to maintain appropriate databases of record and supports the broader ecosystem.

Evan-Harridge

Evan Harridge

Director of Innovation and Enterprise

Categories
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

Categories
Case studies

Australia’s first entitlement server eSIM solution for wearable device compatibility: uPair

UPair-1

Australia’s first entitlement server eSIM solution for wearable device compatibility: uPair 

One number, one service. An entitlement server eSIM solution that allows Telco network customers to use the built-in cellular capability of their wearable technology. 


Summary

  • An easy to integrate, low entry cost entitlement server solution ready to implement for all Telcos
  • Compatible with Apple & Samsung devices
  • High availability, low latency and fault-tolerant provisioning system
  • CRM integration and customer entitlement management 
  • Built in multiple edge case scenario capability & ACID compliance

Many Telcos don’t have the budget, resources or knowledge to develop an entitlement server solution for their own business.

That means they are missing out on crucial new streams of revenue that can be gained from charging customers for value-added services.

Entitlement server solutions are used to allow users to connect multiple SIM and eSIM enabled devices to one number and service. This connection can be bundled into a subscription package where pairing capability is offered via mobile app.

Our solution uPair gives lower tier Telcos the ability to compete with Tier 1 Telcos by offering their customers wearable tech pairing at a low cost of entry.

Unico partnered with Australia’s largest mobile service provider who needed an application that allowed Australians to use the built in cellular capability of the new ‘Apple watch’ (GPS + Cellular) .

In doing so Unico were the first in Australia to develop an eSIM solution that supported wearable device compatibility.  

uPair eSIM solution developed by Unico

By integrating this entitlement solution our customer could share a single service with a mobile device through sharing accurate subscriber identification information with their network.

Our client was equipped with a telco grade, real-time and high availability entitlement server solution that enabled them to offer value-added services to their customers.


uPair was able to meet the needs of a world-class telecomms provider and deliver a world first in eSIM technology.

– John Rowland, Managing Director, Unico


The project included provisioning and enabling of the eSIM for the Apple Watch to download and update its network whilst allowing paired devices to operate with a ‘shared number’ service. The partnership marked the first time an eSIM technology had been delivered to the Australian consumer market.  

Thanks to uPair thousands of Australians are connected to Australia’s biggest mobile network for phone calls and messages via their wearable devices

If you are interested and want to find out more get in touch below and talk to us today.

Jason Bodsworth

Business Development Manager

Categories
Insights

What is SMART Workplace Technology? And how can it help businesses return to the office in the new COVID-19 normal

What is SMART workplace technology? And how can it help businesses return to the office in the new COVID-19 normal.

SMART workplace technology has played a major role in the PropTech industry for decades, but what is SMART technology? And how can it help businesses return to the office in the new COVID-19 normal.


SMART technology and SMART workplaces have played a major role in the PropTech industry for decades and have gone through many transitions and evolutions over the years. A range of solutions exist on the market that are primarily focused on workforce management, workplace traffic management, analytics and access control. However, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a range of SMART technology options being adopted into a range of workplaces by both tenants and building owners.

So what is SMART technology?

SMART technology means “Self-Monitoring Analysis and Reporting Technology”. This technology is used to provide cognitive awareness to objects, by making use of advanced technologies like internet of things, artificial intelligence, machine leaning and big data.

This technology makes use of smart devices like sensors to collate, adapt and convey information about objects and environment, making the monitoring process seamless and self-governed.

SMART technology has recently been combined with new hardware capabilities such as thermal imaging technology to help identify COVID-19 symptoms.

SMART technology lays the foundations for what we like to call a ‘SMART workplace’ which can be defined as:

A digital transformation driven solution encapsulating products and systems, connecting employees and their work environments. A SMART Workplace is geared towards improving collaboration, increasing productivity for workforces and providing employee wellness and safety, thereby helping organisations to make effective and optimal utilisation of human capital and physical resources.

But how can a SMART Workplace help your business in the new COVID-19 normal?

1) Temperature scanning & safety gear detection:

Thermal imaging camera technology has been used across a variety of industries to help identify abnormally high temperatures that pose a health or transmission risk. However, the advent of COVID-19 has driven its widespread adoption in new areas such as retail and real estate. Most approved medical devices utilise infrared radiation to accurately measure temperatures. Placing cameras at designated entry points across a workplace means pedestrians can be monitored for unsafe temperatures that could pose health risks. This information can then be directly sent to users or staff via a mobile app, who will then enact internal safety procedures. Add in AI-enabled mask detection capability and you can systematically help prevent health threats, mitigating the risk of workplace outbreaks.

2) Workplace data & traffic management:

As additional safety procedures are implemented at scale across larger workplaces, the challenges of managing the capacity of people from the lobby, to the lift and into the office become increasingly apparent. Social distancing protocols mandate set lift capacities and other safety precautions that cause major lift delays in larger workplaces during peak periods. Consequently, it is essential that organisations maximise building capacity to make commuting as efficient as possible. By integrating sensor data, analytics and a mobile application, landlords and tenants can easily gather accurate insights on occupancy and utilisation. These are be used to safely manage lift capacity, track overcrowding and identify areas prone to overcrowding that pose health risks. Detailed data and reporting are essential for larger organisations looking to ensure staff can safely return to the office at scale and formulate a key component of a workplace traffic management plan. 

3) Social distancing management:

Some organisations will require social distancing protocols to be implemented and upheld throughout the workplace. Live reporting on usage and occupancy of space can help safely manage density across the workplace.

SMART occupancy sensors are IoT devices that can detect someone’s presence and location in real-time. Installing sensors across leased and communal areas allows management to determine with pinpoint accuracy how many people are occupying a specific space. This data can then be used to determine if individuals are within space capacity limits in areas such as lifts, common areas, meeting rooms or even individual desks. Combine this data with an integrated mobile app and you can enable real-time proximity alerts that notify staff when they have breached pre-set social distancing protocols or are at risk of overcrowding.

4) Mobile ID scanning and touchless technology:

High transmission risks within traditional work environments has resulted in the need for touchless alternatives to buttons and handles, as well as the reduced human interaction where possible. Hardware such as touchless buttons and mobile ID scanners can support a ‘frictionless’ journey throughout an entire building. By taking this one step further and integrating facial recognition or mobile authentication, physical interactions can be removed at selected access points. Add in a web application for guests or visitors and you can manage sanitary access control across an entire building.

5) Usage based cleaning:

Bathrooms, kitchens, desks and other high-touch areas pose a significant infection risk that can be greatly reduced through cleaning based on usage rather than schedule. ‘SMART’ occupancy sensors can register usage instances and alert tenants when cleaning or sanitation is required after a set amount of usage instances.


Are you considering utilising SMART workplace technology yourself or for your clients?

Unico develops and integrates a range of SMART workplace solutions and SMART technology for Australian businesses, building owners and developers.

If you would like to find out more get in touch with me today.


Evan-Harridge

Evan Harridge

Director of Innovation

Categories
Insights

Four ways to protect your investment in IoT from cybersecurity threats

Four ways to protect your investment in IoT from cybersecurity threats


IT professionals are used to thinking about how to protect our information technology assets from cybersecurity threats. Data loss, data theft, exposure, identity theft and ransom attacks are the menu du jour. As we move towards Industry 4.0 internet of things (IoT) is connecting operational technology (OT) to the network at breakneck speeds, raising the stakes for cyber-attacks to the levels of tales we see in dystopian fiction.

We have seen nation-state attacks against nuclear power plants (India, November 2019), as well as widespread attacks on IP connected surveillance cameras. Just today it was announced that  a major cyber security attack has been identified by the Australian government. However, threats like ransomware take on a new form: consider a farm with hundreds or thousands of IoT sensors being held ransom under the treat that their crop may be flooded just before harvest, sending them into financial ruin. 

cybersecurity threats
Recent attacks have highlighted just how vulnerable Australian government and business are to malicious cyber attack.

OT security is no longer speculative; this week we have seen exposure of attack surfaces in the networking stacks of embedded devices. Nineteen vulnerabilities were discovered in the Treck TCP/IP library commonly in use in IoT devices, four of which are considered critical.

Physical security used to be the primary concern for OT managers, but now we must consider a broader landscape due to cybersecurity threats. 

How do OT cyber-attacks work? 

In addition to securing the back-office systems the devices talk to, OT security professionals now need to look at the devices themselves. The attack vectors can be broken into four key areas of concern. 

1) Device firmware: This is the software running the device and comprises the base operating system on the device and the application sitting on top of this. Both elements will make use of code which is either subject to unintentional vulnerability via defect, or introduction of malicious artefacts through open-source libraries in use. 

2) Device hardware: There are common protocols in use to communicate between the hardware elements of IoT devices which can be the subject of attack. The very common I2C and one-wire protocols connect sensors and actuators to a device and are prone to being sniffed if physical access is available. 

3) Device APIs: IoT devices are useless unless they are connected to a back end, and these interfaces or application program interfaces (APIs) are often vulnerable to attack. The same attack tools used to attack web servers can be used to attack IoT devices; most common weaknesses exploited are default usernames/passwords, weak passwords, and hard-coded passwords, but buffer overrun attacks are also a concern for the transport protocols in use (HTTPS in most instances) where the attacker uses carefully constructed URLs to attempt to break into the API. 

4) Radio networks: Wireless communications are a dream come true for an attacker, removing the need for physical access to carry out an attack. Open discovery protocols or weak network configuration can leave devices open to man-in-the-middle attacks which potentially expose user or API credentials, allow actors to extract, inject or otherwise change device data or allow actors to alter the state of actuators by replaying or inserting commands on the device interface. 


“Physical security used to be the primary concern for OT managers, but now we must consider a broader landscape.”


So, what can you do?

We have found that there are four components to an effective protection strategy for IoT assets from cybersecurity threats.

1) URL filtering: This is the practice of recognising URLs that are known sources or destinations for cyber-attacks. In the case of IoT it is particularly important to manage this access to prevent BotNet attacks which can generate significant amounts of traffic or computational load. 

2) Behavioural assurance: IoT devices are typically low power, low data bandwidth devices so many will fit into one of a few behavioural patterns. Once a pattern is selected for a device, we watch traffic for patterns outside this behavioural definition. For example, a period of high data utilisation when the device has been classed as low bandwidth, or traffic generation during a period when the device should be dormant. 

3) Behavioural profiling: Patterns of behaviour can be established quickly for IoT devices. Artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms can be trained early in a device life cycle to understand the expected behavioural profile of a device, observing low traffic under normal circumstances, occasional high traffic due to an event, and seeing traffic to several legitimate destinations. Once established, the AI can continue to scan the traffic, watching for changes in this behavioural profile to understand when an attack is imminent, or under way. 

4) Global threat profiling: If you have access to enough devices, AI algorithms can begin to learn the patterns of the threat actors as well. This can be applied to the entire population of devices under protection, meaning that new threats can be identified and acted on more rapidly than would be otherwise possible. 

Choose the right protection and integrator  

Unico have extensive experience delivering tailored solutions that meet the specific needs of our customers. Alongside Allot, one of our strategic partners, we have a product that provides four comprehensive modes of protection for your IoT infrastructure: 

  • URL filtering 
  • Behavioural assurance 
  • Behavioural profiling 
  • Global threat profiling 

If you would like to find out more about protecting your business or your customers business from cybersecurity threats, then please get in contact as I would be happy to show you how the Allot IoTSecure Service can provide affordable, multi-tenanted IoT protection solutions ready to ship to your customers out of the box. 


Bruce McCole

Principal Consultant

Categories
Business update Insights Media

Open for business COVID-19 latest update

Open for business COVID-19 latest update

27 March 2020

We are committed to servicing you and your business-critical IT infrastructure and remain fully operational.

COVID-19 latest

Early last week we activated our business continuity plan (BCP). Our BCP facilitates a rational, calm approach whilst acting in accordance with directives from the Australian Government.

Our team is set up with robust IT remote access infrastructure, enabling them to work remotely as required. Minimising disruption to our customers and partners is high priority, second only to the health and wellbeing of our people, customers and community.

If you have any concerns or questions about your interactions with our team during this time, please reach out to your Unico contact.

John Rowland, Managing Director


John Rowland

Managing Director

Categories
Case studies

Building a bulletproof online voting platform & website: The All-Star Mile

online voting platform all-star mile

Building a bulletproof online voting platform & website: The All-Star Mile

How we helped increase the longevity of the racing industry through the power of Salesforce Marketing Cloud (SFMC) and platform engineering with an online voting platform and website.


Customer

  • Racing Victoria

Project

Objectives

  • Attract a new audience to the racing industry
  • Design an online voting platform and website that could handle high volumes of traffic on and off peak
  • Build a seamless, multi-channel digital experience across website, email and text
  • Construct a range of end-to end consumer journeys across the All-Star Mile Campaign

Approach

  • Build a secure, audit-proof digital voting system
  • Website development
  • Design Multi-channel SFMC journeys to engage multiple customer segments (email and text)
  • Mobile validation through SFMC

Outcome

  • 135,097 votes Australia and New Zealand wide
  • 96.5% validation rate of voters, halving last year’s rate
  • Over 30% female voters

Horse racing in Australia has traditionally attracted an audience comprised of males aged between 45-65. Racing Victoria sought to expand into other customer groups through the introduction of the inaugural All-Star Mile in 2019. By introducing an online voting platform and website for fans to choose race participants and increase social engagement, Racing Victoria was able to attract new prospects from all demographics to the racing industry. Our team partnered with Racing Victoria for the second year to create the platform that would allow Australia’s only fan voted race to function.

Using Amazon Web Services, our team built a highly secure online voting platform from the ground up that is auto scaling and healing with cloud first design and the ability to handle high levels of user traffic. For the second year running, a Big 4 Advisory cyber and hacking team tasked with auditing the platform was again unable to penetrate the system.


“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 30% 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”

– Marcia Allan, GM Customer Strategy & Engagement, Racing Victoria.


Racing Victoria’s goal of building fan engagement for the All-Star Mile was conducted through SFMC. Unico had previously helped Racing Victoria increase their SFMC capabilities allowing them to effectively build journeys for their subscribers. These journeys helped elevate the engagement levels with Racing Victoria which enabled them to send consistent multi-channel messaging to new audience’s generated by the All-Star Mile.

A final voting tally of 135,097 was a remarkable result during a summer that was devastated by unprecedented bushfires. Racing Victoria offered their support to the bushfire crisis by pledging to donate $1 for every vote received. In addition, they also donated all 93 horse nomination fees of $500 totaling $46,500 to the Good Friday Appeal.

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


Evan-Harridge

Evan Harridge

Director of Innovation and Enterprise

Community

Giving back through community support

We believe that everyone has a role to play in community support and a responsibility to actively contribute to and support environmental sustainability, making our world a better place.

At Unico we have two initiatives the Unico Community Fund aimed at supporting the local community and the Unico Conservation Foundation focused on marine sustainability and education.

Our community supported projects

A commitment to giving back, helping others in need, protecting our environment and being active in the community is an important part of Unico’s culture and something that we take seriously.

That’s why the Unico Community Fund works with community support 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 more sustainable communities, environments and a healthier world.

Conservation fund

The Unico Conservation Foundation has a long and proud history of supporting projects that protect the marine environment.

This commitment was inspired by a family trip on an Earthwatch Expedition in 2002 for Geoff and Denise Illing. They were impressed with the work that they saw and it transformed their way of thinking in regards to marine conservation. It inspired them to think about greater actions and other ways in which they could contribute to building more sustainable oceans. Projects include:

  • Saving Philippines Reefs
  • Alan White Library
  • Coral Sea Monitoring
  • Melbourne Down Under.

For more information visit  www.unicoconservationfoundation.org.au.

Work with us

Work with us

Technology careers

Are you looking for your next opportunity?

Do you want to help Australia’s largest organisations transform their business through technology? Are you seeking a great employer that offers amazing technology careers?

Unico is the place for you. We are always on the lookout for bright minds to help our customers solve complex business challenges.

We are proud of our inclusive and diverse culture and offer our team continuous professional development opportunities that are aligned with exciting and innovative technology projects.

Seeking an extraordinary technology career?

Unico life

Extraordinary perks for extraordinary technology and digital transformation careers
Some of the benefits our team enjoy

Flexible hours

Need to pick up and drop off the kids? Long commute? No problem, we work flexibly.

Free fuel

Fully subsidised Myki card. Our kitchens are stocked with barista grade coffee, tea and hot chocolate as well as a weekly fruit box.

Back to work scheme

We want you back! We offer primary carers sponsored childcare so you can return to work whilst your little one is cared for.

Learning & development

We want you to reach your potential and offer 24/7 access to Udemy online courses, along with other learning opportunities.

Dollar for dollar

We are proud of you, so proud that we will match dollar for dollar what you raise for Australian charities through the Unico Community Fund.

Mind, body & soul

Complimentary onsite gym, yoga and meditation, annual flu vaccinations, subsidised Osteo and employee assistance programs.

Office space

Fully renovated office with huge break out zone with amazing views of Albert Park and Port Phillip Bay, table tennis table and art on walls.

Social events

We have a jam-packed social calendar including monthly team drinks, table tennis championships and an end-of-year celebration.

Diversity & inclusion

We are a culturally diverse and inclusive workforce and celebrate our differences.

Secondments

We encourage you to spread your wings and work in other teams to learn new skills and tackle new challenges.

Volunteer day

We care about more than the bottom line. That’s why we offer you a volunteer day to support your chosen charity.

Unico Conservation Foundation

We actively contribute to environmental sustainability and the community, making our world a better place to live.

What our team says

Cory Mollison, Technical Team Lead

The team at Unico provide such a rewarding environment. I am empowered, trusted and provided with the support I need to take responsibility for solving interesting and complex problems for our customers.”

Ben Theobald, Developer

I love being given the tough and complex problems to solve for our customers and working with them to provide manageable and robust solutions.”

Emily Johnston, People & Culture Advisor

I truly enjoy coming to work as it’s a positive environment and every day is different.”

Fiona Carter, Head of Marketing

Unico has an inclusive and diverse culture and is a truly flexible workplace – leadership walk the talk. There is no clock watching and team members are empowered and trusted to get work done.”

Afsaneh Ghoddousi, Technical Team Lead

Being able to work in an environment that encourages diversity and open communication is a privilege. I enjoy being part of this exciting workplace and a member of the family we call Unico.”

Monica Vasquez, Scrum Master Team Lead

Unico welcomes people with great talent and allow us to learn new things from each other every day.”

Graduate program

Our graduate program is flexible – we work with you to understand your career aspirations and areas of interest, and tailor your experience to fit in with you and our customer needs.

Why should I choose this program?

You will be exposed to market leading technology and work with some of Australia’s leading organisations on high-impact projects. As a graduate you will experience a comprehensive induction and training program as you will be on a rotational development plan for the first 12months.

At the successful completion of the program we will match your skills, talent and area of career interest to a team – Development, Testing, Operational Support, Marketing Automation or Technology Support. As your technology career develops you will continue to receive on the job training, mentorship and education through formal professional development programs.

Who are we looking for?

Bright, enthusiastic and committed individuals with degrees in IT, UX/UI, software engineering, computer science, telecommunications engineering, information communication and technology.

We also look fondly on work experience, university experience and individuals who have a basic understanding software engineering principles.

Can I apply?

You bet. Your application will request your CV, academic transcript and you must have full legal rights to work in Australia.

Complete our Graduate program application form

Seeking an extraordinary career?