Australian businesses and leading public sector organisations – including Qantas, Telstra, Westpac, CSIRO, NSW Government and NSW Pathology – are emerging as global innovation beacons, signalling how state-of-the-art technology can drive growth, enhance customer experience and tackle some of Australia’s most pressing societal and environmental issues, according to Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella.
Currently visiting Australia, Nadella said that Microsoft’s mission was to empower the sort of transformational tech intensity which derives from enterprises becoming rapid adopters of technology, building their own digital capability, and having trust in the technology they use and the technology companies they partner with.
“Digital technology is transforming every industry and every aspect of society in Australia,” said Nadella. “We are focused on being the trusted partner of choice and providing the technology platforms for every Australian organisation to build their own digital capability so they can thrive during this time of rapid change — and beyond.”
Speaking at a customer and partner event in Sydney, Nadella outlined examples of tech intensity from Australian organisations.
Every sector of the economy is facing unprecedented levels of change, mounting competition and the prospect of digital disruption. Cognisant of that, savvy businesses are applying an innovative digital lens to their business, exploring how leading-edge technology solutions can transform operations, inject efficiency and improve the customer experience.
Qantas – After an aircraft undergoes maintenance, Qantas engineers carry out engine runs to ensure the engines will perform as required. To do that engineers need to know their way around the flight deck – a task that can take up valuable and scarce flight simulator hours. Now HoloLens 2 is being trialled as an alternative digital training environment – with the added advantage of deeper data insights to strengthen the learner experience and outcomes, helping the airline with its number one priority – to keep passengers safe.
Telstra – When a Telstra field worker goes to a customer’s home or office to set up a service or fix a problem, they need to have all the facts at their fingertips. Using Microsoft Teams Telstra has created a unified source of information for firstline workers, and connected them to its Brains Trust of expert engineers for additional support. The ease with which PowerApps can be developed is also encouraging employees to develop their own applications and share best practice Telstra-wide, enhancing both the employee and customer experience.
Westpac – In order to provide real-time, personalised insight to its customers, Westpac is developing its Data Driven Experiences Platform (DDEP), a Microsoft Azure based data and analytics hub, which draws on data sources from across the Westpac Group to provide customer insight. Partnering with Microsoft, using engineering resources from both companies, the DDEP is designed to catapult Westpac to the forefront of digital banking and support the bank as it complies with the Open Banking requirements of Australia’s Consumer Data Right Legislation.
How innovation improves outcomes for everyone, everywhere
Microsoft’s mission to empower every person and every organisation on the planet to achieve more has never been more important. According to Nadella; “At a time when many are calling attention to the role technology plays in society broadly, our mission remains constant. It grounds us in the enormous opportunity and responsibility we have to ensure that the technology we create always benefits everyone on the planet, including the planet itself.” He added that Australia now boasts some of the world’s leading examples of how technology is being used to improve outcomes for everyone, everywhere.
‘Healthy Country’ partnership – Kakadu National Park is dual listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List for its outstanding natural and cultural values. Microsoft is partnering with CSIRO, NESP and Kakadu’s traditional owners, mixing artificial intelligence and modern science with Indigenous knowledge to solve complex environmental management problems, care for significant species and habitats on Indigenous lands. This Australia first project interprets drone-captured video using a combination of indigenous knowledge and Microsoft AI in an adaptive co-management approach to deliver better environmental outcomes in an ethical and responsible manner.
NSW Health Pathology – NSW Health Pathology offers medical practitioners thousands of different laboratory tests central to the diagnoses of patients and delivers more than 61 million test results each year. A ground-breaking trial is showing early promise into how cloud technology and artificial intelligence can produce a faster diagnosis and care for patients – no matter where they are. This innovative partnership between NSW Health Pathology, eHealth NSW and Microsoft, is the first trial of its kind in Australia and could have far-reaching impacts on how to improve patient care.
Homelessness – Every day thousands of people experience homelessness in New South Wales. The NSW Government wants to halve street homelessness by 2025, and Microsoft is working with the Act to End Street Sleeping Collaboration on a system that allows data to be collected from someone living on the streets, using a smartphone app, and then made accessible to service providers securely and in near real time, to get homeless people the help they need as fast as possible.
Steven Worrall, Managing Director of Microsoft Australia, said that it was a privilege for Microsoft and its partners to work with customers on high-impact initiatives that have real significance for the continued prosperity of the nation.
“We are seeing businesses empower their employees with innovative solutions that spur productivity and enhance the customer experience. We are seeing the public sector and enterprise at all levels drive efficiencies and commit to genuine digital transformation.
“Microsoft is proud to work with all these innovative organisations, building skills, accelerating digital capabilities and improving outcomes for all Australians.”