Regional Australia is remarkably self-sufficient. Here in Kyabram in Northern Victoria for example we grow everything ourselves – fruit and veg, crops, dairy herds – even our IT talent.
I myself started as a trainee at Advance Computing straight out of high school – and we continue to take on talented young people looking for a career in IT services and software development every year.
Because we live and work here, we have a good understanding of the particular challenges that regional users face and the sorts of solutions that they need to transform their businesses. We understand their unique technology challenges – for example we’re limited in this area and regional Australia with data connections.
By developing solutions in the cloud we overcome that issue for our clients, and also ensure that they have mobile and flexible access to their solutions. Because we develop in and for Microsoft’s Azure cloud we know we always have the best tools and the service reliability, security and trust our clients need.
We work with all sorts of businesses – including farmers and agri-businesses which has allowed us to develop a series of specialised products and services.
Farmers are naturally very innovative people – we see our role as putting technology in their hands that delivers genuine benefits.
We’ve developed cloud based platforms that give farmers a portal so that they can trade water with each other using the WaterPool co-op whenever it suits them, while ensuring that there’s complete transparency surrounding the process. We’ve created a mobile app that allows locals to become an early warning system for fruit fly so that orchardists can put out extra baits to protect their crops when the crowdsourced information alerts them to a problem.
We’ve designed software so that a local tomato processing facility has complete visibility of its operations and can track the fruit as it is transported from the farm to the plant ensuring traceability and quality for the finished product. That solution, which runs in Azure, was developed for Kagome and delivered a 500 per cent return on investment over the first harvest alone.
Because we leverage Microsoft Azure we and our clients are also future proofed. So for example with the Kagome solution, in the future it might be extended to make use of Azure’s Internet of Things hub so that we can connect to on-farm or on-truck sensors, and we’re already looking at rolling out truck number plate recognition. Power BI also could deliver management with much finer grained understanding of their operations which is important for any agricultural business looking to optimise profitability without compromising quality.
Technology today is a critical part of agriculture and essential for farmers’ sustained competitiveness.
Of course it’s also been a key element of our business since we were first established in 1999. Today Advance Computing is an award winning Microsoft partner, headquartered in Kyabram with two further regional offices. We sell our solutions nationally and partner with other service providers around the country.
The thing is that agriculture – while a huge sector of the Australian economy – is a very diverse industry, so our clients need diverse solutions all around the country.
The common issue though is that every grower, producer and processor benefits from technology that can literally transform their business.
Sometimes we work with clients on the basics first – getting their IT ducks in a row. Others have good IT systems but want help to transform their operations. Some have a particular challenge – like the fruit fly problem.
What’s really rewarding at Advance Computing is that the benefits of our solutions are absolutely tangible. It’s growing in the paddock as you drive home, helping the farmer down the road – you get to see the results and that’s really satisfying as a technology company.