Australia Post is set to innovate services and enlarge its digital footprint. Through a plan that sees the organisation partner with Data61, once known as the National Information Communications Technology Australia (NICTA).
The new project will:
- Overhaul embedded services already at work in stores and online adding ‘advanced cyber capabilities’.
- Roll-out new technology that provides improved access and performance of government services.
- Reimagine the logistical framework of Australia Post and its responsibilities, using data to ‘drive advances in supply chain management and methods of delivery’.
Both of the key organisations involved have experienced significant issues in the last year.
Still, the new partnership could be seen as an answer to the growing appetite amongst Australian consumers for innovative solutions.
In September last year, Australia Post announced its first annual loss in 30 years. After a funding crisis under the Abbott government, NICTA was revived by the imprimatur of Prime Minister Turnbull, merged with the CSIRO and re-branded as Data61.
Where once as NICTA, the organisation threw its energy into developing startup companies, Data61, say its top management, will enrich the organisation by seeking global opportunities in research and development.
This aim merges neatly with Australia Post’s desire to grow its already robust eCommerce.
It already has a $20 million innovation fund in play to invest directly in innovative eCommerce ventures.
In announcing the new deal with Data61, Chief Executive Officer of Australia Post, Ahmed Fahour, said that innovation was part of the organisation’s future. He emphasised speed and agility as core values moving forward and clearly indicated that the recent plans for Australia Post were a response to what he calls an “ongoing shift in consumer behaviour towards digital channels.”
He said, discussing the loss last year, that locals were no longer posting letters in significant numbers and the service was in “terminal and structural decline.”
Data61’s Chief Executive Officer, Adrian Turner, explained that the project was about unleashing “the potential in Australian industry by establishing a stronger local and global presence.”
He said, “this is a strategic digital transformation process of national significance, and we are focused on delivering high impact outcomes that will boost Australia Post’s offering as an eCommerce and eGovernment service provider.”
An 18 year veteran of Silicon Valley, Data61’s Turner told media recently that 87% of the world’s companies would be disrupted, and it was the role of Data61 and organisations like it, to provide them a plan to deal with it.