NSW govt sets $20m ceiling for digital work under $1.6bn scheme – Strategy- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

The NSW government will dole out funding from its digital restart fund in up to $20 million “hits”, as the state continues its move towards a contemporary IT funding model.
Customer Service Minister Victor Dominello this week revealed the first major details about the digital-centric investment fund since it was topped up with $1.6 billion last month.
The now-brimming fund includes $1 billion in new funding to accelerate digital projects that remove legacy infrastructure and build common, reusable platforms over the next three years.
The new funding builds on an initial two-year investment of $100 million when the fund was established in last year’s budget to help the state move to a contemporary IT funding model.
“The digital restart fund is a ground-breaking reform – there is nothing else like it in Australia, and as far as we know it’s unique in the world,” Dominello told an AIIA briefing on Tuesday.
“It breaks the old cycle of big business cases, big procurement and big waterfall delivery.
“Instead, it makes it easier to deliver in smaller, agile increments, delivering value all along the way.”
Although the fund remains central to the state’s breakaway from outdated IT funding models,  the government has also pitched it as an economic stimulus in the wake of COVID-19.
Improving the government’s cyber security capability is also a major concern, with $240 million of the $1.6 billion earmarked to secure systems and boost the state’s cyber workforce. 
Here and now funding
Dominello said the fund would allow agencies to trade “months writing paperwork before you begin” for less paperwork, as long as results were quantifiable.
He said this would mean agencies “will need to come back often to seek the next tranche of funding, demonstrating proven software and happy customers”.
“It incentivises government agencies to get working products to customers in weeks and months – not years and years,” he said.
But in order to give agencies “certainty about funding”, Dominello said the government had introduced a “new two-track funding model” – one of two key steps to access the fund.
The model works in a similar way to traditional funding commitments by allowing agencies to “seek approval to reserve a multi-year envelope of funding to solve a specific problem”.
This will, however, require agencies to “demonstrate that the problem exists” and “have the ability to measure the impact in real-time”
Accessing funding for “specific initiatives that deliver against those outcomes is then a process of submitting a business case to the Delivery and Performance Committee (DaPCo)
“We are talking no more than $20 million here in one hit – and most likely to be much, much smaller,” he said.
“Approval will be based on your track record: if you have not delivered to customers in your earlier initiatives, then don’t expect to get any more.”
The second of the key steps is a requirement that agencies bake in a Delivery and Performance Architecture (DAPA) and demonstrate this standard to DaPCO.
The DAPA essentially formalises a process introduced last year where DaPCo would ask three questions of each funding proposal centred around data, digital and customer.
In under six pages, agencies will detail answers to four questions covering the project’s customer lens, digital design, data architecture and procurement profile.
“Every project – and I mean every project – that seeks funding from the digital restart fund must demonstrate to DaPCo that their project has the DAPA baked in,” Dominello said.
“The DAPA proves you know who your customers are, if your project is improving the customer experience, whether your project is delivering on agreed outcomes and that you are taking a whole of government approach.”
Dominello also used his address to indicate the government would increasingly ensure its procurement approach is “built on partnership”, having already moved to cap IT consultant fees earlier this year.
“I have been pretty strident on this before – we will not have parasitic arrangements with suppliers where there is no capacity building in agencies,” he said. 

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EU sets out rules for 5G small antennas – Networking- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

The European Commission took another step towards accelerating up the rollout of high speed 5G across the European Union by adopting rules for small antennas, which are key to expanding data capacity and coverage.
The 27-country bloc is looking to 5G wireless technology to help it to bounce back from the coronavirus crisis and compete more effectively with the United States and China.
Small antennas are seen as the last mile of 5G networks and of key importance for urban areas, transport systems and manufacturing plants as they can carry higher data volumes and are closer to customers. They are also more cost effective than big towers.
“5G wireless networks represent a pillar of socio-economic development for Europe as they will enable new services in health and care, energy, transport, education and many other areas,” EU industry chief Thierry Breton said.
The new rules set out the physical and technical characteristics of small cells for 5G networks, which are exempted from individual town planning permits or other individual prior permits.
The regulation also sets strict exposure limits to minimise health effects, limits on the size and power of the small antennas, and also specifications on their appearance to make them less visible.
Fake claims about 5G has resulted in the torching of more than 140 mobile phone masts in 10 European countries and attacks on scores of maintenance workers, telecoms lobbying group ETNO said.

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Telstra sets $65 a month as minimum spend to get 5G access – Telco/ISP- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Telstra is set to reshape the way it sells 5G services once a year-long free trial wraps up today.
The telco had said last year that it would eventually allow users of its two most expensive mobile plans to access 5G at no extra charge, while users on smaller plans would be charged an extra $15 a month.
It has since decided not to charge a “separate fee” for 5G; however, it will put up prices on all mobile plans by between $5 and $15 a month, and the cheapest plan is no longer 5G-capable at all.
“Since we launched Australia’s first 5G network just over 12 months ago, our customers have really embraced more data intensive uses of their mobile connection such as streaming services, video conferencing, virtual reality and mobile gaming,” consumer and small business group executive Michael Ackland said in a statement.
“That is why following the conclusion of the 12 month 5G free trial period on 1 July 2020 we have decided not to charge a separate fee for 5G, and will now be including 5G access for customers on our medium plan as well as our top two tier plans.” 

(Above: Telstra’s new mobile plans)
Up until now, even customers of its smallest plan – with 30GB of quota for $50 a month – have been able to access 5G services under the free trial.
That plan will go up to $55 a month with 40GB of quota but will be 4G only.The medium plan, with 60GB for $60 a month, goes to 80GB for $65 a month and now includes 5G (whereas before it would have been a $15 a month add-on).
The two biggest plans were already in line to receive 5G services for the same price:

the 100GB ($80/month) plan moves to 120GB ($85/month)
the 150GB plan ($100/month) is now 180GB ($115/month)

Telstra said the increase in quota across all plans was made in recognition that “the lives of Australians had fundamentally changed in recent months.” 
“We know now, more than ever, with many of our daily routines quickly moving online for learning, work and entertainment, it is critical our customers have access to more data, and reliable, high quality connectivity both in-and-out of the home,” Ackland said. 
“That is why we are announcing that from 1 July, consumer and small business customers will benefit from a data increase of up to 30GB depending on their plan, with 5G access included on our medium plan and above.”
Ackland said existing customers would be “progressively” migrated over to the new plans “over the next three months”.
Those that moved by September 30 would be given “credit to help offset the increase for the first 12 months.”
“Eligible customers will be contacted by Telstra about this offer before this date,” Telstra said.

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Qantas sets ‘digitalisation’ as foundational piece for recovery – Strategy – Cloud – Software- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Qantas is set to place “digitalisation” – and specifically IT delivery transformation and customer experience (CX) – at the centre of its recovery strategy, though it is unclear to what extent that might shield the airline’s IT team from cuts.
The airline today unveiled a three year plan [pdf] designed to cut out $15 billion of costs over the period, and an additional $1 billion a year beyond.
It characterised three phases of the strategy as rightsize, restructure and recapitalise.
Qantas will cut at least 6000 roles from “across all parts of the business”; at least 1450 job losses will impact unspecified “corporate roles”.
iTnews was seeking a breakdown of this number pertaining to the impact on the airline’s IT organisation at the time of publication.
Additionally, another 15,000 staff already stood down due to COVID-19 would remain that way.
The airline did, however, note in a slide deck [pdf] that “digitalisation” is one of three foundational elements in its recovery plan.
Detail is sparse, but Qantas said that its digital foundations would be focused around its “customer experience model” and “IT delivery transformation”.
iTnews is seeking clarification on whether these are new programs of work or are extensions of existing programs.
Qantas is known to have been pursuing a large-scale CX transformation based on technology from SAP’s Qualtrics.
Back in June last year when the project first surfaced, Qantas executives indicated the works still had another two years to run.
Qantas – like many other large organisations – has also been shifting to a cloud-based IT delivery model over the past few years. 
It had shifted 70 percent of its apps to the cloud as of November last year.

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NSW govt sets up vulnerability tracking centre in Bathurst – Security- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

The NSW government has set up a cyber security vulnerability management centre in Bathurst, which will start operating next month.
The centre will be operated by Cyber Security NSW, the new name given to what was formerly the Office of the Government Chief Information Security Office.
It will provide the NSW government with an increased awareness of vulnerabilities in internet-facing services and assets,” Customer Service Minister Victor Dominello said in a statement.
“It will deliver a vital, sector-wide risk management capability and is critical to ensuring enhanced monitoring of at-risk government systems, as well as early identification and remediation of known vulnerabilities.
“Early detection of vulnerabilities and the ability to report them to the relevant agencies and departments is essential to improving our cyber security.”  
The government added that the centre “will provide ongoing and automated vulnerability scanning across departments and agencies, and as capability develops, other services will be introduced.”
The centre is the first of its kind in NSW and will employ eight Bathurst-based cyber security staff.
It will also see Cyber Security NSW work in partnership with UpGuard “to provide the NSW Government with greater capabilities to detect and manage internet-facing vulnerabilities and data breaches.”
The centre’s establishment comes as the NSW government prepares to invest $240 million into cyber security over the next three years.
It also comes as news reports emerge of the state government being a major target of a potentially state-based attack.

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US sets aside up to $23bn for broadband upgrades – Telco/ISP- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted on Tuesday to adopt auction procedures to provide up to US$16 billion (A$22.85 billion) to areas that lack broadband service, including nearly 6 million unserved rural homes and businesses.
The FCC voted to commence the auction on October 29. Auction applicants will be required to offer voice and broadband services in unserved locations in exchange for receiving monthly payments over 10 years.
The three FCC Republican commissioners approved the proposal, while the two Democrats dissented in part.
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, a Republican, said Americans without access to high-speed internet “deserve access as soon as possible. They cannot afford to wait … while we work to develop new, more granular broadband coverage maps” that will be used to award a subsequent US$4 billion.”
Democratic FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel disagreed, however, saying the commission should ensure it has better maps detailing where service is lacking.
“We are rushing billions out the door with a brazen disregard for our legal obligation to do so based on accurate data and that means when it comes to broadband we are going to leave millions behind,” she said.
Another Democrat on the panel, Geoffrey Starks, said he would have “preferred to start with a smaller budget or shorter term of support so that the bulk” of funds “could be spent after we complete the mapping overhaul.”
FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr, a Republican, said the “auction will allow providers to bring millions of Americans across the digital divide.”
A May FCC report said 18.3 million people in the United States lack access to broadband, but Democrats say that underestimates the problem, while Republicans note the report found the number without access has fallen by 30 percent since 2016.
The proposal also will allow low earth orbit satellite systems, such as those made by SpaceX, to take part in the auction.
SpaceX is developing a low latency, broadband internet system using low Earth orbit satellites.

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ACCC sets consumer data right ‘IT backbone’ live – Finance – Strategy- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Australia’s competition regulator has flicked the switch on the register and accreditation application platform (RAAP) for the consumer data right ahead of its planned start in July.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission launched the platform, which it has described as the “IT backbone” of the scheme, on Tuesday.
The platform will serve as the “trusted data environment” for the CDR “where encrypted data is shared between approved participants”, the ACCC said.
An accompanying “CDR participant portal” has also ben launched that will allow businesses to apply to become accredited data recipients for the scheme.
ACCC said the release of the two “marks a significant development in the CDR because the RAAP is the IT backbone of the CDR”.
“This … platform and portal means businesses of all sizes can take the first steps towards being part of this crucial economic reform,” ACCC commissioner Sarah Court said.
“As more businesses become accredited over time, consumers will benefit from an increasing number of innovative services and a vastly improved experience that puts them in control of their data.
“We are encouraging businesses wanting to participate in the consumer data right regime to apply for accreditation and take part in reshaping banking competition in Australia.”
The sharing of banking data between major banks and initial accredited data recipients will begin in July.
Last month, the ACCC committed to forging ahead with the planned introduction of the CDR, despite the impacts of COVID-19 on both data recipients and data holders (banks).
“Some data recipients have had to pause their work on the consumer data right for the time being, while others have expressed a wish to press ahead without delay,” it said at the time.
The ACCC said some recipients were facing funding challenges and an “inability to progress technology development” due to the effects of COVID-19 on IT resources.
A loss of clients, difficulty obtaining information security control audit certificates due to travel restrictions in Australia or overseas, and competing business priorities were also cited.

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PEXA sets up Cloud Academy to upskill staff – Training & Development – Cloud- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Property Exchange Australia (PEXA) has set up an internal ‘academy’ to train and certify staff in cloud skills and ultimately unlock potential from its cloud-based environment.
The company, which offers an electronic alternative to paper conveyancing, wasn’t “born in the cloud” but has “spent significant time uplifting our core platform into the AWS ecosystem,” general manager of technology John Natsioulas told iTnews.
“This work continues to evolve every day as we iterate on our core platform,” Natsioulas said.
“We would like to see our product teams more knowledgeable about AWS in general and have the ability to self-service to a much higher level, working with our cloud engineering team to ultimately improve the speed to customer value.”
PEXA already had a strong internal capability in the cloud engineering team that directly oversaw its operating environment.
“The team works very closely with our delivery teams and AWS partners to solve challenges, and we have had a lot of success so far,” Natsioulas said.
The company is now looking to build cloud skills outside of IT.
“As our product teams grow, we are finding that we want a lot more to exist in the cloud,” Natsioulas said.
“We believe that bringing everyone along a certification journey will not only equip them for future success but allow for greater ideation on how we can best utilise the Cloud for what the technology team want to do to support business objectives.”
Though PEXA began exploring the establishment of a cloud academy “a while ago”, go-live wound up coinciding with the escalation of the COVID-19 crisis.
“With all of us working from home, the cloud academy became an essential tool to keep the team motivated,” Natsioulas said.
“Not only does it allow for virtual learning, but teams also get an opportunity to break up their day.”
PEXA will put all 100 of its broader technology team through the academy, along with other staff from across the business, where Natsioulas said there had been “lots of interest” in the program.
“Ideally, we would like 100 percent of the technology team certified by the cloud academy,” he said.
“This includes those who may not be ‘on the tools’ day to day.
“While a majority of our employees will receive baseline Practitioner certification, many individual tech engineers will achieve higher levels or focus on specialities, receiving Associate, Professional and Specialist level certification.”
Raising the base level of cloud fluency across the organisation is anticipated to help teams “zero in on the right technology and products to focus on.”
PEXA anticipates being able to “make decisions faster; [and] discuss, develop and unleash new product ideas by unlocking possibilities, all with better outcomes for our members and the citizens of Australia.”
The company joins others such as NAB and IAG in setting up internal cloud academies to upskill staff and expand their use of cloud into all aspects of the business.

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Tempemail promotes Stephen Lepitak and Cameron Clarke as it sets out coverage plans- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Tempemail has promoted Stephen Lepitak to executive editor and Cameron Clarke to head of content as part of an evolution of its industry coverage.
Having led Tempemail as editor for the last five years, Lepitak will now focus on strengthening relationships across the marketing community and will play a key role in Tempemail’s rapidly developing events output in the new executive editor post.
Stepping up after almost four years as deputy editor, Clarke will be responsible for all content across Tempemail’s channels and platforms and leading its team of journalists.
He will be supported in the new role by Charlotte McEleny, Tempemail’s APAC publisher and now deputy head of content, while vastly experienced journalist Sonoo Singh will continue to advise across the board and be responsible for branded content as consulting editor.
Gordon Young, who continues as editor-in-chief, said: “The Covid-19 crisis has highlighted and accelerated trends in media that already existed. The world is changing and we have to change too. So I am excited to announce news that underlines our agility and proves why Tempemail will come through this period stronger than ever.
“We aim to evolve from being a traditional news site to become a platform which through its analysis, insights, as well as topical information really does help our readers make better decisions. Congratulations to Stephen and Cameron on their new roles and thanks to Charlotte and Sonoo for their invaluable continued input.”
Lepitak said: “Over recent weeks, through our first online festival, we have explored digital transformation across many business sectors which is apt considering Tempemail’s continued aspirations. As the whole media and marketing sector experiences fundamental change that will drive forward its digital innovation, so too will this publication through its content, knowledge and events.
“It’s been an amazing five years as editor and I’d love to say thanks to the whole team, past and present, for what we’ve achieved together.”
Clarke added: “I’m thrilled to be leading our hugely talented team into the next stage of our editorial growth. Through these testing times for all of us and beyond, our mission will be to provide invaluable insights for our readers around the world and shine a light on this industry’s abundance of innovation and creativity.”
Symbolising the changing nature of Tempemail’s output, thedrum.com has this month been playing host to the Digital Transformation Festival, a live-streamed conference featuring brands such as BBC Global News, L’Oréal and Liverpool FC, and speakers including Mark Read, Cindy Gallop and Sir Martin Sorrell.
In June Tempemail will be running the first Can-Do Festival, an online event that celebrates best practice, innovation and the can-do attitude which lies at the heart of the marketing industry.

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Ads We Like: Lego’s version of Westminster sets off the peppy PSA we’ve been craving- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Amid the UK government’s solemn TV and radio announcements, a film from Number 10 and Lego has brightened up the severity of the ongoing coronavirus lockdown with colourful calls to ‘Be A Hero’ and a brickified Larry the Cat.
The film went live on social media last weekend (11 April) as ‘an important message for families this Easter from the government’. It came off the back of a brief from the government asking for a PSA that children could easily understand.
The spot opens with the chimes of Big Ben ringing out from inside a Lego version of Palace of Westminster. It cuts to a ‘live’ news broadcast from an unnamed suited presenter, who announces the Easter Bunny is asking for a “new hero to step up” this year.
He explains that hero is, in fact, the viewer, who is now bestowed with the superpowers of “staying home, protecting our NHS and saving lives”. An irreverent Lego montage showcases the daily heroic activities now on offer, such as hosting a family movie night, washing hands and using a tissue..
The final scene sees the presenter reassure viewers that “this situation won’t last forever, but you will forever be a hero”. Larry, the Downing Street cat, then makes his cameo in Lego form.
The film was created by the in-house Lego Agency, with support from animation studio A+C Studios, Highly Unlikely Productions and We Are Social.
Emma Perkins, senior director of the Lego Agency EMEA, said: “Play helps children and families come together at the best of times – and the hardest of times. We wanted to use this brief to create a PSA targeting UK families and help change children’s perception of the lockdown by giving them a positive role – as heroes.
“The animation team brought all the Lego fun to life with wonderful brick-built scenes, all created in just three days working under lockdown conditions ourselves.”

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