While Coronavirus is threatening the future of globalisation and its fundamental definition, Adele Beachley, Vice President JAPAC at Wizy EMM, believes strongly in the value of looking beyond one’s own geographical borders to generate innovative and progressive workforces.
In this interview, she shares her views on what businesses can learn from their international counterparts, and her advice on how to action the successes and learnings from innovators around the world.
- In your view, how are Australian businesses and leaders performing on the global tech stage? Why?
As we meet with representatives of global organisations or with local resellers or end users in Australia, we find they are only interested in who our customers are in this market and in understanding the use cases from this market. Of course, you can appreciate interest in local experience and proof points but they typically aren’t interested in hearing about learnings or implementations in other markets.
This is anecdotal, but it can extend to hiring practices as well, in that Australians returning from years of overseas work often find that experience isn’t quite as valued as it might be and they need to shore up local experience before they can get the role they’re seeking.
That has the potential to stifle the market. There is much innovation going on across JAPAC, in some cases driven by necessity to overcome obstacles that perhaps this country doesn’t experience to the same degree, that can provide inspiration for Australian business leaders.
When I meet with business leaders elsewhere in JAPAC, local use cases are valued but they’re interested to hear stories regardless of region because it helps with their own idea generation.
I would encourage Australian organisations to consider great use cases from elsewhere and how you can transfer that success to Australia.
- For most business leaders globally, innovation and digital transformation are top priorities. What are the best ways for businesses to ensure they’re approaching these in line with best practice, while also thinking outside the box?
Consider the possibilities of mobility from a business perspective – Enterprise and business mobility extends well beyond the fleet of mobile devices used by office staff and knowledge workers, whether they be provided or BYOD. It’s the fleet of workers delivering groceries or mail, the retail staff. It’s about devices supporting the logistics industry, the connected devices in organisations’ IoT projects and in industrial IoT settings. This kind of mobility is solving problems every day and there is so much more potential. It’s exciting!
Be open to new sources of inspiration – Many businesses and nations look to Silicon Valley as the gold standard for technology inspiration. Visit Stanford. Go to Salesforce. Visit a Google campus. Wander around Berkeley. Done.
I suggest looking to developing nations. India, Kenya, Nigeria all have fantastic mobile networks. They skipped some “progress steps” because there was no copper in the ground or network to upgrade, and went mobile from the outset. There are learnings there that can be applied to more developed nations now looking at solving problems with greater mobility.
In India everyone has a digital fingerprint on record, which opened up digital banking, services, payment etc. for which ID is required where previously poverty and low literacy levels were hindering progress. Also in India is Bikxie Pink, an app-based two-wheeler taxi and on-demand delivery service for women by women. It provides a safe service for women, as well as training and jobs. Its efficiency, affordability and societal contribution are impressive.
Bikxie Pink helps people travel that “last mile” from transit services to home, solving a problem with mobile service, cheap smartphones, an app and affordable mobile device management. In Sydney, the B line bus and a bunch of parking stations were introduced to help solve commuter traffic congestion problems. But in many cases there’s no bus service to the B Line station, so people drive. Someone could set up a last mile service, perhaps a carpool or shuttle solution with a mobile booking app, but so far that’s not a problem I see anyone working on.
In Indonesia, you can have many things delivered by motorcycle, thanks to a company called Gojek, which has become part of the vernacular. You can “Gojek” a ride, food, a manicure, a hair stylist, a handyman and much more. It’s a highly lucrative business; a logistics company, payment platform and online marketplace for myriad services enabling many businesses and sole traders to operate successfully.
If you are not looking to the innovation from developing nations you’re missing out.
- What are some of the greatest innovations you witnessed in 2019?
Bikxie Pink and Gojek are definitely up there.
Almost 2 billion people are living without electricity day to day. The Solar Puff solar powered lantern is an elegant solar lighting invention that leverages Japanese origami. They are beautiful, portable, eco-friendly, convenient and ship flat. Light allows students to study and do homework after dark, bathrooms can be lit so individuals can feel safe, families can see one another across the dinner table. This is the kind of life-changing innovation we need.
The giant Tesla battery in South Australia is an impressive project and one that I hope will inspire more like it.
The Android operating system allows for low price point devices to be used as fleet devices, and for the creation of all sorts of connected devices at economical price points. Adding RBM (Rich Business Messaging), Android’s version of iMessage, to that is exciting because of the innovation it enables and encourages.
- How do you think those ideas will evolve in 2020 and what can business leaders learn from them when planning for their year ahead?
The situation evolving right now because of the Coronavirus means that suddenly a more mobile and remote workforce is vital. Every organisation should have or develop a work-from-home policy in response to this situation, but in general it makes sense for organisations to be prepared for a natural increase in remote work.
We’re seeing mobility growth and innovation in ecommerce and along the supply chain. With situations such as Coronavirus and the rush on certain types of goods, further innovations will be forced in supply chain and warehouse management systems due to the need to move goods and restock shelves much more quickly. Mobility is central to this.
Increasingly, mobile devices will be designed not for the individual user, but for the task at hand, creating huge data sets useful for predictive analytics, that only make sense if you’re working in the cloud.
What’s good for small businesses is that it means that the set of tools from a tech perspective are the same for everyone. You can be a business with 10 employees and have enterprise grade software and mobility without having to pay over the odds; you can leverage the cloud to scale up and scale down to needs.
About the expert
Adele Beachley leads Wizy EMM’s business and operations across the JAPAC region and also manages WizyEMM’s key global strategic Partnerships. Adele’s experience is rare: 25 years of experience in telecoms, mobility, hardware and software services in the enterprise and consumer sectors. She has lived and managed the wave of transformation from the introduction of the first mobile networks and devices through to the new era of big data and the possibilities cloud services can deliver. Her career has seen her take on senior leadership roles in large, multinational technology corporations all over the world, acting as a strategist, growth architect and sales innovator.
Shifting gears to a more dynamic, agile and startup technology world, at Wizy EMM, Adele’s exceptional track record in business development and partnerships, attention to detail and execution to plan coupled with a depth of industry knowledge, relationships, insights and understanding of international drivers and perspective, accelerate WizyEMM’s global mission: to provide the best innovative mobility and cloud solutions that give Partners and Customers a distinct leading edge in managing their businesses and associated costs.
Holding a BA (Hons) Degree from the University of Salford, Adele is a multilingual, passionate and proactive leader. Based in Australia, Adele works across JAPAC and has been recognised in the Indian market as one of the Top 20 Women in IT and one of the Top 25 Channel Heads. In her personal life, Adele has a family, is an avid gardener, beach lover, runner, volunteer, charity board member, fundraiser and diversity advocate.