News and notes from Google Down Under
The Startup Economy: A roadmap to kickstart the Aussie tech sector
Tuesday, April 23, 2013
A strong homegrown tech sector is vital to future Australian jobs and wealth. Australians are great consumers of technology, but it’s only through becoming a nation of creators - of tech innovators - that will we will be able to compete in an increasingly global and connected world.
As part of Google’s goal of helping build an innovation generation in Australia, today we released
The Startup Economy
. This report, prepared by PwC, looks into the state of the Aussie tech sector, with a roadmap of how we can build a strong technology industry for the country.
Our tech sector is small, but growing fast
There are currently around 1,500 tech startups in Australia, with major hubs in Sydney and Melbourne. What PwC also found is that the sector is growing fast, with the majority of startups founded less than five years ago. A flourishing ecosystem is also developing as incubators, co-working spaces, angel investors and venture capitalists are being set up to support entrepreneurs.
The opportunity is
The tech startup sector has the ability to grow into an important part of Australia’s economy, providing a significant number of jobs of the future. PwC found that by 2033, the industry has the potential to reach
$109bn or 4% to the economy and employ more than 540,000 people
But unlocking this vast potential will take work
A successful Australian tech sector will take a concerted effort that includes entrepreneurs fostering a more open and inclusive culture, boosting the number of people founding companies, increasing success rates, and ensuring students are taught computer science at an earlier age.
This report will be used to help us and
, a newly-formed group representing the industry, to help improve the environment for startups; and ultimately making their success and growth a national imperative for Australia.
In the short term it’s estimated we’ll need to have 2,000 more tech entrepreneurs drawn from the existing workforce each year. My hope for the long term is that success will breed success. If we get things right, the opportunities that a high school graduate will have in 2033 will be vastly different - indeed, better - than today.
You can download your copy of
‘The Startup Economy: How to support tech startups and accelerate Australian innovation’
Posted by Alan Noble, Engineering Director Google Australia
Woolworths takes a fresh approach to technology
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
As one of Australia and New Zealand’s most innovative retailers, we’re always looking for ways we can use technology to give our customers more convenient ways to shop — whether that’s in store, from the comfort of their computer at home, or on the move via our smartphone apps.
This innovative approach does not stop with our customers. As Australia’s largest retailer with more than 3,000 stores across Australia and New Zealand, our staff of 200,000 need intuitive technology that enables them to work more efficiently, collaboratively and effectively. To do this, they need to be able to access the right applications and information, from any location, using any device.
This is why we’ve decided to move to Google Apps and Chrome. Changing to a cloud based suite of tools is a key part of our strategy to use technology to promote greater collaboration, productivity and effectiveness. Over the next 12 months we will be rolling out Gmail, Google Calendar and Google Talk to the 26,000 staff in our national and state offices. This is the first phase of what we hope will be a company-wide transformation of our workplace technology.
We are also actively looking at how we can innovate with Google+, Google Drive and Google Sites to transform the way we approach other aspects of our business.
The move to Google Apps and Chrome builds on the successful roll out of Gmail and our ‘Tap to Support’ App on iPads to
Woolworths supermarket store managers last year
. The custom-made application, built on Google App Engine, helps our managers stay on the shop floor and focused on customers by allowing them to log a support ticket with our national support office in just one click, rather than being tied to a PC in the back office.
Soon more of our staff will be able to experience the productive and collaborative benefits of being able to work from any device, anywhere. Geographically dispersed teams, like our merchandising or state based workers, will be able to use Docs to collaborate in real-time.
Going Google will transform the way our employees interact with technology and collaborate with each other at every level of the organisation. We’re looking forward to providing our staff access to intuitive consumer technology at work and see the move to Google as the beginning of our journey towards a more efficient and innovative style of working.
Guest post by Dan Beecham, CIO at Woolworths Limited.
Google Apps for Business
Connected businesses are growing businesses
Monday, April 15, 2013
Small business owners have always had to be jacks-of-all trades: salesperson, marketer, logistics coordinator, customer service agent, and more. With the internet rewiring our entire economy, many Aussie small business owners are now adding “web expert” to this list.
research, which showed the web to be worth as much to Australia as iron ore exports, we wanted to better understand how business owners are using new online business tools to run and grow their operations.
Released today by Deloitte Access Economics,
“Connected Small Businesses”
, shows that the web is quite simply rocket fuel for small business. Small businesses with high digital engagement—that is, SMBs that are making the most use of online tools like websites, online marketing, and social media—are
two times more likely to be growing revenue
two times more revenue per employee
than those with low engagement. They’re also job creators for Australia, being
four times more likely to be hiring
than those with low digital engagement.
The research also shows that high digital engagement is linked to better business outcomes, with a
20% uptake in revenue for businesses that move up just one level of digital engagement
. They also have better growth prospects, more diversified sources of revenue and a bigger customer base.
Oliver Hagen, who runs an organic butcher in Melbourne’s South Yarra, is one small business owner who is
using the web to grow
. With a strong online presence which includes social media, Oliver also uses online marketing to attract customers across Victoria. In some cases, he gets orders from as far as the Mornington Peninsula or Perth.
Yet, Deloitte found that only 16% of Aussie small businesses are highly digital engaged ones like
Hagen’s Organic Butchers
. Of those small businesses surveyed, 25% have medium digital engagement, 24% low engagement, while 35% have very low digital engagement or not using the internet at all.
According to Deloitte, there are three main things that set high digital engaged business from others:
have a presence on social networks
Use of internet:
to reach new customers in the local marketing
Use of digital marketing:
search engine marketing and search engine optimisation to be found
This report card shows there’s some work to be done convincing small businesses about the benefits of the web, but also signals the huge potential for our wider economy. Our two-million small businesses employ 7 million people and make up half of the private sector economy, so even a small step forward can mean more free time, more customers, and more revenue or jobs for businesses owners. And that’s good news for Australia.
The full report,
Connected Small Businesses
, can be downloaded
Posted by Jason Pellegrino, Director, Google Australia
Music to your ears! Australia gets Google Play Music
Wednesday, April 10, 2013
First, there were apps and games. Then books. Followed by movies and magazines. And now... music!
From today, all Australians can now listen to their favourite artists and download the latest music from Google Play — a digital entertainment destination for Android devices and the web.
Google Play makes it easy for you to buy your favourite songs and albums, and instantly add them to your music library. Our free music locker also means that you can add up to 20,000 songs from your existing music collection to Google Play instantly and listen to them from any computer or Android phone or tablet, even when you’re offline.
On Google Play Music, you can find the latest releases from established Australian artists such as Delta Goodrem, Havana Brown and Lisa Mitchell. For those not signed to a record label, we’re also introducing Google Play artist hub for Australia — a platform for independent artists to sell their music directly to fans. In the artist hub, artists can create a profile, upload their music files, suggest a retail price, and sell their music on Google Play.
With millions of songs to choose from, we hope you’ll find something that makes you want to dance, sing or just relax on your way to work.
Posted by Sami Valkonen, Head of International Music Partnerships, Google Play
Google News in Australia highlights Editors’ Picks
Thursday, April 4, 2013
Google News, in collaboration with local news organisations, is today introducing a new section in the right-hand column of the Australian edition. The new section called "Editors' Picks” displays content that publishers have selected as highlights from their publications.
Editors’ Picks is a place for local news editors to highlight their best, most engaging content. While the remainder of Google News is compiled algorithmically, Editors' Picks will always be just that—picks provided by publishers themselves.
You can now browse 17 publisher feeds that span national, specific and local interests—The Age, The Australian, The Sydney Morning Herald, News.com.au, The Telegraph, Brisbane Times and AdNews among many others. You can view their Editor’s Picks via the side-to-side arrows next to each publisher's logo.
We hope Editors’ Picks makes it easier for you to find interesting news stories from some of Australia’s most trusted news organisations. And, don’t forget, you can also personalise your
to make sure you are always up-to-date with the latest stories relevant to your interests.
Posted by Agnes Eymery, Strategic Partner Development Manager, Digital Content
Dick Smith Goes Google
Wednesday, April 3, 2013
As you'd imagine, staff at Dick Smith have a real passion for technology. They not only want to keep customers up-to-date with the latest innovations and gadgets — they want to use them too! This is key to our culture and as our company evolves we want to ensure that our highly mobile, tech savvy workforce have the flexibility to work in ways which suit them.
With more than 4,500 staff in 323 stores across Australia and New Zealand, we have a lot of people to communicate with. It’s always been hard for us to keep in touch with casual staff who make up a significant portion of our workforce, as they don’t have corporate issued devices or email accounts. And even with our permanent staff, our IT team has grappled with managing the rise of personal mobile devices at work. We have also been looking for ways to improve collaboration because, until now, communication in stores has been a hierarchical one-way process through the manager.
When we looked for solutions to these challenges, we decided on Google because it was a great cultural fit, as well as being intuitive, easy to maintain and packed with features.One of the best things about everyone having a Google account is that all our staff will now have IT identities so we can communicate with them and they can be involved. And as many of our staff already use Gmail as their personal email, the training time is really minimal.
The sharing and collaboration features built into Google Apps and Google Docs in particular are a real plus too. Now it doesn't matter if our teams are in Sydney or Wellington, they'll be able to share and collaborate on documents in real-time, faster and more easily than ever before.
Building community and fostering a collaborative culture is another significant benefit of going Google. We’re looking forward to using Google forms to get staff feedback and comments via regular staff engagement surveys and the integration of YouTube videos means that when our CEO has an important announcement we can record this for all our staff to review at a time that suits them. This is a great way to overcome some of the logistical challenges of having a casual workforce working across different time zones.
We’re excited about extending this approach to our interaction with suppliers and partners and will use Google Hangouts to reduce the time and cost of travel so our people can get on with running our business.
Guest post by Linda Venables, Director of IT, Dick Smith
Renovate your house on Street View with Google SCHMICK
Monday, April 1, 2013
Is your house looking a bit tired and shabby? Want to make your narky step-aunt jealous? Trying to keep up with the Joneses but don’t have the money to complete an expensive reno?
Now you can give your house a lick of fresh paint for free on Street View with Google SCHMICK (
it). Forgot to mow the nature strip? Deck it out with some fresh buffalo grass. Front steps falling down? Swap them out for doric columns and a pergola. Graffiti on the front fence? Cover it with so many palm trees people will think they’re on the Vegas strip.
We have hundreds of themes and features to choose from, but here are some ideas to get you started:
Feeling patriotic? Why not fly the Australian flag, leave some lamingtons out for Skippy or permanently switch on ‘Night View’ to place the Southern Cross directly above your inner city terrace. Perhaps, you’ll choose to add in a sheep or two and a kangaroo like Uncle Burke, throw in a miniature replica of Coffs Harbour’s Big Banana, or ‘go international’ and throw the Big Ben on top of that new second story you’ve just added to your house.
Can’t afford the electricity bill for a Christmas lights display? Worry no longer. You can now install a virtual festive display to suit any holiday and put the neighbours to shame in seconds. Create an Easter egg hunt for your kids, build a 360-degree haunted house panorama for trespassers or pretend you’re in the northern hemisphere and let it snow on your front porch. Or, if you don’t have a front porch, simply add one in using the House Builder tool.
So, what are you waiting for? Transform your house into a virtual artwork and bring out your inner exterior decorator today - find out more about the launch of
Posted by Andrew Mitchell, Manager, Google Apps
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