I have much experience in the creation, promotion, negotiation, deployment and operation of advanced technologies, business processes, programs and projects.
My knowledge covers telecommunications, computing services, hardware and software, as well as, more recently, acoustics. My early career was in advertising and marketing, that strengthened already strong analytical and synthesising skills, which I now couple with well-developed ‘soft skills’. My experience, plus inclusive and open communication style, rapidly enlists key stakeholders to the issue, or opportunity, at hand. Whether taking innovative new concepts from ideation through feasibility into business case and on to implementation, or resolving issues with established projects and services, my attributes, skills and experience are fully utilised. I bring forth clarity from ambiguity and confusion, and can readily build a cause around which a capable team can form.
I have a proven record in acquiring and harnessing knowledge and expertise (both mine and that of others) to galvanise organisations through a combination of people, process and technology. Adept at turning conflict into collaboration, I get results and realise value.
- Bachelor of Science – Applied Physics, Computer Science and Advanced Mathematics, University of Hull, England
- 2/3rds of a Diploma in Communications Advertising and Marketing, College of Distributive Trades, London (interrupted by 6 month trip to Middle East – now in its umpteenth year).
- Former member of the IT steering committee of The Supreme Court of Victoria
- Founding Member and two-term President of the Queensland Telecommunications Industry Group (now known as Australian Information Industries Association – AIIA)
Achievements and Significant lessons learned
Acoustic 3D Holdings & Vastigo: CEO (Victoria)
Having invested in the original company, Acoustic 3D Holdings Ltd, I was invited to take the role of CEO to drive further investment and to develop and lead this revolutionary acoustic technology. Achieving an Australian Design Award for our first ever product was significant – in as much as it supported my stealth marketing plan to target early adopter audio-geeks. Following initial interest from global players it became obvious that we needed to separate the engineering from the marketing, so I founded Vastigo Ltd as sole licensor, marketing the IP and based in Singapore (more tech-investor friendly). I led Vastigo’s trial of new product applications of A3D technology with a major Chinese TV and smartphone manufacturer. I subsequently co-authored with A3D Holdings, and Dr Toby Gifford of Monash University, exciting new peer-reviewed science revealed to the world at the AES conference Burlingame CA, September 10th 2017. Overturning ‘Conventional Wisdom’ is hard.
Helena Consulting – Consultant to NAB: Collaboration (Victoria)
Invited to ‘teach the elephants to tango’ I resolved a number of operational difficulties arising from the outsource contracts with IBM and Telstra. The issues mostly centred on the telco/collaboration space (email/calendar, video, etc.) and it’s integration with mobile (along with the necessary Blackberry-user migration to IOS or Android). I was able to resolve a number of the issues that followed the ‘demise of Blackberry’ and assisted Telstra to improve their service offerings in the Video and Web conferencing space. I was also responsible for a number of successful service improvement plans – including the sensitive and previously problematic ‘Boardroom technologies’. From this, I was tasked with leading the resolution of related issues stemming from the opening of 700 Bourke Street. ‘
Technical problems’ frequently require ‘people solutions’.
Helena Consulting – Consultant to Victorian Government: Strategy Development (Victoria)
After developing the ‘Whole of Victorian Government vision for IT’ and corresponding business case, I was tasked with creating the Enterprise Architecture and high-level implementation plan for the consolidation of ITservices across 15 Departments and Agencies. Migrating them to a single secure network, with centralised application hosting and storage, using desktop, hosting and storage virtualisation to achieve compliance with Federal Government’s Protective Security Management (PSM) standard. All delivered as a suite of services from a single source, at ITIL CMMI of three.
Despite the apparent focus on technology, the bulk of my work was in: ‘value’ – refining, defining, measuring and proving the source, cost and scale of savings; ‘strategy’ – demonstrating the value of linking all of the pieces and aligning them with government and departmental goals; ‘persuasion’ – selling the vision of the outcome at all levels; ‘diplomacy’ – resolving power-base disputes and techno-arguments between project teams and service providers; ‘contextualising’ – maintaining the balance between the objectives of business, technology and people and; ‘holisticism’ – ensuring that the anticipated value of the whole was maintained despite the necessary ‘by platform’ project management focus on the execution details. ‘Project Plans’ often negate ‘Program Objectives’.
Helena Consulting – Consultant to CSC: Strategy Development (NSW)
Developed for CSC a ‘three year vision’ for their customer, AMP, enabling them to set appropriate infrastructure and application projects into motion. Interviewing and distilling the thoughts of each of the IT and Business Directors, I synthesised these into a cohesive and compelling story, using “Day in the life of…” narrative, presentation and group discourse. I identified Agility, Mobility and Partnership as the key aligned business and technology drivers forming the path to value, delivering efficiency and creating opportunity. Subsequently adopted as AMP’s own IT strategy. GFC trumps even the ‘best ever’ strategy.
Helena Consulting – Consultant to Sensis: Outsourcing SME–Negotiator (Victoria)
Sensis, a major e-publisher and subsidiary of Telstra, sought to evaluate the option to outsource their then current server infrastructure and support services. As vendors had submitted bids that were deliberately non-compliant, it was necessary to de-construct the bids’ financial responses. I was then able to show the true consequences of various consumption scenarios and test these sensitivities – proving that the lowest priced option would indeed be the highest cost over the proposed three-year contract. Even big businesses must get the approval of their owners.
Helena Consulting – Consultant to NAB Australia: Trusted Advisor (Victoria)
Trusted Advisor to the then newly appointed GM Tech Ops, I was responsible for the collaborative development of requirements for the Desktop and Network outsourcing contracts (that were in renegotiation). Provided expert opinion on sourcing, technical and operational related issues and their resolution, consulting widely within the organisation I helped identify the business value of the services sought, and communicated to a wide audience of directors and managers the value that would result from the move to the new, highly automated, platform. This work fed the outsource scope definition, thus avoiding contracting for services that wouldn’t be required under the new desktop platform. Always ensure you’re answering the real question.
I was able to show the then CIO the scale of the value that was at risk from an unthinking renegotiation of what was then in place. The work also included:
Establishment of initial vendor Governance capacity
Resolution of a number of long-standing service and support issues that had been caused by responsibility entanglements.
Delivery of Mobile Mortgage Manager Proof Of Concept. (Mobile Mortgage Manager was immediately deployed to around 1000 NAB staff across Australia)
Development of strategy and plan to replace existing Satellite Broadcast NABTV with terrestrial delivered NAB IPTV, including integrated knowledge management, content delivery and in-branch electronic signage, whilst leveraging the XP-upgrade-mandated core network upgrade.
Development of the business cases for, and leadership of the teams to initiate:
Bank-wide IP-based Video Conferencing
Core Network upgrade to MPLS
These capabilities were delivered (by Telstra) over the following 4+ years. Enabling Technology’s value is future dependent.
SAP Australia – Account Executive (Queensland)
Responsible for developing and communicating the value proposition of SAP’s products and services to the Executive level of Government in Queensland. Making extensive use of collaboration tools, I leveraged SAP’s global resources. I was also extensively product trained too, trained in SOA and early TOGAF, as well as SAP SDLC.
I prepared conceptual outlines and demo systems to address a number of other business applications through the innovative use of the SAP ERP platform, CRM, BI and their underlying NetWeaver (SOA) technologies and SDLC methodologies to address: Power Utility and Telecommunications billing and operations management, Vehicle Fleet Management, and Operational Policing. Always get it in writing.
KPMG – Senior Manager: Information Risk Management (Queensland)
As a “Lateral Hire” (non-accountant) I was responsible for developing and communicating the value proposition of KPMG’s Information Risk Management services to the Executive level of Government & Corporate clients, and to other managers within the KPMG group seeking to improve cross-sell. In the process of my business analysis of KPMG itself, I was able to recommend a major structural change to their information architecture, which was adopted nationally, immediately. Respect attention to detail.
CSC – Global Marketing Manager: IGN (Integrated Global Network) (Queensland)
Responsible for the successful launch of the company’s global networking initiative – distilling the value of the proposition and highlighting its USP’s and its integration with other key ‘cloud’ strategies – communicating this information to customers and staff. Keep the story simple and compelling.
Assembled a global team of engineers in Australia to resolve demarcation disputes that were delaying the development of CSC’s IGN (Integrated Global Network) and ‘cloud’ offerings. From initial estimates of ‘two years or more’ was able to get that multi-national team to design, build and commission key components and services of the IGN within 12 weeks of their first meeting. The impossible is possible – provided we get out of our comfort zone.
Secured world-wide agreement and commitment to the concept of IMS (Internet Managed Services – ‘cloud’ based safe web browsing), defined it as a global service offering (CSC’s first), co-developed the cost-models, developed the service definitions and marketing material and drove the concept into fruition. BHP Steel became the first IMS customer, the rest of BHP-Billiton following – an additional $18M revenue. Enlist the support of others early in the process – they really can help.
CSC – Manager: Strategy & New Business -Networks (NSW)
Network Line of Service lead on all new business – developing strategy and content in major bids and solutions and/or improvements for existing CSC customers, with both technical and commercial responsibility. Formulated and implemented the business strategies, and managed the technical and commercial elements of the firm’s networked computing solutions for major outsource customers, and for CSC itself. Resolved significant call centre issues (replacing legacy system) and delivered Global RAS and VPN services for AMP and their “Advisor” group. Listen to customers until they’ve aired all of their grievances – root cause will likely be found there.
CSC – Project Director: CWO Transition (NSW)
Tasked with the transition from Telstra to Optus networks, and to recognise significant savings. I refined and renegotiated the scope of works and commercial modelling to optimise the benefits of the agreement for all parties.
Managed project groups engaged in Billing & Inventory, Process Development, Network Management Centre, AHD Integration (Helpdesk systems) and Secure Internet Gateway.
Negotiated the new commercial model into several large clients including AMP/GIO, Allianz, Department of Community Services, and Federal Government Cluster 3, migrating these clients from Telstra to Optus services. Always ensure your organisation understands the real consequences – if not, you must.
Wang Global – State Manager (Queensland)
Contributed 43% of national revenue. Led and won the bid to design, develop and supply the Argent Terminal Adapter to Telstra – simultaneously protecting Wang’s long-held and valuable outsourcing contract to operate Telstra’s financial network service – TranSend. Sold, designed, supplied and constructed Australia’s first Internet Business Services high-performance web hosting centre for Alta.com in St Leonards, NSW.
Consulting to the Queensland Government, I developed and wrote the 2nd phase of the ‘Queensland Online’ strategy. Consulted to Queensland Health re their Service Delivery Network vision – performed the original scopedefinitionand installation data set as a map-based interactive CD ROM. Say you can – then prove it.
Intergraph Corporation – Senior Consultant: Computer Aided Dispatch (Queensland and Huntsville, Alabama USA)
Account, Bid, and Lead Solution Manager for several bids to provide GIS-based computer aided dispatch systems to Public Safety and Utility customers. Established bid strategy and conducted the pre-bid negotiations with the prime bidders (TETRA vendors) on the Belgian Police communications and control project – ASTRID – securing the agreement of all to include Intergraph CAD in their bid and winning in partnership with Nokia. Proposed Object Oriented Telephony to integrate telephony into I-CAD and resolved legacy application support on mobile data terminals using an e-mail analogy agreeable to Intergraph’s software engineers. Led ISO9001 accreditation for the company nationally – using a diagrammatic method better suited to Intergraph’s’ predominantly engineering staff. Be ambitious: Ask.
Motorola – Senior Account Manager: Public Safety, Emergency Services & Secure Communications (Queensland)
Responsible for all Account Management tasks (and some aspects of engineering) for Australia–wide sales of systems to Police and Emergency Services customers, and for communicating/launching new technologies such as digital trunking, APCO-25 and VSELP-based secure telephony. Created the documentation strategy that achieved ISO 9001 accreditation for Motorola’s various State Branches (Motorola, being a 6-Sigma company andMalcolm Baldridge award winner, was veryquality conscious). Don’t assume your ’experts’ know everything.
Professional Experience Summary
2015 – 2018, Technology start-ups (A3D Holdings Ltd and its licensor, Vastigo Ltd) – CEO
CEO, Marketeer, Writer, Web-developer, Salesman, Student of Acoustics and Perception
2005 – date, Helena Consulting – Partner
2003 – 2005, SAP Australia, Brisbane
2002 – 2003, KPMG, Brisbane
Senior Manager – Information Risk Management Practice
2000 – 2002, Computer Sciences Corporation, Sydney
Project Director – Optus Transition; then Manager – Strategy & New Business; then Global Marketing Manager – Integrated Global Network (now known as CEGN)
1997 – 1999, Wang Global, Brisbane (now known as Getronics)
State Manager – Queensland
1996 – 1997, Anite Networks, Brisbane (formerly Case Communications – now Logicalis)
State Manager – Queensland
1994 – 1996, Intergraph Corporation, Brisbane
Senior Consultant – Computer Aided Dispatch
1992 – 1994, Motorola, Brisbane
Senior Account Manager – National lead on Public Safety Communications