Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA), Australia’s peak representative body and advocacy group in the digital ecosystem, is comprised of 92 percent small and medium Australian businesses and 8 percent large Australian companies and multinational corporations.
The COVID-19 global pandemic has brought together multinational tech giants and the Australian government to ensure SMEs continue their businesses with minimal disruption. The Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) in partnership with global tech companies has launched the Australian Business Continuity online resource centre to support businesses as they transition to working remotely at this extremely challenging time.
Australia, like most countries worldwide, has been implementing stricter measures to flatten the COVID-19 curve, with local businesses taking a big hit.
Ron Gauci, AIIA CEO said:
“The technology industry, through the Australian Information Industry Association and working closely with Australian Federal and State governments, has created the Australian Business Continuity online resource centre – designed to support the economy during these difficult and unprecedented times.”
The online portal provides free practical tools as well as businesses advice on how to best use teleworking services to help SMEs in the country thrive. The tech companies that chipped in with a complimentary suite of service and product offerings are Adobe, Cisco, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Salesforce, ServiceNow, SAP, and Telstra.
“AIIA would like to thank the companies who have already signed on for their support in assisting Australian businesses, schools, students, governments and workplaces for contributing to this online resource in what is proving to be a challenging time for all businesses,” Gauci stressed.
The online resource centre includes a range of remote communications, collaboration, workforce management, virtual meetings and events, and video conferencing solutions for business continuity that is accessible from any device at any time and anywhere.
SAP has addressed COVID-19’s disruption of the global workforce by providing SAP offerings at no cost to ensure business continuity. In the Australian Business Continuity hub, SAP has made survey tools by Qualtrics available for free to assist businesses in determining workforce needs as they work from home like technology and hardware requirements and where to get support.
Ariba Discovery is also available in the online resource centre providing a global marketplace that connects buyers to almost 4 million suppliers online. The SAP solution is offered until 30th June for free wherein suppliers can register on and define categories in which they supply services. Consequently, buyers can use that to see what suppliers are offering and invite suppliers to participate in an offer to the market.
In a joint media release with The Hon Paul Fletcher MP, Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety, and the Arts, The Hon Karen Andrews MP, Minister for Industry, Science and Technology shared her insights on how new technologies support businesses today. The Minister said:
‘This is just another example of how our business community—in this case the tech sector—is stepping up to help other Australian SMEs navigate the unprecedented challenges of coronavirus.”
“The new hub sees industry working together to keep our businesses running, with the AIIA partnering with Microsoft, Cisco, ServiceNow, Adobe, Telstra, Google, Facebook, SAP, Salesforce and others to provide guidance and free access to tools for video-conferencing, virtual meetings and other remote business services,” Minister Andrews added.
“Working remotely is foreign to many businesses but is now essential as they practice social distancing and I encourage all businesses to explore the new hub and see how it could help them make it to the other side of this outbreak,” she further stressed.
The Hon Paul Fletcher MP expressed his appreciation for tech giants’ swift action in supporting Australian business through applicable solutions and offerings. Minister Fletcher said:
“Businesses are well placed to take advantage of remote working solutions with the National Broadband Network now 95 percent complete, providing more than 11 million homes and businesses across Australia with access to fast, reliable and affordable broadband.”
“NBN Co has made 40 percent more network capacity available to retail service providers at no through the network at high speed, which will underpin people’s productivity and connectivity requirements as they shift their work habits in response to COVID-19,” he added.
AIIA’s Australia Business Continuity online resource center complements business.gov.au—the Government’s existing comprehensive website for SMEs.