• Politics and Policy

    Strengthening Australian democracy

    Carolyn Holbrook |  July 22, 2024

    The growing threats and challenges to Australia’s democracy are well outlined in a new government report, and now is the time for some action

  • Business

    Silver surfers

    Open Forum |  July 22, 2024

    A new study calls for Australia to take advantage of the untapped market of silver tourism, paving the way to not only grow the economy but also offer an ever-increasing ageing population the opportunity to maintain quality of life.

  • America

    Biden leaves the stage

    Philip Klinkner |  July 22, 2024

    Given mounting concern about his prospects of re-election, Joe Biden has withdrawn his candidacy and urged Democrats to back Vice-President Kamala Harris instead.

Latest Story

  • Uncategorised

    CRM solutions – avoid the pitfalls; reap the rewards

    James Simpson     |      June 5, 2008

    For the midmarket, integrated CRM solution improves business productivity at a low total cost of ownership.

    Building and maintaining strong, solid relationships with customers is essential to the success of any business. According to Adam Sarner, an analyst with Gartner who focuses on the customer relationship management (CRM) industry, obtaining a new customer is 10 times more expensive than retaining an existing one.

    It's no secret that automating and integrating processes and procedures previously confined to paper and incompatible, disparate applications is proving to be a  cornerstone for effectively managing customer relationships.

    Until recently though, affordable technology designed specifically to meet the customer CRM needs of midmarket businesses, was not available to these organisations. That's all changed – and for the better.

    When it comes to customers, sales and service are fundamental to an organisation's success. If salespeople can't manage leads and opportunities, sales will doubtlessly be lost. And the service they do deliver is likely to be inconsistent.

  • Uncategorised

    You don’t know what you’ve got…. Until it’s gone

    Douglascomms     |      June 5, 2008

    Cyberspace is a little like the real world, and cocky kids who think they know what they're doing can get into just as much trouble online as they can at the local shops, park or pub for that matter.

  • Uncategorised

    The real value of technical innovation

    proberts     |      June 5, 2008

    Yes, process and entreprenurial innovation is crucial – but let's not forget the importance technical innovation.

    It is always hazardous to make a distinction between technical and non-technical innovation, lest one be accused of favouring one over the other. As has been pointed out, technical innovation is still a critical area where Australia is falling behind the rest of the world.

    Business spends only the equivalent of one per cent of GDP on R&D, half the OECD average and a third of that of the leaders – even Icelandic business does better. Our venture capital sector which might fund businesses to come from research is 0.1 per cent of GDP – again even Iceland manages more. Australia accounts for a mere one half of one per cent of global exports in technology-intensive industries.

    The fact is there are few R&D driven business on the stock exchange other than the familiar, Cochlear, Resmed and CSL. Most of our top companies are banks or miners. Multi nationals from Ericcson to JDS Uniphase have voted with their feet and ceased large scale R&D in Australia while most global giants in pharmaceuticals and IT spend a fraction on R&D locally compared to overseas rates.

  • Uncategorised

    Interoperability By Design

    Greg Stone     |      June 3, 2008

    In the last month alone, the government announced more than 630 submissions have been received towards its Review of the National Innovation System. It also launched a national program of festivals to increase innovation awareness in the wider community.

    We know innovation is central to Australia’s economic future, arresting the ‘brain drain’ and ensuring we continue to build strong, non-resources led, alternative export industries, among other macroeconomic drivers. We also know that government policy provides a strong foundation for fostering and encouraging innovation.

    But it’s also up to industry and the businesses within them to make incisive judgements on how to best leverage the skills and resources they have to ensure Australia retains a reputation for innovation, particularly on the international stage.

  • Uncategorised

    Inputs required from Mums

    bheeshmachand     |      May 30, 2008

    Valuable inputs required for paper on Parenthood, Pregnancy, Birth and Post Birth

  • Uncategorised

    Is re-blogging really engaging?

    StephenWilson     |      May 30, 2008

    The Open Forum administrator has recently reproduced here a great many blog posts by politicians and others from their own blogs. This is generally very interesting, and makes for a good read. But I've noticed that most of the subsequent discussion threads go cold very quickly. Moreover, I don't think I have seen a single […]

  • Uncategorised

    Gains from trade: vouchsafing the public good of liquidity in financial markets

    Nicholas Gruen     |      May 29, 2008

    Nicholas Gruen

    You may not know it but around 20% of the home loan market has just collapsed – the securitisation market. The banks are moving into the space and, as a result, rationing credit elsewhere. Below the fold is an op ed in the Age about it.  It introduces a theme you'll probably be seeing a little more of from me.

    In a paper I published in 1997 (I think it was) I argued that while competitive neutrality was a good thing, it was possible to have too much of it – at least where it stopped us making the best possible use of the specific qualities of the public sector.  But an alternative and in many cases ultimately more compelling principle is the desirability of making gains through trade. There are some things the public sector does better than the private sector, and it should be able to do them – prudently and within appropriate institutional frameworks.  This column outlines one.  I will outline some others if and when I get the time.

  • Uncategorised

    The Gruen Transfer

    Nicholas Gruen     |      May 29, 2008

    Those with an unusual surname have to get used to spelling it.  No it’s not Gluner.  Not Glueball or Grewbie it’s Gruen "G-R-U-E-N".  The compensation is,  your name identifies you or a family member pretty clearly.

    But odd things happen to Gruens.  In the 1990s I believe some activists were unable to register "The Australian Green Party" because it was similar to the Greens.  So for over a decade, Gruens marking their ballot papers wondered just who the Australian Gruen Party were, and why they hadn’t been in touch.

    And now I’m getting daily e-mails asking if my finance company is really becoming the Gruen Bank, the first commercial outfit to advertise on the ABC.  And what was Andrew Denton doing holding up Gruen Beer at the Logies?

    You can find out tomorrow night when The Gruen Transfer premiers on ABC TV.

  • Uncategorised

    The YouTube election that wasn’t

    jim.macnamara     |      May 29, 2008

    Claims that the recent Australian Federal election was the "YouTube election" or an ‘e-election’ are greatly exaggerated.

    There was a lot of hype about how Web 2.0 technologies allegedly influenced the last Federal Election. However, research shows that much of the claimed impact of YouTube, MySpace, Facebook, blogs and other ‘new’ media remains questionable at this stage. 

    From July through to November as the election campaign rolled out traditional print and television media were awash with claims that wikis, blogs, vlogs as well as websites like Facebook, and YouTube were changing the way we deal with our politicians, and the way they deal with us.

  • Identity Management in New Zealand, CeBIT Australia and the Merry Month of May …

    Malcolm Crompton     |      May 28, 2008

    In the world of information governance and a fair go for the individual in dealings with business and government, how has it felt this month?

  • Uncategorised

    The shifting expectations of corporate etiquette

    editor     |      May 28, 2008

    Mary Ann MaxwellBy Mary Ann Maxwell

    The expectation that all calls received will be responded to within 24 hours fails to take into account the way business is conducted today.

    Ever get that strange feeling that something's different? We all look the same, more or less, we're all out to achieve the same sorts of goals, but there's something very different about  the way we're talking to each other, and it's causing more than a bit of intergenerational confusion in the office.

    Those of us who have been in business for the last few decades should be forgiven for feeling a little out of sorts with more recent entrants into the business community. See, we came into the corporate world at a time where hierarchies were strictly observed, and controlled by the simple fact that there were relatively few forms of communication we could use to break down those walls.

    Things have changed, some for better, and some, well, for not so better, but the only way we're going to be at peace in this emergent business world is to recalibrate the rules, and update our expectations when it comes to communication.

  • Uncategorised

    Politics & Technology (& blogging) conference coming up in Canberra

    editor     |      May 28, 2008

    Andrew Bartlett

    Andrew Bartlett questions the value of the internet in increasing participation in the democratic process.

    On June 25, during my final sitting week in Parliament, I'll be speaking at a Politics & Technology conference organised by Microsoft. The keynote speaker will be US political writer, Matt Bai. I guess it will sort of mark the point I make a shift from a blogging politician to a person blogging about politics.

    The roles of blogs in political campaigning seems to vary a lot from country to country. There is nothing remotely comparable in Australia or the UK to the way blogs have developed in the USA. This piece by Matt Bai from 2006 details the first major convention of liberal (i.e. left leaning) bloggers in the USA, attended not just by 1000 or so bloggers, (including a few with a daily readership on a par with all but the largest newspapers), but also by major political heavyweights like Nancy Pelosi and Howard Dean. Even though this might at first seem like a huge shift in political influence, Bai puts in it context…