News & Analysis

Australia Post partners with Data61 as it looks to become an ecommerce and ‘eGovernment services’ company

- March 1, 2016 2 MIN READ

With traditional snail mail continuing its slow slide into irrelevance, Australia Post has partnered with the CSIRO’s data innovation group Data61 in a bid to innovate and secure its future.

The organisation has stated that the partnership continues its “transformation to an ecommerce and eGovernment services company”, with Australia Post to work with Data61 across three key areas.

These include digital government services, improving how Australians can access and utilise government services where and when they need to with in-market trials of new technology set to launch; logistics, applying insights from data gathered from trucks and parcel deliveries to drive advances in supply chain management and methods of delivery; and trusted services, making it easier and safer for customers to use the company’s services both online and in-store.

Ahmed Fahour, managing director and group CEO of Australia Post, said that as an ecommerce business, innovation is part of the company’s future, and it must respond quickly to the ongoing shift in consumer behaviour towards digital channels.

“This business-driven approach will bring short-term teams together to understand what does and doesn’t work for our customers. Our first trial will allow us to deliver a range of eGovernment services to customers in up to 20 areas of isolation or social disadvantage, resulting in improved convenience without having to travel to other service centres,” he said.

As to what those government services are, an Australia Post spokesman said further information around specific programs would be announced “in due course.”

Adrian Turner, CEO of Data61, said the organisation will use its experience to identify and apply technology that supports the transformation of Australia Post.

“This is a strategic digital transformation process of national significance, and we are focused on delivering high impact outcomes that will boost Australia Post’s offering as an ecommerce and eGovernment service provider,” Turner said.

The partnership is the latest move from Australia Post signalling its intent to innovate. The company had been criticised in various corners for taking too long to wake up to the fact that its traditional offerings were going the way of landlines and phone books, with startups like Sendle and Zoom2u launching and growing in its place.

The company announced a $20 million innovation fund to invest in ecommerce businesses last October, as well as an accelerator program run in partnership with the University of Melbourne’s Melbourne Accelerator Program (MAP).

Australia Post has also launched the Small Business Hive, a coworking space for startups and small businesses, in Geelong.

Image: Data61 CEO Adrian Turner. Source: Provided.