The PRWIRE Press Releases http:// 2017-04-29T01:10:28Z FinPal Australia’s first FinTech solution certified for Microsoft AppSource 2017-04-29T01:10:28Z finpal-australia-s-first-fintech-solution-certified-for-microsoft-appsource Australian financial planning software provider, FinPal, today announced its financial planning software solution is available on Microsoft AppSource. FinPal’s financial planning software is a sophisticated client & business management system – built upon Microsoft’s cloud-based services Office 365, Microsoft Dynamics, Microsoft Azure and Microsoft Power BI – providing a comprehensive set of financial planning, intelligence reporting, and management tools through one platform. Businesses will now be able to download FinPal’s software through Microsoft AppSource, a platform connecting enterprises with tailored business solutions helping them make smarter and faster business decisions. By making its software available for download on the platform, FinPal is extending its reach to organisations across the globe. “The submission process for AppSource was very thorough, which is a credit to Microsoft. They’re obviously committed to building a high-quality ecosystem of business applications.” said Stephen Handley, Founder and CEO, FinPal. “We’re extremely pleased to have been accepted. As well as validating the quality of our solution, being on AppSource makes it easy for businesses to get up and running quickly with our software. In about 15 minutes we can set someone up all the necessary Microsoft & FinPal software components”   FinPal will initially focus on building its customer base in Australia, but plans to expand into new geographies in the future. “As an Australian company, we’ve designed our product first for the Australian market. However, financial planning concepts such as cash flow, debt & assets are universal so, through the global reach of AppSource, we’ll be able to help financial services businesses everywhere increase profitability by being more organised, efficient and delivering better client outcomes.” added Handley.       “FinPal is a great example and advocate of how technology empowers organisations and individuals to achieve more. The close integration with a range of Microsoft cloud technologies allows FinPal to focus on innovating in ways existing software providers would find extremely difficult and costly, while AppSource delivers significant growth opportunities for the business,” said Sophie Corker, Business Apps Group Lead, Microsoft Australia.  Further information about FinPal’s financial planning software is available on their website www.finpal.com.au  Release Info For further information or to arrange an interview with Stephen Handley, please contact: E: stephen@finpal.com.au P: 0458 224 427 About FinPal FinPal is a fully integrated, cloud based, financial planning software that is enabling modern financial planning businesses to realise a new potential.   Our revolutionary business intelligence and management systems enhance team performance, increase client engagement and reduce business risk, resulting in a more profitable business.   At the heart FinPal’s system is a customised version of Microsoft’s, enterprise grade, Dynamics CRM, ensuring reliability and scalability. Integration with Outlook, Sharepoint and other Microsoft software is seamless. Extending Dynamics already rich feature set, FinPal has added all the essential financial planning features to deliver a solution that is instantly useful out of the box but easily customised for unique business needs. FinPal’s value proposition is simple. Through a truly integrated financial planning software solution it will help financial planning businesses become more profitable Banking on a sustainable future for our regions 2017-04-20T04:48:44Z banking-on-a-sustainable-future-for-our-regions Through its partnership with Landcare NSW, Regional Australia Bank is continuing to lead the way in Corporate Social Responsibility, donating $1 for every member that switches to online statements. Over the last four years, Regional Australia Bank has donated over $18,000 to Landcare NSW, a contribution State Landcare Coordinator Sonia Williams says is vital to local Landcare groups. “Without Regional Australia Bank’s support, many local Landcare groups would not be able to undertake their environmental conservation, education and sustainable agricultural projects,” Ms Williams said. “Regional Australia Bank’s contribution not only helps us to assist groups showcase their projects and build connections with their community, it also helps us fund important training to show them how they can widen their net of potential funding to help deliver their projects.” This financial year alone, six local Landcare groups, across Regional Australia Banks service regions, were the recipients of this much-needed support - support that has ensured the success of their projects. They include Southern New England Landcare – Frog Dreaming project; Congewai Valley Landcare – Regent Honey Eater project; Wollombi Valley Landcare Field Day – Meeting of the Waters project; Landcare NSW - Crowd-Funding Training workshops; Manning Landcare - Farm Gate Tour and the Murrurundi Landcare Tidy Towns Committee – Page’s River Warrior project. Regional Australia Bank CEO Kevin Dupé said: “Regional Australia Bank is proud to have contributed to these worthwhile projects through our partnership with Landcare NSW.” “As a bank we are committed to setting ourselves significant sustainability goals that will help ensure the future of our communities. We also endeavor to inspire and empower our members to make ethical decisions of their own and it is heartening to see so many already doing so by making the switch to online statements.” Through partnerships like this, Regional Australia Bank is acutely aware of the role it can play by encouraging sustainability and it seems, others are now taking notice of this ingenuity too. “Recently, a member of our Executive Management Team, Darren Schaefer was awarded a scholarship to take part in the Prince of Wales Leadership in Sustainability Programme through the University of Cambridge,” said Mr Dupé. “This programme recognises influential senior leaders operating at a strategic level within sustainability and arms them with knowledge and techniques to address key sustainability challenges in a practical way.” The Bank also recently held its second Sector Sustainability Summit in Sydney with other like-minded institutions - discussing the establishment of sector benchmarks for sustainability reporting, reviewing best practice and exploring collaboration opportunities around the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Mr Dupé says this is all part of the bank’s ongoing focus to minimising its own impact on the environment and maximising social and environmental returns to its regional communities, in the same way its partnership with Landcare NSW has done. - Ends - Contact: Sara Crowe, C7EVEN Communications, 02 6766 4513 / 0438 197 559 It is requested that Regional Australia Bank is not shortened to an acronym and always referred to in full as Regional Australia Bank. Image caption: Lucinda Chapman (Landcare NSW) and Kevin Dupe (CEO, Regional Australia Bank) at the Armidale Creeklands Suite 4 Technology Park, Madgwick Dr, Armidale NSW 2350 Australia Phone: 02 6776 0000 Security Industry Insurance Vital 2017-03-03T05:21:44Z security-industry-insurance-vital The security industry spends their hours protecting the lives and property of others, but if their own insurance is lacking who’s protecting them?Because of the perceived nature of the business and the roles undertaken, insurance for security firms is quite unique and is viewed by some in the insurance industry as high risk. Which is why getting the correct insurance at a fair price has been a challenge for owners and managers of security firms.According to the Managing Director of boutique insurance brokerage firm, Safe Hands Insurance, many insurance providers quote on perceived risk rather than real risk when it comes to security firms, which is why premiums are sometimes priced higher than they should be.  “That’s why you need a broker who understands the security industry and understands security industry insurance,” says Phillip Carr.And Phillip should know. He has over 20 years experience in the security industry, including managing his own security firm, making Safe Hands Insurance one of very few insurance brokers with hands-on, real world knowledge when it comes to security firms.While underinsurance of businesses is certainly not uncommon in Australia, the higher premiums often faced by security firms mean they are even more likely than other businesses to be not covered or not covered adequately by insurance. Specifically, for the security industry, this can mean they’re underinsured for aspects such as:• Motor vehicle loss or damage• Public and products liability• Professional indemnity• Workers compensation• The loss or damage of portable items, such as video and photographic equipment, radios and computers• Fidelity• Income protection• Life, trauma or total permanent disability protection“While out of the box insurance solutions are sometimes adequate, it’s important that security industry firms choose an insurance broker that can customise solutions for their unique business and their unique risk exposures,” Phillip adds. “For example, you may need liability and indemnity cover higher than the standard $10 or $20 million offered. You may need insurance to cover for the negligent loss of keys or to pay for new locks. Or you may need to extend cover to insure for the loss of someone else’s money or property from a safe, or to insure for fines or penalties for an inadvertent breach of legislation, or even for subcontractors that you engage".“Your needs are unique, so you need an insurance broker who can manage those needs.”Note: This content was written by Safe Hands Insurance, a boutique insurance brokerage that services small and medium businesses across Australia. For more information on insurance for security firms or for a quote, phone Safe Hands Insurance on 1300 744 442. Cover-More Travel Insurance recognised for trusted customer service 2017-02-21T23:20:11Z cover-more-travel-insurance-recognised-for-trusted-customer-service Sydney, 22 February 2017: Cover-More Travel Insurance has won a 2017 Feefo Trusted Service Award in recognition of the high ratings that genuine, authenticated customers have given to the specialist insurance and medical assistance provider. The annual Feefo Awards are an independently-awarded seal of excellence that recognise businesses for delivering exceptional experiences to customers. On the award win, Cover-More Travel Insurance’s Glenn Broadhurst said: “We’re absolutely thrilled to win a Trusted Service Award from Feefo. Cover-More is committed to doing everything we can to help travellers get the most out of their trip and to help them to keep travelling.” “We also share this achievement with our retail partners and the passionate travel consultants who provide our travel insurance to their customers. They deserve recognition, as they are the first touch point in our customer service journey.” “Without the commitment of our agency partners many Australians wouldn’t understand the critical importance of travel insurance, and particularly, the value offered by Cover-More.” To earn a Feefo Award, businesses must receive more than 50 genuine customer reviews between January 1 and December 31 2016, and achieve a Feefo service rating of between 4.0 and 4.4 out of five. Cover-More has a Feefo rating of 4.3 from 730 reviews. Feefo’s Trusted Service is awarded to businesses that use Feefo to collect genuine customer ratings and reviews. A badge of honour, this accreditation is unique as all the awards are based on reviews by verified customers on the Feefo platform.  “We would like to offer our congratulations to all the winners of this year’s Feefo Trusted Service award. We’re proud that so many businesses are putting customer service first,” Andrew Mabbutt, CEO at Feefo said. “We have been working closely with all our customers to build trust and transparency online, and ultimately help shoppers buy with confidence and make better decisions.” Feefo is a ratings and reviews, and customer analytics platform, collecting genuine, purchase-verified reviews on behalf of more than 3,000 businesses. Feefo ensures all feedback is authentic by matching it to a legitimate transaction to combat the increasing issue of fake reviews. All systems go at South Hill Armidale play space 2016-11-20T23:52:40Z all-systems-go-at-south-hill-armidale-play-space Regional Australia Bank, a proud supporter of the South Hill Armidale Play Space, is pleased to report that works have started on the highly anticipated project with completion now set for December 2016. The project, which is the brain-child of the Armidale District Netball Association, started six years ago, however it wasn’t until the project was posted on Regional Australia Bank’s ‘Heart of our Community’ website that it gained genuine traction. “We started this journey back in 2010, when we identified as part of our strategic plan, a need for a safe and secure play space for children, close to the netball courts,” said Rochelle Joyce, Armidale District Netball Association. “By 2013 a change in priorities saw us focus on the play space a little more and that’s when we decided to launch our plans and post it on the ‘Heart of our Community' website and then just like that, the project took off and we raised $125,000 in just under 12 months.” The idea behind the project was to make it easy for women to get back into or engage in sport and physical activity after having children so Rochelle says it’s great to see this vision finally taking shape. The Play Space will feature state of the art equipment including a 3.5 metre climbing cube, a fort, a birds nest swing, two spinners and an embankment slide. It will also offer children a sensory experience with textured plants, a nature area and a fully fenced pathway linking the netball courts to the play space. Kevin Dupé, CEO, Regional Australia Bank said: “The construction of the South Hill Armidale Play Space is wonderful news that will no doubt be welcomed by the entire community and we are pleased to see progress being made as a result of our contribution.” Mr Dupé added “It’s particularly rewarding for us as a Bank because one of the best things about our ‘Heart of our Community’ initiative is that there is no eligibility criteria for applying. You simply post your project, idea, or event and garner community support for it. The more votes, the higher the project ranks in that community, it’s as simple as that.” Regional Australia Bank is proud to have helped many wonderful community ideas come to life thanks to its ‘Heart of our Community’ initiative. Community members who are interested in the park’s progress should contact Armidale Regional Council or the Armidale District Netball Association. - Ends - Media enquiries: Sara Crowe, C7EVEN Communications, 02 6766 4513 / 0438 197 559 Editor’s Note: It is requested that Regional Australia Bank is not shortened to an acronym and always referred to in full as Regional Australia Bank. Global financial organisations select SimpliVity for their next-generation data centres 2016-11-16T00:00:00Z global-financial-organisations-select-simplivity-for-their-next-generation-data-centres Sydney, Australia – November 16, 2016 – SimpliVity, a hyperconverged infrastructure leader powering the world’s most efficient and resilient data centers, today showcased its strength in the financial services and banking industries, highlighting four customers from around the world that have selected SimpliVity’s market-leading solution. The company’s OmniStack technology enables leading financial institutions like Bank Central Asia, Credit and Investments Ombudsman, First Names Group, and PeoplesBank to transform their IT infrastructures and achieve the enterprise-class performance and availability their businesses demand, with the cloud economics their IT leaders require.   Financial services companies, like all companies, need constant access to their data, top-tier performance, and high availability to support their most recent information as well as application level disaster recovery. They can’t afford to have data corrupted or lost and it is imperative that enterprise applications remain predictable and at peak performance, even in the event of a site failure. SimpliVity hyperconverged infrastructure improves application performance while combining all core data centre functions to massively simplify enterprise IT environments. The solution also offers built-in data protection, and disaster recovery capabilities, at a VM or application level to dramatically shrink recovery point and recovery time objectives, ensuring the availability and resiliency of mission-critical applications.   “SimpliVity offers the most comprehensive hyperconverged solution in the market,” said Rich Kucharski, VP solutions architecture, SimpliVity. “Companies in the finance and banking industries cannot afford to go offline or have their mission-critical applications underperform. It is very telling that these companies trust SimpliVity with their most crucial workloads and applications. We are pleased to work with these enterprises to move them into a truly hyperconverged environment that delivers incredible elasticity, availability, agility, and superior cost savings.”  Credit and Investments Ombudsman deploys SimpliVity to meet growing enterprise demands Headquartered in Sydney, Australia, Credit and Investments Ombudsman provides consumers with a free and impartial dispute resolution service as an alternative to legal proceedings for resolving complaints with their financial services and product providers. As the company underwent a period of rapid growth, it found it was in need of an IT infrastructure that would scale along with the company. The organisation also needed to improve its disaster recovery options – in its early growth phase, the IT team was performing weekly full backups and nightly incrementals. However, as the business expanded, so too did its data protection needs. With SimpliVity, Credit and Investments Ombudsman now has disaster recovery fully integrated into their IT infrastructure, dramatically improving the company’s recovery time objectives and recovery point objectives in a disaster scenario.   “SimpliVity has vastly simplified operations for our IT team,” said Matt Grech, IT manager, Credit and Investments Ombudsman. “The complexity of a typical SAN environment is removed and our disaster recovery capabilities are much improved, as well. The performance of our hyperconverged environment has been so incredible, we are currently working on standardising on SimpliVity for all of our IT infrastructure needs. This is truly an enterprise solution.”  Bank Central Asia realises real data efficiency with SimpliVity   Bank Central Asia was looking for an all-in-one infrastructure solution that could provide dramatic improvements in data efficiency at both core data centres and disaster recovery sites. As one of the largest regional banks in Indonesia, the bank needed a reliable data centre solution that was able to provide enterprise performance, predictability, and protection. SimpliVity’s solution allows Bank Central Asia to reap the benefits of global inline deduplication, compression, and optimisation, including backup without additional licensing and without impacting server performance.   “SimpliVity brings something new to the table. By deduplicating, compressing, and optimising all data, at inception, we’re able to achieve unmatched data efficiency without needing a specialised system,” said Hermawan Thendean, executive vice president information technology group, Bank Central Asia.  “It’s unlike anything else other hyperconverged vendors are offering. The company has built something really revolutionary by delivering one complete solution for the data centre.”  First Names Group improves scalability and simplifies management with SimpliVity When the IT team was tasked with improving the network of First Names Group, the first priority was to upgrade the underlying IT infrastructure. First Names Group’s previous infrastructure was made up of various legacy technologies and the incumbent infrastructure environment was not designed to scale in line with the organisation’s growth objectives. To improve business productivity and maximise IT resources, First Names Group deployed hyperconverged infrastructure. With the new IT infrastructure, the company now doesn’t have to worry about if its IT infrastructure can scale to handle periods of growth. SimpliVity’s solution is designed in a scale-out model where x86 building blocks can be added to meet the needs of all growing enterprises. The company also needed a solution that could be managed from a single interface. SimpliVity’s global unified management enables First Names Group to do just that as the IT team now manages the entire SimpliVity solution, in all locations, from a single pane-of-glass.   “There was a lot to consider in choosing the right solution to improve our IT environment now, while remaining capable of dealing with future demand as well. We were originally looking at traditional IT vendor solutions, but when we found SimpliVity, it was like a breath of fresh air,” said Ian Quayle, associate director, First Names Group. “Once we saw that SimpliVity enabled one-click operations where, say, a workload could be transferred in just a few seconds to the other side of the globe, we knew SimpliVity was something revolutionary.”  PeoplesBank future-proofs its data centre with hyperconvergence   To replace its aging and outdated legacy IT infrastructure, PeoplesBank decided to use a technology refresh as an opportunity to invest in a hyperconverged solution. With a hyperconverged implementation spanning two sites for disaster recovery, PeoplesBank is running core mission-critical applications on SimpliVity, including Microsoft Exchange and Microsoft SQL Server, as well as other industry-specific applications. The organisation has also improved and automated its disaster recovery posture, taking advantage of SimpliVity’s built-in data protection capabilities.   “I wanted a solution that would make our data centre future-proof,” said Joe Zazzaro, CIO, PeoplesBank. “SimpliVity has made our entire data centre more efficient, much simpler, and more innovative. We are able to work on new projects now with SimpliVity that we simply didn’t have the bandwidth for prior to going hyperconverged. The impact of SimpliVity and the efficiency it enables has been felt not just in our IT department, but across all facets of the business.”  Resources Read the Credit and Investments Ombudsman case study Read the blog about other financial customers Follow SimpliVity on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube and Google+ About SimpliVity SimpliVity powers the world’s most efficient and resilient data centres with the most complete hyperconverged infrastructure solution. Unlike traditional infrastructure that’s complex and costly to manage, SimpliVity dramatically simplifies enterprise IT by combining all infrastructure and advanced data services for virtualised workloads—including guaranteed data efficiency, data protection, and VM-centric management and mobility—onto the customer’s choice of server. SimpliVity delivers 3x cost savings versus traditional architectures and up to 49% cost savings versus public cloud. Headquartered in Westborough, Mass., the company has raised $276 million in venture capital and employs about 750 worldwide. A market and customer satisfaction leader, SimpliVity services midmarket and Global 2000 enterprises worldwide with a business model that is 100 percent indirect.  For more information, visit http://www.simplivity.com.  Media Contacts Amanda Conroy Espresso Communicationsamanda@espressocomms.com.au +61 2 8016 2200 +61 422 472 883 Amy Rathbone Espresso Communicationsamy@espressocomms.com.au +61 2 8016 2200 +61 423 230 244® 2016, SimpliVity. All rights reserved. Information described herein is furnished for informational use only, is subject to change without notice. SimpliVity, the SimpliVity logo, OmniCube, OmniStack, and Data Virtualization Platform are trademarks or registered trademarks of SimpliVity Corporation in the United States and certain other countries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Australian RegTech company recognised for global growth 2016-11-04T07:31:31Z australian-regtech-company-recognised-for-global-growth 4th November 2016, Sydney, Australia. Fast-growth Australian RegTech company, GRC Solutions, were finalists at last week’s NSW Premier’s Export Awards in the Education and Training category, acknowledged for their international growth in Asia and North America. GRC is a collaborative and international online compliance training business that uses its adaptive eLearning platform to maximise learning efficiency while significantly reducing compliance training and development costs for large organisations. Established in 2013, the company opened its first international office in Singapore in 2014 and this year opened an office in New York. The RegTech start-up is committed to having a strong hold in these key markets as part of its future global growth plans. Currently, GRC has over 150 clients and 500,000+ end users. Following a successful launch in Washington DC this month, the company is set to double US growth in the next three months. The company has played a key role to date in assisting Australia’s financial services sector through a period of disruption and uncertainty. Some Australian banks are spending over $300 million each year on compliance and in the last seven years, twenty of the world's biggest banks have paid more than $235 billion in fines. It is now common for bank employees to have 40 or more hours of mandatory training per year. When multiplied across an employee population of 30,000+ staff, the financial services sector is investing vast amounts of employee time into training. “We see the regulatory technology and compliance area really taking off and there is an increasing need for banks to be more efficient and effective in what they do. One client told us that every hour of mandatory training costs them $30 million in lost productivity,” said GRC Managing Director, Julian Fenwick. GRC is using adaptive eLearning technology to help organisations meet regulatory requirements and improve training outcomes without throwing away money. By recognising prior learning, the platform can effectively trim the hours of mandatory learning per employee. American Express is using the adaptive eLearning platform to train over 100,000 people annually in anti-money laundering in eight languages. “In today’s global economy, Australian tech companies need to prioritise global growth as part of their long-term business strategies. At GRC, global growth has always been high on the agenda. We’re delighted to be acknowledged by the NSW Export Awards for something that is a core value of our business,” said Mr Fenwick. GRC’s acknowledgement at last week’s awards comes just a week after GRC accepted the award for Best Compliance Training Program for its work with American Express at the LearnX awards. The company continues to be highly recognised for its innovative and high quality platform and program. GRC will ramp up its global operations in 2017, as they seek to expand their footprint in Asia and the US, whilst keeping an eye on the European market, particularly post-Brexit. The company will be exhibiting at Singapore’s FinTech Summit later this month. About GRC Solutions (www.grcsolutions.com.au): Formerly GRC was part of law firm Blake Dawson Waldron, known as BDW Technology. The company was then spun off in 2013, when Blake Dawson merged with English law firm Ashurst, Today, GRC Solutions is a RegTech company and leader in award-winning online compliance training, spanning legal compliance, risk management and ethics. Across the private, government and non-profit sectors, GRC helps organisations to build resilient cultures amid complex legal and regulatory environments. Headquartered in Sydney, Australia, GRC has a strong international presence in the US, New Zealand and Asia. Regional Australia Bank backs Warialda Play Park upgrade 2016-10-31T03:42:27Z regional-australia-bank-backs-warialda-play-park-upgrade Warialda locals are being encouraged to put their support behind the Warialda Play Park upgrade as part the Regional Australia Bank ‘Heart of our Community’ initiative. The initiative which was established in 2012 has already seen many wonderful ideas come to life thanks to community members posting an idea or project to the Banks Heart of our Community website and garnering support by fellow community members. Debbie Ford is the driving force behind the Play Park upgrade and says she is really excited about the prospect of funding from the Bank. “We’ve been working towards an upgrade to the park for a few years now. Some of the equipment was so old, it no longer met Australian standards so when the opportunity to post the idea on The Heart of our Community website came up, we jumped on it ,” said Debbie. Regional Australia Bank is likewise enthusiastic about this project and has committed up to $8,000 for the upgrade if the project receives enough votes of community support. “For every vote, Regional Australia Bank will contribute $40 toward the project and elevate the status of the project toward the top ranked ideas for that community,” says Matthew Hayes, Area Manager, Regional Australia Bank. “We will assess the votes at the end of December and hopefully the project will have received the 200 votes it needs to receive the full $8,000 from the Bank.” Plans for the upgrade include the addition of a swing with a seat belt for younger kids, appropriate equipment for kids over 10, a fence around the entire play area and additional seating in the area. Soft fall ground cover is also on the wish list. “Basically I want to make the play area as beautiful as the rest of the park, so that it becomes a place where children and their parents can spend time together outdoors but also a place where visitors want to stop off when they are passing through,” said Debbie. Community members can vote for this project by registering on Regional Australia Banks ‘Heart of our Community’ website www.heartofourcommunity.com.au. - Ends - Contact: Sara Crowe, C7EVEN Communications, 02 6766 4513 / 0438 197 559 Editor’s Note: It is requested that Regional Australia Bank is not shortened to an acronym and always referred to in full as Regional Australia Bank. Regional Australia Bank takes on the Challenge 2016-10-31T01:03:30Z regional-australia-bank-takes-on-the-challenge In the latest of a series of community partnership deals, Regional Australia Bank is throwing its support behind the Inverell Toughen Up Challenge with a three-year naming rights sponsorship. Alex Ribeiro, Inverell Branch Manager, Regional Australia Bank said: “partnering with the Inverell Toughen Up Challenge was a perfect fit for the Bank. It is an excellent event that puts value back into the community. It also draws a lot of people to the area from the surrounding region, which is great for the local Inverell economy and ultimately supports the Bank’s commitment to regional prosperity.” The Challenge which involves teams of four people completing a 9km square course throughout the Inverell CBD, sees people of ages from eight to eighty take part and has grown exponentially over the last five years. “When we first started out, we never envisaged the event would become so popular,” said Lynn Lennon, Inverell Toughen Up Committee Member. “Naturally, we sought out a like-minded organisation to partner with to support this growth and it made sense to approach Regional Australia Bank. We operate under the same ethos, with proceeds of the event going back into ‘bricks and mortar’ within the community in the same way the Bank puts 5% of its profits back into the community." On top of that Lynn says the Bank has been a great supporter of the event over the years and is already so involved in the community “they are just awesome” she added. The Challenge has both competitive and non-competitive divisions and has been designed with inclusion in mind so that people of all fitness and skill levels can participate. Lynn says it doesn’t matter if you’re not good at sports because there’s puzzles, swimming, tyre flipping – the works. It can be done by anyone. That’s the other thing that got the Banks attention explains Alex. “It is family orientated so both kids and adults alike can take part, in fact, my kids have done it twice now and it’s tons of fun.” The 2017 Regional Australia Bank Inverell Toughen Up Challenge takes place on Friday 10th March 2017 for the Juniors, with the main event on Saturday 11th March 2017 for the Adults. Registrations are now open and can be found at http://inverelltoughenup.net/ - Ends - Contact: Sara Crowe, C7EVEN Communications, 02 6766 4513 / 0438 197 559 Editor’s Note: It is requested that Regional Australia Bank is not shortened to an acronym and always referred to in full as Regional Australia Bank. Gartner Says Insurance Firms Should Investigate ‘Insurtechs’ to Complement Their Own Digital Strategies 2016-10-24T01:49:00Z gartner-says-insurance-firms-should-investigate-insurtechs-to-complement-their-own-digital-strategies GOLD COAST, Australia, October 24, 2016 — Insurance sector CIOs need to expand their market insight concerning the innovation and disruption potential of insurance technology startups (insurtechs) to complement their digital insurance strategies, according to Gartner, Inc. According to Gartner research, 64 percent of the world's 25 largest insurance companies have already invested directly or indirectly via their venture capital arms in insurtech startups. Gartner predicts that 80 percent of life and property & casualty (P&C) insurers worldwide will partner with or acquire insurtechs to secure their competitive positions by the end of 2018. Speaking at Gartner Symposium/ITxpo in Australia today, Juergen Weiss, managing vice president at Gartner, said insurtechs can stimulate or accelerate innovation among incumbent industry players and complement existing digital insurance strategies. "Gartner has seen a growing interest among insurance business and IT leaders in collaborating with insurtechs or making them part of their overall innovation policies, but the research has also found that most insurance CIOs are not familiar with these companies or their value propositions," said Mr. Weiss. “We advise CIOs to identify areas where insurtechs could complement their digital insurance strategies, and evaluate potential collaboration or investments." Gartner defines insurtechs as technology companies (1) that are in their early stages of operation; (2) that drive specific innovation across the insurance value chain by leveraging new technologies, user interfaces, business processes or business models; and (3) that leverage different forms of funding, including, but not limited to, venture capital. The number of technology startups in the insurance industry has more than doubled globally during the last three years, according to Gartner analysis of the sector conducted in the second quarter of 2016. Digital customer engagement, mobile insurance management and analytics are the most common technology focus areas of insurtechs. Sixty percent of insurtechs have been founded within the last three years, and two-thirds of them have their headquarters in the U.S. EMEA is the second-most important region for insurtechs, with 27 percent having their headquarters there, mainly in Germany and the U.K. In Asia, countries such as Singapore and China (mainly Hong Kong and Shanghai) have begun to promote the development of a local insurtech ecosystem. Digitalisation is one of the top priorities for insurance CIOs, according to Gartner surveys. However, the vast majority of insurance CIOs are still struggling to progress their digital strategies. Gartner's research indicates that only 12 percent of insurance business and IT leaders consider their organisations to be digitally progressive, while the majority believe that their organisations are digital beginners or intermediate, at best. Reasons for this include a lack of agility caused by legacy IT systems, flat IT budgets and a lack of the right skills or the delivery models to support innovative business models. "Collaborating with insurtechs, or at least evaluating them, could therefore provide a number of potential benefits for insurers," said Mr. Weiss. According to Gartner, insurers have six main options to capitalise on the opportunities that insurtechs provide: 1. Partner (for example, Axa partnering with BlaBlaCar for carsharing). 2. Acquire, that is, purchase the intellectual assets and hire all resources of an insurtech. 3. Purchase (like one would buy technology from an incumbent vendor such as SAP) 4. Invest (obtain a minority or majority share, either directly or indirectly, via a VC arm, such as Allianz's investment in Simplesurance). 5. Incubate (for example, let insurtechs compete to get into a startup accelerator; mentor them; and give them a space to work and exchange ideas). 6. Insure the operations or assets of insurtechs. Insurance CIOs who are planning to partner with insurtechs also need to be aware of the risks. "Not all of them will survive," said Mr. Weiss. "Insurance CIOs will need to develop a fail-fast approach and an exit plan that secures intellectual property and critical resources." Gartner clients can learn more in the report "Innovation Insight for Technology Startups in the Insurance Industry". About Gartner Symposium/ITxpo Gartner Symposium/ITxpo is the world's most important gathering of CIOs and senior IT leaders, uniting a global community of CIOs with the tools and strategies to help them lead the next generation of IT and achieve business outcomes. More than 23,000 CIOs, senior business and IT leaders worldwide will gather for the insights they need to ensure that their IT initiatives are key contributors to, and drivers of, their enterprise's success. Video replays of keynotes and sessions are available on Gartner Events on Demand. Follow news, photos and video coming from Gartner Symposium/ITxpo on Smarter With Gartner, on Twitter using #GartnerSYM, Facebook and LinkedIn. Upcoming dates and locations for Gartner Symposium/ITxpo include: November 6-10, Barcelona, Spain November 15-18, Goa, India February 28-March 2, Dubai, UAE About Gartner Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT) is the world's leading information technology research and advisory company. The company delivers the technology-related insight necessary for its clients to make the right decisions, every day. From CIOs and senior IT leaders in corporations and government agencies, to business leaders in high-tech and telecom enterprises and professional services firms, to technology investors, Gartner is the valuable partner to clients in approximately 10,000 distinct enterprises worldwide. Through the resources of Gartner Research, Gartner Executive Programs, Gartner Consulting and Gartner Events, Gartner works with every client to research, analyse and interpret the business of IT within the context of their individual role. Founded in 1979, Gartner is headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut, USA, and has 8,300 associates, including more than 1,800 research analysts and consultants, and clients in more than 90 countries. For more information, visit www.gartner.com. Regional Australia Bank continues revolutionary Community Partnership Program giving back over $4,000 to Bingara community 2016-10-04T00:08:22Z regional-australia-bank-continues-revolutionary-community-partnership-program-giving-back-over-4-000-to-bingara-community Monday, 4 October 2016 Regional Australia Bank continues revolutionary Community Partnership Program, giving back over $4,000 to Bingara community On Thursday, 29 September 2016, Regional Australia Bank reaffirmed its commitment to support the Bingara community by giving back $4,143.39 through its Community Partnership Program. After recently changing its name from New England Mutual to Regional Australia Bank, the transition was celebrated along with the donations. “The Community Partnership Program awards event presented a great opportunity to also celebrate the launch of our new brand, as the program reinforces just some of the ways we assist our customers and their communities.” said Kevin Dupé, CEO, Regional Australia Bank. “The Program continues to grow at over 30% each year as more and more people get on board.” The last 5 years has seen the Bank contribute over $1.5 million dollars to deserving community groups and it’s not stopping there. At Bingara Sporting Club, Regional Australia Bank awarded $4,143.39 to the Bingara community. Friends of Touriandi; Bingara Pony Club; Gwydir Rugby Club; and United Hospital Auxiliaries - Bingara, were just a few of the 19 groups to receive a donation. Alex Ribeiro, Branch Manager at Regional Australia Bank said: “we are passionate about giving back to our community and we are equally committed to empowering our customers to support local community groups they feel strongly about. That’s why we established the Community Partnership Program eight years ago.” The program that started out as one single account, has now been made available to all customers so that everyone can take part in what the Bank believes is a ‘revolution in community banking’. The Community Partnership Program works by customers opening a transaction account and selecting which group they would like to support. Regional Australia Bank then calculates the average annual balance of all supporter’s accounts and donates 1% of the total to the cause on the customers’ behalf, all without costing them a cent. “Because this program is an extension of our Community Support Program it comes at no cost to our customers and it authenticates our promise to operate in the best interests of our customers and communities,” explained Kevin “This customer owned structure means our customers not only benefit from fairer fees, competitive interest rates and the expertise from local specialists, they know they’re benefiting Regional Australia by helping it to prosper and thrive” he said. In addition to the Community Partnership Program, Regional Australia Bank also gives 5% of its net profits back to our community in sponsorships to local clubs, community organisations as well as contributing to regional infrastructure projects. “We’re immensely proud of our contribution to our community,” said Alex. “After all, it’s the opportunity to make a difference, to build communities and to create better places to live that drives so many of us – so it’s fitting that our customers, who are also members of our communities, lead the way in initiatives like this one” he added. Regional Australia Bank is pleased to be able to continue the Community Support Program so that it can also continue to deliver social and environmental returns to regional communities at every opportunity. - Ends - Contact: Sara Crowe, C7EVEN Communications, 02 6766 4513 / 0438 197 559 Editor’s Note: Similar events have already been held in the following surrounding towns: Friday, 16 September in Moree with $24,747.35 donated to 50 local community groups Friday, 16 September in Mungindi with $2,061.99 donated to 11 local community groups Other similar events are also planned for the following surrounding towns: Tuesday, 11 October in Warialda with $3,231.12 to be donated to 18 local community groups It is requested that Regional Australia Bank is not shortened to an acronym and always referred to in full as Regional Australia Bank. Regional Australia Bank continues revolutionary Community Partnership Program 2016-10-04T00:05:34Z regional-australia-bank-continues-revolutionary-community-partnership-program On Thursday, 29 September 2016, Regional Australia Bank reaffirmed its commitment to support the Inverell, Bundarra and Ashford communities by giving back $48,322.76 through its Community Partnership Program. After recently changing its name from New England Mutual to Regional Australia Bank, the transition was celebrated along with the donations. “The Community Partnership Program awards event presented a great opportunity to also celebrate the launch of our new brand, as the program reinforces just some of the ways we assist our customers and their communities.” said Kevin Dupé, CEO, Regional Australia Bank. “The Program continues to grow at over 30% each year as more and more people get on board.” The last 5 years has seen the Bank contribute over $1.5 million dollars to deserving community groups and it’s not stopping there. At The Inverell Club Regional Australia Bank awarded $48,322.76 to the Inverell, Bundarra and Ashford communities. Inverell Breast Cancer Support Group; Ashford Ageing Care Facility; Bundarra CWA; Inverell Prostate Cancer Support Group; Inverell East Bowling Club; and Bright Access, were just a few of the 83 groups to receive a donation. Alex Ribeiro, Branch Manager at Regional Australia Bank said: “we are passionate about giving back to our community and we are equally committed to empowering our customers to support local community groups they feel strongly about. That’s why we established the Community Partnership Program eight years ago.” The program that started out as one single account, has now been made available to all customers so that everyone can take part in what the Bank believes is a ‘revolution in community banking’. The Community Partnership Program works by customers opening a transaction account and selecting which group they would like to support. Regional Australia Bank then calculates the average annual balance of all supporter’s accounts and donates 1% of the total to the cause on the customers’ behalf, all without costing them a cent. “Because this program is an extension of our Community Support Program it comes at no cost to our customers and it authenticates our promise to operate in the best interests of our customers and communities,” explained Kevin “This customer owned structure means our customers not only benefit from fairer fees, competitive interest rates and the expertise from local specialists, they know they’re benefiting Regional Australia by helping it to prosper and thrive,” he said. In addition to the Community Partnership Program, Regional Australia Bank also gives 5% of its net profits back to our community in sponsorships to local clubs, community organisations as well as contributing to regional infrastructure projects. “We’re immensely proud of our contribution to our community,” said Alex. “After all, it’s the opportunity to make a difference, to build communities and to create better places to live that drives so many of us – so it’s fitting that our customers, who are also members of our communities, lead the way in initiatives like this one” he added. Regional Australia Bank is pleased to be able to continue the Community Support Program so that it can also continue to deliver social and environmental returns to regional communities at every opportunity. - Ends - Contact: Sara Crowe, C7EVEN Communications, 02 6766 4513 / 0438 197 559 Editor’s Note: Similar events have already been held in the following surrounding towns: Thursday, 1 September in Guyra with $15,340.86 donated to 26 local community groups Wednesday, 7 September in Walcha with $8,263.76 donated to 22 local community groups Wednesday, 7 September in Tenterfield with $19,517.80 donated to 13 local community groups Thursday, 8 September in Armidale with $76,662.77 donated to 96 local community groups Thursday, 15 September in Uralla with $12,703.75 donated to 13 local community groups Wednesday, 21 September in Glen Innes with $33,919.40 donated to 30 local community groups It is requested that Regional Australia Bank is not shortened to an acronym and always referred to in full as Regional Australia Bank. Ready. Steady. Risk. 2 months to go! 2016-09-25T11:01:40Z ready-steady-risk-2-months-to-go Ready. Steady. Risk. 2 months to go! RMIA National Conference to deliver an impressive array of keynote speakers. 25th September 2016, Sydney, Australia, The Risk Management Institution of Australasia conference takes place on the 16th-18th of November 2016 at The Crowne Conference Centre in Melbourne. One of the keynote speakers, Chris MacKinnon, from Lloyd’s will examine Emerging Risk. MacKinnon states: “Lloyd’s defines an emerging risk as an issue that is perceived to be potentially significant but which may not be fully understood or allowed for in insurance terms and conditions, pricing, reserving or capital setting. It is important to understand that in some cases the threat itself is not emerging, but our vulnerability to the risk it poses is. Human Pandemic is a good example – The Spanish Flu pandemic in 1918 killed nearly 100m people. Modern medicine, response coordination and communications have significantly improved the risk, but global society, and international movement of people increases the threat for the fast spread of disease dramatically. Spanish Flu took three months to go global – Swine Flu took three weeks.” Keynote speaker, Kate Hughes, Chief Risk Officer at Telstra will review the differences between risk management between public and private sector organisations. Kate Hughes gives us a taste of what will be discussed by highlighting the following: “There are a few differences, some of it is driven by different stakeholders but there is also the issue of transparency and that can drive different approaches to risk appetite and risk management. Most privately held companies are not required to disclose their financial information and they don’t need shareholder approval for their strategy so can possibly choose to pursue more (or less) risk. This can mean that they can shift their focus more simply, potentially focusing more on long term growth rather than making sure shareholders are receiving their dividends. However private companies may struggle to attract directors with risk management experience as they often have smaller boards and the regulatory requirements around governance aren’t so obvious, so there may be a disconnect between management and board about how risk should be managed, and yet in some cases given the lack of capital markets support, it’s arguable that risk management practices should be stronger. You could argue that in publicly listed companies the board is required to very visibly manage risk and there is greater transparency about how they do that but these organisations tend to be larger with strong capital markets supporting them whereas in private companies the board is less visible and there are fewer requirements around risk management and disclosure of governance practices. Generally speaking, public corporations are more likely to be subject to regulatory scrutiny, particularly those with specific regulatory risk requirements relating to their operations. All of these things will influence the risk tolerance and appetite and ultimately the types of risk management strategies the company employs.” The RMIA conference will be a conduit for ideas, debate, networking and discussion which will become part of the matrix for a better business environment in the Asia Pacific and the international risk community. For more information and to book go to: http://rmiaconference.com.au Media Enquiries: Candice Meisels candice@candicepr.com Cover-More appoints Judith Crompton to head global airline and travel agency business 2016-09-19T23:13:24Z cover-more-appoints-judith-crompton-to-head-global-airline-and-travel-agency-business Sydney, 20 September 2016: Cover-More Group Limited (ASX:CVO), a specialist, integrated travel insurance provider, today announced that former Virgin Australia Chief Commercial Officer, Judith Crompton, will join the group in the new role of CEO, Travel and Aviation. Cover-More Group CEO, Mike Emmett, said Judith Crompton’s appointment was a key part of the implementation of a new global go-to-market approach that leverages Cover-More’s global capabilities. “We are very pleased to welcome Judith to Cover-More. We have a significant track record in partnering with airlines and travel agency networks and Judith Crompton’s talent, drive and international experience leading this business will enable us to leverage this global business to maximum effect.” Judith Crompton is a senior airline and travel industry executive with more than 30 years’ experience with some of the largest and most innovative travel companies in Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United Arab Emirates. She was Chief Commercial Officer with Virgin Australia from 2012. Prior to joining Virgin Australia, Judith held senior positions at Qantas, Etihad Airways and Flight Centre. Crompton will report into Mike Emmett, and she will join Cover-More Group on 14 November 2016. ENDS Media contacts Cover-More GroupAngela Cross, Pilot PR, +61 412 929 397 angela@pilotpr.com.au   About Cover-More Group Cover-More Group Limited is a specialist and integrated travel insurance, medical assistance and employee assistance provider. The group listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) in 2013. Cover-More has the leading market position in Australia—with an approximate 40% share of the national travel insurance market and a growing footprint in India and China as well as a presence in Malaysia, Singapore, New Zealand and the United Kingdom and now the United States. Visit http://www.covermore.com/group for more information.     Small Businesses Face Underinsurance Risk 2016-09-13T06:06:44Z small-businesses-face-underinsurance-risk Every year in Australia, when natural disasters hit, inevitably the focus turns to insurance and specifically the number of people who are underinsured. Unfortunately, underinsurance in business is also common, particularly for small businesses such as jumping castle operators and play centres, and those in the security industry.How bad is the underinsurance problem for Australian businesses?• Research by Swiss Re Economic Research & Consulting shows that Australia is one of the most underinsured nations in the developed world. • Studies of Australian small businesses – such as jumping castle operations, play centres and those in the security industry – have shown that more than 60% don’t have insurance for business interruption, 80% don’t have machinery breakdown cover, over 30% are uninsured for burglary and 16% don’t have insurance that covers them for fire.• A study conducted by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission found that 1 in 6 small to medium business enterprises did not have insurance for their properties. Further research showed that of those businesses that did have insurance for their properties, most were significantly underinsured.• Approximately 70% of small businesses don’t recover after a major loss or incident.The importance of insurance can’t be overemphasised when disaster – small or major – hits. Having adequate insurance means your business can bounce back from a setback quickly as you’ll have the finances to fund your recovery. Without adequate insurance, your jumping castle, play centre or security firm may be out of business for a long time, and perhaps join the 70% that go out of business permanently.Why are many Australian businesses underinsured? There are two key reasons that are regularly cited. The first is a lack of knowledge, with many businesses owners simply not sure whether they were adequately insured or not. The second was cost, with some businesses claiming they couldn’t afford the insurance premiums.Insurance brokers, such as Safe Hands Insurance Group, can help. They have the experience and knowledge to ensure your business is covered for all types of eventualities, including:• Injury to jumping castle or play centre users, or injury caused by a security employee• Third party property damage• Insurance for vehicle, property (including jumping castle equipment) and liability• Insurance cover for equipment in transit• Fire and perils insurance• Business interruption insurance• Professional indemnity• And moreIn addition, Safe Hands Insurance deals with a select range of insurance providers, so they can tailor insurance to meet your specific needs, at the best price possible. So, say if you need security industry insurance or plan centre insurance the company excels at creating customised insurance plans tailored to meet such requirements.The obvious message from all this is that – if you run a jumping castle operation, a play centre, a security firm or any other type of small business – make sure you are adequately covered. Contact an insurance broker who will take the time to understand your needs and provide insurance cover to match.Safe Hands Insurance GroupC/- 5a Hartnett Close, Mulgrave, VIC 3170Contact - 1300 744 442Website - www.safehandsinsurance.com.au