The PRWIRE Press Releases https:// 2017-07-25T06:00:03Z Impact Innovation takes Nexgen Plants to Israel 2017-07-25T06:00:03Z impact-innovation-takes-nexgen-plants-to-israel Nexgen Plants, the University of Queensland startup developing a rapid response to improve crop production and save the world’s value-rich crops from devastating diseases, will join an official delegation visiting Israel between 5-14 August, funded by the $420 million whole-of-government Advance Queensland initiative. Impact Innovation Group helped form the company in 2013, with raising $2M to commercialise a new non-GM technology that confers a range of disease resistance, production and consumer traits to economically important crops like potatoes and rice. Impact Innovation’s managing director, Brian Ruddle, will represent Nexgen Plants in his capacity as the agtech company’s CEO. Mr Ruddle said he was looking forward to pursuing new commercialisation and investment opportunities for Nexgen and other agtech startups in his company’s portfolio. “Nexgen’s platform technologies can enhance the value from crop production and prevent crop viruses from wiping out the food supplies of millions of people and damaging the local economies of agriculture-dependent communities around the world. “Professor Peer Schenk and his research team have achieved a great deal with the financial support of early stage investors, confirming that Nexgen Plants could dramatically change plant breeding and disease management to feed a hungry world. “Now we’re pursuing investment and collaboration for further R&D to incorporate economically important traits into elite varieties so we can accelerate commercialisation and see this technology available to growers within two years,” Mr Ruddle said. Providing experienced senior executive managers to lead startups like Nexgen Plants is one way that Impact Innovation enables early stage ventures to kick big goals quickly without cash-burning overheads. “They need specialist management – different expertise at different stages and the right skills at the right time to overcome the ‘roadblocks’ to success,” said Mr Ruddle. “For discovery-based startups, this means the founders can focus on the what they do best – the R&D – while we manage what’s needed to get the ideas to market.” The Queensland Government has partnered with Startup Catalyst and Austrade to coordinate and fund the mission through Austrade’s Tel Aviv Landing Pad, an Australian Government initiative to open markets for Australian startup businesses. The delegation’s week in Israel will be based in SOSA (South of Salame), which is a community of prominent venture capital investors. Innovation Minister Leeanne Enoch said “Israel consistently ranks highly on innovation and entrepreneurship, and is frequently referred to as the ‘startup nation’. We want to expose our businesses to their practices and learn as much as we can from them.” About Nexgen Plants www.nexgenplants.com Nexgen Plants is an emerging plant trait company geared to transform food, fibre and energy production. Our technologies can prevent crop viruses from wiping out the food supplies and crop-derived incomes of millions of people around the world; and introduce pathogen resistance, production, and consumer traits into economically important crops to boost quality and reduce waste. Spun out from The University of Queensland and based on the research of Professor Peer Schenk’s team, Nexgen is developing microRNA-based solutions that will help agriculture-dependent communities around the world recover faster from outbreaks of devastating crop viruses. The company is also commercialising a novel non-GM approach to introducing key traits into economically important crops. Both trait strategies are ready for licence and collaborative R&D. Agriculture is the largest industry in the world, employing some 40% of its population. Our technologies offer farmers the potential for improved yields and the means to manage pressure from emerging pathogens. Nexgen techniques have been applied successfully to major crops, including tomato, potato, sorghum and rice, with work now commencing on a range of other annual and perennial crops. Invitation and media release: ADMA announces final wave of speakers for ADMA Global Forum 2017 2017-07-25T01:06:19Z invitation-and-media-release-adma-announces-final-wave-of-speakers-for-adma-global-forum-2017 ADMA announces final wave of speakers for ADMA Global Forum 2017 SYDNEY, 25 July, 2017 – The Association for Data-driven Marketing & Advertising (ADMA) is pleased to announce the final list of speakers for this year’s ADMA Global Forum. The two-day conference will take place on 24 and 25 August at the Hilton Sydney. Once again, ADMA Global Forum, which aims to showcase the global leaders in their fields, is bringing together the brightest minds in marketing, media, technology, digital, tourism and even space exploration under one roof to highlight the need for cross-collaboration to deliver on excellent customer experience. “ADMA Global Forum has always sought to bring together the brightest minds and biggest influencers from all corners of the globe so we can have a full 360 view of best-in-class marketing and customer experience,“said Jodie Sangster, CEO of ADMA. “It’s clear that the CMO of tomorrow needs to look more broadly than marketing to develop wider business skills. Now more than ever, marketers are expected to be hybrids and multi-skilled in order to move into leadership roles. This why we have speakers like Naomi Simson, Founder of RedBalloon; Philip Corne, Executive Chairman of L Catterton (LVMH); and Joshua To, Design Director of VR, AR and US at Google, on this year’s program.” “This year, we wanted to push the envelope and get marketers to take themselves out of their comfort zones. In marketing, it’s important learn from every industry which is why our line-up of speakers include Jason Crusan of NASA and best-selling author, Matt Britton,” added Sangster. This year’s conference has been programmed to cover six streams and they are: Brand Building, Data-driven Marketing, Digital Marketing, Technology Marketing, Content, and Creativity & Innovation. ADMA Global Forum is the country’s largest marketing conference and attracted over 750 attendees last year. It provides attendees with exclusive access to international visionaries as well as local talents who are able to share firsthand their success stories and insights on the future of marketing. ADMA Global Forum 2017 keynotes include:- - Adam Stewart, Global Digital Director, Reckitt Benckiser (UK) - Allen Olivo, Silicon Valley Brand Marketing Executive (US) - Brian Morrissey, President and Editor-in-Chief, Digiday (US) - Fernando Machado, Head of Brand Marketing, Burger King (US) - Jason Crusan, Director, Advanced Exploration Systems Division for Human Exploration and Operations, NASA (US) - Jeanniey Mullen, Global Chief Marketing Officer, Mercer (US) - Jules Lund, Founder, TRIBE (AU) - Kerry McCabe, Founder, Unltd and CEO, PlayersVoice.com.au (AU) - Kylie Long, CEO, Peer Academy (AU) - Matt Britton, Best Selling Author, YouthNation (US) - Melanie van Rooy, Marketing Director, Makro (South Africa) - Naomi Simson, Founder, RedBalloon and NaomiSimson.com (AU) - Olivia Liang, Senior Product Marketing Manager, eHarmony (US) - Philip Corne, Executive Chairman, L Catterton (LVMH) (AU) - Rachel Botsman, Founder, Collab Lab (AU) - Steve Brennen, Chief Marketing Officer, Uber and Chairman, ADMA (AU) - Tim Mackinnon, Chief Marketing Officer, Ebay Australia (AU) - Tom Betts, Chief Data Officer and Member of Board of Directors, Financial Times (UK) - Tom Ewing, Senior Director, Digital Culture, System1 Group (UK) - Vittoria Shortt, Group Executive, Group Marketing and Strategy, Commonwealth Bank (AU) Other speakers include: - Alex Louey, Managing Director & Co-Founder, Appscore (AU) - Amanda Farnsworth, Editor, Visual Journalism, BBC News (UK) - Ananth Sarathy, GM of Digital, Woolworths (AU) - Andrew Reid, General Manager, Data Analytics and Insights, Ticketek Australia (TEG) (AU) - Ant Russell, Marketing Manager, Brand & Acquisition AAMI, Suncorp (AU) - Carlie Sidey, National Marketing Manager, Guest Experience, Toyota (AU) - Catriona Wallace, CEO & Founder, Customer Experience Futurist & Entrepreneur, Flamingo (US) - Dean Jones, Co-Founder and CEO, GlamCorner (AU)- Deeps De Silva, Head of Marketing APAC & Japan, Dropbox (AU) - Elaine Herlihy, Marketing Director, Paypal Australia (AU) - Joshua To, Design Director, VR AR UX, Google (US) - May Lilley, Senior Manager of Australia Destination Marketing, Vail Resorts (US) - Michael Leon, Global Creative Director, Sonos (US) - Nick Bell, Founder, WME and Co-Founder, Hosting Australia, Appscore (AU) - Richard Parker, Managing Partner, Edge Agency (AU) - Thoryn Stephens, former Chief Digital Officer, American Apparel (US) - Trisca Scott Branagan, Executive Director – Marketing, Deakin University (AU) - Trudie Newcomb, Vice President, Acquisition, Early Engagement and David Jones Strategic Alliance, American Express (AU) - Taryn Williams, Founder & CEO, TheRight.Fit and WINK and Board Director, Digital + Technology Collective (AU) Also for the first time, ADMA has partnered with Marketo to develop an exclusive preview of the conference a day before Global Forum 2017. The invitation-only event has been organised for senior executives and will feature a series of panel sessions with the conference’s international speakers. The full program can be viewed here with the confirmed list of international and local speakers. Further updates to the program will be reflected on the ADMA website. About ADMA The Association for Data-driven Marketing and Advertising (ADMA) is the principal industry body for information-based marketing and advertising, and is the largest marketing and advertising body in Australia. ADMA is the ultimate authority and go-to resource for creative and effective data-driven marketing across all channels and platforms, providing insight, ideas and innovation to advance responsive and enlightened marketing. ADMA has over 600 corporate member organisations including major financial institutions, telecommunications companies, energy providers, leading media companies, travel service companies, airlines, major charities, statutory corporations, educational institutions and specialist suppliers to the industry including advertising agencies, software and internet companies. For more information, please contact: Jo Balfour jo@progressiva.com.au 0405 542 018 Shuba Paheerathan shuba@progressiva.com.au 0438 606 424 Dell Boomi Announces the Launch of Australian-based Atom Cloud and MDM Cloud 2017-07-25T00:18:14Z dell-boomi-announces-the-launch-of-australian-based-atom-cloud-and-mdm-cloud Sydney, Australia – July 25, 2017 – Dell Boomi® (Boomi) has announced the availability of an Australian-based Boomi Atom Cloud and Boomi MDM Cloud, adding to the available deployment options for customers using Boomi to connect applications, manage data, and orchestrate critical business processes – between cloud platforms, software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications, and on-premises systems. “Personalisation of the student, researcher and alumni experience is critical for Flinders University’s strategic success, and having a reliable and timely view of each constituent is essential to make that happen,” said Kelvin McCarthy, Acting Associate Director – Information and Digital Services, Flinders University. “We’re increasingly using consumer-styled cloud services to provide a contemporary user experience but the risk of creating siloed environments in a cloud-based world is greater than ever. By taking an MDM approach to data integration, we will be able to offer better functionality backed by a consistent view of the constituent.” The Boomi Integration Cloud platform underpins ‘The Connected Business’ where enterprises leverage key information and insights to be better, faster and smarter. It supports all of an organisation’s application integration processes. It features a powerful range of integration, data management and workflow automation capabilities that can be realised in a fraction of the time of legacy middleware technologies. The Boomi Atom is a light-weight runtime engine that handles all the connectivity between applications and data sources. The Australian-based Boomi Atom Cloud gives businesses the option of running processes closer to their data. Boomi MDM Cloud Now Available Boomi Master Data Management (MDM) is the solution to represent data consistently across an organisation, enabling data governance to synchronise, cleanse and enrich data across domains. It scales to accommodate growth as data volume, applications and business user demands continue to increase. With the Australian-based Boomi MDM Cloud, the “golden records” used to enforce data integrity across applications are stored in a local cloud repository. “In the 18 months since our launch into Asia Pacific and Japan, we’ve seen considerable demand for integration as organisations look to modernise their existing business environments, and invest in best-of-breed solutions better suited to modern hybrid application ecosystems or cloud transformation initiatives,” said Michael Evans, Managing Director APJ at Dell Boomi. “Master Data Management is a critical piece of that puzzle – it gives organisations a very powerful and yet simple way to ensure the quality and accuracy of its valuable data assets.” Chris McNabb, Chief Executive Officer at Dell Boomi, said, “The influx of data generated in the digital era has transformed MDM from a luxury to a necessity. The Boomi MDM Cloud ensures companies in the region can remove disparity and seamlessly collect, analyse and use business-critical data to make more informed strategic decisions. This allows them to beat the competition by better understanding customer and stakeholder demand and delivering to those expectations.” The reality of hybrid IT means that enterprises are now faced with numerous new challenges, and opportunities, to proactively manage data across their business – a critical factor to success in a fast-moving and increasingly-competitive global marketplace. While integration platform-as-a-service (iPaaS) offerings have traditionally focused only on the movement of data between applications, there is an increasing need for one that can help organisations create simple workflows as well as govern, enrich and control data in real time as it moves between complex networks of cloud, mobile and on-premises applications. The local launch of the Boomi MDM and Boomi Atom Clouds forms part of Boomi’s regional expansion plans, with the company currently extending its presence beyond A/NZ into South-East Asia through the 2018 financial year. This comes on the back of significant demand from medium-sized and large enterprises since it opened its Australian office in April 2016. About Dell Boomi Dell Boomi (Boomi), an independent business unit of Dell, accelerates business agility by integrating the information organizations need whenever and however they need it. The Boomi integration platform drastically transforms the way organizations connect, create, manage and govern all their applications and data. As a result, more than 6,000 organizations of all sizes use the Boomi platform to run smarter, faster, and better. Boomi also helps customers drastically reduce implementation times over traditional integration, API management, MDM and workflow automation solutions. Visit www.boomi.com for more information. © 2017 Boomi Inc. Dell and Dell Boomi are trademarks of Dell Inc. or its subsidiaries. Dell disclaims any proprietary interest in the marks and names of others. Million Dollar Fines Looming Sept 1 2017-07-24T01:51:11Z million-dollar-fines-looming-sept-1 THOUSANDS of unsuspecting NSW businesses and body corporates could be in breach of new ACCC guidelines on credit card surcharges which come into effect September 1, potentially facing pecuniary penalties of up to $1.1mllion.   The new laws, which officially came into effect in 2016 for ‘large’ merchants, are designed to stop payment surcharges that are more than the actual cost of accepting that payment method.   Until recently, credit card surcharges had been limited to ‘reasonable cost’ to the business of processing the transaction – with the worst offenders notably being the airlines, which brazenly bankrolled as much as 17% in some cases on card payment fees.   The legislation also helped stem the lexicon of euphemisms including ‘booking fees’ and ‘service fees’ as big business looked for ways around the law.   However, while roundly applauded, there are claims by one of NSW’s leading business advisory firms that many small and medium business owners will fall foul of the changes, unaware of amendments to the Bill and their obligations.   Alan McGillivray, who has served on numerous State and National tax committees, is widely regarded as one of NSW’s most experienced small to medium business authorities.   Having also been called on to provide expert advice to national courts, Mr McGillivray says the practice among many small/medium businesses in passing on excessive credit card charges to customers will soon be a thing of the past as the new regulations roll out – however it is becoming increasingly apparent that very few merchants are aware of the Bill and the tough penalties for breaches. “ In some cases banks have started to provide businesses with annual statements showing ‘average percentage cost’ over the year for each type of card they accept, “ says Mr McGillivray   “ That amount is what you will be able to pass on to customers.   “Unfortunately, many small to medium sized businesses, including those may not use English as their first language are blissfully unaware of what is about to become law or the penalties.”   According to the ACCC website, listed corporations could be hit with infringement notices of up to $108,000 while incorporated businesses can be fined up to $10,800.   If court action is required, pecuniary penalties can be as high as $1.1m for body corporates.   Mr McGillivray said that while the September 1 ban did not prevent businesses from imposing a payment surcharge as a flat or fixed fee there was absolutely no absolutely no obligation to pass the surcharge on. INTERNATIONAL BEST SELLING AUTHOR OF THE TIPPING POINT MALCOLM GLADWELL IS COMING TO AUSTRALIA! 2017-07-23T23:49:10Z international-best-selling-author-of-the-tipping-point-malcolm-gladwell-is-coming-to-australia INTERNATIONAL BEST SELLING AUTHOR OF THE TIPPING POINT MALCOLM GLADWELL IS COMING TO AUSTRALIA! International best seller Malcolm Gladwell who coined the term ‘Tipping Point’ and went on to write ‘Blink’, ‘Outliers’, ‘David and Goliath’ and ‘What the Dog Saw’ is coming to Australia to speak with Steven Levitt, Economist and Author of ‘Freakonomics, and’ SuperFreakonomics, at  The Future: Disrupted & Reimagined, a one day seminar in Melbourne on Monday December 4th and Sydney on Wednesday 6th December presented by The Growth Faculty. The Future: Disrupted & Reimagined is a powerful one-day seminar which blends a combination of economics and behavioural science to decode what drives human behaviour, motivation and success.  Gladwell has been named one of the 100 most influential people by TIME magazine and one of the Foreign Policy’s Top Global Thinkers. He explored how ideas spread in The Tipping Point, decision making in Blink, the roots of success in Outliers, and in David and Goliath, he examines our understanding of the advantages of disadvantages, arguing that we have underestimated the value of adversity and over-estimated the value of privilege.Gladwell’s next book was a 10-part podcasts of the Revisionist History  where Malcolm re-examined an overlooked or misunderstood aspect of past events. He has been a staff writer for The New Yorker since 1996. He has won a national magazine award and been honoured by the American Psychological Society and the American Sociological Society. Levitt invites audiences to go beneath the surface of modern business practices. Through witty, first-rate storytelling, Levitt exposes new ways to create behaviour change, the incentives that work and don’t work and the value in asking unpopular questions . He is a tenured professor in the University of Chicago's economics department and was the 2003 recipient of the American Economic Association’s prestigious John Bates Clark Medal, given to the country's best economist under 40. Two of the most influential minds of our times converge; burning curiosity, alarming intuition and an appetite for exposing concealed truths in the seemingly mundane, these two masterful storytellers explain the hidden side of everything.The Future: Disrupted & Reimagined blends a combination of economics and behavioural science to decode what drives human behaviour, motivation and success. It demonstrates that these stories are more surprising and fascinating than we could have imagined.  The Future: Disrupted & Reimagined is  on Monday 4th December from 8 am to 3.30pm at the MCEC Melbourne and on Wednesday 6th December at the ICC Sydney.  One day delegate tickets start from $795 each. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION OR TO BUY TICKETS www.thegrowthfaculty.com.au T0 INTERVIEW MALCOLM GLADWELL OR STEVEN LEVITT email max@marksonsparks.com.au or call Max Markson 0412 501 601  ABOUT THE GROWTH FACULTY OUR GOAL IS TO PROVOKE IDEAS, STIMULATE ACTION & DRIVE PROFITABLE GROWTH. WE PROVIDE TOOLS FOR LEADERSHIP, STRATEGY, EXECUTION, PEOPLE,CULTURE, INNOVATION & GROWTH.The Growth Faculty, which was established in 2006, is a leading provider of world-class education for entrepreneurs and executives of dynamic Australian companies. We provide access to the world’s finest business minds and offer highly effective tools and programs to help drive growth, and address relevant issues facing business today and into the future. Guest speakers have included George Clooney, Sir Martin Sorrell,Tim Ferris, Jim Collins, Martha Stewart, Russell Simmons, Muhammad Yunus, Verne Harnish, Marcus Buckingham and many more.“The Growth Faculty provides the very best strategic thinking from around the world and connects global thought leaders with Australian business people.” Karen Beattie, founder.     State of play: National study reveals our video game habits 2017-07-23T23:07:54Z state-of-play-national-study-reveals-our-video-game-habits Sydney, Australia – 24 July 2017 – New research by Bond University and the Interactive Games & Entertainment Association (IGEA) has found video and computer games are right up there with the kitchen sink with 97 per cent of Australian households with children stating they have video game devices, eight out of 10 owning multiple game devices. Digital Australia 2018 studied 1,234 Australian households and 3,135 individuals, revealing it’s not only kids that appreciate game time. Almost half of parents play games online with their kids, with reasons for playing together including family enjoyment, education, and as a way to monitor what children play. The study revealed that 67 per cent of people surveyed play video games. Older Australians continue to make up the largest group of new players over the past six years with 43 per cent of people aged 65 and over playing video games. Females account for 46 per cent of all players. Dr Jeff Brand, Professor at Bond University and lead author of the report, said that the average age of players has increased by a year to 34 and that motives for playing are shifting. “The fun continues through interactive games, but the research shows that games increasingly serve other uses. Australians are playing for social connectedness, whether that be with family or friends. They’re playing to reduce stress, to be challenged, to learn, to keep the mind active, or for physical and mental health benefits.” “Everyone finds their own reason for playing. Our research shows that motives for playing video games differ by life stages. Young adults play to help pass time, have fun, and de-stress, whereas older Australians, while also playing for enjoyment and to pass time, report keeping the mind active as a top reason for playing.” The Digital Australia study, which has been running since 2005, also highlights just how social game play has become. This year’s report found only eight per cent of Australians play alone, with the remaining 92 per cent playing with friends, partners, family and strangers online at least once in a while. Most players share their enjoyment of games with others in the community through various methods. Seven in 10 Australian players have watched videos and used walkthroughs to help their gameplay and more than a quarter have posted their own videos of gameplay. Australians also enjoy watching other people play games, particularly at a competitive level with a third watching e-sports. “Games are no longer a subculture – everyone plays. We’ve moved far beyond the classic clichés that dogged video games in their early years,” said Dr Brand. “Interactive games are woven into the fabric of our culture – a culture more nuanced and capable of enjoying the benefits of the digital economy than ever before.” Ron Curry, CEO of IGEA, said, “Digital Australia 2018 shows how the state of game play in Australia has progressed. Games are one of the many things shaking up traditional viewing culture, and Australians are consuming games in more ways than ever before.” “We’re also playing with purpose, with more and more Australians recognising the value of games, beyond entertainment, in the family home, schools, workplaces and socially.” Other key findings of the Digital Australia Report 2018 include: The average Australian consume games just like other media – 89 minutes is the average daily total of all game play. Gaming for health – Australians value play for better health and positive ageing, whether that be to improve thinking skills (84%), improve dexterity (78%) or manage pain (59%). Ninety per cent say they play to increase mental stimulation, 80 per cent state video games help fight dementia, and 54 per cent agreed playing games can help increase mobility. Gaming for education – Games are increasingly finding their way into education, learning and training settings. A third of Australians have used games at work, and one in two parents reported their children have used games at school. Parents are also speaking with their children about playing online safely (84 per cent). About Digital Australia 2018 Digital Australia 2018 is the seventh study in a series of national Australian research that began in 2005. The report, which is based on a study of 1,234 Australian households and 3,135 individuals, looks at the demographics of Australians who play games, play habits, behaviours and attitudes. About IGEA IGEA is an industry association representing the business and public policy interests of Australian and New Zealand companies in the computer and video games industry. IGEA’s members publish, develop, market and/or distribute interactive games and entertainment content and related hardware including mobile and handheld games. For more information, please visit www.igea.net. Media spokespeople available Ron Curry, CEO of IGEA Dr Jeff Brand, Professor, Bond University and lead author of the report Consumer case studies and subject matter experts For all interview requests, please contact Amy Rathbone, Espresso Communications, on +61 2 8016 2220 or igea@espressocomms.com.au. eziFunerals The first online funeral planning and bidding platform 2017-07-23T12:55:29Z ezifunerals-the-first-online-funeral-planning-and-bidding-platform A Western Australian digital entrepreneur is on the verge of digitally disrupting the business of one of the ASX’s most reliable and consistent performers of recent years with a world first integrated funeral planning and bidding online platform.  Invocare (ASX: IVC) has a market cap of around $1.48B; its share price has climbed significantly over the last five years and it’s increased its dividend every year since 2005. It has many brands including White Lady, Guardian and Simplicity Funerals. To many pundits, it’s an infallible defensive stock with 33% market share, multiple brands across multiple price-points and a market (i.e. death rate) that is largely independent of economic cycles or government policy; indeed the ABS projects an increasing death rate through to 2034.  Its status within the funeral industry is undisputed – its 33% market share is even larger in Peter Erceg’s home town of Perth where some experts believe it is beyond 40%.  However it was this market size and power, largely obtained through strategic acquisition, that gave Mr Erceg the idea of a consumer focused digital disruption site which excludes Invocare and only allows for membership from independents.  “The ACCC has repeatedly let Invocare’s aggressive growth from acquisition through to the keeper,” Mr Erceg said. “My view is that if the regulators won’t stop the funeral market becoming increasingly oligopolistic, and the power going to a supplier instead of the consumer, then I will,” he said.  “eziFunerals is about choice – the consumer logs their request online and specifies in detail the options they want in a funeral. This request goes out to our (independent) member funeral homes who can opt to quote line-by-line to specified requirements within 24 hours. The consumer and respondents see the transparent quotes come back in and before the 12-hour mark can sharpen their pencil and re-quote.”  Mr Erceg said that whilst he originally considered eziFunerals as being open to all funeral homes including Invocare, he decided that the independents needed a way to get back into the frame.  “This levels the playing field and puts the consumer back in the pilot’s seat in what is in effect an auction for their business by the independent funeral providers,” he said.  The eziFunerals system allows the consumer to request quotes to their specification for a fee of $9.95. The respondents’ quotes are easily comparable with a transparent, line-by-line comparison of variables such as: The type and style of funeral service Preparation of the body and viewing arrangements Burial or cremation The specific cemetery or crematorium Type of coffin or casket Minister or Celebrant Memorial book and memorial cards Death notices, flowers, mourning vehicles etc, and Special features like a poem or piece of music.  “You may want a horse-drawn carriage or maybe a heavy metal band. A direct cremation or a huge traditional Italian funeral with the works; this system allows for all independents to quote with full transparency,” Mr Erceg said.  “…If it all goes to plan and Invocare’s profits “flat-line” then maybe there will be some market investors wishing me my own funeral!”   eziFunerals, www.eziFunerals.com.au , is set to launch in late February across all Australian capital cities. Equity opportunities are available. About eziFunerals  eziFunerals is the world’s first online funeral planning and bidding platform that supports individuals and families cope with end of life decisions, death and funerals. We are an independent, Australian-owned and operated company, and are not a subsidiary of any other corporation. We are not part of any other funeral company. Founded by consumers frustrated by how difficult it was to get independent information, eziFunerals supports consumers plan a funeral, compare prices and select the right funeral director anywhere, anytime. World first shopping platform launches at funeral giant 2017-07-23T12:54:44Z important-release-from-ezifunerals MEDIA RELEASE: 24 July 2017 World first shopping platform launches at funeral giant A new start-up company, eziFunerals will take on the funeral giant, InvoCare by launching a world first online funeral planning and bidding platform. About 160,000 Australians will die this year. 85 percent of these Australians will die in a medical or residential care institution. Invariably the advice customers receive directs them to a funeral director to remove the body. Their business model is largely built around selling the “disposal” as well as the “send-off”. This is when complex and costly decisions need to be made, and it is at a time when the consumer is most vulnerable. eziFunerals founder, Peter Erceg said it was time to shift the power back to consumers. "This is a disruptive innovation. This is going to touch a cultural chord. It aggregates the decision making and it gives people a sense of empowerment,” Erceg said. “What we needed to do was to simplify and streamline this process by empowering consumers to plan and document their funeral needs, thus sparing families from having to make difficult, costly decisions in a sales focused environment, while they are grieving”. eziFunerals currently has over 600 independent funeral directors listed on the site and offers families information tailored to their needs. This includes comprehensive funeral plans, itemised price quotes and consumer reviews. Instead of picking a funeral company by guesswork, families will be able to shop around for funeral directors, and get the right funeral at the right price. “It pays to do your homework” he explains. “People are not aware that several funeral businesses may be associated with the one parent company, such as Invocare, Australia's only listed funeral company, who control almost 40% of the Australian market.  So, when looking for a funeral director, the first piece of advice is: know who you are dealing with". Erceg sees his online funeral platform model not as undermining funeral directors economically, but as empowering small to medium family owned funeral homes to increase their market share and give huge firms, like Invocare, a run for their money. About eziFunerals eziFunerals is the World’s First online funeral planning and bidding platform that supports individuals and families cope with end of life decisions, death and funerals. We are an independent, Australian-owned and operated company, and are not a subsidiary of any other corporation. We are not part of any other funeral company. Founded by consumers frustrated by how difficult it was to get independent information, eziFunerals supports consumers plan a funeral, compare prices and select the right funeral director anywhere, anytime. About the Founder eziFunerals was founded by Peter Erceg following extensive involvement and research into the funeral industry. "After meeting and talking to many people, it was clear to us that coping with death and planning a funeral is one of the most difficult things we will ever be asked to do. It can be a very challenging and emotional time. What makes it harder is that we are generally unaware of our funeral rights. We don t know how we can have genuine and meaningful involvement in the funeral process, and we are often unprepared and don t know what to do when someone close to us dies. People often said to us things like 'If only we had more information'. 'It all happened so fast'. 'We had no previous experience to help us '. 'We felt quite vulnerable when the funeral director came '. People often said to us things like 'If only we had more information'. 'It all happened so fast"". 'We had no previous experience to help us '. 'We felt quite vulnerable when the funeral director came '. We understood what people were going through, and the challenges they face with death and organising a funeral. It was clear that there was a need to establish eziFunerals, a fully integrated service to give people the information and support they need at a very difficult time." ENDS Media Information Contact: More Information: Peter Erceg, EziFunerals – 0466 890 703 or peter@eziFunerals.com.au EziFunerals - http://eziFunerals.com.au/ New online funeral shopping site launches 2017-07-23T12:53:02Z new-online-funeral-shopping-site-launches Shopping for a funerals online could become commonplace if a new funeral entrepreneur has his way. Peter Erceg has launched Australia's Largest Funeral Marketplace called eziFunerals. What Erceg offers is do it yourself funeral planning and quote comparisons along with consumer reviews of funeral directors. “eziFunerals is about choice – the consumer logs their request online and specifies in detail the options they want in a funeral. This request goes out to our (independent) member funeral directors who can opt to quote line-by-line to specified requirements within 24 hours.” The eziFunerals system allows the consumer to request quotes to their specification for a fee of $9.95. Funeral director quotes are easily comparable with a transparent, line-by-line comparison of variables such as:
 The type and style of funeral servicePreparation of the body and viewing arrangementsBurial or cremationThe specific cemetery or crematoriumType of coffin or casketMinister or CelebrantMemorial book and memorial cardsDeath notices, flowers, mourning vehicles etc, andSpecial features like a poem or piece of music. eziFunerals is not just about getting the best service and price, you're also able to read reviews and select the right funeral director knowing they will handle both you and your loved one in a respectful manner. The story of eziFunerals is a perfect example of someone who saw a market opportunity and came up with a solution. I hope this service helps people plan a meaningful funeral for the one they love and saves them time, money and unecessary grief. ENDS More Information: Peter Erceg, EziFunerals – 0466 890 703 or  peter@eziFunerals.com.au EziFunerals - http://eziFunerals.com.au/ About eziFuneralseziFunerals is the world’s first online funeral planning and bidding platform that supports individuals and families cope with end of life decisions, death and funerals. We are an independent, Australian-owned and operated company, and are not a subsidiary of any other corporation. We are not part of any other funeral company. Founded by consumers frustrated by how difficult it was to get independent information, eziFunerals supports consumers plan a funeral, compare prices and select the right funeral director anywhere, anytime.                             I just planned my own funeral today! 2017-07-23T12:52:13Z i-just-planned-my-own-funeral-today MY mother shocked me. “I suppose I should tell you what I did today,” she said casually preparing morning tea from her retirement home in Arcadia Waters, Mandurah. “Oh yeah,” I said, fully expecting to hear something mundane. “I just planned my own funeral today,” she said. I was caught by complete surprise as this was something we had never discussed before! Davina, my mother, is 79, and healthy aside from minor ailments, but she thought, at her age, it was sensible to do. “It was a recent article by Choice that got me thinking initially,” she said. “This article said planning a funeral can be overwhelming, leaving us vulnerable and confused with no comparative pricing and little idea of our rights and choices. With funerals starting from $4000 for a basic cremation to around $14,000, plus unnecessary add ons, I needed to act now, before it was too late,” she says. “My adult children have enough financial burdens to worry about, without worrying about how to plan for my funeral. So, I decided to sign up with eziFunerals, a new funeral marketplace that guides you through the funeral planning process and helps you understand your funeral rights. Planning my funeral through eziFunerals could also save my family thousands of dollars by comparing funeral homes on service and price,” she says. But Davina also had another reason for making advance arrangements. “I now have the comfort of knowing that if I were in hospital, very ill and unlikely to get better, all this stuff is done. I wouldn’t have to struggle to make my wishes known from a hospital bed,” she said. Peter Erceg, Founder of eziFunerals, said “Making arrangements in advance for your own funeral is an opportunity to think, not only about how you would like things done, but also to consider how best to spend your money. It can make a difficult time much easier for the bereaved. There is a huge sense of relief in knowing that a loved one’s wishes are being carried out to the letter, as they wanted. Doing so removes not only the financial burden from remaining family, but also the emotional burden of wondering what mum or dad would have liked,” Erceg says. Davina has a detailed document, outlining not only the practical, but also the small things that are personally important to her, such as the readings and music she would like at her funeral mass. And although I know my own mother well, I would have definitely made a big mistake with the music. My conversation with my mother that morning, about her death and funeral arrangements, was surreal. At first I thought it was an irrational thing for her to do, but it was the opposite. Personally, I am grateful to know that when the day arrives, my brothers and I will know exactly what is to be done, before we contact a funeral director. We also have the comfort of knowing that Davina’s send-off will be exactly as she wanted it to be. Author By Naomi Atkinson 23 March 2017 About eziFunerals eziFunerals is the World’s First online funeral planning and bidding platform that supports individuals and families cope with end of life decisions, death and funerals. We are an independent, Australian-owned and operated company, and are not a subsidiary of any other corporation. We are not part of any other funeral company. Founded by consumers frustrated by how difficult it was to get independent information, eziFunerals supports consumers plan a funeral, compare prices and select the right funeral director anywhere, anytime. ENDS Media Information Contact: More Information: Peter Erceg – 0466 890 703 or peter@eziFunerals.com.au New website helps you save money on funerals costs 2017-07-23T12:51:15Z ways-to-save-money-on-funerals-costs Dealing with death is emotionally difficult, but dealing with the financial cost of saying goodbye to a loved one can make it even harder. Most of us only find out about funeral costs when we need to arrange the funeral of a family member or friend. In a recent survey commissioned by the Australian Funeral Directors Association, cost was identified as the biggest influencer when planning a funeral with 2 in 3 (66%) Australians stating it is extremely or significantly influential. According to Australian Securities and Investment Commission, the cost of a simple funeral in the Australia can range between $4,000 to $15,000, and prices continue to rise every year. With the cost of funerals increasing above inflation, a growing number of bereaved families in Australia are struggling to pay. What makes it harder is that funeral costs charged by funeral directors can vary significantly. EziFunerals Founder, Peter Erceg says 'Our research has found that most funeral homes are reluctant to provide itemised costs for a funeral and will try to “sell” you different funeral packages. This makes it difficult for you to compare quotes and avoid being overcharged for things you never asked for, don’t want or need. So it pays to do your homework.' That’s where eziFunerals can help. eziFunerals is an independent funeral consumer advocacy and planning service for families who need help when someone has passed away or the loss of a family member is anticipated soon. Unlike other funeral companies, they offer a service where you can receive independent information, plan a funeral online, compare funeral homes on service and price and even get help to pay the funeral costs by starting your own funeral crowdfunding page.   The following tips are provided by eziFunerals to help you save money on costly funeral expenses and stay within your budget.  PLAN THE FUNERAL ONLINE There are so many emotional and financial decisions to be made at the time of loss and it can be additionally stressful and upsetting. What kind of funeral should it be? What funeral provider should you use? Should you bury or cremate the body? What other arrangements should you plan? And, practically, how much is it all going to cost?.Our comprehensive online funeral planning service helps you and your family plan a meaningful funeral (At Need & Advanced) from the comfort of your home. Without a funeral director present. Sign up on their site and simply follow the steps needed to plan a personalised funeral. They will then store your plan until you need to use it. Get a copy of their guide (‘Funeral Planning made easy’).   SHOP AROUND  You wouldn’t walk into the nearest car yard and buy the first car and added extras the salesperson recommended, but that’s how most people buy funeral goods and services. Although it may be emotionally difficult for consumers to ‘shop around’ for funeral services, it makes sense that you should use the same techniques you use with any other major purchase. Most people assume they have to use the closest funeral home or the one they’ve used in the past (even if they weren’t happy), but this does not mean that you are getting value for money. When you’re ready, they can help you find the right funeral director at the right price. Get a copy of their (‘Funeral Price Comparison Guide’). Shopping around can save you thousands of dollars.  SELECT THE RIGHT FUNERAL DIRECTOR Most consumers are not aware that several major funeral brands are associated with the one parent company. InvoCare, a publicly listed company on the Australian stock exchange, operates over 250 funeral homes, 14 cemeteries and crematoria, and is behind 60 funeral brands including national names such as White Lady Funerals, Simplicity Funerals and Value Funerals. As a consequence, you may be soliciting quotes from funeral homes owned by the same company, without your knowledge. Get a copy of their guide (‘Selecting the right funeral director’) and find the right funeral director at the right price.  REMEMBER— Not all funeral directors are the same. The cost of a funeral can vary significantly depending on which funeral director consumers use and the type of services they choose. Different funeral homes can charge different amounts for the same service. So it pays to get more than one quote and do your homework!. Most of all, select a local family owned independent funeral home and get value for money. ABOUT eziFunerals is Australia’s largest online funeral marketplace. A consumer advocate assisting funeral clients to plan a funeral, compare prices and select the right funeral director anywhere, anytime. END BLOG What kind of funeral? 2017-07-23T12:47:44Z what-kind-of-funeral-would-you-like Have you ever thought about what you would do if you were asked to organise a funeral for a loved one? For most of us, coping with death and planning a funeral is one of the most difficult things we will ever be asked to do. Yet, we are generally unaware of our funeral rights and don't know how we can have genuine and meaningful involvement in the funeral. That’s where a new eBook can help! After the successful launch of a new online funeral planning site www.ezifunerals.com.au, early this year, eziFunerals has just announced the latest release of a new eBook,’ What Kind of Funeral?: A self help guide to planning a meaningful funeral.” Written by Peter Erceg, Owner and Founder of eziFunerals, this book informs and empowers you so that you can have more involvement in the whole experience. It provides independent and practical advice on how you can make informed decisions about all funeral-related matters. In this book you'll discover how to: Plan a personal and meaningful funeral. Deal with death, bereavement and the funeral process. Create a unique commemoration of the deceased. Arrange a funeral without using a funeral director. Administer the deceased's affairs when the funeral is over. Manage a digital life after death. Cope with the loss of a pet and, Learn how baby boomers are changing trends in the funeral industry. Lea Atkinson, who recently had the experience of organising the funeral after the loss of her father, had this to say about the books new release, “I wish I had this book when Dad died before having to deal with the funeral. I guess the majority of people battle through with very limited knowledge like me and in their time of grief rely on what is told to them by the funeral companies. It all happened so quickly. There was so much to be organized and arranged in a very limited time. Family members had conflicting ideas and opinions when we should have all been trying to support one another. It was just a whirlwind of emotions, phone calls, information searches and snap decisions that no one was really prepared for. I still don't feel as if I had the chance to grieve properly, nor as I had wanted to.” The book is available for download by Vivid Publishing, http://www.vividpublishing.com.au/whatkindoffuneral/. ENDS Contact More Information: Peter Erceg, eziFunerals – 0466 890 703 or  peter@ezifunerals.com.au eziFunerals - http://eziFunerals.com.au/ About the Author Peter Erceg has had a long involvement with the funeral industry which has helped him develop a strong understanding of the issues faced by both consumers and funeral service providers. About eziFuneralseziFunerals is the world’s first online funeral planning and bidding platform that supports individuals and families cope with end of life decisions, death and funerals. We are an independent, Australian-owned and operated company, and are not a subsidiary of any other corporation. We are not part of any other funeral company. Founded by consumers frustrated by how difficult it was to get independent information, eziFunerals supports consumers plan a funeral, compare prices and select the right funeral director anywhere, anytime. New Education Partnership to Build Skills to Drive Excellence in Construction 2017-07-21T06:49:48Z new-education-partnership-to-build-skills-to-drive-excellence-in-construction To build upon its work to drive improvement and excellence in the construction industry, the Australian Construction Industry Forum (ACIF) has today established its first-ever education partnership with online education and training company, Pointsbuild. One area where education assists the construction industry is to reduce defective building work. According to recent research, five per cent of the value of residential building work in Australia each year is defective building work. In 2015-16, the estimated cost of rectifying defective building work was $3.3 billion.[1] There are numerous additional benefits to the construction industry and clients in reducing defective building work, such as a reduction in the time and cost of resolving disputes, lower insurance costs, a more competitive and skilled industry, and increased consumer confidence. While some of these benefits, such as consumer confidence are immeasurable, it is estimated that the overall benefit of reduced defects and regulatory costs for finishing trades alone would be over $69 million annually.[2] “Keeping current with training and understanding the latest building material and technical developments in the building and construction industry, is key to tackling these issues. We are pleased to partner with Pointsbuild as they have innovated education through technology to make it easier for both employers and individuals to manage their ongoing education needs,” said James Cameron, ACIF Executive Director. Pointsbuild is an Australian Registered Training Organisation (RTO) and leader in the delivery of education, training, professional development and related consulting services for the building and construction industry. Pointsbuild offers an innovative online platform to deliver and manage continuing professional development, with over 130 courses. Over their multi-year partnership, ACIF and Pointsbuild will seek to engage with many of the 1.1 million Australians working in building and construction, to show them how they can easily update or upgrade their skills for their trade or profession. “Our industry is facing rapid change as new technologies, materials and regulation directly impact upon the delivery of the building projects.  Understanding and applying the changes can be a burdensome task. We applaud ACIF for supporting its members. We’re excited to be the first education partner, and look forward to working with ACIF members and providing the necessary online training resources and tools,” said Michael Tomlinson, Pointsbuild Managing Director. About Pointsbuild Pointsbuild is the leading provider of online Continuing Professional Development (CPD) education and training services in Australia for builders, architects, engineers, certifiers and tradesmen. The company offers over 130 courses and delivers over 20,000 activities each year. Pointsbuild works with several state and federal agencies to provide the relevant courses and is also considered the preferred provider of CPD training by industry organisations, such as The Australian Institute of Architects, Association of Accredited Certifiers, Engineering Education Australia, The Swimming Pools & Spas Association and Bunnings Trade. www.pointsbuild.com.au [1] Build Better: The Economic Benefits of Licensing Building and Construction Finishing Trade Contractors in Australia, January 2017. [2] Build Better: The Economic Benefits of Licensing Building and Construction Finishing Trade Contractors in Australia, January 2017 Building Product Quality Focus Strengthened with New ACIF Member 2017-07-21T04:20:52Z building-product-quality-focus-strengthened-with-new-acif-member Australian Construction Industry Forum (ACIF) is pleased to announce that the Australian Window Association (AWA) has joined as a member of ACIF. AWA joins leading associations and institutes that are working together to improve productivity and sustainability of the building and construction industry. ACIF Members develop solutions to issues affecting the broadest cross section of the industry. As part of ACIF, AWA’s representatives will contribute to industry action on the key issues of product compliance and conformance. At a time when product quality and use has been highlighted by the tragic events of the Grenfell Tower fire in London, it is important to having strong leadership at ACIF from industry bodies committed to improvement in the safety in building products used by all Australians. “We are pleased to welcome the Australian Window Association and its executive as they join us in the development of a whole of industry response to the significant concerns around product conformance and compliance, and other key industry issues,” said James Cameron, Executive Director of ACIF. Tracey Gramlick, Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Window Association said, “Each building product contributes to a functional, sustainable and long lasting asset, and we are pleased to add our members’ strength to this important discussion as part of ACIF, as well as the many other industry initiatives and opportunities ACIF members work on.“ ACIF Members next meet in September, including the annual joint meeting with its government counterpart, Australasian Procurement and Construction Council (APCC), where industry and government leaders will work together to improve productivity and profitability of the building and construction industry in Australia. About Australian Window Association Australian Window Association (AWA) Membership comprises nearly 600 window manufacturers and industry suppliers throughout Australia. Members of the AWA offer products tested to Australian Standard AS2047, so users can be confident that products are made to withstand Australian conditions. Find out more about AWA at www.awa.org.au Australian company Joviam named a ‘Cool Vendor’ in Cloud Infrastructure by Gartner 2017-07-21T03:11:10Z australian-company-joviam-named-a-cool-vendor-in-cloud-infrastructure-by-gartner Sydney, Australia – 21 July 2017- Joviam has been named as one of four ‘Cool Vendors’ in the ‘Cool Vendors in Cloud Infrastructure, 2017’ report by leading analyst firm Gartner. Joviam is the only Australian firm to be named in the report. Founded in 2015, Joviam utilises supercomputer technology to provide an enterprise–grade cloud platform that enables innovation by all users.  Its platform was designed to assist SMBs and start-ups who struggle to balance business priorities and maintaining technical advantage.  Not only does Joviam’s efficient hyper-converged architecture enable an almost fivefold increase in performance (www.joviam.com/performance-benchmarks), it does so at a significantly lower cost compared to contemporary cloud offerings. “Despite the growing culture of innovation in Australia, non-enterprise cloud users are increasingly forced to sacrifice performance in an effort to avoid huge infrastructure costs,” said Gabby Jarrett, co-founder and Director of Joviam. “We built Joviam specifically to bring enterprise-grade cloud to the wider market, we’re not simply a web hosting provider.  Our platform outperforms market heavyweights, improves margins and is flexible, without the stinging vendor lock-ins.  We knew our product was unique, but it’s fantastic to have it recognised by a third party.”     The global nature of the report has placed Joviam firmly in the international spotlight, with the company seeing a spike in enquiries and sign-ups from overseas. “It’s an honour to represent Australia’s capabilities in this space to the rest of the world,” said Jarrett.   About Joviam Joviam is an Australian Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) provider, meshing a custom hypervisor stack with InfiniBand supercomputer technology.  Their cloud platform offers enterprise-grade performance and stability for the wider public market.  Full configurability through the use of ‘Infrastructure-as-Code’ provides flexibility and an optimal foundation for DevOps practices and agile development.  Industry-leading IOPS performance provides the ultimate cloud environment for Fintech, Big Data, App development and SaaS applications. Joviam provides a fault tolerant platform with built-in redundancy and self-healing capabilities. Customers receive synchronous copies of their disks, with high availability instance and networking features at no extra cost. To find out more, go to www.joviam.com or contact Gabby at gabby@joviam.com or 0422 478 174   Disclaimer Cool Vendors in Cloud Infrastructure, 2017, 05 May 2017, Philip Dawson et al. Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product, or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner's research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. Joviam Pty Ltd, 71 607 254 660, www.joviam.com