New paid parental leave policy!

TechConnect introduces new paid parental leave policy!

TechConnect made an announcement internally last week, that we have implemented a paid parental leave policy.

The People and Culture Team and the Directors, have been working on this policy for some time and was pleased to announce this to the TechConnect Team.

The policy gives a primary caregiver 18 weeks’ pay, and 2 weeks for a secondary caregiver, matching the governments paid parental leave amount.

This is the first step for TechConnect in helping our team bring up the next generation of talent.

The parental leave policy is the second leave benefit TechConnect has implemented within the last 1.5 years. TechConnect has also given team members early access to their long service leave accrual, after only 3 years of employment. Why wait 10 years for people to be able to do this! It is now they want to use it.

One of the main drivers for TechConnect, was having team members either located in Australia or from different parts of the world. By allowing them early access, means they can go visit their extended families for longer.

Creating a company that everyone loves, TechConnect want to do all we can to care for our team, especially as we grow.

We are excited to announce our new paid parental leave policy and see our team benefit from it when they embark into a new chapter of parenthood.

Photo by Jonathan Borba from Pexels

Gold Coast Business Awards Logo Winner

Gold Coast Business Excellence Awards 2021


The Gold Coast Business Excellence Awards launched in 1996 and in 2021 we are celebrating our 26th year. Primarily beginning as a vehicle to recognise family business, the Gold Coast Business Excellence Awards have developed to now encompass a category for almost every type of business enterprise.

Today, the Awards seek to contribute to the self-image and identity of Gold Coast business and to foster pride in this business community. They also seek to highlight the growing importance of the Gold Coast as a business hub and recognise leading businesses with a view to encouraging others. The Awards and all intellectual property fall under the ownership of the Gold Coast Business Excellence Awards Association Inc.

This is the second year that TechConnect has entered this award and are thrilled to have won the first month (May) in category of IT & Digital Business. We would like to extend a congratulations to all the other winners and a massive thank you to the sponsors and organisers. We look forward to the annual awards later in the year and competing with some of the amazing businesses on the Gold Coast.CEO of TC receiving the award

The IT and Digital Business Award, sponsored by Griffith University, is the recognition of Gold Coast businesses demonstrating outstanding knowledge management based, information technology products and services. Applicants should highlight their smart technology product or service and how it benefits everyday life and impacts the businesses bottom line. Today we live in the Information Age. Knowledge management underpins almost all services today, and the effective management of knowledge distinguishes companies in IT, supply chain management and logistics. Excellent information technology, knowledge management and digital services based businesses may exemplify this in their own business, or enable and enhance the practices of other businesses through their IT, logistics or supply chain solutions.

Gold Coast Excellence - Queensland

Gold Coast Excellence Awards 2020

Gold Coast Excellence Awards 2020 - IT and Digital

The Gold Coast Business Excellence Awards launched in 1996 and in 2020 are celebrating our 25th year! During this time the Awards have grown to be recognised as the region’s most comprehensive and prestigious business awards scheme, offering specific and meaningful benefits to the wider Gold Coast business community.

TechConnect is super proud to support the Gold Coast community, growing locally, nationally and internationally.  With a presence in Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and South Africa we have grown from our humble base in the Gold Coast, Queensland.

This was the first year that TechConnect has entered this award and are thrilled to have won the category of IT & Digital Business. We look forward to the annual awards and competing with some of the amazing businesses on the Gold Coast.

Gold Coast Excellence Awards 2020 Queensland

 

Pictured below is Mike Cunningham – CEO of TechConnect (left) and Fabrizio Carmignani – Professor of Economics Griffth University (right).

Gold Coast Excellence Awards

TechConnect achieves AWS Data and Analytics Competency

TechConnect Directors - Amazon Web Services - Data and Analytics Competency

AWS Data and Analytics Competency

Proves technical proficiency, operational excellence, security, reliability and 360-degree customer delivery capability; Cites major client projects with Virgin’s Velocity Frequent Flyer and IntelliHQ.

TechConnect IT Solutions (TechConnect), a leading provider of cloud services and an Amazon Web Services (AWS) Advanced Consulting Partner, today announces it has been awarded AAWS Data and Analytics Competency certification; the only Advanced Consulting Partner in Australia to achieve this prestigious competency level.

The AWS Competency Program recognises partners who demonstrate technical proficiency and proven customer success in specialised solution areas. TechConnect undertook a rigorous partner validation process to be awarded the certification, including an independent audit of its technical, organisational, governance and customer capabilities; along with scrutiny of large scale, in-production customer deployments.

Customer case studies that were reviewed as part of the certification process include a customer insights project with Velocity Frequent Flyer; a predictive medicine data platform for IntelliHQ that uses heart rate variability to predict patient outcomes; and a big data analytics project with Kamala Tech that gave technical users data to form insights across the business including areas such as data science, machine learning, marketing systems, reporting and self-service capabilities.

As healthcare comes under more and more pressure to deliver quality personalised care under constrained budgets the healthcare industry is seeing innovation with the use of data to drive efficiencies and better patient outcomes. As Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence (AI) emerge as a driver for businesses to do more with less, healthcare can deliver better care with the same resources using data to drive out those efficiencies.

“We partner with industry in AI as we need as many talented and gifted people in this space as possible. said Dr Brent Richards. is the Medical Director of Innovation – Gold Coast Hospital and Health Service (GCHHS). “There is a lot that the industry can bring that healthcare specifically does not have in terms of hardware, software and talent.” Dr Richards played a key role in the project with IntelliHQ which is a partnership between Gold Coast Health, industry and universities to transform healthcare through AI, enhancing patient outcomes and improving quality of care, while maximising cost-effectiveness.

Oliver Rees, Chief Analytics Officer with Virgin’s Velocity Frequent Flyer program has commended TechConnect’s expertise and cites the direct benefits for member experience. “Velocity have always been a company that is passionate about using insights to understand and improve on their members’ experience. Velocity worked with TechConnect to build a platform that would allow Velocity to combine member insights in a single location to make it easier for members to then receive relevant program offers,” said Oliver Rees, Chief Analytics Officer – Velocity Frequent Flyer.

“In achieving this level of competency with AWS, TechConnect has demonstrated our ability to help customers solve their most challenging data problems within large scale production deployments. We proved that we have deep expertise in designing, implementing, and managing Data and Analytics applications on the AWS platform and have delivered solutions seamlessly in the AWS Cloud environment,” said Clinton Thomson, Director of TechConnect IT Solutions.

TechConnect is a fast-growing Australian company, headquartered in Queensland and serving clients around Australia and worldwide. TechConnect helps customers extract business value from data and it has plans to grow its team to 100+ people over the next three to five years, creating graduate employment and professional development opportunities in Queensland and throughout Australia. The company has offices in Brisbane and the Gold Coast and has a graduate pathways program for top students in the STEM fields.

CRN Fast50 Award

CRN Fast50 for 2019 Award

CRN Fast50 - Number 15TechConnect was listed in the CRN Fast50 for 2019, settling into the 15th position in our debut year. A day after receiving the Deloitte’s Technology Fast 50 awards we were again presented a great result. Read about the Deloitte’s Technology Fast 50 here if you missed it.

The CRN Fast50 award, now in its 11th year, recognises the fastest-growing companies in the Australian IT channel, based on year-on-year revenue growth. “The 2019 CRN Fast50 put up astounding numbers: they grew at least 15 times faster than Australia’s economy.” – Simon Sharwood, Editorial Director – CRN. CRN Fast50 Award

This was the first year that TechConnect has entered this award and are thrilled to be listed 15th, with a growth rate of 67%. Simon Sharwood also stated, “It’s a huge achievement to have made it into the CRN Fast50. Your company’s growth not only outpaced most others in our industry, it also vastly exceeds Australia’s current overall growth rate!”.

This is a great achievement for us, we would like to thank our customers and team, without them this would not have been possible. Team TechConnect would also like to extend a congratulations to all the other winners. TechConnect looks forward to expanding our growth and moving up the list in coming years.CRN Fast50 - Clinton Thomson

Deloittes Technology Fast50

Deloitte – Technology Fast 50 Australia 2019

Deloittes Fast50 AwardWe are extremely excited and honoured to have been listed as one of Deloitte’s Technology Fast 50 Australian companies. Ranking 43rd on the list with a growth rate of 161%, in our debut year. This is a huge achievement not only for the company but also for our team and the hard work they have put in to provide solutions for our customers.

“Now in its 18th year in Australia, the Deloitte Technology Fast 50 program ranks fast growing technology companies, public or private, based on percentage revenue growth over three years.” – DeloitteDeloittes Technology Fast50

“More than ever, this year showcases world-leading Australian business innovation and it is a tremendous achievement for any company to be named among the Deloitte Technology Fast 50,” Deloitte Private Partner and Technology Fast 50 Leader, Josh Tanchel.

With our significant growth over the years, our hard-working team and most importantly our valued customers, we were able to achieve this amazing outcome. TechConnect is getting ready for exponential growth, through expanding into new markets and deep data specialisations.

The awards night was held on Wednesday, 20th of November in Sydney at the Museum of Contemporary Art. Clinton, our Director, was there to accept the award on behalf of TechConnect. “It was a great night; Well done to all the other recipients and thank you to Deloitte’s for putting it all together.” Clinton Thomson, TechConnect IT Solutions.Deloitte Fast50 - Clinton Thomson

How to Motivate your Team to get AWS Certified

How to Motivate your Team to get AWS Certification

In a recent Team Survey by Wattsnext HR Consultants, TechConnect scored off the charts for the Training and Development opportunities it offers Team Members. We put heaps of effort into this and are proud of the result. In light of this, we thought we would share some of our methodologies on how to motivate your team to get AWS certification.

TechConnect is a cloud-based consultancy firm and we require our team members to always be a few steps ahead of the customers when it comes to tech ability. We have found that studying and completing the AWS certification exams really do assist with fantastic project outcomes and delighted customers, so we have invested heavily in this area.

If  you have a group of over-worked Techies that crawl out the door after a 10 hour slog most days, how do you motivate and invigorate them to further their qualifications? Letting your techies take a moment to sharpen their axe rather than keeping them at it with a blunt one greatly benefits both your employees and your business.  Our proven program is outlined below and is with reference to the AWS exams, but can be altered for other Tech based exams.

 

TechConnect AWS Certification Training and exam ideas :

  • Speak to AWS about understanding their training programs and look at setting up a training plan for your business. The training they have is extremely relevant and the labs are gold.
  • Subscribe to the AWS online training portal.
  • Offer your team instructor-led training. These are nearly always 3-day courses with some very relevant Labs.
  • If you are not located near a training centre or have people that prefer their own space, give the team member 3 days off to complete the online study. We use A Cloud Guru and it has been great.
  • Wherever possible, give the person relevant work to give them experience on the particular tools they will be assessed on. Giving a person a lot of devops work when they are studying for the AWS Certified Big Data exam does not help.
  • Dependent on the exam, we give the person a day off prior to the exam to help them study and prepare.
  • Pay for the cost of the exam for the team member – on the proviso that they pass!
  • Our big clincher is that we have a menu of bonuses the team member gets for passing. We have heaps of guys completing the exams in the lead up to Christmas as they want a little extra cash for the Christmas period. By way of example:
    • Associate Exam – $500
    • Big Data Exam – $2,500
    • Professional Exam – $2,500
  • speak to your account manager to see if they can assist as AWS are usually very excited about us getting people AWS certification
  • Set-up Friday afternoon tech sessions where the guys can ask the more experienced team members the questions they have.
  • Ensure the leaders set good examples for the team. Two of our directors are AWS Certified Professional Architects.

At TechConnect we strongly believe that we are a learning organisation and all team members buy into this culture. Our team members give up their own time to ensure the others are well equipped to study for and take the exams. We’re all here to help support each other!

Outcomes of our program:

  • We have a highly qualified workforce that is ready to delight customers with their expertise.
  • We are looking to achieve several AWS competencies. TechConnect now have our sights on the Big Data competency and are nearly there. The certifications enable the competencies.
  • A knowledgeable workforce works faster which allows us to be competitive in an already competitive market
  • Retention – We have great employee retention due to the investment we make in the team members.  This reminds me of the age-old joke:

Two managers are talking about training their employees. The first asks, “Yeah, but what if we train them, and they just leave?” The second responds, “What if we don’t train them, and they stay?”

  • Lazy team members don’t like to get qualified whereas energetic team members do. We scare the lazy ones and attract the energetic ones who become the high performing team members. This in turn makes Tech Connect a high performing organisation.

At TechConnect, we have had remarkable results with investing in training and hope this article helps in some way in steering your ship. If you are an employee, share this with your Leaders so they can assist in getting you skilled. If they don’t and you believe you are one of the energetic ones, jump on our website and drop us an email 😊

Training graduates for the cloud

How to Train your Grads

How to Train your Graduates

TechConnect is an AWS advanced partner and does a large amount of work in the cloud specifically around making sense of people’s complex data problems. Due to this, the technologies we work with are all relatively new and to find new team members with the necessary skill set is like finding a needle in a haystack.  We have searched far and wide to fill positions with people who have skills in Elastic Mapreduce, Redshift, Kinesis etc. with not much luck.

As we could not find them, we decided to make our own. The recipe was quite simple – train a graduate:

  • Write a study program for getting graduates skilled fast. Amazon Web Services offers a lot of free courses for graduates and there are several excellent value online courses.
  • Create an attractive year long roadmap for graduates to go from entry level salary to a very competitive salary if they hit certain milestones.
  • Ensure your company has a strong culture of sharing knowledge.
  • Attend Ribit University days where students can be introduced to the business.
  • Advertise on Ribit for free.
  • Interview graduates and assess whether their personality is an ideal fit as well as having a competent language ability.
  • Create a test to challenge graduates that want to work for TechConnect.
  • Get graduates to complete the tests.
  • Take on the best performing graduates.
  • Accelerate them through the program.
  • Make sure you have excellent support structures for the graduates. You need to ensure your ratio of graduates to seniors is appropriate for the work you do.

We have found this has worked excellently for us with definite advantages:

  • It’s really great to give back to the community. The whole team enjoys watching the graduates develop and revel in their success. Our team is very passionate in helping people grow their skillsets.
  • The graduate’s brains are like sponges and they take every opportunity to soak up knowledge
  • They are surprisingly very commercially astute.
  • They are loyal as they know you provided them with this excellent opportunity.
  • TechConnect acquires cost effective people that are trained in the exact technologies the company uses.
  • Our graduates have excellent customer service and do not need to be hidden away.
  • No one has 15 years’ experience in Redshift or Kinesis.
  • The graduates we have are generally excellent mathematicians which is gold in the data space.

Some tips with training your graduates:

  • When something new comes out in cloud that you know you will need (eg. AWS Athena) get the graduates to research the new product and then present a report during a brown bag session. As soon as the product is required, the seniors can call on that graduates to help and suddenly, they are subject matter experts.
  • The graduates generally do some really funky projects at Uni that make commercial projects seem quite dull. Let the graduates know this before they come onboard! We have had no complaints from the graduates as we always manage expectations. They are moving from doing intriguing AI projects with limited time pressures to crunching boring financial numbers and presenting this in some visualisation product. We do have interesting projects, but they are not all drones and underwater camera kind of projects.
  • Ensure you know what your graduates have studied. If you get a data project in the health space and you have a Biomedical graduate, they will be of enormous value.
  • Employ seniors who have a passion for upskilling and mentoring others. This is paramount to the success of the program.
  • They can be a bit nervous at times so make sure you explain company strategy and plans. For example, we do quarterly one on ones and had an excellent graduate very nervous that we were letting them go.
  • Graduates don’t know older or more enterprise technologies like SAP or Oracle and to be honest they won’t be too interested in these.
  • Don’t be afraid of taking on PhDs. They are phenomenally clever, and it sounds really cool when introducing them to your customers. We have two PhDs and two in the final stages of getting their PhDs.

Everything said, we have had 9 graduates pass through our doors and have retained 8. Some have been with us for 4 years now and therefore are pretty senior when it comes to cloud technologies.

I started my career off as a Physics/Chem teacher, so I am very passionate in regard to watching people grow. If you have any questions, please give us a hoy.

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iPaaS Gartner Cool Vendor Integration

Universal Platform – At a Glance

About Universal Platform

Recently listed as Gartner Cool Vendor 2015, Universal Platform is an Integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS) providing tooling for subject matter experts to collect, trust and use data within the business. Subject matter experts gain access to complex components through a drag-n-drop interface akin to building blocks. The blocks are combined together to build out cities or solutions to business problems. Visit Universal Platform at Gartner AADI in July.

About TechConnect

TechConnect IT Solutions Pty Ltd is an information management provider with competencies in information management, disaster recovery and successful cloud adoption. Established in 2011, TechConnect clients include Hutchinson Builders, Transpacific Industries, Derivco International, Microgaming Software Solutions, Echo Entertainment, Integrated Traceability Solutions Global and Zapper. TechConnect’s management team has over 50 years industry accumulated experience in operating large-scale data environments for zero downtime e-commerce systems as well as design and implementation of disaster recovery strategies. Supporting product suites include Universal Platform, Science Logic, New Relic and Amazon Web Services.

Gartner Cool Vendor excerpt

“Who Should Care: Integration teams seeking to empower business roles with capabilities to model, ingest and share data, and augment business flows despite the obstacles of different terminology and complexity that may exist across departments and systems, should consider this vendor.”

Gartner Disclaimer

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.