RE: Canberra Times – Australia Government Agile and Innovative? Not in the real world

It is not risk-averse and tech-backwards bureaucrats that are hampering high-tech startups from selling to government. It is the poor understanding of public sector needs and requirements by Australian startups and small businesses.

As a small business, originally a startup, assisting government agencies with Information Management and Digital Engagement, Sensory7 has won tens of millions of dollars in business from Australian governments over the last 17 years.

Sensory7 has directly won over 60 five to seven-figure contracts with the Australian Government, all listed in, winning over 60% of tender bids.

The company has also won many Australian Government contracts as a consortium member, and from state and territory governments around Australia.

“Many startups fail to sell to government because they act like bulls in a china shop, misunderstanding or dismissing agency concerns and selling the wrong features and benefits,“ said Suzette Bailey, Director of Sensory7.

“Government has different priorities to businesses. Agencies are subject to greater accountability and probity requirements. Startups and small businesses successful at selling to government recognise and acknowledge the requirements of government. They understand how to strategically build the right relationships with public servants, ‘derisk’ new investments and address critical compliance and accountability needs.”

Outside their main business, the principles of Sensory7, Suzette Bailey and Craig Thomler, have assisted dozens of startups, small businesses and not-for-profits to successfully sell to governments around Australia over the last five years.

They most recently assisted two startups to access significant government panels, and helped another begin a pilot program with a government agency.

“We’re happy to provide advice and support to startups and small businesses seeking to sell to Australia’s government market,” said Craig Thomler, a partner in Sensory7 and founder of Social Media Planner. “As a serial entrepreneur, who has also spent five years working in government, I can often help startups find an approach that works – bridging the communications gaps and helps them to position themselves as best-of-breed or an innovation partner.”

Craig, who is also a Mentor and Judge for the CSIRO On Accelerator Program, and a former winner of the Australian Government’s Individual Innovator in Government award, believes that governments in Australia are not only open to innovation, but are often ahead of corporate Australia in implementing innovative solutions.

“I recently served as an assessor in the Australian Public Service’s Inaugural Innovation Awards, which saw over 80 fantastic entries evidencing the range of innovation across the Australian Government. Recently Code for Australia, a not-for-profit I’m honoured to be on the Board for, received a $380,000 grant from the Victorian Government to aid agencies in innovation by placing teams of fellows,” he said.

“While I was working in government last decade I was involved with over a dozen innovative projects where we worked closely with startups and small businesses – often having to educate them on how government operates and what it needs.”

Sensory7 is in the process of organising a two-day Mastermind on selling to government to assist up to 16 businesses and startups to realise success in public sector markets.

“This isn’t our core business,” said Suzette Bailey, “but so many companies approach us individually that we felt this would be the best way to help our peers in startups and small businesses to successfully crack the code and sell effectively to government.”

More details on the Mastermind are available by contacting Suzette Bailey at

Contact: Craig Thomler
0411 780 194

Link to the publicly listed Australian Government Tenders won by Sensory7:

Sensory7 Pty Ltd
Sensory7 is one of Australia’s leading Information Management companies. Focused on the public sector, Sensory7 has, for over 17 years, offered government agencies strategic advice and implementation support for Information and Knowledge Management projects, as well as records management support.

The company also provides agencies with expert strategic digital engagement advice and support, social footprint auditing and social media crisis simulation training and testing through partnerships with Social Media Planner and Social Simulator.

AutoPilot Business Systems, a wholly owned subsidiary, draws from Sensory7’s experience with government, to help startups and small businesses to grow, manage ownership transitions and derisk large contracts by providing lynchpin strategic and operational systemisation support.


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On November 2nd, 2016, posted in: Media Releases by

Differences between Automation and Autopilot

Maybe you have heard the terms AUTOMATION and AUTOPILOT before and wondered what the difference is, or even wondered if there actually is a difference!

The key is to understanding the differences between AUTOMATION and AUTOPILOT and choose between the two for different systems within your business. This is why it is critical that you KNOW your business and processes.

Automate or Autopilot
I am going to explain using a simple airplane analogy. If you are flying a plane and you were told to perform only 4 main processes to complete the trip: taxi, take off, fly and landing.

You can also choose to automate or autopilot some/all of the processes. So how should we choose?

If you choose to autopilot the process, the plane flies according to set parameters before the event. You are constantly monitoring the plane and can make changes in time if the flying condition changes.

When cruising altitude is reached you switch from manual control over to the autopilot and can sit back until ready to land. You are monitoring the plane and the conditions ahead for any unexpected turbulence and can take evasive action if required. You are still in full control of the plane at all times but can rest a little when the plane is on autopilot.

With autopilot you are always in full control but you get time back and you know that a process is done the way you want each and every time.

In this case, automation means you will be flying the plane hands off. The plane will taxi, take off, fly and land according to things you set up BEFORE the plane takes off. The plane flies itself as if there is no human even around.

The down side? Automation definitely gives you more freedom but you also have limited control over the automated process and could miss important signals until you realise an issue, such as when turbulence occurs. If things are going wrong with an automation you only see that in hindsight, not when the plane is flying.

The Pros and Cons
Neither option is better or worse than the other. Automation is great for processes that require little or no human intervention (or you have the process working so well you can be hands off completely). In business terms, it be useful in transactional-based procedures and auto email campaigns.

Autopilot on the other hand can be used for more complex processes or processes that you are not yet comfortable to let go, such as landing or in business terms, emailing important clients.

Systemising your business is about making good choices between automation and autopilot. Investing effort in systemising and you will be surprised at the result!

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On October 20th, 2016, posted in: General, News, Uncategorized by

What is a System?

So what do we mean when we talk about systemising your business and what are systems? Systems, in one sentence is:

A repeatable series of steps that result in a predictable and consistent outcome.

Expand on the Definition
First of all a system has to be a process that involves STEPS. For example, it can be a step-by-step instruction on how to make a cup of coffee. We also want it to be REPEATABLE so others can follow the steps.
Now here is the trick. It is obvious that simply writing repeatable step instructions isn’t sufficient in systemising a business; as the person who follows the steps might think and act differently with the person who wrote it. That’s is why a system must deliver PREDICTABLE and CONSISTENT outcome. In other words, regardless of who uses the system, a system should deliver the same result or the expected result from the owner. This also means that a system can be tested and modified when it doesn’t match the definition.

Create a Business, Not a Job
So what does it mean to systemise? Let’s hear the story of Jannie. Jannie runs a local hairdresser place. She waits for customers to come in on a daily basis and has earned her reputation around the area so she is capable of continuing the business. However she is very busy and feels she has little control over the business. That is before Jannie systemised her business.

After she has an appointment system allowing her customers to book in for haircuts or hair treatments, she can now predict her income and engage with her customers more through the booking system including upselling her services and receiving feedbacks. She is also able to foresee the expense on supplies and the amount required.
Another advantage for Jannie is that she can now pass over some of her tasks to her staff and know that they will be done the same way as she would. This is the power of leverage….this is the power of systems.

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On October 20th, 2016, posted in: General, Information Management, News, Uncategorized by

Microsoft Case Study for Colligo Email Management Software

The case study for the Contributor Pro software created by Colligo Networks was released by Microsoft. Contributor Pro allows users to interact with a SharePoint site from Microsoft Outlook and Windows Explorer using drop and drag…no more upload button!

The Contributor Pro software is used by organisations worldwide to manage email and documents more effectively in SharePoint. You can apply metadata to the content easily and apply business rules to stop users sending attachments via email.

Read more about this case study at the Microsoft site.

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On August 3rd, 2016, posted in: News, SharePoint by

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Implementing records management in SharePoint

With the significant increase in SharePoint installations within government agencies, many are now starting to wrestle with ensuring that their SharePoint installation is records management compliant. SharePoint “out of the box” is not records management compliant. A lot of government agencies are in dilemma on how to handle making SharePoint compliant.

Things to consider when investigating how to make your SharePoint records management compliant are:

  • What is it you are trying to achieve?
    • Do you want all of your SharePoint data and documents to be captured as records?
    • Do you want your users to know they are declaring their information as records or do you want it as a “back office” function i.e. hidden from users?
    • Do you have more “paper-based” or “electronic documents” currently to manage
      • Do you have a large holding of paper records and are moving towards electronic records?
      • Are the majority of your records already digital and you don’t have many paper records?

Questions like this help you to determine your “records management profile” which in turn influence the best solution for you. The “one size fits all” approach does not work with records management and you need to consider your organisation’s records management profile to find the best option available for your organisation. Paper records based organisations are better with records management software like TRIM and Objective compared to primarily electronic records based organisations. Organisations with a records management profile of mainly electronic records should consider software built specifically for electronic records, such as RecordPoint.

There are a large number of options for making SharePoint records management compliant and it is important to determine what is the records management profile (characteristics) of the organisation before rushing into the purchase of software. Consider all aspects of your records management profile, such as the ratio of paper versus electronic records and the level of visibility of records management functions provided to users before determining which option you select.

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On August 2nd, 2016, posted in: News, Records Management, Services, SharePoint by