APAC Issue 8 2018

APAC / Issue 8 2018 5 NEWS , Leading the Way GBST, provider of wealth adminis- tration software through its Com- poser ® platform, and Equiniti, the leading spe- cialist administration and pay- ment service provider, have formed a strategic partnership to provide best in class tech- nology and outsourcing servic- es to the market. The two firms will work together to offer investment operations and platform technology to clients and prospective clients within the life and pensions and wealth man- agement sectors. The partnership agreement follows the success- ful implementation and ongoing provision of services to joint cli- ent Retirement Advantage. Here Equiniti provides outsourced busi- ness solutions covering customer services, technology and change activity, including management of the underlying systems, while GBST provides the retirement platform for SIPPs and annuities, closely integrated into Retirement Advantage’s other technology and digital platforms. David Simpson, Head of Europe, the Middle East and Africa at GBST, commented: “As a spe- cialist technology company in the wealth and life and pensions sec- tors, we are seeing increasing de- mand for outsourcing of both tech- nology and people, with the aim of improving operating efficiency and reducing servicing costs. Through our joint client Retirement Advantage, we already have a proven relationship with Equin- iti and have each developed a strong understanding and famili- arity with how the other firm oper- ates. Equiniti’s staff are trained in our software from a customer pro- cessing perspective and its tech- nology focus means it can also host and manage future upgrades of Composer ® . We believe forming a strategic partnership is a logical next step in offering future mutual clients similar joined up services.” Enrique Sacau, Head of Financial Services at Equiniti, added: “We see more and more that clients want to re-invent themselves and run their operations and technol- ogy cost base more efficiently. At the same time, we believe that life and pensions and wealth compa- nies are ready for an alternative to the traditional, often overstretched, business process outsourcers op- erating in these markets. Our combined life and pensions and wealth business unit offers a broad reach of outsourcing ser- vices which, we believe, is unique from one single provider. By part- nering with GBST, which powers a number of the fastest growing propositions in the UK and of- fers, in our view, the best in class modern, modular retirement and investment platform available, we can offer a compelling compre- hensive outsourcing proposition to this growing market. GBST and Equiniti Announce Strategic Partnership Australian Oil and Gas industry will be among first movers in adopting AI, says GlobalData. Oil and gas (O&G) market is in- fluenced by several factors out- side the control of companies. As such, the long-term competitive- ness of O&G industry will depend on the use of technology. Against this backdrop, the Australian O&G industry will be among the first movers in adopting artificial intel- ligence (AI) says leading data and analytics company GlobalData. The Australian O&G market wit- nessed a strong overall decline in its value during 2013-17 thanks largely to falling crude oil prices. According to GlobalData, the total revenues of the Australian O&G market represented a compound annual rate of change (CARC) of -14.8% from 2013 to reach $21.4bn in 2017. Dustin Kehoe, Technology Re- search Director at GlobalData, says: “Volatility is the new normal in the O&G industry. There are many factors influencing global energy prices such as geo-poli- tics, changes in energy consump- tion, substitution, increasing regu- lation and current OPEC policies. However, the use of technology will help reduce costs, increase productivity and streamline busi- ness processes across a supply chain with hundreds of touch- points.” While only at its infancy, the key applications of AI today have been in exploration in areas such as natural seep detection, and drilling operations to improve site planning and extraction optimisa- tion for upstream suppliers espe- cially when mapping the digital oilfield. It is also being used in Australia to improve monitoring and com- pliance for health and safety. In fact, there are many interesting use cases across the supply chain, such as asset, personnel and fleet management. These areas help in storage, manufac- turing, production, transport and distribution of O&G. Kehoe adds: “In the not too dis- tant future, the industry will see even more innovation such as in- telligent robots, virtual assistants, augmented, virtual reality and drones which will offer sweeping improvements across the supply chain from site exploration in the digital oilfield to last mile distribu- tion.” While the data collected with the use of AI will be invaluable for the future of many industries, includ- ing O&G, businesses will also need to have a company-wide strategy in place for data collec- tion, management and security. However, only 10% of businesses have such a system in place. Kehoe concludes: “While our re- search shows the O&G sector to be big users of software-defined networking and wireless technol- ogy today, there will be a shift in cloud from dedicated private to infrastructure-as-a-service in Australia. We are also seeing the sector embracing a myriad of low-power wide-area network technologies for IoT and security. Beyond the use of technology, will be people. The industry should also consider new approaches to managing extreme uncer- tainty, such as Design Thinking, Lean Startup, and others, when the end-state is uncertain. While technology is not exactly seam- less, people and culture are often the biggest obstacles to a suc- cessful transformation.”