Dimension Data has officially opened its first Client Innovation Centre (CIC) featuring a raft of new technology innovations within its Australian headquarters in Darling Park, Sydney.
The CIC aims to showcase a number of technologies and solutions that have been created in collaboration with Dimension Data and its parent company, NTT Group, other Australian businesses, government agencies and universities. NTT invests about US$2 billion per year in research and development.
Currently, the CIC features six innovations centered on technologies such as big data, artificial intelligence and machine learning, IoT, biosensors and wearables, virtual and augmented reality, cloud, secure computation and encryption.
According to Dimension Data, the CIC will create about 150 - 200 new roles, expecting to contribute to Australia’s technology innovation and export opportunities in the next two to three years.
“Tapping into the wealth of NTT’s R&D early-stage technology innovations will allow us to further adapt and commercialise solutions that will help Australian organisations solve fundamental issues and create new value for years to come,” Dimension Data Australia CEO, Steve Nola, said.
“The fundamentals of our business are really structured around the quality of our staff and the assets that we have with the capabilities that we bring every day to our clients in exploring opportunities and new ways of delivering solutions.”
Nola said that every six months or so, the CIC will introduce new IP.
“The CIC is about taking that early stage IP, working with clients and other parts of the industry and looking at how to address issues and solve a problem. The CIC is taking a different approach to other showcases, this is about how we apply the technology in a way that is meaning for an outcome for a client,” he said.
Some of the innovations currently housed within CIC include FLAIM Trainer, which is a virtual reality firefighter training simulator featuring bio-sensing and real time scenario analytics. It was developed in tandem with FLAIM Systems, which is owned by Deakin University. The system involves a HTC Vive virtual reality headset, personal protective clothing with heat generation components, breathing apparatus simulator and a patented haptics feedback system.
Under a co-innovation agreement, Deakin and Dimension Data integrated hitoe, which is a wearable, biosensing, nano-fibre vest tracking ECG readings that are transmitted in real-time for fitness analysis of firefighters during training.
The data generated is ingested, aggregated and then captured from the FLAIM Trainer system during training and displayed alongside the visuals of the training scenario being tackled.
The captured data and training session is recorded and stored in a cloud environment or integrated into a learning management system, results can be benchmarked, and instructors can review and track performances over time.
In July, Dimension Data partnered with Western Sydney University, to create a new data services platform called Mass Data Observations.
The platform aims to combine and analyse multiple sources including public data sets, archives, social data feeds, data from internet of things (IoT) devices, in addition to qualitative and quantitative data through ‘data contributor communities’.
It enables secure analysis of multiple sources of data in order to gain new insights spanning several areas such as health, civics and society, education, consumer behaviour, urban planning, environment and economics.
San-Shi, which is a secure computation platform, is an additional capability to Mass Data Observations that uses secret sharing and secure multi-party computation principles to allow researchers to aggregate and analyse massive data sets without revealing the source data to the analyst, who only receives the output results.
Sensor and transponder technology that was used during this year’s Tour de France, was also showcased as an example of using live tracking, data analytics, and machine learning.
The devices were fitted to every bike, and combined with Dimension Data’s data analytics platform, it incorporated machine learning and complex algorithms to provide live and historical race data with other data inputs to provide deep levels of insight such as predicting winners at each stage and tracking each rider’s progress and performance in real-time.
Another innovation on display was a holographic simulation called Kirari! Developed in NTT’s R&D labs, Kirari! captures live action in high-definition video and audio, that can then be transmitted to remote locations to display in real-time, in 360-degree video and virtual surround sound audio.
Innovations around customer digital experience using AI-based chatbots, were also featured.
Dimension Data Group CEO, Jason Goodall, said in the past three to four years, the company had been making significant investments around building automated platforms that allows them to manage complex environments for clients.
“A lot of the capability for building those managed services platforms, happens in Australia,” he said. “As a business, we still believe the role as a system integrator, is vital, and there’s a growing market opportunity that we’re targeting around managed services, which are being delivered in a different way.
“You have to have the investment dollars, and you need the right skills to build these platforms that allow you to be competitive.”