clever content

Adapters: Perth Startup Ajero Brings Digital Know-how to Oil and Gas Decommissioning

From left:    Ajero Pty Ltd's David McLeod, Farzan Marfatia and Peter Walton

From left: Ajero Pty Ltd's David McLeod, Farzan Marfatia and Peter Walton

Three oil and gas industry executives have found a way to tap into a $35 billion pool of opportunity in the waters around Australia, with the launch of their company Ajero Pty Ltd.

They have identified an emerging new market from the decommissioning of old pipelines and offshore installations.

Ajero has developed a Software as a Service (SaaS) based platform - complete with algorithm/engine - to facilitate the decommissioning process for the oil and gas industry by helping to determine the best way forward to clear the world’s oceans of abandoned offshore installations.

Ajero is the brainchild of Perth local, Farzan Marfatia. “Australia is just starting to decommission its offshore oil and gas facilities. There are up to 80 offshore facilities and only a handful have been decommissioned,” he says.

“But procedures and standards for decommissioning are ambiguous. We’re striving to bring consistency and logic to the planning and decommissioning process, while keeping the industry up to date with the latest technologies and methods available.”

With often hundreds of millions of dollars provisioned to decommission a facility, the need to successfully navigate the minefield of legislation, regulation and opinion has never been more important.

 “Legislation calls for complete removal and rehabilitation,” Mr Marfatia says. “Literally, it means oil and gas companies must leave the title area how they received it.

"Complete removal is not always the best solution because new environmental research suggests that subsea equipment turned into an artificial reef or marine habitat may be beneficial to the environment. There is some evidence fish stocks improve around pipelines and infrastructure. So, the question is whether complete removal is really the best solution."

It’s a critical point, given that airlifting and excavation is often used for removal of equipment, but can significantly disturb seabeds and marine habitats, and remedial work must meet international maritime conventions to which Australia is a signatory.

The overall cost of decommissioning Australia’s fields is estimated at US$24 billion (AU$35 billion) over 30 years. With companies now required to have a decommissioning plan, Ajero developed software to independently assess each project efficiently at reduced cost using tested and validated algorithms.

Mr Marfatia combined his expertise as a project engineer with that of two former colleagues, Peter Walton, now Ajero’s managing director, and David McLeod, CFO/finance manager.

They targeted decommissioning work, reckoning that a digital platform could plough through the sea of regulatory and environmental issues faster and more efficiently than consulting hours. The digital technology provides the end user the ability to run through several decommissioning scenarios, while considering personnel safety and impact to the environment. Furthermore, the auto generated reports are immediately available to the user once the relevant information has been entered and agreed in a 'HAZID' style workshop. The report's format is consistent each time, which will help regulators reviewing the documents.

The result is an annual subscription service for Ajero software that can perform in-house, in one week, what usually takes an outsourced consultancy up to 18 weeks. The cost savings are significant.

“If an operator wants to leave some structures in place when decommissioning, there are questions," Mr Marfatia says. "What do they leave? What do they remove? And how likely is it to be accepted by the regulator? Ajero software platform can provide the solutions."

Aside from offshore oil and gas operators, Ajero has recently signed agreements with two global management consulting firms to explore the platform's use for the legal and insurance industries.

Adapters logo.jpg

Adapters: Perth Business Captivate Connect Keeps Customers Calling Globally

Captivate Connect Mark Horwood

Captivate Connect Mark Horwood

Perth-based company has revolutionised the dreaded 'on hold' experience by developing new technology that transforms call wait times into payday time.

Mark Horwood, chief executive officer of Captivate Connect, compares being on hold as akin to waiting for luggage at an airport. “There’s nothing you can do but stand and wait.”

His company, now run from modest offices in Burswood, stunned the corporate world in 2002 by offering daily news, sport and weather information to callers on hold.

“Commercially, it was very successful for us. The technology was internet-based to help accommodate the immediacy of updating the daily news and sport,” Mr Horwood said.

Captivate Connect is now inspired by internet multimedia technology and once again is refining the “on hold” experience; this time for mutual enrichment of callers and businesses.

The company sponsored a website called Horrible on Hold to determine exactly what people disliked about waiting on hold. There was an overwhelming response that it’s generic, repetitive and boring.

“This wasn’t anything new to me,” Mr Horwood said, “but how can we play audio everyone will be happy with? We give them the choice.”

Music not your thing? Perhaps a quiz or a podcast may be more up your alley. Globally, this interactive-on-hold has never been done before and there’s no-one else who can do it, he says.

Callers become immersed in the business, causing these callers to become loyal brand ambassadors, relaying their experiences to friends and associates – in turn, boosting sales.

“The only way to win word-of-mouth referrals is by delivering an experience that exceeds expectations,” Mr Horwood says.

Interactive-on-hold collects caller data. A caller being directed to the sales department can be offered a brochure on any new/best-selling products. The Caller opts to receive the brochure by entering their number, it is then sent via text and, in return, the sales team effectively gathers the caller’s details to follow-up.

After two minutes, callers are invited to leave their name, number and reason for calling to receive a call back. This costs as little as $1. Mr Horwood believes businesses employing more than 20 people would readily pay $1 to retain a customer.

Statistics suggest that, within five years, 68% of all business transactions will involve the human voice – down from today’s 72% – but the importance of these transactions will become more valuable.

“Fax is virtually redundant, snail mail doesn’t work, and trying to get anybody to respond to emails is like pulling teeth, which is why we’re seeing a shift back to phones,” Mr Horwood says.

Visit www.captivateconnect.com to find out more.

This column is part of the Adapters series produced by Perth Media. It profiles Perth Media small business and not-for-profit clients exclusively.

Adapters CMYK JPEG copy 2.jpg

Adapters: Perth Businesswoman Tanya Finnie Launches Cultural Intelligence Magazine

DSC_3471 copy.jpg

Awkward working relationships that can destroy careers or damage productivity are the subject of a new magazine, Cultural Times, published by Perth businesswoman Tanya Finnie.

She identifies the causes of interpersonal blunders in places of work and measures their unwanted consequences for individuals and company bottom lines.

“The old golden rule is to do unto others how we would like to be done to ourselves – but that’s absolute rubbish,” Ms Finnie says. “The platinum rule should be to do unto others as they would like to be done to themselves.”

Put simply, it is illogical for a tea-drinker to assume that another person will also like tea. Logically, a tea-drinker should first discover the other person’s preference.

Yet that misjudgement, no matter how well-intentioned, can be the first in a series of errors that accentuate divisions between people who are meant to collaborate.

Brilliant careers in leadership can stall if aspirants ignore the demands of an increasingly diverse population pulled together by immigration.

Ms Finnie’s company, RedHead Communications, specialises in cultural intelligence (CQ), a new field of study dealing with our capability to deal effectively across different cultures. A culturally intelligent person is aware of others’ backgrounds but, more importantly, adjusts their behaviour in multicultural situations.

“Australia has the world’s highest proportion of migrant settlers in a developed nation,” Ms Finnie says. “A quarter of Australians (27 per cent) was born overseas, and almost half of Australian households (46 per cent) had at least one parent born overseas.”

In February, Australia’s top trading partners were China, Japan and South Korea. “It will therefore be great for our economy if we learn to adapt our cultural behaviour,” Ms Finnie says. Better collaboration and a happy workforce are associated with increased productivity.

Minority status is not confined to ethnicity. Generational, organisational and LGBTQI factors are relevant, too. Sometimes different professions in the same firm can clash because of opposing cultures.

Ms Finnie’s new magazine, Cultural Times, addresses all these issues. It is published online, and a hard copy version is planned for a gala launch next month – May.

The first issue tells how a woman became Australia’s youngest engineering executive. There’s a moving story about how one man overcame adversity, and advice on building cultural intelligence.

Ms Finnie is a keynote speaker and is starting a doctorate at the University of WA that aims to gauge the impact on the workforce if the cultural intelligence of engineers is increased.

She worked in several countries – including South Africa, Mauritius, Germany, Morocco, Zimbabwe, Kenya and Swaziland – before settling in Australia 15 years ago. She advocates blind CVs, where a person’s name is erased from a job application so that selection is based mainly on merit.

“It’s too easy to chuck out names you can’t pronounce,” Ms Finnie says.

See: Cultural Times Visit: RedHead Communications

This article is one of many which have featured in 'Adapters', a series exclusively for Perth Media clients, profiling news of innovative small businesses, start-ups and not for profits in WA Business News.

Blogging Tips: Media Training with Denmark Chamber of Commerce

Last week, we spent several days in Denmark in the remote south coast of Western Australia - one of the state's most beautiful spots. More than 20 came along to a Perth Media training session (facilitated by the Denmark Chamber of Commerce), and here are some of the tips we shared. Happy blogging!


1.     Go with your strengths: vlog, pics, individuals in the team strengths, photos, writing.

2.     The power of great writing is immense, to draw followers/customers.

3.     Positivity important.

4.     Sell your experiences.

5.     Promote events. Events generate news/customers/drives economic development.

6.     Design your blogs with your preferred social media in mind: instagram; twitter; facebook; linkedin..They all have different needs and different audiences, you can't tell/force your customers which social media to use.

7.     Work out how to share your content.

8.     Create content/blog calendar with deadline. Includes testimonials (3rd party endorsements); FAQs (frequency asked questions); video; long and short blogs. Blogs do not mean long columns. There maybe only one long blog each year, but make it a good well-written one.

9.     Content strategy has to be responsive; constantly changing; has to be flexible, and needs to respond to audience.

10.  Content strategy, needs to be seasonal. IE Christmas/Easter/Winter (bonfire themes; bushwalking); writers festival; Denmark Experience; Long table lunches; poetry/music festival, are examples. Festivals provide multiple ideas for content IE performer profiles; acts; reviews; insights of different skills for experiences, IE botanist walks; indigenous experts; cooks; films. Film tours/content on the back of Tim Winton’s Breath. Holiday packages around Breath tours.

11.  Look into possibility of outsourcing editing. Don't be delusional about your own copy/editing skills. It will impact on your brand.

12.  Quirky stories, are gold. ‘For outsiders everything is interesting,' says Creative and Digital consultant Andal Shreedaran at Perth Media. What is wonderful of Denmark and your own individual businesses?

13.  Collaboration, collaboration, collaboration. For blog distribution and sharing the load for events.

14.  Always check facts.

15.  Understand copyright.

16.  Build your own collection of images.

17.  Use press release/presspack stories as blogs.

18.  Read, read, read. Seek out good writing, understand the difference between good, mediocre and bad.

19.  Read your own writing aloud. Make every word count. Be strict cutting, and work on making writing clear. Be descriptive but not flowery and over the top.

20.  Volunteer for charity to get experience as a blogger. You can write the stories of those that need assistance, while you polish your craft.

21.  Identify your passions, your strengths, your interests.

22.  Tell only best stories, and start with the very best one first. Focus also on the opening para.

23.  Understand google rankings and the reason blogs impact on business sales.

24.  Develop relationships with other companies/bloggers/publications.

25.  Understand importance of themes in content creation and promotions.

26.  Do something every day, as part of your BD.

27.  Appeal to different target markets of your products. IE kid friendly; backpackers.

28.  Content strategy: incorporate key words, such as ‘Denmark’ ‘tourism’.

29.  The only thing stopping you writing and promoting your business is you.

Or too busy, call Perth Media now. We can help with a content package right now! cate@perthmedia.com.au

Perth Media Blogging with Denmark Chamber of Commerce Next Week

Perth Media blogging workshop next week is on track, organised by Denmark Chamber of Commerce, 22 have booked. Thanks to Liz Jack, Anna Boaden and Claudia Simpson at the Denmark Chamber of Commerce and Jody Ovenden at Celestine Retreat for her encouraging support.

Looking forward to assisting writing skills and developing grassroots expertise.

Perth Media creative and digital consultant, Andal Shreedaran, is also presenting her 'Future of Content' Research, remotely.

Digital and Social Media Audit and Content Management Action Plan

By Cate Rocchi and Andal Shreedaran

Content creation, blogs linked to your website and social media management can improve the google ranking of your company and boost its digital footprint. We are here to help and Perth Media is offering 2 initial options throughout January and February, 2017.

Option A, Starter: $550 (1-hour meeting and 2 hours research for written report and action plan); Option B, Standard: $950 (2-hour meeting and 5 hours research for written report and action plan)

The plans include: mapping your digital footprint, audience mapping, strategy analysis and evaluation, and social media planning and strategizing.

Call 0428431699 or email cate@perthmedia.com.au

5 Better Ways to Promote Content by Andal Shreedaran (Perth Media Creative Consultant)

In this era of information overload, content is the king. But, content creation, however taxing it may be, is only half the work done. The rest of the work is promoting the content and ensuring it reaches the right audience.

The key to nailing content promotion is to do it efficiently – many companies struggle with content promotion not because they don’t spend time, but because they spend too much time on irrelevant and lackluster content. It is important to establish an objective – is it increased brand visibility, are you looking at lead generation and conversion or increasing blog traffic? It is also important to know who your target audience is and to make a decision whether the content be textual, visual (posters, infographics), audio (podcasts) or video.

1.      Email. This might sound old school, but email is still a wonderful way of reaching your target audience. Sending links to the article or blog post through newsletters or notifications is straightforward. Remember, people who have signed up for subscription have done so to know more about the company and the resources it can offer. If this sounds too simple, there are a lot of ways through which you can spice up email marketing – drip marketing  for one, is a great tool to send automated and tailored email alerts to your audience. Through drip, you can target each member in your audience specifically – including his/her name, what interests them most about your company and relevant content based on which page they have spent most time on. Email is also a simple tool to cross-promote your social media pages.

2.     Social media. The next and the obvious platform to promote your content is social media. Depending on the objective, content can be shared either on (or all) of these – Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, SnapChat, SoundCloud, etc. While all content can go into all these platforms, a social media strategy on what to post where will add more value – For e.g., videos work great in Facebook and SnapChat, podcasts in Soundcloud, professional posts and infographics in LinkedIn, images and posters mainly across twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

The timing of the posts is also very crucial. Analytics will tell you what part of your audience is active on each channel and at what time. Posting relevant content at the right time will increase views and audience engagement. If it is overwhelming to handle so many social channels, there are social media tools like Hootsuite, Buffer that help bring all of the channels in one place. You can also use these tools to post curated content at pre-defined time. 

3.     Increase SEO through backlinks. While the content you have created may be interesting, backlinks to the relevant page in your website or other pages increases traffic and search engine rankings. A very simple way to create backlinks is to ask your team to share the link to the content on their social media pages. SEO improves when content is shared multiple times – this is recorded by search engines which will give your content a better ranking.

4.     Influencer outreach. Identify your influencers – influencers can be media, bloggers or top-level professionals in your industry and/or sources whom you have used or mentioned in your content. Reach out to these influencers and tell them about your new article or podcast and ask them to share it to their network. Content shared by influencers is seen not just as interesting but also trustworthy. Apart from getting more traffic, your brand’s credibility grows – third party endorsement is invaluable for a brand or product.

5.     Syndicate content. When done right, content syndication can genuinely boost revenue. You can use sites like Medium, StumbleUpon, Scoop.It to post your content. Through this, you can reach out to a wider audience. This will increase authority and credibility. Apart from these, content can also be posted in LinkedIn. It is usually not recommended to re-post the article on multiple sites as it can pull down your Google ranking, but you can post excerpts in these sites and provide a link to the content page on your website to read the entire article.

For content to reign king, it is imperative for it to be shareable, relatable and understandable. Simple but impactful content can do wonders to the brand and product sales. Hitting ‘Publish’ is only the beginning – promoting the right content at the best time is crucial for success.

 

Social Media Concepts (Themed Images to Illustrate Your Blogs)

Did you know the team at Perth Media can supply beautiful themed social media images - to illustrate blogs or to stand alone?

Take a look at these, created by creative digital content designer, Laura Murphy, for Rewire Your Pain authors Dr Stephanie Davies and Dr Nicholas Cooke.

Packages, with or without photography, are competitively priced.