Stories by David Ramli

MYOB caught spamming in Australia

Accounting software giant, MYOB, has been found guilty of spamming Australians without their consent by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA). The government body found that SmartyHost, a division of MYOB Australia E1, continued to spam people after they had requested their removal from the company’s mailing list, which is a direct breach of the Spam Act (2003). Although the company was receiving the requests, they were failing to act on them according to a statement released by the ACMA. MYOB Australia E1 has accepted an enforceable undertaking to develop training programmes, quality assurance processes and an Australian Standard complaint-handling policy that will be authorised and watched by ACMA. The company will also submit to audits of its commercial electronic messages along with details of all complaints made regarding those messages. In a statement ACMA also said MYOB has been proactively working with the regulatory body. “The ACMA has been impressed by the commitment of MYOB Australia E1 to the process of achieving compliance with the requirements of the Spam Act,’ ACMA chairman, Chris Chapman, said.

Australian IT jobs explode in July

IT job advertising shot up by 8.38 percent in July to report its first growth since May 2008, according to the most recent results from the Olivier Job Index. The sudden leap makes IT the fastest growing industry by percentage, which bucks the trend it established in recent months of performing below the national average. By contrast, overall job advertisements declined by 0.41 percent. Olivier Group director, Robert Olivier, said the results had taken him by surprise. “My feeling was that with business investment down, while people may be willing to hire, they would be saying essential roles and things like IT have to wait but apparently not,” he says. Olivier said although the rise was sudden and unexpected, it shouldn’t be dismissed as a random spike. He said while some job spikes could be explained away by individual employers, the IT market employed too many people for that to be the case. “This is the most encouraging figure that I’ve seen for the IT sector in probably a year,” he says. Within the IT sector, software development and engineering vacancies leapt the highest leading to job ad growth of 10.5 percent. Internet graphics and multimedia was up 10.2 percent while management and sales positions went up 2.9 percent. But it isn’t all good news. Network communications and security jobs were down 3.6 percent. Desktop support and help desk jobs fell 8.9 percent on the month and 74 percent on the year. Olivier said these job losses were part of a broader trend to outsource more positions abroad and slash excess staff. “Sometimes what these things do [economic crisis] is force the pace of change. So, yes, it something that was going to happen, whilst you’re trading okay you tend to let those things carry on. “But when you’re then forced into a situation where you’re forced to make those cuts and make those changes it’s a catalyst for that. Also the graduate market is weaker,” he says. Olivier cautioned against excess optimism, warning that several more months of positive growth would be needed before it could be seen as a recovery. “I think we’re going to return to a normal positive number between 0 and 5 percent,” he says

Samsung Australia cuts GM of retail sales

Samsung Electronics Australia has announced a major restructuring of its sales and marketing teams. As a result, general manager of retail sales, Mark Beard, has been made redundant.

Australian IT jobs still dropping

IT job ads are still falling faster than average despite earlier signs of market improvement, according to the June results of the Olivier Job Index.

Western Australia leads national ICT job decline

ICT job vacancies continued to slide in June with Western Australia leading the fall, according to government-released data. The Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR) released its ICT Vacancy Index, which showed the number of jobs for ICT professionals suffered a year-on-year drop of 62.6 percent and a 7.5 percent decline in June compared to May. WA suffered the most with a fall of 12.6 percent, followed by the Northern Territory (11.3 percent) and New South Wales (10.3). According to the June Skilled Vacancy Index, the number of engineering, ICT and science technicians and inspectors fell to 5397 in June, a drop of 8.8 percent on the previous month.

Sony doubles its Australian disties

Sony’s video and security division has doubled its Australian distributor ranks in an effort to boost channel sales and gain market share. Q Video Systems and ADI Global Distribution join Pacom and Anixter as the vendor’s Australian disties. Sony video security national business manager, Tony Lagan, says it is looking to achieve 70 to 80 percent of revenue from indirect sales. “We think four is a good number. You’ll find that some are stronger in different states. We will be protecting companies that work with our products on price and support,” he says. “It’s crucial that we get our day-to-day run rate business going. The distribution business is very important to us because no one is ever going to reach their targets and budgets by just winning project business." Q Video Systems sales and marketing director, Paul Thompson, says his company was chosen because of its sales volume and aggressive marketing. “We’ve gone from zero revenue in the Australia CCTV market to being number two and we’re the fastest growing business," says Thompson. “I’ve got an existing client base and we’re now able to offer them a high-quality product to meet their needs, but we’re also looking for new customers and this gives us a stronger portfolio.” ADI Global Distribution general manager, John Gellel, says the two companies started working together on sales and technical training sessions in early April with 1-on-1 sessions set to commence in July. He said the appeal of the Sony cameras would be limited to resellers that were looking for higher price points. “These are people that prefer what I’d call a best product rather than a good or better product - something with the latest technology, reliability and brand recognition,” says Gellel. Sony will monitor the situation for 12 months before considering any additions to the current distie line-up.

NComputing signs deal with United Nations

Computer vendor, NComputing, has announced it is partnering with the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) to provide 500,000 virtual desktops to school students in developing countries by 2012.