Deakin confirmed among world's digital leaders

14 July 2017

Deakin University has been recognised among the world’s most digitally innovative organisations, finding a place in the exclusive 2017 Digital Edge 50, for its Smart Campus program.

Deakin is the only Australian university named in this year's list, which recognises 50 organisations worldwide who are excelling in digital transformation.

The Smart Campus platform enables students to receive personalised information on campus about topics relevant to them, including available study locations, events and services in their proximity and the capacity to ask for help via their device, which is then responded to by a student support staff member who can identify their location instantly.

Deakin Chief Digital Officer William Confalonieri said the award reflected Deakin's commitment to digital innovation and its aim to be Australia's premier university in driving the digital frontier.

Mr Confalonieri said the program, which leveraged Wi-Fi and Internet of Things technologies to enable proximity and location-based services, would ultimately integrate augmented reality, personalised mobile apps, digital signage and parking systems, with Deakin's big data and analytics and artificial intelligence (AI), underpinned by robust cyber security and privacy frameworks.

“Deakin’s vision is to build a comprehensive digital layer over the University’s existing physical environment, enabling a personalised, engaging, efficient and secure experience for all campus users,” Mr Confalonieri said.

Deakin’s Channels and Platforms Executive Director Lynn Warneke, also the Smart Campus lead, said Smart Campus was an ambitious and innovative program of integrated digital projects and foundation enablers, delivered over a number of years.

“This year, for example, we'll deliver 'Deakin Scout' which offers location and context aware services to participating students and staff on their mobile phones as they move around campus.”

Using its Wi-Fi network to pinpoint campus users' location, Deakin's Smart Campus can help guide students directly to an unfamiliar lecture room, help them find a quiet place to study, or notify them when something of interest to them is happening in the immediate vicinity.  The University will also be able to analyse patterns of campus use over time in detail, to assist with planning decisions.

The annual global Digital Edge 50 award is judged by a panel of industry experts and business and technology executives, who evaluate submissions on criteria such as, business outcomes, innovation and customer impact.

Digital Edge program Chair and group Vice-President for Customer Experience and Operations with IDG Enterprise Events Anne McCrory said the complexity and scale of the initiatives in the Digital Edge 50 showed how quickly organisations were progressing to the next phase of digital transformation.

“They are taking advantage of new capabilities, such as AI and deep machine learning, to enhance their mobile and analytics practices worldwide,” Ms McCrory said. “They are finding dramatic results from the cloud, and serving customers in faster and more elegant ways. Their adoption of agile, extreme programming and completely reworked business processes show how even the most traditional businesses can go big with digital with the right vision and leadership.”

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