by Jennifer O'Brien

Uni of Newcastle set to transform CX through digital services

Feb 19, 2019
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Anthony Molinia
Credit: Anthony Molinia

University of Newcastle CIO Anthony Molinia continues to shift the focus of the IT department, driving technology-led innovation across the university and pushing a strategy of ‘client-centricity’ by using digital services.

“This means that as an IT department, we have shifted our focus up the value chain to leverage technology as an enabler of innovation,” said Molinia, who was recognised in last year’s CIO50 program.

The university enrols more than 37,000 students from diverse backgrounds, across campuses in Newcastle, the Central Coast, Port Macquarie, Sydney and Singapore. Molinia joined the university in October 2016 following the departure of Sanjay Kalra.

Molinia’s latest move to drive innovation across the university sees the IT department extend its technology relationship with CSA. The latest partnership enables the adoption of digital services across students, staff and resources to help transform customer experience.

“A key initiative of the strategy is scaling our team and refocusing our priorities. By developing strategic partnerships with external providers, we now have the time to focus on high value outcomes for our clients and the university. This also has a positive outcome for developing our people and capability with both current and future industry skills,” said Molinia.

Partnering with CSA enables the university to build localised IT capability that Molinia said not only benefits IT Services, but also supports the development of community and local career paths for technology graduates.

“We wanted more than just a managed services provider, we wanted a strategic partner that can deliver across our whole ecosystem of technology,” he said.

“CSA are agile in responding to our requirements and augmenting our teams, which are constantly changing in the modern technology environment. In furthering our relationship with CSA, we have developed a true partnership that allows for things such as ideation, automation and dynamic teaming, which has rapidly decreased our time-to-value.”

According to Molinia, the latest deal with CSA – which now brings digital services capabilities into the mix – deepens its already longstanding relationship. It already had an ongoing managed services engagement with CSA.

“Although the university and CSA have been partnering for many years, this is really the start of a strategic partnership that encompasses a range of digital capabilities and our foundational functions and technologies.”

Certainly, Molinia is no stranger to innovative projects. Last year, CIO Australia reported how Molinia was leading the charge of an augmented and virtual reality project that was set to transform how nursing and midwifery trainees learn. It also aimed to tap the blockchain to support students attaining ‘micro-credentials.’

The article reported how Molinia was refreshing the university’s digital strategy with AR and VR technologies.

The IT group had moved out of the back office and was delivering pilots that proved the capabilities of different technologies before they were being deployed across the university.