Name: Annelle PaemaaTitle: General manager, information and business systemsCompany: MulphaCommenced role: July 2018Reporting line: CEOMember of the executive team: YesTechnology Function: 12 direct reports
Due to open its doors and greens in August 2023, Swing City is set to become a fun and vibrant leisure destination in the Norwest area of Sydney.
On offer will be a two-level golf driving range with 40 bays, a restaurant with undercover and outdoor alfresco dining, event and function facilities, mini-golf, and an amusement game shed.
But it’s what visitors don’t see – the technology that ties all of this together seamlessly – that has kept Annelle Paemaa occupied for the past two years.
A flow of technology
As general manager, information and business systems for Mulpha, the real estate investment group developing the venue, Paemaa was tasked with implementing a “flow of technology” for golfers and other visitors at the facility.
Technology at Swing City will include:
The flow of technology for a golfing customer at Swing City aims to cover all aspects of their visit from booking a driving range bay to delivery of balls to their bay to analysis of their play to ordering food and drinks courtside.
“The challenge for IT was how does all this technology talks to each other and provide a seamless experience for the guests and staff,” says Paemaa.
While Mulpha aims for Swing City to provide plenty of fun for everyone, it wanted to ensure the technology deployed appealed to those serious about improving their golf game.
Which is why Swing City will be one of first ranges to use Inrange radar technology to measure the spin, speed and trajectory of golf balls.
Radar ball monitoring
Unlike other tracking systems which use cameras, the radar technology monitors the golf ball being tracked across a simulated space, explains Paemaa.
“We felt Inrange was better suited due to the larger outdoor space [of our development]. Radar technology thrives outside where space is much more plentiful, and it would be more accurate tracking conditions in real time.”
Balls are tracked by radars placed in the driving range field. Radar launch monitors emit electromagnetic waves and observe for changes in the properties of the reflected waves that return to the unit.
In addition to catering for the keen players, Mulpha also wanted to ensure the technology behind the scenes at Swing City worked for other customers such as golfers wanting to play courses they can only dream of visiting through a virtual course and competition, entertainment players, and novice players who want to try something new or play games such as Bullseye, Longest Drive, 21 and the Shrinking target.
“We loved the fact that the technology will work for various types of customers,” says Paemaa.
Swing City is one of the first driving ranges in Australia to use Inrange. It is also the first in Australia to use Range Servant to serve the golf balls to each bay and to keep customers to their booking times, rather than selling buckets of balls that can lead to bay overuse and delay the next customers. The ball management system integrates with Inrange and delivers balls for the allocated time slot. “Integrations between Your Golf Booking, Inrange, Range Servant and Swift POS, allow seamless transactions for the guests,” says Paemaa.
Although the focus at Swing City is to bring family fun to the Norwest, it forms part of a wider development strategy for the area.
“The State Government identified the Norwest area in Sydney as a strategic growth centre, where numbers over the next decade are expected to increase to 60,000 workers, 20,000 residents and 10,000 visitors,” says Paemaa.
This site is to be the first of many that Mulpha aims to roll out throughout Australia.
For Paemaa, the project was engaging both professionally and personally.
“This has been a fun and interesting IT project to leverage great technology to create a fun and vibrant diversified leisure offering.”
However, while the leading force behind the technology roll-out, Paemaa credits teamwork for its success.
“I am passionate about building strong IT teams that love what they do,” she says.
“Everyone wants to feel valued in their role and feel like they are really contributing to the company and making a difference. I am so proud of my team, their achievements, and what they do daily to support our growing number of diverse businesses. We are a small team, and they are all dedicated, hardworking and smart individuals.”
A CIO50 2021 alumni, Paemaa was sure to share this accomplishment with her team.
“I went straight to the CEO and asked if I could take the team out to celebrate, as this was as much of their success as mine. He agreed and we had a great night out.”
To create an inclusive culture, Paemaa believes in encouraging her team to step outside their comfort zones and grow.
“I encourage them to question why we are doing things and if they have a better idea or example, please speak up. I ask for feedback on what we are doing well and what could we be doing better,” she says.
“Inclusive culture means so many things now, women to men ratios, safe spaces, being open to feedback, provide diversity and welcome all walks of life to your business. I am lucky enough to work for a great company and we have a particularly good culture – we do welcome diversity, we have different cultures, backgrounds, genders and sexuality.
“We listen to the juniors right up to the senior employees and encourage feedback. It’s a good culture to be a part of at Mulpha and I hope that it continues.”
Louis van Wyk