Welcome to… Limitless Potential and Lead with Curiosity

At Datisan, and within XPON Technologies Group, we pride ourselves on our ability to lead with curiosity in order to embody limitless potential.

The 2020 refresh of our core values – Own It, Brave Enough and Grow Together – truly shaped the success of XPON Technologies Group and how we interact with each other, our clients, partners and suppliers.

Datisan’s Culture Consultant, Belinda Forman, and XPON Technologies Group’s Head of People and Culture, Anthea Middleton, have been working with our team at Datisan and the wider business to discover how our group can continue to evolve. We’ve realised that without curiosity for continual growth, our potential for an innovative future is limited. So we’re introducing two new core values.

Belinda and Anthea recently caught up with Rachel Ellison to introduce our new values and how they will influence our future.

Datisan team outside Brisbane’s Powerhouse for our 2021 DATA Day

Rachel: Why has it been important to have a shared set of values across the XPON Technologies Group businesses?


It was important to learn what values connected our people no matter where they are located. This set of common values guides our decision-making and also, how we show up every day.

Culture is the glue that holds the team together, the common value set that you all want to be a part of.

Datisan introduced Own It, Brave Enough, and Grow Together as values in 2020. What has prompted the addition of two more?


As we have been rapidly growing and acquiring new businesses within the XPON Technologies Group, it was important to gain an understanding of how our existing values resonated with newer teams. 

To do this, we initiated a workshop with the teams to learn about their personal values and how they appeared in their daily life, and then discussed how these values could be incorporated into their every-day within our business. 


What was interesting was that as we undertook these workshops we uncovered missing pieces in our value proposition about how our teams view the world and how they think. These became our two new values: 

What does Limitless Potential mean?


It’s a mindset, the way we see opportunities and the way we wish to see life for ourselves and others.

We don’t accept what is, we look to push the barriers and innovate to find a better way.

What defines Lead with Curiosity?


It’s how we learn and continuously improve. Always asking ‘why’ and seeking to understand.

Our minds are open to possibility. 

How do you see these values being embodied by our people?


How these values manifest in our team is different for every person but you can see them in action when interacting with our team, in the way we act and speak. 

They see our clients’ limitless potential and how we can support their growth, or in the way our team pushes the barriers of technology to achieve outcomes.

Leading with curiosity is often seen by asking questions of each other – is there a better way that will create a better experience?

How do you think these values will shape the near future of the business?


These values are the connectors to our ecosystem that encourages continual growth. Together our five values connect the story of who we are and how we show up and represent XPON Technologies Group.

How do you see these values being incorporated into everyday practice within the business?


They are now a framework for how we work, we have operationalised them into our procedures and processes. An example of this is how we approach client engagements…

Belinda, how does having a new group-wide, dedicated, Head of People and Culture, support the business?


It has been wonderful to have a fresh set of eyes to look at the whole of the XPON Technologies Group from a more strategic level. Anthea is someone who can build the systems and processes we need to support the growth of our people business. I love having Athena’s insight from her time at digital native enterprises like Facebook on how we can create a better experience for the team throughout their journey with XPON Technologies Group.

Anthea, what has been the most important thing you have seen coming into, and working with, the Datisan business?


My very first day in the role I was able to participate in the Monday standup, where the team opened with what they were grateful for and what they had learned since they last caught up. To see how genuinely important this was to the team, and then have them close with nominations of their fellow team mates based on their shared values, I knew I was in a really special company.  

What do you hope for the future of the businesses from a People and Culture perspective? 


I hope that XPON Technologies Group will be known as the place where the whole person is valued, not just their talent in their craft. A place where people can grow their skills, salary and self, own their time and outcomes, and contribute and make an impact in something bigger than themselves. #limitlesspotential

You can read a little more about all our values on our Culture page. If you want to find out how Datisan can enable your business to lead with curiosity, chat to the team today.

Datisan is excited to be named a finalist in the CRN Impact Awards

In our first year of submitting for this industry-recognised award, based on our role as USC’s technology and digital marketing partner for their immersive open day environment.

What are the awards?

The CRN Impact Awards span 11 categories and chart success in business transformation, customer experience, empowering deployments of networking solutions, infrastructure, new software, and security architectures.

The CRN Impact Awards celebrate the technology providers delivering outcomes for customer organisations and building Australia’s innovation economy for the future.

We understand that that to even whittle submissions down to finalists was very challenging and we are excited to be in that group. 

While the project that Datisan and Xpon Digital worked with USC on could be classed under a number of different innovation categories, we chose to submit under Customer Experience, because the award recognises projects that help client organisations better service their own end user customers in a digital, mobile world. We thought this was defineitly the case for the USC Open Day Online.

Tell me more about USC Australia’s Open Day Online?

In 2020, USC Australia faced a challenge: how to provide its expected personable and approachable face-to-face Open Day experience, with all of the restrictions around social distancing and the need to balance community health.

Datisan scoped ideas around immersive student experiences and connected USC with Xpon Digital and their leading web-VR and interactive 360-degree technology platform, Holoscribe.

With support from Datisan and Xpon Digital, USC Australia successfully pivoted from a traditional face-to-face campus-only event to designing an engaging and online open day experience that is able to convey a lot of information about study options, virtually. 

You can read more about this here.

So what happens now?

CRN Australia has shared an article about our submission to their large industry audience, which you can view here

Formal judging to determine the winners begins this week, with a panel of independent industry experts to judge the finalist entries. While we were looking forward to the Awards Gala that goes with this event, and the opportunity to meet other award finalists, we will have to wait for another year as the moving goalposts of the pandemic mean that the winner announcement moves online to early October.  

You know we’ll be sure to update you then!

As USC’s technology and digital marketing partner, Datisan is excited to announce the return of this virtual and immersive open day environment.

What is Open Day Online?

In 2020, USC Australia faced a challenge: how to provide its expected personable and approachable face-to-face Open Day experience, with all of the restrictions around social distancing and the need to balance community health.

Datisan scoped ideas around immersive student experiences and connected USC with Xpon Digital and their leading web-VR and interactive 360-degree technology platform, Holoscribe.

With support from Datisan and Xpon Digital, USC Australia successfully pivoted from a traditional face-to-face campus-only event to designing an engaging and online open day experience that is able to convey a lot of information about study options, virtually. 

What does Open Day Online 2021 look like?

USC’s Open Day, launched this year on Sunday 18 July 2021. It allows each user to have a personalised virtual experience. 

The ability for the virtual open day platform to be available longer than just one day has meant that USC continues to drive audiences through to that virtual environment. This has allowed more people to connect to information and experiences about USC and study. 

Karyn Brinkley, Director of USC Australia’s Marketing and External Engagement team said,

“We were really thrilled with both the aesthetics and the performance of the platform Xpon Digital built for us with Datisan’s support. 

“We weren’t sure what to expect on the day, but the number of visitors –  over 1,500 prospective students on launch day – matched what we’d have expected of an on-campus Open Day. 

“And after that, we had an Open Day where people could explore in their own time, and return to when it suited them.  

“Our long-term visitor expectations were exceeded by 46% within the first 30 days of the virtual environment going live. Most importantly, there was really high engagement with the platform  –  89% visitor satisfaction with the virtual experience.  It was a no-brainer to recommit to and further develop the platform for 2021.”

Datisan’s Head of AdTech, Bharat Tarachandani, agreed about the performance expectations: 

“It was very pleasing to be able to support USC Australia’s key performance metrics for the Open Day while connecting them to new technology. We were able to consolidate the media implementation and engagement, which also made it easier to track a truer return on advertising investment, delivering efficiency and reducing acquisition costs by 14.5% year on year.”  

The ability for the Holoscribe platform to be updated easily with new and engaging content means this virtual strategy is very cost effective for the marketing of the Open Day and makes it accessible to visitors outside of the typical open day season. 

Chris Rozic, Co-Founder & CEO and Bharat Taranchandani, Head of AdTech, Datisan

This year, as well as a style and content refresh, the platform added new features to improve the overall user experience, such as the ability to favourite hotspots so users can easily return to information, plus the ability to share it to a wider network through social sharing.

“The primary aim of the Open Day project was to build an environment for USC to connect with visitors when it wasn’t possible to be on campus. However, in the back of our mind, longevity of such an environment was also critical for the university and return on investment both in resources and audience solutions.”

Chris Rozic, CEO and Co-Founder of Datisan.

The promotion of USC Australia’s Open Day Online this year is based on the messaging of ‘one small step’. Developed by Brisbane creative agency RedSuit, the creative shows how Open Day is the first step to university and then to a career. 

Digital ad placements for Open Day Online include Search 360, Display & Video 360, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, Spotify and digital radio.

As a full stack sales partner, Datisan connected USC’s activity to Google Cloud and Google Marketing Platform to maintain a strong digital marketing and XR analytics strategy, ensuring this important activity was able to be measured and optimised.

To experience USC’s online Open Day for yourself, visit https://openday.usc.edu.au/ 

The doors to the digital retail world are wide open.

Reduced in-store visits amplified by Covid-19 have increased demand. With this, retailers are realising (if they hadn’t before 2020) that a highly personalised experience is essential to establishing and maintaining their customer loyalty online.

Within several months, the global pandemic not only amplified differences between retail leaders and laggards, but seriously condensed the timeline available to play ‘catch up’ in digital transformation and e-commerce.

Retailers of all sizes need to be one step ahead of their customers’ needs and their competitors’ next innovation, requiring agility, adaptability and a digital transformation mindset. Adoption of AI is the backbone of digital transformation. 

Ecommerce specialists can rest a little easier though, with the ever-evolving opportunities and automation of recommendations engines to drive transformation. 

How do recommendations think they know what I want?

In basic terms, recommendation systems are a set of algorithms that give you recommendations based on your history. Common examples of where you have seen a recommendation system in action would be eBay or Amazon – you would see similar products displayed under the particular product you have chosen to explore.

This isn’t a new discussion or retail strategy though – a study in 2017 by Boston Consulting Ground found,  “Brands that create personalized experiences by integrating advanced digital technologies and proprietary data for customers are seeing revenue increase by 6% to 10% — two to three times faster than those who don’t.”

The future of recommendations 

So that’s basic AI – advanced AI recommendation algorithms are much further along than that and can look into demographic data, social media impressions and digital footprints of consumers to decode their interests. 

In January 2021, Google announced the launch of a whole suite of solutions designed to support retailers enhance their ecommerce capabilities and deliver personalised consumer experiences. One of these is Google’s Recommendations AI, which is now out of beta.

Google’s Recommendations AI (or Recs AI) is a sophisticated analysis tool created specifically to inform users in delivering personalised recommendations to customers.

This technology shifts the emphasis from specific product recommendations to the individual and how their viewing history informs their purchasing decisions, says Google Product Manager Pallav Mehta.

Its context-hungry deep learning models use item and user metadata to draw insights across millions of items at scale and constantly iterate on those insights in real time in a way that is impossible for manually curated rules to keep up with.

Recommendations AI draws on years of experience in delivering user-specific content across Google Ads, Google Search and YouTube.  Data is drawn from the retailer’s catalog and Google Cloud services such as Google Tag Manager, Google Analytics 360, Cloud Storage, Big Query and Merchant Centre. With a capacity to support catalogues of tens of millions of items, models are based on the objective; engagement, revenue or conversions. 

New models can be developed within two to five days depending upon the complexity and are previewed prior to publishing. Existing models can be re-trained daily to capture changing catalogues, items with sparse data and user insights.  Since Google began trialling the technology, users have reported an increase in online revenue. 

So there is value and reward for both the brand and their customer?

Absolutely. Personalised product recommendations using AI/ML can improve customer omni-channel experiences by providing individualised product suggestions and other communications (e.g. online and in-store messaging) – not only to a given customer but also to specific moments within a customer/shopping journey.

Highly relevant recommendations can be powerful drivers of basket expansion and increased order value for a brand – and they can also lead to an enhanced customer experience as well. Shopper loyalty increases when trust grows that recommendations reflect personal taste and enable discovery of new products. 

Tom Sowerby, Datisan’s Head of Cloud and Martech, says,

Providing timely recommendations to customers is a big step in the right direction, but the real value comes when you train these models based on a full set of customer data from both online and offline behaviour. Leveraging all the data you hold in a way that’s useful to your customers is the difference between an okay customer experience and a great one.

Value: Recognised or Blocked?

What makes a retailer more likely to succeed in capturing value from AI / ML?

Based on Google Cloud’s research, there are 5 key factors that retailers have identified as the top enablers for success. Together, these factors lead to approximately 60% of the value capture.

Top 5 enablers of value for specialty retailers

And if there is a top five enablers of value, there has to be be a top five about what makes a retailer less likely to succeed in capturing value from the use cases around AI and ML. 

Google’s research found that there were 5 key barriers that retailers, who have captured less than the expected value from the implementation of these use cases, identified as the drivers for potential failure. 

Grouped, these barriers are cited on average 60% of the time when retailers surveyed for the research looked back at initiatives that failed to deliver the full potential they targeted.

Success with Recommendations AI?

The customer loyalty of beauty brand Sephora, who has thousands of stores globally, has circulated online with a 50 per cent increase in click through rate (CTR) on product pages since implementing Recommendations AI. 

“We wanted to deliver the same highly personalised shopping experience to our clients on our digital platforms that they receive in our physical stores”

Says Jaclyn Luft, Manager of Site Personalisation and Testing at Sephora. “We started working with Google Cloud to explore how we could leverage its innovative machine learning technology to provide enhanced personalisation to our online customers through product recommendations.”

A 2% increase in overall conversion rates, relative to the previous machine learning recommendations, has convinced Sephora to expand their application of Recommendations AI to “power recommendations on other areas of our ecosystem, such as within the checkout flow and in our emails.”

This highly personalised touch allows retailers to create an experience that fosters a sense of loyalty from its customers, crucial to their online success. 

The accelerated adoption of AI/ML will have wide-ranging effects. For retailers who move fast, the outcome will be more resilience in operation despite the uncertainties in the world – and the opportunity to focus on serving their consumers in the emerging new ‘normal’ environment.

Another brand which has had success utilising Recs AI is Hanes Australasia. You can read more about Hanes Australasia’s experience here.

When we A/B tested the recommendations from Recommendations AI against our previous manual system, we identified a double-digit uplift in revenue per session.

Peter Luu, Online Analytics Manager, Hanes Australasia

How can this apply to my business?

Capturing value through recommendations requires only a small cross-functional team and relatively little change management, but some business process changes may still be required to deliver the full potential over time. 

Many businesses have found that working with partners helps fill the vacuum of talent limitations and often acts as a bridge to support true cross-functional teaming and organisational collaboration to achieve the best value from AI in this space.

Datisan is a trusted Google Cloud Partner in Australia and New Zealand – certified in multiple expertise areas, including retail. Drop the Datisan team an email to find a time to discuss how Recommendations AI could be incorporated into your customer strategy.


In exciting news, Datisan is now partnering with innovative technology platform Fivetran to provide even better and more efficient outcomes for our clients and their technology needs.

This partnership complements Datisan’s other marketing and technical relationships, as the first full stack sales partner for Google in Australia and New Zealand across Google Cloud and Google Marketing Platform.

Matt Daniels, Chief Technology Officer of Datisan, said of the partnership,

Data integration and pipelines have always been seen as a necessary evil, but often take an inordinate amount of time to deliver. Partnering with Fivetran allows us to extremely rapidly deploy production ready pipelines for our clients. This in turn allows them to get to the real value generation from their data – insights and activation – in weeks, not months or even years!

Fivetran provides reliable access to analysis-ready data for analysts to query at any time. They currently offer over 150 fully managed, automated connectors for databases, applications, events, files and functions, allowing businesses to extract data from any source. They are known for delivering zero-maintenance pipelines and ready-to-query schemas.

Read more about Fivetran here.

Datisan CEO Chris Rozic agreed that this was an exciting addition to Datisan’s existing partnerships, stating,

Fivetran enables Datisan to help our customers meet the personalisation needs of their customers. Data freshness and the ability for marketers to rely upon an integrated, real time ecosystem is only as good as the data quality, and the speed it gets there.

If connecting multiple data sources and data freshness are important to your business, speak with our team today about how we can support your digital marketing, data or cloud objectives.

There has been a lot to update in February…

… the Media Code has been amended and passed, Google and media publishers came to the table to negotiate around News Showcase, and Facebook and the Australian government played chicken with the fate of news on social media, with Facebook banning Australians from seeing and sharing local and international news. 

Facebook news is back on now but why did it happen and what happens next?

The Code

See Datisan’s summary of the proposed code, opinions on the code and the events leading up to the Facebook Australian news ban on this page here.

Many people were more worried about Google turning off its local services than worrying about Facebook, based on communication in the market prior to February 17 2021, even though Facebook had released statements over the past six months that made it clear they didn’t think the code was workable.

But the social media company caused alarm with what was seen as a sudden decision in mid-February to block news on its platform across Australia after the House of Representatives passed the draft law. 

Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

Facebook News Blackout

Facebook restricted access to news in Australia the same day as the announcement, as they wanted the change in place prior to the code being passed.

They advised that news makes up less than four per cent of what people see in their feeds, but you’d likely notice a difference when logging into the social network.

Will Easton, Managing Director, Facebook ANZ said,

There is a fundamental misunderstanding of the relationship between Facebook and news publishers.

And mistakenly, the blackout also cut access, at least temporarily, to government pandemic, public health and emergency services, fueling outrage. Facebook’s justification for including non-news pages was that the proposed law has a broad definition of news.

Easton also said,

As the law does not provide clear guidance on the definition of news content, we have taken a broad definition in order to respect the law as drafted.

You can read more of that initial statement here.

Facebook’s victory came at the cost of a public relations disaster. Either accidentally or otherwise, its news ban had a chaotic public effect, blocking access to important information on emergency services pages in the midst of bushfires in Western Australia and flooding in Queensland.

After a week of what we suppose was furious negotiation and Google Meet or Zoom calls, Facebook advised that the platform would reinstate news pages, as it also deals with media outlets to come to agreements.

Facebook said it would continue to negotiate deals with Australian publishers, as mentioned in many media reports, like this one from The Guardian.

Easton mentions in regards to the negotiations,

We are satisfied that the Australian government has agreed to a number of changes and guarantees that address our core concerns about allowing commercial deals that recognize the value our platform provides to publishers relative to the value we receive from them.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

The Verge describes the outpouring of public comment rather well, saying,

Of course, many critics were apoplectic that Facebook had taken this move, calling it a vile act of censorship, unchecked greed, and destruction of the public sphere.

Certainly the execution of the ban left something to be desired. Rather than building a blacklist of news sites to restrict, Facebook tried using its machine learning systems to identify news publishers, and the systems went predictably haywire.

What was negotiated?

The amendments to the code which were negotiated between Facebook and the Australian government were outlined in a release from the Australian government.

Frydenberg and Facebook confirmed that the two sides agreed to amendments to the proposed legislation. The changes would give digital platforms one month’s notice before they are formally designated under the code. That would give those involved more time to broker agreements before they are forced to enter binding arbitration arrangements.

The New York Times notes that this appears to give Facebook more time to strike deals, similar to those reached by Google in the last couple of weeks. Campbell Brown, Facebook vice president for news partnerships said,

The  government has clarified we will retain the ability to decide if news appears on Facebook so that we won’t automatically be subject to a forced negotiation.

So who won?

In the public forum, Facebook maybe didn’t realise how this would look and impact, you know, the users of its platform. Many went on to say that Facebook was implementing ‘bully tactics’.

The ABC noted that both sides think they won, as they both gained concessions.

Josh Frydenberg, the Liberal party’s deputy leader who spearheaded the new law, said this was a significant milestone.

This legislation will help level the playing field and see Australian news media businesses paid for generating original content.

Source: abc.net.au

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) says the law will address a significant bargaining power imbalance between Australian news media businesses and Google and Facebook.

According to Frydenburg, the amendments will strengthen the hand of regional and small publishers in obtaining appropriate remuneration for the use of their content by the digital platforms.

The ABC did well promoting its news app in the wake of uncertainty about the flow of news, becoming the number one downloaded free app in the Apple Store within 48 hours of the blackout

But the ABC also noted that it might be harder for small digital players to start news websites. Gathering an audience will be more expensive and take longer without Facebook. Read more here

Jeff Jarvis, a journalism expert from the City University of New York, said media tycoon Rupert Murdoch, who owns most of Australia’s major newspapers through his U.S-based News Corp, is the biggest winner while smaller titles and new media startups would suffer most.

Murdoch’s media empire was seen as a driving force behind the Australian legislation, which he noted includes a requirement for media companies to earn at least $150,000 AUD in revenue to be eligible.

Where was Google in all of this?

Google also suggested initially that it would have to pull its search engine from the country if the law came into force, but it later walked back its plans. Instead, Google chose to ink deals with media organisations to pay them for news content via News Showcase.

Source Giphy

Read Datisan’s summary of the News Showcase launch here.

Melanie Silva, Managing Director of Google Australia published a new open letter addressing the issue, which can be viewed here.

Our consistent ask has been that we avoid legislative proposals that would break the fundamental principle of the web – that it should be free and easy to link to websites. By establishing a program to pay news publishers, News Showcase offers a constructive path forward.

Having mounted a strong PR and communication strategy about the potential withdrawal of services, Google was able to successfully negotiate with many additional publishers post-launch, while also being able to leverage and enjoy the concessions Facebook as negotiated.

Professor Leaver, Curtin University, speaking to the ABC confirms this by saying,

Google comes out of the Facebook news ban looking good.


What about public opinion?

The question regarding whether this will have long-term adverse impacts to Google or Facebook is yet to be seen but a number of opinions were published about this in the past two weeks, even though the issue has left the main news cycle for the moment.

Facebook’s decision to block access to pages like 1800Respect, the WA Department of Fire and Emergency Services and the Bureau of Meteorology was unnecessary, heavy-handed and will damage its reputation, according to Treasurer Josh Frydenberg.

Michael Tibbles, digital media manager, MediaSmiths, as quoted in AdNews, said

While the move by Facebook to remove Australian news is a highly risky PR move, it is unlikely to result in a loss of significant ad revenue in the short term.

Rebecca Wilson, CEO of Starts at 60, wrote a widely-shared opinion piece for Mumbrella that highlighted her worry that the over 60s voice has been silenced by this brinkmanship between the government and the media platforms.

The Urban List founder and CEO Susannah George welcomed the news of a restored Facebook and felt that the intent from Facebook to support small and local publishers was heartening, when speaking with AdNews.

Diversity of voices is vital to Australia’s cultural fabric – diversity driven by the home-grown, digital-first publishers that champion our small businesses, events, tourism and arts scene.

Pedestrian.tv had a strong reaction to losing the opportunity to share their news on the social platform (some swearing here). But thankfully the Betoota Advocate wasn’t caught up in the chaos.


I still have questions…

So do we. Some of which are:

  • Do the last minute concessions mean the code may never be used?
  • Are the big end of town the real winners? Did regional and independent media organisations miss out?
  • Could the news get blocked again?
  • Should media regulation be rethought completely? 
  • Why not just increase tax requirements on international digital businesses?

As we have said in our summary of the code at the beginning of February (which you can read here) , there are a lot of moving parts to this story. Datisan is keeping tabs on it and will update our blog as more information comes to hand.


TLDR: Facebook bans news in response to negotiations breaking down around the News Media Bargaining Code, then turns the news back on once the code is amended. Google and Facebook negotiate with publishers and no one is sure what the code will look like in practice yet.

We are always looking and listening to current news and information with the view to share it with our clients and followers. If you don’t already, sign up for our monthly enewsletter, the Datisan Download, to be in the know.

Google News Showcase launches in Australia.

Australia got its first look at Google News Showcase this week (4 Feb).

The release, first announced in mid-2020, has gain a lot of attention in Australia in recent weeks, as Google highlighted News Showcase as an alternative option to current format of the proposed News Media Bargaining Code.

Google News Showcase is a new news experience that launched in some global markets in late 2020. Google has previously withheld bringing the News Showcase product to Australia over disagreement about the Australian government’s proposed news media code.

Alongside a considerable investment (AU $1.3b), Google has been bringing on more and more publishers and content. There are currently over 450 publications across a dozen countries including the UK, Germany, Brazil, and Canada.

Google’s intention with this experience is to let readers dive deeper into more complex stories and stay informed on the issues and events that local, national, and global newsrooms highlight through their Google News Showcase panels. 


Why should I care?

If, like us, you’ve been watching the media coverage surrounding the News Media Bargaining Code with interest over the month, the launch of News Showcase in Australia could be very important.

You can read our summary of the code and the media coverage on it here.

Google has said that the initial version will have a focus on local, regional and independent publishers, given the “importance of local information and the role it will play in people’s everyday lives”.

The roll-out of News Showcase comes off the back of Senators recently advising in parliamentary hearings that they couldn’t tell if it would be a suitable solution or compromise to the News Media Bargaining Code for fairly financially supporting news publishers, as the product was not yet tested in Australia.

Source: Media Watch, Google News war

At the beginning of Febraury, Nine (the parent company for publications like the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age) initially dismissed Google’s offer to pay media organisations with the launch of Showcase – stating it wouldn’t negotiate with Google prior to the code coming into effect. Read more

But two weeks later, we were reading that it was all sorted, with Nine and Google striking a $30m news deal.


How does it work?

Australian publishers will be paid to provide content for News Showcase. The initial publishers featured in the February 4 launch were among the first globally to sign up, providing early feedback and input on how the product could help bring their journalism to the fore for readers.

As this early version of News Showcase rolls out, the partnerships will provide financial support for some of the country’s independent, local and regional publications including The Canberra TimesThe Illawarra MercuryThe Saturday PaperCrikeyThe New Daily,  InDaily, InQueensland and The Conversation.

Showcase is an opportunity for our 14 daily titles to curate their trusted local journalism for Google News users and we are working constructively with Google to explore the exciting potential of this product to engage mobile audiences.

– Tony Kendall, CEO of Australian Community Media

Panels on News Showcase display an enhanced view of an article or articles, giving participating publishers more ways to bring important news to readers and explain it in their own voice, along with more direct control of presentation and branding. The panels will appear across Google News on Android, iOS and the mobile web, and in Discover on iOS, bringing high-value traffic to a publisher’s site.

Where available, Google will also offer to pay for free access for users to read paywalled articles on a publisher’s site. This will let paywalled publishers grow their audiences and open an opportunity for people to read content they might not ordinarily see.

The expectation is that Google will bring more Australian media partners on board in the coming weeks and months as they further build out the experience for publishers and users, as well as use this as a compromise for some of the components of the News Media Bargaining Code. 


The final word

The Sydney Morning Herald has since said that the federal government has signalled that it may consider amendments to its digital media code if Google can convince large media companies to sign up, sparking a rush of last ditch negotiations.

As we have said in our summary of the code at the beginning of February(which you can read here) , there are a lot of moving parts to this story. Datisan is keeping tabs on it and will update our blog as more information comes to hand.


TLDR: Google has announced a new, curated news landing page that could provide the break in the stalemate around the News Media Bargaining code.

Source: Release / Google

We are always looking and listening to current news and information with the view to share it with our clients and followers. If you don’t already, why not sign up for our monthly enewsletter, the Datisan Download, to be in the know.

If you want to know more or have questions, you can talk to Datisan through our Contact page.

Our team shares their picks for marketing trends next year.

The pandemic has shaped 2020 and impacted every organisation differently. Businesses have managed to adapt to the crisis in a variety of ways and one of the biggest changes we have seen is an increased demand for digital transformation. 

Off the back of this, we asked some of the Datisan team what their thoughts are on top trends for 2021…

The price of artificial intelligence and machine learning solutions will continue to fall, driving hyper-automation and unlocking the full power of predictive analytics for marketers.

Matt Forman, Group Managing Director & Founder, Xpon Technologies

2021 will be one of the most exciting years yet for marketers that have invested in getting their data in order and ready to take advantage of the tsunami of change and automation that modern cloud based artificial intelligence and machine learning will deliver.

Due to the flywheel effect of AI and ML, time is running out for those marketers yet to act, and they need move swiftly to avoid being left behind.

The pandemic has impacted many aspects of how we do business, but it hasn’t diminished the impact AI is having on our lives. In fact, it’s become apparent that self-teaching algorithms and smart machines will play a big part in the ongoing fight against this outbreak as well as others we may face in the future.

“AI undoubtedly remains a key trend when it comes to picking the technologies that will change how we live, work, and play in the near future.” – Bernard Marr, Forbes.com

Companies who aren’t heavily invested in analytics in 2020 and 2021 probably won’t be in business by 2022.

Chris Rozic, CEO & Co-Founder, Datisan

COVID-19 has only brought the deadline closer. 2020 has shown everyone just how important it is to have confidence in your data and analytics, and demonstrated the consequences of not investing in business critical foundations that drive your business reporting and customer activations. 

Using big data and analytics has always been on a growth trajectory and has made the need for data even greater. I anticipate that continued investment from companies into data and analytics capabilities that power faster, leaner and smarter organizations.

An interesting prediction globally from Gartner on this topic is that 25% of organisations will amalgamate marketing, sales and CX into a single function. 31% of corporate boards of directors and CEOS are considering complete digitally-driven transformations of their business models, with 27% of CEOs saying multiple business functions are already being redefined or merging based on business data. 

Organisations that feel confident about their data are able to rely upon it to make decisions, highlight opportunities and identify and manage risks. They will be more agile, as they are comfortable that their data is fit for their business needs.

Remote and flexible work is here to stay

The need to improve the digital resiliency of the workforce during and after the COVID-19 pandemic has drastically accelerated trends in digital workplace technology.

Rachel Ellison, Marketing Support Manager, Datisan

When employees were sent home from their offices en masse amid the global onset of COVID-19, many businesses scrambled to adopt technology solutions to enable their teams to work remotely. 

The pandemic rapidly elevated many digital workplace technologies from nice-to-have to must-have status.  The future of flexible work  will be a blend between home, offsite and work spaces as new ways of designing workflows are designed.

Revelian’s 2020 Hiring Benchmark Report stated that of the organisations that did transition to remote work this year, 54% view remote work more positively now; 42% say their view is unchanged, and just 4% view remote work more negatively.

Trend-leader Google this week announced that they were delaying returning to the office until September 2021.

Sundar Pichai, chief executive of Google’s parent company, Alphabet, said the company was testing the idea of a ‘flexible work week’ once it is safe to return to the office. Under the pilot plan, employees would be expected to work at least three days a week in the office for ‘collaboration days’ while working from home the other days. Other companies may take their cues from Google, which has been a pioneer for many aspects of work life, especially at technology companies.

Microsoft similarly offered all of its employees the chance to work from home less than 50% of the time without advanced approval. Uber, American Express and Airbnb have all extended their remote work policies. 


What other digital marketing and data analytics trends do you think will be a priority in 2021? Drop the Datisan team an email to have a chat about strategy and trends in the new year.

Consolidating back-to-back wins from 2018 & 2019.

We’re excited to announce that Datisan has been named Google’s Emerging Star as well as the Maturity Megastar Partner of 2020 at this year’s Google Marketing Platform Partner Awards for Australia and New Zealand.

In a virtual event for 2020, the Datisan team gathered and celebrated together while engaging with Google Partner Managers and other Partners, while enjoying some excellent catering from Google to replicate the experience in other years.

The Emerging Star award is new to the awards for 2020 and one that was awarded at the discretion of the GMP judges. 

Emerging Star highlights Datisan’s ability to connect marketing and IT stakeholders on projects we work on. It also touched on our ability to facilitate connection and foster conversations and relationships across Google and particularly called out the strong growth in clients, projects and individual and team certifications we have experienced in the past 12 months.

Maturity Megastar is awarded to the Partner who submitted the best customer user case that highlights progression up the digital marketing maturity scale with positive client results.

GMP judges noted that as well as providing an excellent use case, Datisan’s winning submission highlighted the work and efforts that had gone into Digital Maturity as a business and how it underpins every Datisan engagement.

It highlighted our proactive work leveraging past maturity studies to build our own Annual Digital Marketing Growth Report . It also mentioned the expertise we were building as a result of the industry benchmarking we’ve been able to present to the market off the back of three years worth of data from the region.


Head of Business Development, Mike Cornwell says of the work that Datisan has done in digital marketing maturity:

Maturity plays a key role in all of Datisan’s engagements with our clients. We want to help clients to understand what it means to move up the maturity scale, and help them do so. 

Datisan’s maturity assessments and roadmaps are the starting point for all business engagements as they provide the strongest indication of where an organisation is starting their digital journey and also highlights where they need to develop in order to best support their key objectives.

We wouldn’t have been able to be awarded these honours without the support of our Google Marketing Platform Partner Managers, as well as our exceptional clients whose projects allow us to provide work like what has been recognised here.

More to come as well as team pictures once the awards are delivered.

Grow together is one of Datisan’s core value statements and this guiding principle has been applied to our approach to industry certification and advancement.

As well as our recently announced full stack certifications with Google Marketing Platform, we have been busily showcasing our client success and technical know-how as a Google Cloud Platform Partner, and have been awarded five expertises by Google Cloud. 

Google Cloud Platform Partner Expertise allow partners like Datisan to highlight success in product/technology, solution/workload, and industry specific work, and is evaluated based on unique requirements for each Expertise. As well as customer examples, the awarding of Expertise requires individual team member technical certification or credentials.

Datisan’s Head of Cloud & MarTech, Tom Sowerby, states

It’s satisfying to see that the strong work Datisan has delivered for our clients being recognised by our partners at Google Cloud. Partner Expertise is a great way for us to validate the work we have been doing day-to-day with customers as they directly reflect our engagements with them.

Expertise also promotes Datisan’s capabilities to potential businesses, helping them identify a partner that would be the most relevant for their technical and business needs.

Datisan has been recognised across the following five Expertises in 2020:

Datisan’s Head of Business Development Mike Cornwell adds, 

It’s great to see our expertise broaden across Google’s Cloud platform. The FSI certification is particularly pleasing – we’ve done some really innovative work in that space this year so it’s great to be recognised for it by GCP.

So if you’re looking for advanced solutions and services in a particular area, look for a Google Cloud partner with an Expertise – look for Datisan

Speak with our team today about how we can support your digital marketing and cloud objectives.


Streaming Data Analytics Workload Expertise

Partners who demonstrate customer success by helping companies ingest, process, and analyze event streams in real time. Built on the autoscaling infrastructure of its core components—Cloud Pub/Sub, Cloud Dataflow, and BigQuery—Google’s streaming solution reduces complexity by provisioning the exact resources needed to ingest, process, and analyze fluctuating volumes of real-time data.

Data Warehouse Modernization Workload Expertise

Partners who demonstrate customer success by leveraging Google BigQuery to streamline the data warehouse modernization path with a comprehensive migration offer, easy-to-use tools, and ecosystem that manages your complete migration so customers can get started with ease.

Google Cloud Analytics Product/Technology Expertise

Partners who demonstrate customer success in the following areas: BigQuery, Google Cloud Data Studio, Cloud Composer, Cloud Dataflow, Cloud Datalab, Cloud Dataprep, Cloud Dataproc, Cloud Data Fusion, Cloud Pub/Sub, Cloud Spanner, Cloud IoT Core, Data Catalog, Cloud Life Sciences, Genomics, Google Marketing Platform, Looker, Cloud Dataprep

Google Cloud ML & ML APIs Product/Technology Expertise

Partners who demonstrate customer success in the following areas: Cloud AutoML / AutoML Tables, Cloud Natural Language API, Cloud Jobs API, Cloud Translation API, Cloud TPU, Cloud Video Intelligence API, Cloud Vision API, Places API, Cloud Speech-to-Text API, Cloud ML Engine, TensorFlow, Dialogflow

Financial Services Industry Expertise

Partners who demonstrate customer success and leverage GCP to help deliver competitive and compliant solutions in rapidly changing global markets with powerful, scalable technology, including secured multi-cloud and hybrid solutions for the Financial services industry.

Our three values – Own it, Brave Enough and Grow Together – inspire and inform our interactions with each other, our clients, partners and suppliers.

Since our DATA (Datisan Annual Team Adventure) Day in December 2019, we’ve been working away at creating an updated, collaborative set of values with our culture consultant, Belinda Forman. After many workshops and revisions, we’re excited to finally announce them! 

We wanted to share some of the process to get to this point, so our Marketing Support Manager, Rachel Ellison, sat down with Belinda to discuss the project and how she feels about the outcomes.

Rachel: Firstly, can you tell me what a culture consultant does?

Belinda: “I bring together the idea and ideal a business has, help make them tangible and help embed them into the day to day.”

Why was the project undertaken?

“Datisan had been its own business since January 2018 and as it was spun out of Traffika, they had taken the core values of Traffika with them.  At the end of 2019, Chris and the team decided it was time for the core values to reflect the new business and team at Datisan. This process began during a planning session at DATA Day 2019.”

Belinda Forman facilitating Datisan’s brainstorming / Halfway through refining top values

How did you find the early stages of the process with the Datisan team?

“We started the process at a group level with the XPON Technologies values and from there we took the opportunity to expand on how these values come to life, every day with the team at Datisan.

The interesting thing about this process was that we found that everyone was on the same path and cared about creating a set of values that they could really be proud of.”

Culture is the glue that holds the team together, the common value set that you all want to be a part of.

What did you find interesting when brainstorming or discussing with the team?

“We had started the off-site day with personal values and there was this light bulb moment, when the brainstorming really connected them with their personal sets of values. It empowered the team to align with what they stood for personally – this made the brainstorming flow so easily.”

Some of the Datisan team reviewing personal and business values at DATA Day

What did you feel was the most challenging part of this process?

“Probably settling on the imagery to express the values. All of the team came with different images in mind for the final values and images can be subjective – we all see different things when we think of certain words. It was important that whatever we decided on reflected the brand, the business and the team.”

What has made you the most excited?

“Seeing how everyone has taken on the values as they were all a part of the creation. I hear the team using them in their conversations, checking in each other with them and giving kudos to each other for how they are living them.”

Now that the values are set, what comes next?

“I think it’s to spread the word… to let our community know who we are and what we stand for, so others who feel the same are drawn to work with our team.”

You mention the everyday – how do you intend to have the team embrace and utilise these values?

“We use them in our weekly value nominations and shout-outs to our fellow team members. I know that each individual will leverage the values in different ways, whether it is to check themselves and others, to help guide decision making, to help clients understand who we are and how we act as a business, to add value to someone’s day or just to connect with their why.”

Outside of brainstorming and setting values, what else would you recommend to drive engagement?

“Engagement is an intrinsic thing. You can do all the cool things in the world but if they mean nothing to the person, they will never be engaged. Treating everyone as an individual and helping them achieve their goals and dreams to drive meaning to the work they do with you everyday.” 

Do you have a favourite value?

Grow together is my favourite as I believe our team is at its best when we are giving of each other, sharing our knowledge to help each other grow. Imagine what our world would be like if everyone put this lens on how they move through the world! What a world we would live in.”

Rachel then asked Chris Rozic, Co-founder and CEO of Datisan, about the role of culture and values.

What part do you think culture plays in Datisan’s everyday?

Chris: “Our culture is the fibre of our business identity. Whether it’s in a daily stand up, the way we interact with each other, or deliver experiences for our customers – we mindfully live out our values in every interaction. Plus we’re not a precious bunch and enjoy a laugh, which is important to keep energy high, and mindsets positive.”

Why was outlining values important to our business?

“We were able to hit the pause button and come up for air, to see what were the things that really drove us as people, and professionals.”

What value do you see from having someone focused on promoting culture within a business?

“Two things here. To get quality results, you need to engage an expert. You get what you focus on. And having someone focused on culture, we can achieve the outcomes we need (as opposed to it being something ‘we’ll get to’).”

You can read a little more about each value on our Culture page.

USC Australia has launched first interactive virtual Open Day on Sunday 19 July.

As USC’s technology & digital marketing partner, Datisan is excited to announce this new virtual and interactive open day environment.

USC Australia faced a challenge over the past couple of months – how to to provide their usual personable and approachable Open Day experience in July 2020, with all of the restrictions around social distancing and the need to balance community health. USC has pivoted from a traditional face-to-face campus event to designing an engaging and online open day experience that is able to convey a lot of information about study options, virtually.

USC’s Open Day, launched on Sunday 19 July 2020, allows each user to have a personalised virtual experience, with the freedom to plan your visit to suit your needs and study interests while also providing connected guided tours of USC’s varied campuses and facilities. As a virtual environment it is available 24/7 on all devices, so that you can explore USC in your own time, catering to audiences of all ages from high school students to mature ages and parents.

As USC Australia’s digital marketing agency, we have scoped ideas around immersive student experiences and connected USC with leading web-VR and interactive 360-degree technology company, Holoscribe.

The inclusion of XR into the Open Day campaign engagement is an exciting first for both USC and Datisan.

The primary aim of the Open Day project was to build an environment for USC to connect with prospective students and their parents when it wasn’t possible to be on campus. However, in the back of our mind, longevity of such an environment was also critical for the university and return on investment both in resources and audience solutions.

Chris Rozic, CEO and Co-Founder of Datisan.

Holoscribe, also a part of Xpon Technologies, powers this immersive experience that enables engagement and increases the ability of USC to connect with prospective students beyond Open Day.

Extended Reality (or XR) is an umbrella term to cover various forms of computer-alerted reality including virtual reality, augmented reality and mixed reality. The technology is exciting in itself but to really make this web-VR experience stand out, we and Holoscribe have also incorporated XR analytics. 

Where typical digital behaviour analytics is limited to tracking clicks and page views, XR analytics enables true behavioural insight by capturing not only how people move through an XR experience, but also what they look at and how they choose to interact with content and brand in an platform that is far closer to real life than a typical website or app.

The XR analytics from the virtual event will give USC greater understanding of its visitors and will allow the university to adjust and optimise their experiences for greater engagement.

The initial marketing message for an online Open Day was implemented by Datisan through paid digital channels, utilising audiences and data from Google Marketing Platform and social channels for USC’s targeted audiences across South East Queensland. The creative concept and executions were produced by Brisbane creative agency, RedSuit.

The ability for the virtual open day platform to be available longer than just one day means that Datisan and USC will continue to drive audiences through to this virtual environment to connect people to information and experiences about USC and study.

To experience USC’s online Open Day for yourself, visit www.usc.edu.au/open-day

About Holoscribe:

Holoscribe was founded in 2015 to provide digital publishers and content creators the ability to craft and share VR and AR experiences in minutes, without developers. Holoscribe now powers immersive customer experiences that enable brands to drive industry leading engagement rates and increase customer engagement and monetisation by providing solutions that are bespoke, easy-to-use and require no other external applications. For more information, please visit https://holoscribe.com/