Greg Miller has joined Sydney-based start-up, Faethm, with the remit of helping build tomorrow’s businesses from the research and development of new technologies available today.
Faethm specialises in research and development activities across labs and innovation hubs globally, before finding a commercial path by connecting them to industries.
"Emerging technology is something that Australia is lagging in," said Miller, who was formerly global partner operations vice president and general manager at SAP across Australia and New Zealand (A//NZ).
"So, it’s a much needed field across the country and along that path, we’ve found and developed a piece of technology that fits in with that opportunity and need,” he said.
This technology, named Tandem, is the first solution that the business is taking to market.
Miller said Tandem aims to help companies and governments utilise the benefits of the automation of work by artificial intelligence (AI), robotics and advanced materials, in collaboration with research organisations in Australia and around the world.
“When it comes to automation, one side of the view is that it’s going to be the end of humanity, while the other claims that these technologies are years away from having an impact on work – it’s quite a broad spectrum of viewpoints," he explained.
"We sit in the middle of that debate, but no matter which side you’re on, we need to take action as the fourth industrial revolution is upon us right now and we’re seeing job losses from automation. So we need to take action from a corporate and government level to get ahead of the impact,” he said.
According to Miller, the industry needs to start retraining the workforce to stay competitive and take advantage of the technologies available to cut costs and stay price competitive but at the same time, doing so with a social awareness.
“Tandem fits into that action space as the platform is able to predict what technologies will impact which parts of your specific workforce and when that impact will take place," he added.
"Companies can use that information to build business cases for what their technology or transformation roadmap should look like.
"That is the first phase. Companies then use it to address the people side of the equation – so finding out which of your top performers is at risk of being automated and what to do knowing that information, like putting them on a training program and de-risking them."
Even though there is no industry that’s not affected by automation, Miller said that as the business is in the early phases, it’s targeting industries with the biggest financial impact, such as financial services and retail.
Priced and tiered by the size of the company, Miller said Faethm has already secured two ASX-listed customers on the Tandem platform – BlueScope Steel and the other, an Australasian bank.
In addition, Faethm utilises a channel model, which Miller said provides “big services opportunities” on the back of the solution.
“The data that our platform creates and the insights that it provides is something that neither IT organisations or channel partners or corporates have," he added.
"So, it underpins opportunities for IT services firms that are looking to put in the automation and human capital consultancies that aim to create the workforce of the future or strategic consultants that rebuild organisations’ go-to-markets."
In leveraging a channel background, Miller said Faethm has created an approach that is “easy to work with” for partners.
"Not every partner is the same," he said. "If you’re one of our partners and you want to take this to market in a white-label context, you can. If you want to be a reseller, we can enable that. If you want to be a referral and bring thought leadership to clients, we can enable that too."
Currently housing eight employees, Faethm has another 15 roles in the queue that it is pipelining for.
"We expect very high growth," he added. "The activity of our recent platform launch has been outstanding. We’ve hit a mark that is an issue for most organisations and it is well timed so it seems like this is the hot topic for the moment."
Alongside Tandem, Faethm is building a range of collaborative R&D programmes, ranging from manufacturing and logistics to surgery, and spanning nanotech, intelligent systems, robotics and IoT.
“Moving forward, we’re reaching out globally and building partnerships with global businesses; but we will always be Australia headquartered," Miller added. "We’ve got the makings of something positive and want to address a global opportunity."