Vertel reveals the top 10 technologies that will impact workplaces between 2020 and 2025

SD-WAN set to be a pillar technology in the digital workplace

 Vertel, Australia’s largest privately-owned telecommunications carrier, has revealed the top 10 technologies that will impact workplaces between 2020 and 2025 in a research paper commissioned by Vertel and undertaken by Tech Research Asia.

According to the report, SD-WAN and the Future of Work: A guide to the role technology will play moving forward, “The technologies and policies we’ve adopted to enable the flexible digital workplace of 2020 will continue to evolve exponentially. The industry will see as much change in the next five years as it saw in the decade from 2010 to now. Recent global events have acted as a disruptive force that has accelerated the adoption of alternative work practices and it’s unlikely we will return to our previous behaviours.”

The top 10 technologies that will underpin the way employees work between 2020 and 2025 are:

  1. Software-defined workplace infrastructure.
  2. 5G-enabled systems.
  3. Artificial intelligence and virtual assistants.
  4. Simplified unified communications and collaboration in real time.
  5. The digital twin of Internet of Things (IoT) designed and quantified workplaces.
  6. Traceability systems.
  7. Self-healing security systems.
  8. Virtual reality and augmented reality.
  9. Autonomous and semi-autonomous machines.
  10. Automation everywhere.

Tony Hudson, commercial director, Vertel, said, “Importantly, the research has revealed that SD-WAN will be a pillar technology in enabling the digital workplace of the future. This will be seen in many industries such as aged care, education, emergency services and construction. As the workforce demands more flexibility and mobility, SD-WAN has an important role to play in helping organisations legitimise these as part of the reality.”

SD-WAN turns organisations’ wide area network (WAN) into a software-enabled and managed environment. More than this, SD-WAN supports workloads that are increasingly located away from company offices such as in the cloud.

Tony Hudson said, “Tech Research Asia identified some of the key reasons that SD-WAN will be a pillar technology including offering a more agile approach to managing connectivity and providing more granular information on the network and user behaviour. Its ability to balance employee needs with strong security was also called out, which is an increasingly important consideration for organisations in an environment where cyberattacks are on the rise and becoming more targeted.”

-ENDS-

About Vertel

Vertel is a wholly-owned, Australian national telecommunications carrier with over 40 years’ experience and have built a reputation as fixed and mobile critical network experts. With a broad range of fixed and mobile network and cloud services, underpinned by excellence in delivery and on-going operations, we specialise in serving customers with high availability, performance, management and security requirements for business, mission and life-critical operations. As the world’s first wireless carrier to achieve MEF certification for its Ethernet Layer 2 service, we can design, build and deliver carrier-grade connectivity and applications for organisations throughout Australia.

Fujitsu recognised as a leader in Australian cyber security by research and advisory firm ISG

Fujitsu logo

News facts:

  • ISG named Fujitsu in the leader quadrant for technical security services, managed security services, and strategic security services
  • Fujitsu’s strengths were identified as having strong technical capabilities, a focus on getting the basics right, and the provision of contract CISOs to manage security services and incidents in each account
  • Fujitsu’s Cyber Resilience Centre in Canberra contributed to the strong result in the managed security services quadrant

Fujitsu has announced that the highly respected research and advisory firm, ISG, has named it as a leader in the Australian market in a number of cyber security areas. In its recent report, titled ISG Provider Lens™ – Cyber Security – Solutions and Services Australia 2020, ISG named Fujitsu in the leader quadrant for technical security services, managed security services, and strategic security services. With approximately 25 players in each area, this is a strong result for Fujitsu and demonstrates its excellence across the cyber security landscape.

According to ISG, Fujitsu’s strengths in technical, managed, and strategic security services include:

  • a purpose-built security operations centre; the Cyber Resilience Centre in Canberra, which provides cyber security operational incident management and a centralised threat advisor service
  • a large presence in government, especially the Department of Defence
  • technical capabilities to both deploy and support third-party solutions
    provision of contract security managers to manage security services and incidents in each client account, and manage Fujitsu’s post-incident report (PIR) process
  • cyber resilience and focus on proactive and intelligence-based cyber security
  • consultancy and a comprehensive range of self-service security services
  • security audit capabilities, which support all Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) standards, and Australian privacy and associated data breach notification regulations.

Michael Gale, partner, ISG, said, “Fujitsu’s experience in the mid to large enterprise segments gives it a high level of credibility in the rapidly evolving technical security services market, and positions it well for developing new business. Fujitsu applies its strong capabilities in the areas of data centre services, public/private/hybrid cloud and large-scale managed services for expanding its local security operations centre. The company is well positioned to serve new businesses in the managed security services market in Australia.

“Fujitsu’s global structure allows a high degree of local autonomy, enabling flexibility in terms of meeting specific client requirements for cyber security services in Australia.”

Fujitsu has a substantial cyber security team of more than 130 professionals across Australia and New Zealand. It augments this team with many offshore resources in global delivery centres in India and the Philippines, mostly to provide security operations for customers that permit offshore capabilities.

Fujitsu offers expert services for identity and access management (IAM), data loss protection, advanced antivirus endpoint protection, email and web filtering, network monitoring, intrusion prevention services (IPS), cloud security, security incident and event management (SIEM), and firewall deployment and support. One of its well-known solutions in biometrics is the PalmSecure™ palm vein authentication technology.

Fujitsu’s Cyber Resilience Centre in Canberra provides cyber security operational management, vulnerability management, monitoring of customer systems, reporting and data collection from systems, and collation into management reports, along with centralised incident management and a centralised threat advisory service. It is T4 certified and built to PSPF and ISO27001 standards. The Centre supports both government and enterprise customers.

Martin Holzworth, head of cyber security, Oceania for Fujitsu, said, “Fujitsu proactively delivers cyber resilience to customers in the region through the global collaboration of our highly experienced and qualified security professionals. Cyber resilience is the key strategy because it provides the strongest response to any organisation operating in the digital economy, combining robust cyber risk reduction actions with business continuity management across the organisation.

“Fujitsu is anticipating strong year-on-year growth in cyber security as a result of the increasing cyber security threats facing organisations, as well as growing demand for the cyber resilience approach that Fujitsu provides. Fujitsu has many expert-level security architects who are capable of the most complex security system design in major networks. We’re pleased that ISG has positioned Fujitsu as a leader in the cyber security space in recognition of the work we’ve done, creating a comprehensive portfolio of solutions and services that are highly compliant and reliable for our customers.”

The full report can be downloaded from the following link: https://www.fujitsu.com/au/services/security/isg-report/index.html

Online resources

About Fujitsu
Fujitsu is the leading Japanese information and communication technology (ICT) company offering a full range of technology products, solutions and services. Approximately 130,000 Fujitsu people support customers in more than 100 countries. We use our experience and the power of ICT to shape the future of society with our customers. Fujitsu Limited (TSE:6702) reported consolidated revenues of 3.9 trillion yen (US$35 billion) for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2020. For more information, please see www.fujitsu.com.

About Fujitsu Australia and New Zealand
Fujitsu Australia and New Zealand is a leading service provider of business, information technology and communications solutions. We partner with our customers to consult, design, build, operate and support business solutions. From strategic consulting to application and infrastructure solutions and services, Fujitsu Australia and New Zealand have earned a reputation as the single supplier of choice for leading corporate and government organisations. Fujitsu Australia Limited and Fujitsu New Zealand Limited are wholly owned subsidiaries of Fujitsu Limited (TSE: 6702). See www.fujitsu.com/au.

All other company or product names mentioned herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners. Information provided in this press release is accurate at time of publication and is subject to change without advance notice.

Epicor Global Growth Index reveals businesses are investing in tech to offset the impacts of COVID-19

Epicor logo

Report provides insights from business leaders across industries on key strategies, growth initiatives, and how they define success

Epicor Software Corporation, a global provider of industry-specific enterprise software to promote business growth, today announced the release of its 2020 Global Growth Index, a report that explores the growth trajectory of companies around the world and provides insight into how business leaders are using technology to support and drive growth initiatives. The index looks at the constantly changing state of growth in the manufacturing, distribution, retail and e-commerce industries along with what trends impact the bottom line.

The report’s findings show that companies are embracing technologies to offset the impacts of global volatility, such as COVID-19 and supply chain disruptions. When surveying Australian respondents, the findings included:

  • Increasing competitiveness: most companies surveyed are using excellent customer service (42 percent) and big data analytics (47 percent) to increase competitiveness. Data analytics had already been in use for between one and five years for two-thirds of Australian respondents, and 92 percent said big data is driving business growth.
  • Impacts on business growth in the coming year: the China-US trade dispute/tariffs (30 percent), environmental challenges (32 percent) and COVID-19 (66 percent) are most likely to negatively impact business growth over the coming year for Australian respondents.
  • Positive influences on business growth: planning and strategy (40 percent), technology and IT infrastructure (34 percent) and brand reputation (29 percent) were said to have the biggest impact on their industries over the last 12 months.
  • The nature of growth: when asked about the nature of their growth and its impact on the overall business over the past year, companies’ top responses were rewarding (40 percent), planned (32 percent) and well managed (44 percent).
  • Technologies set to have the biggest impact: 5G (37 percent), cloud technology (36 percent) and digital transformation (31 percent) were predicted to have the biggest positive, direct impact on future growth in the respondents’ industries over the next 12 to 18 months.

Andy Coussins, SVP and head of international, Epicor Software Corporation, said, “2020 has been a year characterised by significant disruption in the retail, manufacturing, and distribution industries. These disruptions have accelerated the move towards digital transformation for many organisations; the trends identified in the Epicor Global Growth Index confirm that businesses will look to technology and IT infrastructure to drive company growth in the next 12 months. This continued investment will be important for organisations to maintain business resilience, adapt to global volatility, and stay flexible as the market changes.”

Further results from the report reveal that:

  • Growth is strong: for 54 percent of Australian companies, growth in the past six months was a slight improvement over the previous six months. For 22 percent, recent growth was a significant improvement. Growth had slightly or significantly worsened for just 10 percent of Australian respondents.
  • Key success factors include digital: 26 percent of Australian companies said a strong digital and online presence was a key indicator of a successful growing business in their industry.
  • Overcoming challenges requires technology: 46 percent of Australian respondents said working more efficiently would help them overcome business growth challenges in the next 12 months. 41 percent said it would come down to better planning and 40 percent said better technology was a key factor.

Andy Coussins said, “The overwhelming consensus globally was that technology investments will help organisations grow, regardless of industry or region. For example, companies looking to improve customer service and use big data analytics to increase competitiveness, it will be crucial for these organisations to choose technologies that facilitate those outcomes. A modern, purpose-built enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution helps organisations to improve customer service by putting crucial information at the fingertips of those who need it. This will also feed into big data projects, letting organisations gather the data they need to deliver more comprehensive insights that can drive better decision-making.”

This online survey was conducted in March 2020 by global research firm Dimensional Research. Responses were received from 2,002 professionals across 23 countries. All respondents oversee or perform essential duties that inform the business decisions for their organisation, across the manufacturing, distribution and shipping, retail and e-commerce verticals. The survey did not knowingly poll customers of Epicor. Survey participants represented organisations with 100 employees to 5,000+ employees worldwide.

To view the report in full, please visit Epicor 2020 Global Growth Index.

About Epicor Software Corporation
Epicor Software Corporation drives business growth. We provide flexible, industry-specific software designed to fit the precise needs of our manufacturing, distribution, retail, and service industry customers. More than 45 years of experience with our customers’ unique business processes and operational requirements are built into every solution¯in the cloud or on premises. With this deep understanding of your industry, Epicor solutions dramatically improve performance and profitability while easing complexity so you can focus on growth. For more information, connect with Epicor or visit www.epicor.com.

Epicor and the Epicor logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Epicor Software Corporation, registered in the United States and other countries. Other trademarks referenced are the property of their respective owners. The product and service offerings depicted in this document are produced by Epicor Software Corporation.

‘Plan now or be left behind’ – Research links workforce transformation to strategic performance

Fujitsu logo

News facts:

  • There is a clear link between workforce transformation and an organisation’s strategic performance, according to an Economist Intelligence Unit survey sponsored by Fujitsu.
  • Workforce transformation is about improving the employee experience and untethering productive work from physical locations.
  • Before COVID-19, innovative organisations were letting employees work alone or in squads from any location while still being able to collaborate and innovate seamlessly and securely.
  • The workforce of the future will be made up of people in various locations with their own or company-issued devices, all requiring immediate and reliable access to company data and applications.
  • To accommodate this securely, organisations will need to proactively transform their underlying technology.
  • Fujitsu recommends that organisations plan their workforce transformation now so they don’t get left behind.

A research survey published by the Economist Intelligence Unit and sponsored by Fujitsu confirms that there is a clear link between workforce transformation and strategic performance. Before COVID-19 forced most knowledge workers out of their offices and into their homes, workforce transformation was already untethering professionals from prescribed office spaces and locations and letting them be productive from anywhere in the world. The ability to work from home means staff can continue to be productive even while the COVID-19 pandemic response requires people to practice social distancing and avoid non-essential travel.

The ability for staff to work from anywhere allows companies to take advantage of the market’s best talent regardless of where people reside, bringing together teams from all over the world to collaborate and innovate. However, individuals working alone or in squads require consistent and secure access to company data and applications without risking the organisation’s valuable intellectual property and information becoming vulnerable or exposed.

This creates a significant challenge for organisations still relying on legacy systems to deliver the employee experience. The need for organisations to become more resilient and scalable due to rapid market changes means that workforce transformation—the process of enabling employees to be productive from anywhere and at any time without compromising security—is one of the most important priorities for modern businesses.

There is a clear link between organisations that successfully transform their workforce and those that over-deliver on their strategic objectives, according to the survey of 200 executives across 8 countries including Australia.

Ramy Ibrahim, Head of Portfolio, Digital Workplace Services for Fujitsu Australia and New Zealand, said, “The workforce of the future was already becoming a reality in many organisations. Technology is a key enabler for this, from providing optimised physical working environments to creating new ways for employees to securely collaborate. Providing consumer-grade experience at enterprise grade security will be key to a successful workforce transformation. This process is currently rapidly occurring in many leading businesses.”

In most organisations, the CEO or CIO takes responsibility for workforce transformation, according to the study. The most common measures undertaken in support of workforce transformation are new technology adoption (56 per cent) and skills training (54 per cent). Many (39 per cent) are also looking to design or improve the employee experience. Tactical measures such as changing human resources policies or re-designing organisational structures are employed less frequently.

Hallmarks of the modern workforce include less reliance on people for mundane, repetitive tasks that can be automated, and increased expectation for humans to handle tasks that require higher-order thinking and creative problem-solving. This creates an environment where people are more fulfilled in their work and know that their contribution is meaningful.

Ramy Ibrahim said, “Organisations will need to decide what aspects of work can be automated and what this means for their workforce. Shifting tasks to automated systems could mean that staff members need to be trained in new areas. Or, the business may want to reconsider its mix of part-time and full-time workers. The most important skills workers can possess in a transformed workforce are the ability to collaborate, innovate and creatively solve problems. It is important to note that a primary driver of workforce transformation is creating a positive working environment, which in turn leads to the creation of a better customer experience.”

The study revealed that the biggest changes were happening in organisations with knowledge workers (41 per cent versus 29 per cent), and 79 per cent of organisations said their workforce transformation would accelerate in the next three years. Only 22 per cent of respondents in Australia and New Zealand said they had already transformed their workforce extensively, while 58 per cent said they had done so ‘somewhat’. COVID-19 may well become known for significantly accelerating this workforce transformation in Australia and New Zealand.

However, there are potential costs and unwanted side effects of workforce transformation. Three-quarters of survey respondents cited one-off costs and increased employment overheads as negative consequences of workforce transformation. Increased staff turnover was also encountered by 70 per cent of firms.

Resistance to change was a common barrier to workforce transformation for 38 per cent of respondents, followed by a lack of understanding of what constitutes the ideal workforce according to 35 per cent of Australians surveyed. This suggests a failure to think strategically about what transformation requires from the staff and how to communicate to employees the benefit to them of being part of the future workforce.

Once the immediate threat of COVID-19 has passed, and to reduce future risks, organisations may find themselves looking to create a new type of workforce. There are four ways organisations can mitigate issues associated with workforce transformation:

1. Let strategy inform the makeup of the workforce. Overarching strategic goals must drive decisions around skills needs and training, the use of temporary labour, or where staff should be located.

2. Develop and articulate a clear vision. Workforce decisions can’t be made at a department level; they must be made with the entire workforce in mind. The organisation-wide vision should be communicated clearly to gain staff buy-in.

3. Understand where digital and workforce transformation do not overlap. Digital and workforce transformation should be closely aligned but digital transformation should be seen as an enabler of workforce transformation, not its determinant. It’s essential to leverage non-digital factors to support workforce transformation.

4. Minimise the inevitable costs. Workplace transformation will incur costs in skills development and upgrading technology infrastructure, among others. However, it’s essential where possible to ensure that changes don’t unduly increase complexity or damage employee morale.

Ramy Ibrahim said, “With so much change happening right now, it’s essential for Australian organisations to work proactively to streamline their workforce transformation. They need to put the right tools in place that facilitate collaboration, communication, and connectedness while maintaining strong security. The focus must be on supporting a different type of workplace characterised by geographically dispersed team members, a mix of employee-owned and company-provided devices, and an ongoing need for collaboration. And, it’s essential to underpin all of this with comprehensive security solutions that keep data safe without impeding access or the ability to do business.”

Online resources
‘Work in Progress, Aligning workforce transformation to business strategy’ report from The Economist Intelligence Unit: https://marketing.global.fujitsu.com/rs/807-GYW-324/images/0000_FUJ_Citrix__Work_in_progress_workplace_transformation_to_business_strategy_EIU.pdf
Read the Fujitsu blog: http://blog.au.fujitsu.com
Follow Fujitsu on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/FujitsuAU
Follow us on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/fujitsu-australia-limited
Find Fujitsu on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FujitsuAustraliaNewZealand
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For regular news updates, bookmark the Fujitsu newsroom: http://www.fujitsu.com/au/about/resources/news/

About Fujitsu
Fujitsu is the leading Japanese information and communication technology (ICT) company, offering a full range of technology products, solutions, and services. Approximately 132,000 Fujitsu people support customers in more than 100 countries. We use our experience and the power of ICT to shape the future of society with our customers. Fujitsu Limited (TSE: 6702) reported consolidated revenues of 4.0 trillion yen (US $36 billion) for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2019. For more information, please see www.fujitsu.com.

About Fujitsu Australia and New Zealand
Fujitsu Australia and New Zealand is a leading service provider of business, information technology and communications solutions. We partner with our customers to consult, design, build, operate and support business solutions. From strategic consulting to application and infrastructure solutions and services, Fujitsu Australia and New Zealand have earned a reputation as the single supplier of choice for leading corporate and government organisations. Fujitsu Australia Limited and Fujitsu New Zealand Limited are wholly owned subsidiaries of Fujitsu Limited (TSE: 6702). See www.fujitsu.com/au.

All other company or product names mentioned herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners. Information provided in this press release is accurate at time of publication and is subject to change without advance notice.

Red Hat ANZ Enterprise Mobile Index Reveals Mobile Adoption Is Steadily Rising

Redhat Logo While many organisations in Australia and New Zealand have established an enterprise mobile strategy, there is still work to be done to get the full benefits, according to findings from the ANZ Enterprise Mobile Index report, released today by Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE: RHT), the world’s leading provider of open source solutions.

The study, which provides a snapshot of enterprise mobile strategies and adoption across Australia and New Zealand, found that 65 per cent of respondents have an enterprise mobile strategy in place. Yet, just 15 per cent of respondents have a mobile-first strategy, which means that mobile devices and applications are used across the organisation as a means to transform business processes to drive innovation in a unified way.

To be successful in gaining the benefits from their mobile strategy, organisations should evolve in a way that supports both the agility of new mobile initiatives and the stability of core IT functions. Infrastructure that supports an agile approach to mobility-based business solutions gives organisations the capacity to quickly make changes and innovate.

Key findings from the Index include:

  • Many enterprise mobile strategies are internal-facing. 64 per cent of respondents are targeting employees with their mobile strategies, while 27 per cent are targeting customers. This suggests there is room for organisations to respond to increased demand from customers to engage with organisations via mobile platforms.
  • Security is a major challenge to enterprise mobility development. Almost 80 per cent of respondents identified security as a ‘high priority’ (45 per cent) or second ’high priority’ (33 per cent) challenge to the mature development of an enterprise mobile strategy. This is followed by back-end integration, with 23 per cent of respondents identifying it as a ‘high priority’ challenge. This is not surprising, given the close relationship between the two, as organisations must focus not only on securing data but also securely integrating apps into business systems. Many platform solutions and Mobile Backend-as-a-Service (MBaaS) platforms today are designed to address both needs.
  • IT skills shortages are preventing mobile maturity. Just over half (51 per cent) of respondents indicated that their companies do not have the right skills internally to develop and support their mobile enterprise strategy. This suggests the ANZ region is experiencing a skills shortage in the areas of mobile integration and application development. Organisations should consider using a central mobile platform to foster collaboration between internal and external third parties to help alleviate these resource and skills issues.

 Methodology

The Red Hat ANZ Enterprise Mobile Index canvassed the opinions of 150 senior IT and management decision-makers (89 in Australia and 61 in New Zealand). The Index was conducted by third-party marketing company Outsource and sponsored by Red Hat.

Supporting Quote

Max McLaren, regional vice president and general manager, Red Hat

“Enterprise mobility adoption is steadily rising in Australia and New Zealand as organisations find new ways to streamline operational efficiency, increase productivity, and collaborate more effectively. Over time, more and more organisations are expected to overcome the barriers holding back their mobile strategies, which we believe will lead to an increased focus on enterprise mobility in the coming years.”

 About Red Hat, Inc.

Red Hat is the world’s leading provider of open source software solutions, using a community-powered approach to reliable and high-performing cloud, Linux, middleware, storage and virtualization technologies. Red Hat also offers award-winning support, training, and consulting services. As a connective hub in a global network of enterprises, partners, and open source communities, Red Hat helps create relevant, innovative technologies that liberate resources for growth and prepare customers for the future of IT. Learn more at http://www.redhat.com.

 Red Hat’s Forward-Looking Statements

Certain statements contained in this press release may constitute “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements provide current expectations of future events based on certain assumptions and include any statement that does not directly relate to any historical or current fact. Actual results may differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements as a result of various important factors, including: risks related to the ability of Red Hat to compete effectively; the ability to deliver and stimulate demand for new products and technological innovations on a timely basis; delays or reductions in information technology spending; the integration of acquisitions and the ability to market successfully acquired technologies and products; the effects of industry consolidation; uncertainty and adverse results in litigation and related settlements; the inability to adequately protect Red Hat intellectual property and the potential for infringement or breach of license claims of or relating to third party intellectual property; risks related to data and information security vulnerabilities; ineffective management of, and control over, Red Hat’s growth and international operations; fluctuations in exchange rates;  and changes in and a dependence on key personnel, as well as other factors contained in Red Hat’s most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K (copies of which may be accessed through the Securities and Exchange Commission’s website at http://www.sec.gov), including those found therein under the captions “Risk Factors” and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations”. In addition to these factors, actual future performance, outcomes, and results may differ materially because of more general factors including (without limitation) general industry and market conditions and growth rates, economic and political conditions, governmental and public policy changes and the impact of natural disasters such as earthquakes and floods. The forward-looking statements included in this press release represent Red Hat’s views as of the date of this press release and these views could change. However, while Red Hat may elect to update these forward-looking statements at some point in the future, Red Hat specifically disclaims any obligation to do so. These forward-looking statements should not be relied upon as representing Red Hat’s views as of any date subsequent to the date of this press release.

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Minimal change to corporate tax rates expected in spite of global tax infrastructure reform says RSM research

RSM_Bird_Cameron_Logo@2xSydney, 1 December, 2014 – The majority of tax advisers globally expect corporate tax rates to remain relatively unchanged over the next three years, according to research by RSM, the seventh largest global network of independent audit, tax and advisory firms. This is in spite of global tax reform led by the OECD aimed at targeting tax avoidance by multinational corporations.

RSM analysed the views of its tax partners from 54 countries in its report, The Evolution of Tax. The report was developed in light of the increasingly global economy, which necessitates cross-border business. An international view of tax is vital for organisations to thrive.

Transfer pricing, increased information sharing between countries and a revision of the tax treaty framework are just three of the main areas where major changes are likely, according to the report. And while the focus of international tax authorities is currently on multi-national corporations, businesses of all sizes will need to plan their strategies accordingly.

Rob Mander, Director of Tax Services for RSM Bird Cameron in Australia, anticipates that the corporate tax rate will remain approximately the same in Australia over the next three years, which is in line with the majority of international advisors. Only eight per cent forecast a tax increase while 20 per cent expect tax rates to decline.”

In Australia, total tax revenue increased gradually as a percentage of GDP in the 35 years to 2000 but has fallen significantly since.

Rob Mander said: “Tax revenues have fallen following the impact of the global financial crisis in the late 2000’s and the subsequent challenge for the Australian government has been to find new sources of tax revenue to fund its expenditure requirements. Consequently we expect the highest marginal tax rate for individuals to increase by up to 5 per cent as governments deal with this revenue challenge.”

OECD tax reform challenges

Tax experts recognise that there will be huge challenges in implementing the OECD’s tax proposals. There is concern about the practicalities that governments will face because tax policy is a key component of their economic management and the OECD’s proposals involve giving up some of that national control in favour of a more global policy outcome. Detailed negotiations between countries on double tax agreements is also expected to be difficult.

Companies will be burdened by issues such as the requirement to disclose their transfer pricing policies in far greater detail. They will also be challenged by proposals to neutralise the impact of hybrid tax mismatch arrangements, where double deductions are obtained for the same amount, for instance, which require detailed cross-border understanding and agreement between countries.

Jean Stephens, Chief Executive Officer of RSM International, said: “The global tax system was built for an industrial age dominated by western powers and is no longer fit for purpose in the increasingly globalised, internet-driven, economy. We applaud the OECD’s unprecedented reform objectives and its inclusion of developing economies in its proposals, but it is clear that agreement and implementation will be very tough for governments and companies across the world.”

Changes will be required to domestic Australian tax laws as well as the international tax rules. These international changes will not occur evenly across various countries, and this will significantly increase the risk of double taxation.

Craig Cooper, Director of Tax Services for RSM Bird Cameron in Australia said: “The scope of the OECD’s Base Erosion Profit Shifting (BEPS) project is nothing short of a complete re-creation of the international tax architecture. Internationally active organisations need to be planning for the forthcoming changes, or risk being caught out with superseded and ineffective tax structures and arrangements.”

Much of the global tax debate has been about how to tax the ever-pervasive digital economy appropriately. RSM’s tax partners fully anticipate changes to the taxation of the digital economy to be part of an overall package of reform. Nearly three quarters (70 per cent) of the tax partners agreed with this statement.

Craig Cooper said, “Given the ability for digital businesses to extract significant value from a source country’s economy, without the need for any, or any significant physical presence in that country, it is no longer acceptable to many countries to exclude the ‘market’ as a right to tax a foreign company interacting remotely with that jurisdiction’s economy.”

Rob Mander said, “Locally, we’d like to see a Tax Ombudsman established to take up the cause of taxpayers unable to get a fair hearing from tax authorities in relation to requests for the reduction of corporate tax instalments and invalid tax assessments driven by tax audit revenue-targets.

“Globally, international tax is in a process of evolution that will bring many changes over the next few years. At a practical level, countries, administrators, businesses and advisers will face the challenges of dealing with major tax changes that seek to manage the global economy and digitisation far more effectively. Tax has a key role in assisting economic growth, and it will be critical that, whilst working to shape a new global tax infrastructure, governments don’t remove incentives to innovate, invest and grow business.”

ENDS

About RSM International

RSM International is the seventh largest network of independent audit, tax and advisory firms, encompassing over 100 countries, 700 offices and 35,400 people internationally. The network’s total fee income is US$4.5 billion.

In September 2014, RSM was awarded the prestigious Network of the Year 2014 award at the International Accounting Bulletin annual awards. The award recognises networks that have demonstrated strong growth and operational excellence over the past 12 months. Last year, at the March 2013 International Accounting Bulletin annual awards, RSM was awarded the prestigious Editor’s Special Award for Global Initiative of the Year for its worldwide initiative – RSM World Day – which was praised for being a unique and powerful cross-network initiative that enhanced both employee and client engagement.

RSM International actively engages in promoting and celebrating the very best in entrepreneurship, championing the role of the entrepreneur in today’s world economy. RSM International is the lead sponsor and corporate champion of the European Business Awards promoting commercial excellence and recognition of entrepreneurial brilliance.

RSM International is a member of the Forum of Firms. The objective of the Forum of Firms is to promote consistent and high quality standards of financial and auditing practices worldwide

RSM is the brand used by a network of independent accounting and advisory firms each of which practices in its own right. RSM International Limited does not itself provide any accounting and advisory services. Member firms are driven by a common vision of providing high quality professional services, both in their domestic markets and in serving the international professional service needs of their client base.

2014 marks an exceptional year for RSM International as it celebrates its 50th anniversary.

www.rsmi.com

Control premiums soar on the back of the GFC

21 September, 2010, Australia – RSM Bird Cameron’s Control Premium Study, released today, has found that there has been a significant increase the level of control premium in Australian Takeovers and identified some clear trends emerging for control premiums paid in Australia’s leading industries. The study found that on the back of the global economic downturn average control premiums soared in 2009 and 2010 to 42% and 40%, compared to the 5 year average of 31%.

The study analyses 212 successful takeover offers and schemes of arrangement over the 5 year period ending 30 June 2010 involving companies listed on the Australian Securities Exchange. In addition to providing an analysis of how control premiums vary by industry and in the time period under review, it also provides an insight into how control premiums vary by nature of the consideration, and assesses what impact pre offer shareholdings held by acquirers in targets and bid speculation have on the level of control premium paid.

“Control Premiums have always been a popular topic of conversation in the context of takeovers but ASIC’s pending regulatory guide regarding amongst other things how Independent Expert’s should measure control premiums in valuations has put them firmly back in media spot light. As stock markets around the world continue to experience a period of significant volatility and uncertainty, determining an appropriate level of control premium to be used in valuations is becoming increasingly more scientific and difficult,” said RSM Bird Cameron director Andy Gilmour.

“Our study through providing an analysis of control premiums in Australian transactions over the last five years seeks to highlight the key areas, buyers, vendors and the corporate advisory community should consider when determining control premiums in equity valuations. Traditionally valuers have used a widely accepted average range when reflecting control premiums, hopefully our study will help stakeholders derive a more specific and focused transaction by transaction methodology in this regard.”

About RSM Bird Cameron

RSM Bird Cameron is the largest mid-tier accounting firm in Australia and offer a full range of specialist advisory services, including business consulting and advisory, assurance and advisory, taxation consulting, corporate consulting and turnaround and insolvency. RSM Bird Cameron is a core member firm of RSM International, the sixth largest network of independent accounting and consulting firms in the world.