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RUSSELL PALMER

INSIGHTS 2017

MANAGING DIRECTOR, YOKOGAWA AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND

How should Australian industry respond to global challenges and competition? Australia should respond to global challenges, including competition, by playing to our strengths. Australia is in the enviable position of having a resilient economy, stable currency and a highly educated workforce that possesses the skill sets required to meet these global challenges and competitors head on. Strong macroeconomic fundamentals should encourage Australian industry to partner and invest in process improvements and innovative solutions to complex problems ensuring we continue to possess a competitive edge. Yokogawa believes in partnering with clients to co-innovate unique solutions that are relevant and sustainable, and ultimately to help our customers to compete and succeed in what is a highly competitive global market.

What can Australian industry offer that overseas suppliers cannot? Political stability in Australia is the first thing that comes to mind. Regardless of who is in power in Australia, both major political parties are very closely aligned when it comes to the fundamentals of economic policy and international relations. Doing business in Australia is, and always has been, a very safe proposition. This will continue to benefit us in years to come as the geopolitical landscape becomes more complex and these qualities become more sought after by global capital markets. Aside from political aspects, Australia is an incredibly innovative country. We punch well above our weight in this regard, which is a credit to our great institutions, many of whom have a long and proud history of partnering with industry to achieve success. Australia has an impressive innovation resume, being responsible for inventing the black box flight recorder, spray-on skin, the electronic pacemaker, Google Maps, penicillin and Wi-Fi technology, to name just a few. We have the runs on the board and should leverage these past successes to promote future investment in industry.

How is the IoT impacting you and your clients? The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), more commonly known as Industry 4.0, is impacting us and our clients in several ways. The demand for IT/OT convergence, which essentially gathers operational data and makes it available to various business units for analysis and optimisation in real time, is driving the need for cyber security to ensure critical information is safe and secure from both internal and external threats. Yokogawa offer complete plant lifecycle security services whereby our highly skilled security consultants design and maintain maximum security networks, leveraging off our global

partnership with Intel Security (formerly McAfee), a global leader in antivirus protection. Yokogawa has been one of the leading companies in the industrial automation industry in obtaining GICSP certification for its employees. GICSP or Global Industrial Cyber Security Professionals is a relatively new professional qualification, first introduced in November 2013. This investment in our people reflects our longstanding commitment to bringing our customers safety and asset excellence. Our commitment to cyber security extends directly to our hardware solutions, ensuring that our customer’s infrastructure is secured from the top down and from the bottom up. Yokogawa ensure that the adverse impacts of cyber threats are detected, minimised and prevented through our investment in people, technology and culture.

Is there a defined job path for fresh graduates within your industry? I can’t speak for the industry as a whole but from Yokogawa’s perspective graduates are, and always have been, a great asset to the company and have made many very significant contributions over the years. Just this year two of our past graduates, Joshua Dring and Laurence Harbeck, were an integral part of a team of engineers that were awarded several local and international awards for their work on the Julimar Subsea Project. It’s an exciting time for all employees of Yokogawa Australasia: we are on the cusp of yet another chapter in our evolution and there are countless opportunities for everyone to get involved and contribute to both the company’s ongoing success as well as their own.

Russell Palmer is the Managing Director of Yokogawa Australia & New Zealand and has been with Yokogawa Australia for 18 years. Russell has held roles from front-line engineering sales to sales and marketing director — a position he has held for 10 years. Russell’s focus is on collaborating with customers to make possible new solutions to the problems faced in industry.

INSIGHTS 2017 15

Profile for Westwick-Farrow Media

Sustainability Matters Dec 2016/Jan 2017  

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