The president and chief executive officer of SAP Australia New Zealand , Tim Ebbeck, has described the National Broadband Network (NBN) as a ‘critical piece of national infrastructure’ to Australia’s economic future.
Speaking on the NBN and Australia’s Digital Future at an American Chamber of Commerce briefing, Ebbeck made an appeal to research and co-innovation partners to collaborate with business software provider, SAP, on the development of ‘next generation’ internet applications.
“We are now on the cusp of a new internet revolution,” said Ebbeck at the briefing.
“This is a critical piece of national infrastructure, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to stimulate economic growth and innovation.”
In a move aimed at making the government prioritise the construction of the NBN, Ebbeck cited research from Oxford University, pointing out that Australia is only middle-ranked among 66 nations in terms of broadband infrastructure.
He said the current broadband network will not sustain our needs in the future and that the construction of the NBN may put Australia into the running as the leader in the global economy.
According to Ebbeck, high speed broadband will be able reek the benefits of new web-based health and patient care capabilities, productivity-enhancing web services and the facilitated innovation that will drive economic growth.
“We need to build the NBN and turn our focus now to the development of applications that will realise the benefits of ubiquitous high speed broadband infrastructure in Australia,” he said.
Ebbeck also proposed changes to research and development tax incentives, which aim to encourage local investment in innovation by overseas organisations.
The briefing follows the release of an iPhone navigator application developed by SAP Research, which combines microblogging updates from Twitter with Google Maps.
The application aims to help drivers avoid road incidents by showing real time traffic conditions in a city in that instant and in the following weeks.
In addition to Australia’s role in SAP’s global research and development in the Sydney and Brisbane headquarters, SAP researchers in Australia also concentrate on business process management, new technologies for a web-based service economy, Web 2.0 applications, and software for end-user empowerment.