From the Management Team
As I reflect on the Santa Fe Australia journey over the past seven months, it occurs to me that we could be in the Construction Industry at this time. This comparison may seem odd as our 2020 strategy is clearly focussed on being the leading global mobility company. The relevance of this analogy is that in order to build a tall state of the art building it is essential to lay a solid foundation. This starts with digging a deep hole , slowly laying the foundation and only then can construction of the building commence. We have over the past seven months dug deep into the business and with the strong support of every person in the business, started laying a solid foundation on which we can build a strong, profitable business which will result in our 2020 strategy being achieved.
Change in any environment is never easy and I have been heartened by the support and ongoing commitment from everybody in the organisation. One example is the Great Place To Work initiative, and in this regard I congratulate the recently appointed Great Place to Work Ambassadors and thank you for your input to the business and implementation of so many fantastic ideas which have been received from all areas of the organisation.
As expected, I cannot miss this opportunity to make particular mention of Santa Fe Immigration Services and to reflect on its progress so far this year.
Since the start of the year, Santa Fe Immigration Services (IMMS) has received a constant flow of business from our Corporate clients as well as new business from Direct Consumers seeking temporary or permanent residence in Australia. Our Consultants have presented at a number of seminars on the Employer Sponsored visa categories. The IMMS team has also been developing the Corporate advisory service to assist clients in ensuring that the systems and processes are robust and as such comply with their sponsorship obligations. In the Corporate area we also look forward to the launch of Santa Fe’s Business Traveller product in Australia and New Zealand, as this tool will be of significant benefit to our Corporate clients.
In the Direct Consumer area, special attention has been given to growing our student visa business and I thank Simon Delmo in particular for his contribution. We have also undertaken various activities to grow our High Net Worth business in Asia as well as South Africa.
Watch this space for news on 2 international artists and their support crew who will be touring Australia towards the end of the year and Tara Ende will be preparing their Entertainment visas.
Our office in South Africa under the management of Charmaine De Lange has also grown this year, not only due to the increased interest in migration to Australia but also attending to offshore processing of applications for our Australian business.
Finally Santa Fe Immigration Services is now open for business in Auckland , New Zealand under the management of Isabel Chorao who is a New Zealand Immigration specialist with over 10 years’ experience.
In conclusion, IMMS in Australia and New Zealand has now laid its foundations and is well placed to achieve its objective of being a leading Immigration service provider in Australia and New Zealand.
I encourage everybody to take advantage of the in-house Immigration expertise we have in Australia and New Zealand and use our IMMS consultants to upsell our comprehensive range of services wherever the opportunity presents itself.
As we move into the second half of the year, we are seeing many exciting changes taking place at Santa Fe, and this is especially true in the world of IT with our Core Technology program building momentum, and our continuing efforts to enhance our infrastructure and communication tools.
By necessity, this transformitive wave will have an effect on our day-to-day operations. How you work, how you communicate with clients and team members, where you store data, etc. will all be affected by the changes. You have experienced some of these already with the migration to Office 365, Yammer, and Skype for Business
Salesforce Core Technology Project
The Core Technology project is well underway, and you will have seen from the feedback on Yammer that the “discover sessions” have taken place, allowing all of our subject matter experts across the globe (including our very own – Chris Brimble, Lal Ratnayake, Amanda Lawrance and Mel Magri), to come together. This involved discussing and outlining the business processes undertaken to enable us, and Salesforce, to design and develop the first stage of the Core Tech project.
From an Australian perspective we are in the process of escalating the development to introduce Salesforce for our consumer channel. This will be ready to roll out for our busy period and will ensure we can accommodate our customers as efficiently and effectively as possible.
Wridgways, in partnership with Macquarie telecom, has also embarked upon and implemented a new era of infrastructure where we are no longer bound by physical servers and capacity limitations, an infrastructure that delivers flexibility and improved data connectivity.
Network lines are fundamental for Santa Fe connectivity to all systems both internal and external, transporting all Data and Voice traffic. Again, through our partnership with Macquarie a large number of our branches have been able to leverage NBN connectivity, along with larger bandwidth to help support the use of telecommunications tools such as Skype for Business.
The really positive aspect of this transition is that we have delivered a more robust and scalable infrastructure, while still securing a cost saving of approximately $250k per annum.
We are also seeing a great uptake in Australia and globally in the use of Skype for Business which is a leading web-based (Voice and Video over IP) communication technology and allows us to seamlessly conduct video based conferencing at the click of a button. Free of charge to Office 365 customers, this service will allow us to eliminate external conference call services and associated costs.
Yammer has also taken off as a fantastic communication tool for everyone across Santa Fe Globally, as a private, secure, social networking platform for our business.
As outlined there are a lot of great initiatives being delivered locally and globally which will fundamentally change how we utilise IT and its services. These changes will continue to evolve over the coming weeks, months, and years as Santa Fe works to shape the future of our industry.