When a locally grown Australian company counts Microsoft among its partners, it’s clear it has made it big. Such is the case with technology company Lakeba Group. Though it remains headquartered in Sydney, it has expanded to offices in the US, India, Singapore and Italy, making it a global business.
The Group co-sells several products with tech giant Microsoft, including its services Shelfie, Ezidox and 360dgrees. “Having co-sell accreditation means our solutions are embraced by Microsoft’s global sales force who can offer our solutions to their global customers,” says CEO Giuseppe Porcelli. “Therefore, Microsoft gets to offer the latest innovation and software solutions to its customers, and we benefit from exposure on a global scale.”
Shelfie is just one example of Lakeba’s innovative strides into software. It’s a cloud-based data analytics platform that automates much of the shelf-stocking process for supermarkets. Shelves are constantly monitored, detecting what products need to be stocked and ordered, as well as the quantity of each product. The system also reports directly to the point of contact, cutting down the time- and labour-intensive elements of the process. Shelfie has been revolutionary, and it’s currently been deployed across half a dozen major retail chains in the UK, Europe, the US and Australia.
“This solution is a world first, as evidenced by the adoption of these global retailers,” says Giuseppe. “We do this with AI, we’ve built the software from the ground up, and then partnered with the hardware camera provider and the Zebra scanning solution. No-one else has come up with this solution anywhere in the world – hence the interest from these large retailers.”
This is the market niche that Lakeba occupies, where cutting-edge technological visions are born. “We have increasingly carved a position in the marketplace as a technology innovator – a first mover,” Giuseppe says. “By this, we mean being able to identify a business challenge or issue, conceiving a solution to remove and overcome this challenge, building the solution, and then scaling this solution for commercialisation – not just in Australia, but globally.”
Leapfrogging ahead of competitive peers
Lakeba Group has also set its sights on the frontline of fintech and blockchain, with its Blockchain Against Fraud (BAF) system. Designed for the financial services and banking industries, it helps verify documents and combat fraud, as the name suggests. Lakeba has recently completed a pilot project with “one of Australia’s leading banks”, which saw the bank process 100,000 existing payslips and 1,000 historical car and home loans, with validation demonstrated to possess total accuracy.
“We’ve leapfrogged the competition, in that we’ve been able to accelerate the commercialisation of blockchain solutions unlike anyone else in the market,” Giuseppe says. “BAF is an excellent example in that we’re now addressing critical pain points for the banking industry, many of which have been highlighted in the Banking Royal Commission.” Giuseppe expects the system to be adopted by more banks once Lakeba rolls it out across the industry, nationally and globally.
“We’ve been able to accelerate the commercialisation of blockchain solutions unlike anyone else in the market.”
Lakeba is progressively exploring and branching out in new innovation directions. It continues to work closely with its banking partners, and is currently looking to develop a digital banking solution. Giuseppe says this is an exciting path to embark on, as technology has the power to transform the financial industry, more so than any other sector.
The Group is also continuing to not just keep up with the software sector, but set the pace and direction of it. Future Hub, a blockchain-focused division of Lakeba, has been created to identify gaps in the industry and develop solutions accordingly. Giuseppe expects the Group to move forward in technologies it already has a presence in, like quantum computing, AI, machine learning, virtual reality and, of course, blockchain.
That said, Giuseppe sometimes finds it a challenge to be so forward-thinking. “We know what’s possible, and we have a vision of what the solution can deliver,” he says. “Being able to take the customer on this journey is exciting but can be met with reservation and a sense of disbelief of what we’re trying to achieve for them. The upside of this is that once they see and understand the transformational impact of our solution, they quickly find themselves on the same page as the Lakeba team. That is ultimately satisfying.”