AusPost CIO leaves IT to grow services business

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AusPost CIO leaves IT to grow services business
Andrew Walduck

Given mandate to drive emerging product lines.

Australia Post has moved chief information officer Andrew Walduck out of the IT department and into a new general manager position in an effort to grow the organisation's emerging trusted services business.

After three-and-a-half years as the CIO of Australia Post, Walduck has been handed the reins of a digital products division that includes the likes of the MyPost Digital Mailbox service.

His tenure as CIO was characterised by efforts to build a digital capability within an organisation struggling to keep up with an intensely disrupted industry.

Walduck joined AusPost in 2009 after being swayed by freshly minted CEO Ahmed Fahour's plan to reshape Australia Post into a competitive and sustainable business - a strategy that centred on the development of digital services.

The CIO embarked on AusPost's 'building future-ready IT' program of work with an over-arching aim of developing a customer-centric approach to IT operations, in which products and services would be delivered to the user much faster.

It's this same expertise the organisation is hoping will bolster its growing 'trusted services' business - an area that is becoming increasingly important as Australia Post moves to diversify away from its loss-making letters operation.

In his new role, Walduck will have responsibility for "the next evolution of products and digital solutions that meet the changing needs of our customers," an AusPost spokesperson said.

"Andrew’s experience, along with his passion for the customer, makes him the ideal leader to drive our focus on building our important trusted services category," postal services boss Christine Corbett told iTnews in a statement.

Walduck will, however, lose the direct reporting line into Fahour he gained towards the end of his tenure as CIO, and will now report into Corbett.

But he will remain on the executive committee, and a spokesperson said the new CIO - which AusPost is currently hunting for while Simon Page fills the chair in the interim - will revert back to reporting into chief operating officer Ewan Stafford.

A future in digital services

As head of trusted services, Walduck will oversee a business that has so far launched products like the MyPost Digital Mailbox and MyPost Concession Account as well as identity, travel and financial services for and to over 750 businesses and government agencies.

Digital Mailbox had 30 providers on board as at its most recent annual report, and will soon be expanded to include parcel tracking, warranty receipts on behalf of retailers and change of address notifications.

But while its digital services business has been growing, the rise has not yet reached the point where it can offset falling revenue from traditional AusPost services like bill payments and banking.

Similarly, steep declines in letter volumes have been accompanied by a 5 percent drop in retail foot traffic over 2013-14 as customers move to digital channels.

"In response, we are extending the range of trusted services we offer in-store and online, launching new innovative products to expand our customer base and support our customers to transact securely online," AusPost said in its most recent annual report.

Such products include white-labelled travel solutions - passport applications, travel insurance and cards, and foreign currency exchange, among other things - plus identity services such as the Keypass identity card, and international SIM cards.

The organisation also offers software developers APIs to expose key Australia Post functions on their websites. These APIs have so far involved AusPost's postage calculator, payments engine and delivery options.

Last year Australia Post rolled out new PoS terminals, digital camera services, handheld devices and various other pieces of hardware designed to foster a "modern" retail environment.

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