9th July, 2021
Last year, the annual MYOB IT Challenge went trans-Tasman and fully online. Now it’s back for its seventh year, with teams across Australia and New Zealand invited to compete.
While the pandemic continues to stifle travel between our two nations, Kiwis and Aussies can still look forward to some healthy, trans-Tasman competition, as well as some pretty hefty innovations, as a result of the annual MYOB IT Challenge.
The second, fully-online version of the long-running MYOB IT Challenge, coordinated in partnership with the University of Auckland’s Management Consulting Club (MCC), offers university students the opportunity to develop a new tech solution to address a common business problem and have it held up as an exemplar to the international business community.
With registrations open until 18 July 2021, each team has just over a week to produce a video between five and 10 minutes long covering their proposed solution, along with a one-page executive summary.
The results will be judged by a panel of MYOB staff and MCC executives, with finalists to be determined by 4 August. From there, the finalists go on to receive tailored mentoring and to further refine their ideas ahead of the official MYOB IT Challenge Trans-Tasman Finals Day on 12 August.
This year, chief sales and support officer for MYOB, Daniel West will be judging the finalists, who has some tips for any would-be entrants.
“Approaching a problem with a strong understanding of the customer in mind is absolutely key to success,” said West.
“When combined, well-applied customer data and technology work hand-in-hand to deliver the most powerful products or solutions.”
West sees the competition as a way for both countries’ students to flex their practical skills and potentially get noticed by the business community.
“Providing up-and-coming students from Australia and New Zealand with a unique opportunity that both nurtures their technical skills and sees them solve challenges based on real audiences and scenarios, is what makes the MYOB IT Challenge different – it’s not just a competition, but a one-of-a-kind development experience.”
The winners of this year’s MYOB IT Challenge will share in a prize pool currently valued at $8,500, with winners to be paid out in their local currency.
Competitions like the MYOB IT Challenge have benefits at many levels for businesses, students and education providers.
For education institutions, these partnerships fit neatly into their aim to provide students with practical, on-the-job experiences.
In the case of the MYOB IT Challenge, it’s an opportunity to get hands-on with widely used business software.
Students benefit from the opportunity to apply what they’re learning, showcasing their skills and creativity to potential employers, and giving businesses a clearer idea of their potential as future workers.
And MYOB sees the importance of these initiatives as highlighted by modern business conditions.
“Since its inception in 2015, the MYOB IT Challenge has given over a thousand students the opportunity to tackle real business problems,” said education manager for MYOB, Shailan Patel.
“With the ever-changing future of work, it is inspiring to see the solutions students create using today’s technology.”
Past MYOB IT Challenge participants praise the initiative, with some graduates going on to see tangible benefits in their later study and post-study careers.
Winners of last year’s challenge, Team Rocket, represented Monash University and were the first Australian team to take out the competition.
Their innovative concept stemmed from having spent seven months in Melbourne’s pandemic lockdown conditions, prompting them to come up with an integrated system capable of real-time store visitor capacity tracking, using CCTV and cloud-based neural network processing.
“Because we only left our houses for exercise and shopping, we were acutely aware of the uncertainty that comes with going to stores, regarding crowd sizes,” said engineering student and Team Rocket spokesperson, Cassidy Chellis. “When we were discussing solutions to the prompt, we thought about apps which would most aid us in times like this.
“We realised that what we needed most was peace of mind, and so we set about finding ways to provide that to consumers.”
Chellis and the rest of the team spent three days developing the technological aspect of their concept and two days on the business case itself.
“For us, victory showed us that our solution has genuine merit beyond idealistic interpretations, and could be a genuinely feasible product to develop,” said Chellis.
“Winning the MYOB IT challenge has given us invaluable experience in product development, project coordination and pragmatic approaches to real and unspecific issues facing markets.”
“In the future, Team Rocket wants to continue working on projects and competitions together, so we can continue developing our skills in problem solving, project management and effective idea presentation.”
Want to find out more about this year’s MYOB IT Challenge and what you need to do to enter? Click here to get involved today.