Tag Archives: Google in Asia

AGDATA Australia: from family farm to global partners

Editor’s note: As part of our series of interviews with entrepreneurs across Asia Pacific who use the internet to grow, we chatted with Glenn Skerman, who, together with his brother Brendan, are directors of AGDATA Australia, a farming accounting software company. Founded in 1984, their working family farm has grown into a software business that employs 18 team members with over 10,000 customers. AGDATA products are used by farmers all around the world, from the Falkland Islands to Papua New Guinea.

Keyword: Can you tell us a bit about yourselves, what inspired you to become entrepreneurs and create this platform for farmers? 

Glenn Skerman: Actually, our father founded the business back in the 1980s. Originally, he was only trying to solve a problem for himself on the family cattle and grain farm. He was tired of trying to make existing accounting products meet our farm business management needs. Once word got out, others wanted what he had created. And so we formed AGDATA Australia. Business is thriving—we have more than  22,000 active software licenses. We offer solutions that allow farmers to organise their data on crops, livestock and land.

Our Phoenix software integrates farm production and financial data to provide farmers with a cost-effective solution that was previously only available to larger manufacturing industries. This levels the playing field a bit more for small and medium businesses.

We’re very proud that we’re still a family-owned business. 


Glenn and Brendan Skerman
Glenn Skerman on the left with his brother Brendan on the right at AGDATA’s office.

What difference has the internet made for your business?

It has completely changed the way we do business.

 We continue to manage our product development, helpdesk support and administration functions locally, providing jobs for the local economy. Thanks to the internet, we can share data that our customers would otherwise be unable to access. For example, we’re able to share government spatial data directly with users. This provides them information to help them make farm planning decisions.

 We’ve got greater access to customers all over the world thanks to Google. Our customers once had to learn about our products in person. Now, they can access our products anywhere by jumping onto Google Search, or finding out more about us on YouTube. They can also try our products immediately online, and communicate directly with us.

The internet has also allowed us to become more environmentally-friendly. We used to deliver our software on physical disks. Now our customers can access our software online. People used to write cheques as a payment solution; now they’re paying online. We use a lot less paper products and packaging today. We now also deliver online training to our customers around the country.  This is more efficient for both the customers and AGDATA.

Can you tell us how AGDATA has helped your customers?

Customers benefit from our software in many ways. One said that by using our software, she was able to better monitor her business finances, saving over A$16,000 in interest payments on her loans. Another customer saved over A$30,000 in equipment and labour costs by planning out the irrigation and piping on her farm by overlaying Google Maps using the 3D capability in our Phoenix Mapping software. 

We’re also proud to help the community. We have an active “Community Involvement Program” and provide software to not-for-profit groups in Regional Australia, which includes all the areas that lie beyond major cities. Last year we were recognised at one of the Regional Australia Institute and Google’s regional online heroes.

 

What’s next for your business?

We see greater use of the Internet of Things, and building on the connectivity of devices to the primary database we have. Ultimately, we want to provide a single database for the farmer to manage their farming enterprise more effectively.


Be inspired by the 2017 Google Business Group storytelling contest winners

What do Indonesia, Nepal, and the Philippines have in common? They’re home to the four winners of Google Business Group’s 2017 “Story Search” contest. Every year, as a part of our effort to spotlight entrepreneurs who’ve taken their businesses online, we invite thousands of our global Google Business Groups (GBG) members to participate in a storytelling competition and share how the Internet and technology empower them to do extraordinary things.

This year’s winners were selected from nine global finalists. We’re especially thrilled to see a common theme uniting each of these businesses: a socially-conscious mission. The winners inspire us all with how they run their businesses for the benefit of others.


These four businesses stood out among submissions we received from GBG members and independent entrepreneurs across 17 countries.  All four will have the opportunity to  travel to our headquarters in Mountain View, California for Google I/O in 2018 where they’ll get to meet tech thinkers, innovators, and business leaders. They’ll also be spotlighted in videos that document their stories, so stay tuned for those in an upcoming blog post.

Fadli Wilihandarwo

Fadli Wilihandarwo giving a lightning talk at the GBG Summit in Singapore


Previous winners have gone on to become impactful leaders. Fadli Wilihandarwo is the founder of Pasienia and was one of last year’s finalists. Today he is a GBG Manager for Jogjakarta, Indonesia and did a lightning talk about his chapter at the first-ever GBG Global Summit in Singapore this past September.

Glorypearl Dy

Glorypearl shared insights about her journey as an entrepreneur with fellow GBGers, like Věrka Koukalová, GBG manager in Prague.

Glorypearl Dy was a finalist in 2014 and the founder of Switotwins. She’s now a GBG Manager in Davao, Philippines. I’m proud they are both sharing their knowledge with others and empowering the next generation of business owners. We hope you feel as inspired as we are by this year’s winners and all of the GBG leaders globally.

GBG at Marina Bay
We recently hosted our first-ever worldwide GBG summit in Singapore. The summit included over 95 GBG members, representing 65 chapters from 27 countries around the world. Here, GBGers are taking a break from the conference to explore Singapore's iconic sites.

Meet Singapore’s next makers

What happens when you invite kids to tinker and dabble with 3D pens, 3D printers and lots of colorful electrical components? They go on to make some pretty amazing things!

Welcome to the Maker Space
Step inside our Maker Space at Google’s Singapore office! Our creative technologists have created an indoor playground for Googlers and collaborators to pursue ideas and build quick prototypes to explore and bring their ideas to life.

We recently opened our Maker Space to a group of kids that are part of Code in the Community—a program that encourages a wider diversity of Singaporean kids to get excited about coding and technology. We wanted them to experience Google’s maker culture and learn the basics of creative and design-thinking. The idea was to combine their coding skills with their imaginations to build prototypes that might actually help solve everyday problems.

Dheena Leonara

15-year-old Dheena Leonara built a 3D structure of the human heart using styrofoam and soft materials to encase a Micro:bit, which  lights up to point to different parts of the heart. Code in the Community has opened Dheena’s eyes to how useful coding can be, and how it powers a lot of the world’s most important technologies. So these were her first steps toward her dream of becoming a biomedical engineer, applying code to make and program artificial organs.

Muhammad Taqiuddin Bin Mohd Firdaus

10-year-old Muhammad Taqiuddin Bin Mohd Firdaus wants to build a time-travel machine one day. For now, he made a light-up teddy bear using a 3D pen, some cardboard, LED lamps, batteries and a Micro:bit. If he had more time, he would have added an alarm clock to it. His big idea was to make waking up in the morning a lot more fun.

“Making” isn’t just for kids. Our engineers here at Google are also encouraged to spend time in these Maker Spaces, being hands-on and trying out different ideas. Prototyping is an important part of working on products that billions of people around the world use.


It’s been nearly a year since Code in the Community started, and we’re really excited to have had 500 kids take part in these weekend coding classes in community centers across the island. It’s humbling to see how far kids like Dheena and Muhammad have come, and we can’t wait to see what Singapore’s next generation of makers build next!

Google signs agreement with HTC, continuing our big bet on hardware

About a year and a half ago, I joined Google to pursue my dream job to create compelling hardware products, built with Google’s smarts at their core. As a first step, we brought together various consumer hardware-related efforts and established a single hardware organization within the company. Our team’s goal is to offer the best Google experience—across hardware, software and services—to people around the world. Last fall, we introduced our first family of Made by Google products, including Pixel smartphones, Google Home, Google Wifi, Daydream View and Chromecast Ultra, and we’re preparing to unveil our second generation of products on October 4. We’re excited about the 2017 lineup, but even more inspired by what’s in store over the next five, 10, even 20 years. Creating beautiful products that people rely on every single day is a journey, and we are investing for the long run.

That’s why we’ve signed an agreement with HTC, a leader in consumer electronics, that will fuel even more product innovation in the years ahead. With this agreement, a team of HTC talent will join Google as part of the hardware organization. These future fellow Googlers are amazing folks we’ve already been working with closely on the Pixel smartphone line, and we're excited to see what we can do together as one team. The deal also includes a non-exclusive license for HTC intellectual property.

In many ways, this agreement is a testament to the decade-long history of teamwork between HTC and  Google. Together, we’ve achieved several mobile-industry firsts, including the first ever Android smartphone, the HTC Dream, also known as the T-Mobile G1 (I loved mine!); as well as the Nexus One in 2010, the Nexus 9 tablet in 2014, and the first Pixel smartphone just last year.

It’s still early days for Google’s hardware business. We’re focused on building our core capabilities, while creating a portfolio of products that offers people a unique yet delightful experience only made possible by bringing together the best of Google software—like the Google Assistant—with thoughtfully designed hardware. HTC has been a longtime partner and has created some of the most beautiful, high-end devices on the market. We can't wait to welcome members of the HTC team to join us on this journey.

Introducing Tez—a mobile payments and commerce app from Google, made for India first

With more than 300 million smartphone users  and rapidly improving connectivity in India, the internet is becoming a daily part of life for many Indians. That includes messaging friends and family, searching the web for information, reading news, watching music videos, or playing games. But when it comes to paying for things—vegetables, bus fares, splitting the bill at dinner or paying on delivery for something purchased online—those smartphones often go unused. Out instead comes… wads of paper. Indians love cash.

To make digital payments truly work for India, we wanted to build a product that can compete with cash. It needs to be simple, affordable, and work everywhere and for everyone.  So today in India we’re introducing a new mobile app from Google, Tez—a simple and secure way to pay for things, big and small, online and offline. Tez is a payments and commerce app built for India first on top of the country’s Unified Payments Interface (UPI) standard.

Here are a few of the features you'll get with Tez

  • Direct, bank-to-bank payments: Tez uses UPI for instant and secure payments, directly to and from bank accounts.

  • “Cash Mode” for nearby transactions: Pay nearby without sharing your private details like bank account or phone number.

  • Tez Shield: Backed by Google’s expertise in data security, Tez works 24/7 to help detect fraud, prevent hacking, and to verify and protect the identity of every user.

  • Tez for Business: Tez for Business is a program for large and small enterprises to connect with consumers inside the Tez app to make payments, share redeemable offers, products and updates.

Introducing Tez. Created by Google, made for India first.

For more detail on Tez and its features, take a look at our India blog post.

We’re just getting started. This is the first step on the long and important journey towards enabling a cashless India—a crucial component of a Digital India.

Introducing Tez—a mobile payments and commerce app from Google, made for India first

With more than 300 million smartphone users  and rapidly improving connectivity in India, the internet is becoming a daily part of life for many Indians. That includes messaging friends and family, searching the web for information, reading news, watching music videos, or playing games. But when it comes to paying for things—vegetables, bus fares, splitting the bill at dinner or paying on delivery for something purchased online—those smartphones often go unused. Out instead comes… wads of paper. Indians love cash.

To make digital payments truly work for India, we wanted to build a product that can compete with cash. It needs to be simple, affordable, and work everywhere and for everyone.  So today in India we’re introducing a new mobile app from Google, Tez—a simple and secure way to pay for things, big and small, online and offline. Tez is a payments and commerce app built for India first on top of the country’s Unified Payments Interface (UPI) standard.

Here are a few of the features you'll get with Tez

  • Direct, bank-to-bank payments: Tez uses UPI for instant and secure payments, directly to and from bank accounts.

  • “Cash Mode” for nearby transactions: Pay nearby without sharing your private details like bank account or phone number.

  • Tez Shield: Backed by Google’s expertise in data security, Tez works 24/7 to help detect fraud, prevent hacking, and to verify and protect the identity of every user.

  • Tez for Business: Tez for Business is a program for large and small enterprises to connect with consumers inside the Tez app to make payments, share redeemable offers, products and updates.

Introducing Tez. Created by Google, made for India first.

For more detail on Tez and its features, take a look at our India blog post.

We’re just getting started. This is the first step on the long and important journey towards enabling a cashless India—a crucial component of a Digital India.

Take your startup on exchange to Campus Seoul

Editor’s note: Campus Exchange is a startup exchange program hosted by Google for Entrepreneurs. This fall, Campus Seoul looks forward to welcoming the first-ever Asia-Pacific cohort for Campus Exchange: APAC Commerce from November 6-10, 2017. Startups in e-commerce and retail from across Asia-Pacific are encouraged to apply here by September 24, 2017.

As one of the world’s top trading countries, Korea can certainly teach entrepreneurs around the region valuable lessons in e-commerce and retail. Here at Campus Seoul, we’ve crafted the perfect Campus Exchange program for startups to do just that.

If you’re an Asia-based e-commerce or retail startup, we invite you to join the  first-ever Campus Exchange: APAC Commerce in Seoul from November 6-10, 2017. The program will give founders and startup leaders the opportunity to grow their business through targeted mentoring, connections and exposure to leaders and successful businesses in the Korean retail industry. Eligible startups can apply here by 23:59 (Korea time) on September 24, 2017.

Campus Exchange: Commerce

This week-long immersion will bring together eight to 10 of the region’s best startups in the e-commerce and retail industry at Campus Seoul, Google's space for startups in Korea. As a participant in Campus Exchange: APAC Commerce, you’ll have individually-tailored networking opportunities, workshops on performance marketing, meetings with major commerce players in Korea and 1:1 mentoring sessions with Google experts and venture capitalists.

Past participants in Campus Exchange have expanded their network, increased revenue, gained new clients and grown their business in new markets. Pedro Matsumura Kayatt, co-founder of VRMonkey—a virtual reality start-up based in Brazil—said his business grew tremendously after he had the chance to learn alongside other startup founders from around the world.

Our company has definitely become much more mature. Pedro Matsumura Kayatt
Co-founder, VRMonkey

If you’re a founder who wants to join a global Campus community and grow your e-commerce or retail business with new insights from Korea, we encourage you to apply here. Come join our global Campus community — 화이팅! You can do it!  We hope to see you soon in Seoul!

Take your startup on exchange to Campus Seoul

Editor’s note: Campus Exchange is a startup exchange program hosted by Google for Entrepreneurs. This fall, Campus Seoul looks forward to welcoming the first-ever Asia-Pacific cohort for Campus Exchange: APAC Commerce from November 6-10, 2017. Startups in e-commerce and retail from across Asia-Pacific are encouraged to apply here by September 24, 2017.

As one of the world’s top trading countries, Korea can certainly teach entrepreneurs around the region valuable lessons in e-commerce and retail. Here at Campus Seoul, we’ve crafted the perfect Campus Exchange program for startups to do just that.

If you’re an Asia-based e-commerce or retail startup, we invite you to join the  first-ever Campus Exchange: APAC Commerce in Seoul from November 6-10, 2017. The program will give founders and startup leaders the opportunity to grow their business through targeted mentoring, connections and exposure to leaders and successful businesses in the Korean retail industry. Eligible startups can apply here by 23:59 (Korea time) on September 24, 2017.

Campus Exchange: Commerce

This week-long immersion will bring together eight to 10 of the region’s best startups in the e-commerce and retail industry at Campus Seoul, Google's space for startups in Korea. As a participant in Campus Exchange: APAC Commerce, you’ll have individually-tailored networking opportunities, workshops on performance marketing, meetings with major commerce players in Korea and 1:1 mentoring sessions with Google experts and venture capitalists.

Past participants in Campus Exchange have expanded their network, increased revenue, gained new clients and grown their business in new markets. Pedro Matsumura Kayatt, co-founder of VRMonkey—a virtual reality start-up based in Brazil—said his business grew tremendously after he had the chance to learn alongside other startup founders from around the world.

Our company has definitely become much more mature. Pedro Matsumura Kayatt Co-founder, VRMonkey

If you’re a founder who wants to join a global Campus community and grow your e-commerce or retail business with new insights from Korea, we encourage you to apply here. Come join our global Campus community — 화이팅! You can do it!  We hope to see you soon in Seoul!

Supporting flood relief efforts in South Asia

This summer, millions of people have been affected by severe flooding and landslides across Bangladesh, India, and Nepal. At least 1,200 people are known to have died, and tens of thousands of houses, schools, and hospitals have been destroyed, leaving people in urgent need of support during and after flood waters recede.

Today, we are committing $1 million from Google.org and Google employees to Goonj and Save the Children for their relief efforts in India and across South Asia.

Support for Save the Children and Goonj

Save the Children (SC) is responding to the floods in all three countries, with the aim of reaching a total of 160,000 people. Their efforts include providing food and livelihood support, temporary shelter materials for those most in need, hygiene items, and water source restoration. Children are often the most vulnerable in crises like these, and SC is also focused on setting up child-friendly spaces where children can gain access to educational materials and playtime, in a safe space away from the devastation.

Local NGO, Goonj, aims to reach 75,000 families across 9 affected states throughout rural India. Their relief efforts include providing families with basic needs kits that include food, mats, blankets, and hygiene items. In the long term, they aim to help rebuild and revive community structures like roads, bridges, and schools.

Save the Children - India Floods

SOS Alerts for South Asia Floods

Google’s Crisis Response team activated SOS Alerts for the flooding in India, Bangladesh, and Nepal. These alerts include the latest news about the floods, an approximate map of the affected area, and local updates from Twitter and other resources.

These alerts are available on Search and Google Maps on mobile and desktop. The Crisis Response team will continue to monitor the floods throughout South Asia and provide additional information and alerts as the situation demands.

SOS Alerts - South Asia Flooding

Our thoughts are with the people of the region.

11 announcements from Google for Indonesia

We had a big day today in Jakarta, where we hosted the second annual Google for Indonesia event. From Google Station to YouTube Go, here’s a quick recap of the things we announced to make the internet more useful and relevant for Indonesians. 

Product features

YouTube Go in Indonesia
YouTube Go lets you preview videos and choose their file size before saving it offline to watch later


1. Google Station: To help improve access to the internet, we’re bringing Google Station to Indonesia in partnership with FiberStar and CBN. Our partners will roll out fast and reliable Wi-Fi hotspots at hundreds of venues across Java and Bali over the next year.

2. YouTube Go: YouTube’s new mobile app YouTube Go is coming to Indonesia soon. It will help Indonesian YouTube fans save and watch videos smoothly in poor connectivity. It’ll also give them transparency and control over how much data they consume on videos by letting them preview videos first and choose the video’s file size before saving it offline to watch later.

Google Assistant in Bahasa Indonesia
Google Assistant in Bahasa Indonesia

3. Google Assistant in Bahasa Indonesia: Starting today, you can chat with and get answers from the Google Assistant in Bahasa Indonesia in the Allo messaging app. The Google Assistant is Google’s smart virtual assistant, powered by machine learning, that lets you have a conversation with Google to get things done. Allo is available on Google Play and Apple’s App Store.

4. Shortcuts in Search: We’ll soon be adding tappable shortcuts to the Google Search mobile app to help Indonesians more easily explore popular topics like food and drinks, movie showtimes and directions home.  

5. Health Answers: Indonesia is one of the first countries where we’ll launch locally-tailored  answers to questions about health on Google Search later this year. We’re partnering with Mitra Keluarga hospitals to detail common symptoms and treatments for Indonesia’s  700 most prevalent health conditions––all in Bahasa.

Waze licence plate
Waze has a new routing feature to make it easy to follow the odd-even policy


6. Waze updates: Waze is introducing a new routing feature based on the last number of  license plates that will help Jakarta drivers easily follow the regulations of the odd-even policy that reduces traffic congestion. Waze also will add hands-free Bahasa voice commands and Bahasa navigation with street names, as well as Indonesian voices suite so Indonesians can record their own voice on Waze, and use it as their navigation voice on the road.


Digital training and empowerment programs

7. 25,000 developers trained: We’ve now trained 25,000 app developers through online courses and Indonesia Android Kejar workshops in six cities—putting us on track to train 100,000 Android developers by 2020. We’ve also trained more than one hundred faculty at 80 universities, who plan to implement the Android Developer Fundamentals course over the next year, reaching as many as 10,000 students.

8. Primer: We’re working with entrepreneurs in a few ways. We’re launching Primer, a free app to help any Indonesian entrepreneur start, build and grow their business. 24 lessons are available now in Bahasa Indonesia on topics like how to create a business and sell products or services online, as well as the power of digital marketing. More lessons will be added over time and the app can be used offline.

9. Gapura Digital: Google’s program for bringing more small businesses online, Gapura Digital, has already seen more than 4,500 people sign up for classes in the first three months in seven cities.

10. Womenwill: Google’s program for empowering women entrepreneurs, has brought together over 7,000 women across five cities—Jakarta, Bandung, Surabaya, Semarang and Denpasar and will go to Makassar soon. 

11. Google.org grant to ICT Watch: Google.org, our philanthropic arm, is supporting Smart Schools Online, an initiative run by ICT Watch to train 35,000 students, teachers and parents on digital literacy and online safety. ICT Watch is a non-profit organization promoting human rights and freedom of expression through the Internet. They will work together with nonprofit partners ECPAT and Sejiwa Foundation to execute this project.