Fresh leadership spearheads mining’s digital transformation

MICROMINE chief executive Andrew Birch (left) with company chairman Tim Reed.

MICROMINE chief executive officer Andrew Birch has exhibited the legacy and impact that one person is capable of creating in a year. Australian Mining tells his story.

September marks the first anniversary of Andrew Birch’s appointment to MICROMINE’s executive leadership team as chief executive officer.

A technology expert with 25 years’ experience, Birch has a great vision for the global mining software developer.

Cloud-based mining and geology software systems, machine learning and a strong emphasis on underlying cyber security are three key opportunities that Birch plans to develop at MICROMINE.

With a strong line-up of products covering the mining sector’s entire value chain, MICROMINE is well-placed to take advantage of the digital transformation that is unfolding in the industry.

“Data is becoming more and more important to our clients,” Birch tells Australian Mining.

“MICROMINE has a big functional footprint, servicing 90 countries and more than 2000 sites, even in remote locations, something that we can build on and continue to develop.”

Birch, former chief operating officer of MYOB, observed tremendous success with the accounting software giant’s cloud solutions in Australia and internationally.

The mining sector can expect to receive similar capability during Birch’s leadership at MICROMINE.

“There are a lot of external success factors in the mining sector, and technology is one of them,” Birch says.

“If we can adopt some of these established technologies and ways of doing business and make mining even more successful, that’d be really great for MICROMINE.

“And, as we continue to roll out our products across the whole value chain, we can start introducing a digital platform where we can put some of its functionality in the cloud. In fact, we’re well down this track already at MICROMINE.”

Under Birch’s leadership, MICROMINE has introduced a software subscription bundle as a value proposition for its clients.

Its success is backed by two main features: it requires a lower upfront investment and users get to enjoy the latest version of MICROMINE software at all times.

“As we release more and more software upgrades, clients get the value straight away. As we invest more and more in our products and the business, everyone gets up to speed,” Birch says.

The subscription bundle is hugely popular in Australia and its uptake across all of MICROMINE’s operating regions has been excellent.

Although new to the mining industry, Birch says the principle of technology providers to service their clients and make sure they get the most out of company offerings is similar.

He believes the mining sector is interested in evolving technology and digital transformation.

“Some companies are early adopters, others are slower for various reasons,” Birch says.

“I would say there’s a good demand and interest. It’s only a matter of innovating and accelerating the process of releasing new technologies and software for them.

“When we talk about technologies and platforms and how to best service our clients, there are lots of similarities in that you want to make sure they get the most out of your technologies and applications, and picking what’s most important to them and then expanding on those.”

MICROMINE has established a foothold in more than 90 countries on six continents, including Australia, Europe, North America, Asia, South America and Africa.

The company has accelerated software release cycles across its product range, making the subscription proposition a logical step for the company.

MICROMINE’s global reach is also what attracted Birch to join the company a year ago.

It offered a good opportunity to be involved in something that is “big, important and global”, and reflects the reach of the mining sector in general.

“The mining industry is very global and a very important sector for the economic prosperity of many countries. And the role of technology that MICROMINE can play in that sector is huge,” Birch says.

“Therefore, MICROMINE is very well-placed. It’s already a global business and it could be a really good vehicle to delivering greater impact to the mining sector.

“What’s more, MICROMINE is a great Australian-originated company where there is extensive history in mining and geology. It’s nice to see an Australian company doing well in that global scene.”

The collaboration between MICROMINE’s regional offices continues to deliver benefits. The company has a key focus on collaboration despite great geographical distances.

Each region has its own unique drivers derived from its local markets, and this develops a distinct product roadmap that caters to each area and user experience.

“I’m very optimistic about the future, in the growth of our regional offices and in our ability to deliver greater functionality across MICROMINE’s product range globally,” Birch concludes.

This article also appears in the September edition of Australian Mining.

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