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Student: Alofi Black (Master of IT, QUT)

Data#3’s current CEED project will help their customers and vendors meet legislative requirements, through a new Product Lifecyle Management tool (PLCM). Data#3 provides market-leading technology solutions across a wide range of industries. With offices across Australia, the company is headquartered in Brisbane.

Student Alofi Black’s previous experience in the ICT industry has provided him with an abundance of experience and understanding of the market, to benefit the project.
CEED student Alofi Black 2013When Alofi Black was introduced to home computers in the 1980’s, he instantly discovered his life-long passion. It was this love of computers and technology that helped Alofi (now a Master of IT student at QUT) gain selection for the project by Data#3 in their pursuit of building a Product Life Cycle Management (PLCM) solution.

At the end of second year in his business computing degree at Auckland University of Technology, he began his first professional role. Back then, the newspaper industry (where he worked), was transitioning from mainframes to desktop computers. He decided to leave his studies and pursue a career in the emerging computer industry. Alofi moved to Brisbane and transitioned through management roles in the industry. It wasn’t until 2012 that he went back to university, as a mature age student, to begin a Master of IT at QUT.

Being a previous customer of Data#3, when he saw their ‘Product Life Cycle Management’ project advertised via CEED, he was keen to be selected and see how the company works from the inside. Alofi’s personal objectives for the project are to be able to make a difference and contribute his own business (and technical) knowledge and experience, to ensure successful outcomes for the project.

Alofi’s role in the Product Life Cycle Management project is largely research-based with aspects of business analysis. He is supporting the project team in developing a business case for a new PLCM product which will complement an existing Data#3 product. Alofi’s anticipated outcomes for the project are to: establish an understanding of the Product Stewardship legislation and its implications for Data#3 and its stakeholders; assess capabilities of Data#3’s National Logistics team to support an end-to- end product lifecycle solution; and finally, evaluate technologies, partners and PLCM solutions to facilitate the tracking of products as they move through their lifecycle.

In order to deliver on these objectives, Alofi’s key tasks will include; a review of the Product Stewardship legislation, a gap analysis identifying capabilities and resources required in managing the physical aspects of the PLCM, and a high level functional specification/business requirements document for a cloud-based product tracking solution.

Alofi is keen to participate in the development of a new product and enjoys the concept of promoting sustainable IT through the development of an end-to-end PLCM solution.

Since starting the project in February, Alofi has realised how much he missed elements of his previous working life, such as interacting with people in the business, and feeling like he’s making a difference in the company. He has found the key benefit of completing a CEED project is the real opportunity for him to apply current theory in a practical Australian business situation. He believes it is important for all students to understand and experience what it is like working in the ‘real world’. Alofi’s previous experience is also beneficial because he feels he has a better understanding of business processes and feels he is therefore able to contribute more to the company. Alofi’s work history has given him confidence in understanding team dynamics and bringing a different perspective to the table.

Although returning to full time study required some adjustments, the change has been refreshing for Alofi. He is thoroughly enjoying the learning experience of being back at University as well as completing his CEED project.

As a result of his return to study, Alofi has now discovered a new interest in academic research. He is now considering the possibility of a PHD in the area of Bioinformatics.

Even though Alofi already had goals in mind when choosing a project, he believes the CEED Program is an important vehicle for introducing students to their chosen industry. Alofi says that “the CEED Program provides a framework for students to apply their theoretical skills in a real-world situation, which can provide tremendous benefits for the companies on board”.

Alofi’s project with Data#3 is on track to completion in mid-June, and he is scheduled to graduate with his Master of IT at the end of the year.

Written by Heylee Menzies (CEED Marketing Assistant - January to June 2013)

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