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Our Q&A with Luc Betbeder-Matibet

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We spoke with university IT services director, Luc Betbeder-Matibet about his experience of Optus Vision 2013, and what he sees as the key issues facing technology managers in the government sector in Australia. Betbeder-Matibet believes that government needs to adapt quickly to changes in technology services to remain innovative.


This is another edition in the series of Q&A sessions with business leaders and experts. If you'd like to be involved in a Q&A session with Optus Business, get in touch with us at @optusbusiness on twitter or email us at


OB: First of all, tell us about yourself and your company and tell us why you decided to come along to Optus Vision.


LB-M: I'm a long-time IT guy at the University of New South Wales. My role is Director of Faculty IT and I try to make the Uni a great place to carry out world-class teaching and research.


I first got online with BBS's in the late 80's and then jumped on the web with an Apple IIci in '93. Since then I have spent a small fortune on mobile computing tech including the Apple Newton, Palm III, PocketPC's, Nokia 9000, Blackberries and iDevices. I also take lots of photos and have started to play with film again.


I came to Optus Vision to spend some time thinking about how mobile and connected our students and staff have become; how this is changing our services and where some new opportunities may develop.


OB: What do you see as the key issues that need addressing for the future of Australian business?


LB-M: In many areas of digital business the world is now flat. I am stealing the term from Thomas Friedman but I am just applying it here to how much opportunity there is for Australia in a digital present. A small Australian business really can go global and compete internationally. With regards to the future, and working where I do, I feel that continued investments in the Education sector and funding advanced research can provide Australia with both the digital natives and the digital tools that are needed. That and high speed internet access are key enablers.


OB: What business services do you feel need greater innovation?


LB-M: Government is not exactly a business service but it is typically a slow adopter. So both in legislation keeping paces with changes in technology and also with Government services taking advantage of the new tools that are available. Also, digital Media distribution is painful across markets and ripe for innovation and disruption. And lastly, global roaming. So basically, I want to be able download the latest movie wherever I am in the world at a reasonable data rate and price.


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OB: How do you think innovation should be fostered in Australian business?


LB-M: Heavily, often, with big budgets and linked with the best research Universities. Of course.


OB: If you had to name one piece of technology that you think could transform business, what would it be and why?


LB-M: Wearable computing is going to make mobile more mobile. Cloud will make services more serviceable. Compute keeps getting cheaper and faster. So what I want now are better batteries or fuel cells so I can keep my connected tech online all day. It's all about me.


OB: Finally, who would you love to hear from at next year's Optus Vision and why?


LB-M: People like Vint Cerf, Bob Kahn, Tim Berners-Lee, Ray Tomlinson, Leonard Kleinrock or any guys that made contributions to the early years of the internet. Anyone interesting from CERN or big science projects. Anyone from the old NASA or from the new space companies. Satellite and GPS pioneers or current boffins. Dr Alice Gorman (space archaeologist). Big data analytics folks or the new election "quants" like Nate Silver.


We'd like to thank Luc Betbeder-Matibet for his time speaking with us. If you'd like to know more about Luc's work, visit his Linkedin profile, or follow him on twitter at @Luc_betbeder . You can also visit the UNSW Faculty IT Services site at