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Movers and shakers: Ross Hughson, Tony Wickstead and Petrus van der Westhuizen

Movers and shakers: Ross Hughson, Tony Wickstead and Petrus van der Westhuizen

Plus: Six New Zealand smart city projects have been shortlisted in IDC’s 2016 Smart City Asia Pacific Awards

Ross Hughson
Ross Hughson


Ross Hughson, former CIO at Inland Revenue Department, is at the helm of a new startup that he says will help help NZ businesses that lose hundreds of millions simply because customer contact details go stale.

Hughson’s answer is to help people keep their contact details up to date effortlessly, without having even to remember where. His company’s new smartphone app, KeepMe ( available in Apple’s NZ App Store) promises to do just that, potentially helping businesses retain millions per year in revenue.

At the moment, he says, each corporate system treats itself as a hub. And the problem with that is the lost millions. “We the individuals don’t update everyone – we forget, we can’t be bothered, or it’s too hard. Contact with us stops, along with our money

Hughson’s app solves this by allowing an individual to connect businesses to their own personal information hub, and to share just the information relevant to that business. From then on, any change at the hub allows all connected businesses to update their own records, on the instant.

His advice for CIOs who wish to go the entrepreneurial route? “It is very important to focus on what the core value proposition for your service is and get that into market as quickly as possible,” he says. “Then use feedback directly from your first users to guide adding additional features and functionality”.

“Basically do not over engineer the product on day one but get it out to get validation from the market ASAP.”

Tony Wickstead is the new CIO at NZME. (New Zealand Media and Entertainment). The group owns radio, digital, e-commerce and print brands that include APN NZ, TRN and GrabOne.


Wickstead was most recently CEO of Creatoi Ltd, a start up technology business borne out of the eCentre at Massey University. His previous roles included iGeneral Manager Information Technology and Customer Solutions at Express Couriers; CEO at Tomizone and CIO at the Auckland International Airport.

He holds an MBA, and postgraduate diplomas in business marketing and operations from The University of Auckland.

Petrus van der Westhuizen joins e-Spatial from BAE Systems Applied Intelligence as a spatial consultant.

Petrus is a senior analytics professional and was previously based in London. He also worked as BI lead at Transport for London, and a GIS specialist for The Home Office, and London Borough of Tower Hamlets.

e-Spatial’s managing director Simon Jellie said, “Petrus’ experience in GIS, analytics, business intelligence and data consultancy will complement e-Spatial’s growing consultancy team and comes at a time when we have won significant new business.

NZ in the forefront of smart city projects

IDC NZ country manager Peter Wise is encouraging the New Zealand public to participate in the poll, which closes on 23 June.
IDC NZ country manager Peter Wise is encouraging the New Zealand public to participate in the poll, which closes on 23 June.

Six New Zealand smart city projects have been shortlisted in IDC’s 2016 Smart City Asia Pacific Awards (SCAPA).

Smart city projects can make huge differences to urban life. Whether its improving traffic congestion using data analytics, saving rates by collecting rubbish more efficiently, or improving public safety through smart CCTV solutions,” says IDC New Zealand country manager Peter Wise.

“The IDC Smart City Asia Pacific Awards are about acknowledging these sorts of initiatives and it’s wonderful to see that New Zealand projects have been shortlisted in six of the 14 categories, up against huge economies such as China,” says Wise.

On its 2nd year of conducting the development index and SCAPA, IDC is once again opening up its research for public voting. Wise is encouraging the New Zealand public to participate in the poll, which closes on 23 June. This year, 50 per cent of the criteria for judging for the winners will come from public votes while the other half will be based on internal assessment (25 per cent from the IDC Research Team and 25 per cent from the Advisory Council).

The New Zealand projects for consideration are:

Forward Works Spatial Coordination Project

Category - Public Works
(Christchurch City)

EMS (Energy Market Services) Load Forecast Service

Category - Smart Grid
(Various Cities)

Environment Canterbury Matrix of Good Management Farm Portal

Category - Land Use and Environmental Management
(Canterbury Region)

Wellington Smart Parking

Category - Permitting, Licensing, Inspection and Zoning
(Wellington City)

Auckland Transport CCTV Convergence Project

Category - Public Safety

(Auckland City)

South Island Patient Information Care System (SI PICS)

Category - Connected Health
(South Island)

The IDC Smart City Development Index is an evolving benchmarking framework that helps smart city planners analyze the current state of their Smart City initiatives. In doing so, these executives can chart future development plans, states Wise.

More ICT news:

Orion Health Group has announced its full year results for the year ended 31 March 2016, achieving revenue growth of 26 per cent to report operating revenue of $207 million. This is up from $164 million the previous year.

Ian McCrae - CEO, Orion Health
Ian McCrae - CEO, Orion Health

“We have launched our world-leading Amadeus precision medicine big data platform and we are now working to achieve profitable growth. We have recently made progress with several significant contracts including Cognizant recently securing its first sale under our partnership,” says Orion Health CEO Ian McCrae.

The best performing region was EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa), recording an increase of 59 per cent year-on-year to achieve operating revenue of $48 million, the company says in a statement. Growth in this region was driven by a number of agreements signed with new and existing customers – including Boots UK and the French Ministry of Health.

North America continues to be Orion Health’s largest region, with revenue of $125 million, an increase of 32 per cent on the previous year. Strong growth in Canada was driven by the deployment of the first electronic patient care plan in its largest region Ontario. In the US, performance was mixed, however the year ended with the signing of two substantial agreements – a contract with Horizon Healthcare Services, Inc, a large insurer based in New Jersey with over 3.8 million members and the partnership with leading healthcare software vendor Cognizant. Cognizant have just secured the first sale under this partnership to a healthcare insurer with over three million members.

One of America’s leading transportation policy experts, Gregg Dal Ponte, has joined the board of transport technology and services company EROAD. Dal Ponte is Oregon’s former Administrator of the State of Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT), Motor Carrier Transportation Division.

He has served in multiple executive leadership positions in the transportation industry. From 1996 until recently, he was administrator for ODOT’s Motor Carrier Transportation Division. Under his leadership, the Motor Carrier team has pioneered and implemented ideas that bring efficiencies to government and the trucking industry by simplifying compliance and regulatory requirements, while safeguarding the Oregon transportation infrastructure.

Geeks on Wheels has launched its mobile computer service in Dunedin. Matthew Carr-Gomm, CEO of Geeks on Wheels says, "The new service is a refreshing and much needed addition to the Dunedin consumer’s technology experience. With the region leading NZ’s ultra-fast broadband roll out, it is important that consumers have someone who can travel to them to answer computer questions, and ensure they are kept up to speed with the fast changing nature of technology".

"We are finding lots of people are upgrading to ultra-fast broadband but not necessarily making the most of the benefits it has to offer," says local technician Andrew Richardson.

Geeks on Wheels focuses on the home and small business market and trades six days a week. "It is the extended hours and our ability to travel to a customer’s home or business that set us apart," he says.

Read more: In brief: Massey University chooses Axios Systems to power service management beyond IT

Send news tips and comments to divina_paredes@idg.co.nz

Follow Divina Paredes on Twitter: @divinap

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