The Mutt has a great understanding of the meaning of community. Each day we take a walk along Takapuna beach for morning tea. The highlight for the Mutt is the opportunity to sniff and snarl at every other dog. For me, the highlight is the opportunity to look wistfully at the lovely Czech waitresses at the Mecca café. At least I understand that I can look but I cannot touch; the Mutt, on the other hand, is capable of getting into all sorts of trouble — especially if he sees a cat. The less said about that the better. Community is one of the things we consider essential about CIO. As most of you will be aware, we have our regular CIO Leaders’ Lunches; we also have our annual conference. And now we’ve got the CIO website. If you haven’t had a chance to look at it, take a look now (CIO.co.nz) and you will see what I mean about community. This site has been a marathon effort for the IDG staff under online business manager Mark Evans and it represents a very capable base that we intend to build upon. At the heart of the site is the CIO Lounge, a place where you can see and touch — within limits, of course — others in your community. It’s under the guidance of a moderator — IDC’s Dinesh Kumar this month — and it’s a place you can go to discuss ideas with your peers. We welcome your input. Feel free to put any questions to Kumar — his business is analysing the New Zealand IT market.
Down on the waterfront, at the heart of the America’s Cup effort, you can find another great example of how community can affect business positively. In this case the benefits are going to the Louis Vuitton media centre and those associated with it. In particular, New Zealand’s own virtuoso multimedia software, Virtual Spectator, is benefiting from the many partnerships it has created with other businesses and vendors. Instead of being paranoic about getting too close to major vendors, Virtual Spectator’s Craig Meek is busy forming alliances that could transform the way the multimedia software could work. Meek sees particular opportunity with the likes of SAP, another sponsor. He envisages seeing Virtual Spectator being used to map activities such as supply chain movements, made all that easier with the product’s incredible graphics. Virtual Spectator has been through some rugged times and now seems to have a more focused future under venture capitalist Neville Jordon. We wish it well.
Down on the waterfront, CIOs have been having fun too. Thanks to Fuji Xerox’s generosity, we were able to organise two CIO lunches on the water. Pity about the wind on the first outing — it was too strong for the yachts. For us, though, it was perfect in every other way as we enjoyed shelter and lunch in the lee of the gulf islands.
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