Movers and shakers: Nigel Prince, Candace Kinser, Murray Mitchell, Nick Hearn and Bruce Aylward

Movers and shakers: Nigel Prince, Candace Kinser, Murray Mitchell, Nick Hearn and Bruce Aylward

A roundup of the latest business technology executive appointments, plus lessons for start-ups eyeing the global market

Nigel Prince is now general manager for managed services at Fujitsu New Zealand. He was deputy director general corporate services for the Ministry for Primary Industries for more than four years.

The ministry was formed from the merger of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (of which he was the CIO) and the Ministry of Fisheries. He was responsible for finance, IT, HR and legal. Prince was also CIO of NZ Post in 2004 to 2006.

Tracy Voice, CIO, will take over Prince’s role in an acting capacity, and Bryce Johnson, manager service delivery, is acting CIO at the Ministry for Primary Industries.

Candace Kinser, CEO of The New Zealand Technology Industry Association, joins the panel of judges for the Talent Unleashed Awards 2014, which include Virgin founder Sir Richard Branson and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak.

Read more: This is ‘the business’. You’re standing in it!

We expect the ICT sector in New Zealand to be the biggest contributor to the country's GDP by 2020.

Candace Kinser, New Zealand Technology Industry Association

The awards aim to encourage technology professionals across the Asia-Pacific region to stand up and be recognised. “We expect the ICT sector in New Zealand to be the biggest contributor to the country's GDP by 2020,” says Kinser. “In New Zealand innovation is the priority. R&D spending is up 18.9 per cent over the past two years and New Zealand’s high-tech manufacturing companies are spending on average 8 per cent of revenues on R&D.”

Kinser has also joined the board of EROAD. She is the fourth independent director on the board, joining Ports of Auckland CEO Tony Gibson, managing director of Triple T Consulting Sean Keane, and chairman Michael Bushby. CEO Steven Newman is EROAD’s fifth director.

“I’m fascinated by ways in which geospatial technology can enable people in new ways,” says Kinser, who is a member of the Government Geospatial Executive Group.

Read more: More Than a quarter of government CIOs expect budget cuts this year: Gartner

Murray Mitchell, chief technical officer of NZ Police, has been seconded to the NZ Fire Service as acting director ICT until June. Former NZ Fire Service CIO Alma Hong has resigned after six and a half years in the role and is on a career sabbatical.

Read more: CIO100 2014: Who are New Zealand’s top ICT users?

Nick Hearn is leaving the sales and marketing director NZ role at SAS, and is joining Lab360 in July. Hearn has been with SAS for eight years.

“Data driven insight has grown rapidly in importance and relevance,” says Hearn of his move to Lab360, which provides data analytic services. “Lab360's focus is on using data and customer intelligence to deliver measurable results. Its unique value proposition is to merge organisations with insights gained from New Zealand’s largest source of consumer data – the Fly Buys database of LoyaltyNZ."

Read more: How ‘Shadow IT’ can encourage young women into tech careers

Jay Harraway is now the chief operating officer at Pure SEO, a commercial website for the search terms and search engine optimisation (SEO). She joins Pure SEO after a 15-year career in a raft of companies including Just Water New Zealand (where she was general manager), Bartercard New Zealand and Clearwater Filter Systems.

PSODA CEO shares lessons for Kiwi start-ups

Bruce Aylward, CEO and founder of PSODA, a Wellington-based provider of cloud portfolio, programme and project management (PPM), says the company grew 71 per cent in the last financial year.

Aylward, who founded the company in 2006, is also set to sign up PSODA’s first customers in Asia.

“Our revenue from overseas clients is now 40 per cent, but with these latest developments we’re hoping to increase this to 60 per cent in the next year,” he tells CIO New Zealand. “But you don’t get to experience such result without learning a few lessons along the way.”

Always follow up on leads – don’t let them lie around and get out of date

Bruce Aylward,PSODA

He lists three pieces of advice for other Kiwi firms looking to grow, especially offshore:

Be persistent

“A key to our success has been our persistence in pursuing overseas markets. It’s not something you can do in one go – you need to go back and try again until you make it.”

Leverage other people’s networks

“Working with New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) in Singapore, we were able to get introductions to good potentials customers. If we had gone in by ourselves, it would have taken us years to make those connections.”

Follow-up on leads

“Always follow up on leads – don’t let them lie around and get out of date.”

He highlights the importance of focusing on service. “We don’t prescribe how our products should fit into a customer’s organisation – instead we adapt our tools to suit their business.

“We also bring all the tools our customers need to do their jobs together in one place. They don’t have to go to four or five different locations to find the things they need to complete different tasks,” he says.

An area that should be given more focus is marketing and working with partners. Aylward says PSODA built a network of partners to take care of different geographical regions.

“Our partners manage sales, implementation, service and support in areas where do not have presence, which means we don’t need to open offices in each new market we want to enter. The only challenge has been to ensure our partners maintain the same level of service as we’ve been giving our customers.”

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