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Movers and shakers: Duanne O'Brien is now country manager at Fulcrum

Movers and shakers: Duanne O'Brien is now country manager at Fulcrum

Plus: Dr Claire Barber and Rhonda Koroheke of Spark, Flynn van Os of University of Auckland and Craig Young of TUANZ.

Duanne O’Brien has moved from chief technology officer at Loyalty New Zealand, to country manager at data company Fulcrum.

He reports to Fulcrum CEO Simon Pomeroy, former chief digital officer at Westpac.

As country manager, O’Brien says he leads the local delivery, operations and business development aspects of the business while also contributing to the Fulcrum group leadership function based at their headquarters in Sydney.

On the back of continual customer growth, the local team has recently grown from 15 to 22 full-time members, he states.

“My recent role as CTO for Loyalty New Zealand has helped significantly in being on the client side of customer experience enablement and how challenging that can be to get real traction at a large scale customer and data centric business,” he tells CIO New Zealand. “I’ve been on that side of the fence and my team now helps solve those challenges.”

His advice for CTOs and CIOs aspiring to GM roles? “Prepare early; start thinking and acting strategically about the business you represent...developing in preparation for when that bigger role comes along.”

Julian Lambert of Potentia and Flynn van Os of the University of Auckland
Julian Lambert of Potentia and Flynn van Os of the University of Auckland

Flynn van Os of the University of Auckland is awarded the Potentia Undergraduate Scholarship for 2017.

Now in its fourth year, the scholarship provides $5,000 assistance to a Bachelor of Science student who has shown an interest in software development. It is open to all students studying Stage III courses in computer science at the University of Auckland.

“Following a robust process the interview panel selected Flynn, who presented an articulate case demonstrating his passion for the opportunity,” says says Julian Lambert, acting managing director at the innovation, digital and technology  recruiter. “Apart from his academic excellence, Flynn has been involved in a plethora of extracurricular activities that presented an extremely well-rounded individual.”

Flynn joins previous recipients Tom Sammons (2014), Xindi Zhang (2015) and Ena Sun (2016).

Spark’s chief digital officer Claire Barber, Rainbow Tick’s Michael Stevens and Spark head of diversity and inclusion Rhonda Koroheke
Spark’s chief digital officer Claire Barber, Rainbow Tick’s Michael Stevens and Spark head of diversity and inclusion Rhonda Koroheke

Spark is the first New Zealand’s first telecommunications company to achieve Rainbow Tick certification.

 The Rainbow Tick demonstrates that a business is an inclusive organisation for people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, takatāpui and intersex (LGBTI).

We’ve achieved the Rainbow Tick accreditation in only nine months, demonstrating that inclusion is a key part of our daily culture

Rhonda Koroheke, Spark

“We’ve made huge strides with our diversity programme in the last year and achieved the Rainbow Tick accreditation in only nine months, demonstrating that inclusion is a key part of our daily culture,” says Rhonda Koroheke, head of diversity and inclusion at Spark. “Having the Tick shows that Spark is a culturally innovative company where everyone can feel confident being themselves at work.”

 With over 62 nationalities amongst staff, the company supports a variety of staff-led initiatives that represent different cultures, religions and preferences of the whole team.  Internal celebrations around the country include Diwali, Eid, Matariki, Chinese New Year, Pride and many others.

 Rainbow Tick programme director Michael Stevens says he’s delighted to announce that Spark will become its 28th member and the first telecommunications provider.

“The importance of Spark taking part in the Pride Parade and the positive impact this had was mentioned numerous times by several of the staff we interviewed and demonstrated a clear level of senior level engagement.  Our evaluation found that Spark was very focused on culture and guiding staff as to what is and isn’t acceptable in all their daily interactions,” says Stevens.

Spark’s chief digital officer Claire Barber, Rainbow Tick’s Michael Stevens and Spark managing director Simon Moutter
Spark’s chief digital officer Claire Barber, Rainbow Tick’s Michael Stevens and Spark managing director Simon Moutter

Spark says its diversity strategy extends beyond Rainbow Tick, including being a founding partner of Global Woman as well as Champions for Change, an organisation focused on driving a new range of diverse leaders across New Zealand business. Spark managing director Simon Moutter and chairman Mark Verbiest have taken lead roles in Champions for Change programmes to raise the value of diversity and inclusiveness in the business community.

Craig Young, TUANZ CEO
Craig Young, TUANZ CEO

TUANZ CEO Craig Young says the organisation welcomes the recent letter sent from the Minister for Communications to the Telecommunications Commissioner in which he expresses his interest in the Commission undertaking a review of the mobile telecommunications market.

“We have previously stated in our Telco Act Review submissions our desire to see an independant review of the mobile market in New Zealand in our Telco Act review submissions so are supportive of this move,” says Young, CEO of TUANZ.  “We have also written to the Telecommunications Commissioner reiterating this point.”

In the letter, TUANZ asks the Commission to undertake a wide ranging review to ensure that the market is delivering the best outcome for end users.  

“We also recognise that the market continues to develop with a number of positive steps occurring and expect a review to point these out as well.  Our aim is to have a holistic picture of how the market is operating and whether there are any changes needed to ensure continued innovation and positive competitive outcomes for users.

"Sharing less is best...Think twice before entering any type of personal information – from passwords, to financial details and photos – over public wi-fi networks.

Mark Gorrie of Symantec warns New Zealanders of placing their information at risk when they use public wi-fi.

“There is a deep divide between what New Zealanders think is safe when it comes to using public wi-fi versus the reality,” says Gorrie, who is territory manager, consumer business unit at Symantec. “What someone thinks is private on their personal device can easily be accessed by cybercriminals through unsecure wi-fi Networks or even apps with privacy vulnerabilities.”

“In the case of using public wi-fi for more private matters, joining an unsecure network could reveal more about a person’s personal information (or habits) than they bargained for,” says Gorrie.

Gorrie  says Symantec’s 2017 Norton Wi-Fi Risk Report released last week found 84 per cent of Kiwis have acted in a risky manner online, like checking their bank accounts, while using public wi-fi. Yet, he states, per cent of Kiwis reported they would feel horrified if their financial details were stolen and published online by hackers

"Sharing less is best," he states. “Think twice before entering any type of personal information – from passwords, to financial details and photos – over public wi-fi networks."

 “Even if you’re not actively sharing the information, your device may be doing so for you. Many devices are programmed to automatically seek connections to other devices on the same network, which could cause your files to be vulnerable. Be sure to disable sharing on your devices to ensure what’s yours stays yours.”

Hundreds of New Zealanders will find out what it’s like to live with a hearing loss when they take up the Silent Leadership Challenge on Friday, August 4.

The annual challenge, run by The National Foundation for the Deaf on the first Friday of every August, sees participants wear hearing protectors while they undertake four separate tasks, and raises funds for the Foundation’s work.

The challenge, now in its fifth year, involves participants wearing bright yellow hearing protectors during four 10-minute challenges - a group meeting, a one-to-one meeting, a social gathering in somewhere like a coffee bar, and watching television with no subtitles.

The Foundation’s challenge project co-ordinator Lisa Talbot says teams that have signed up include the Army health and safety officers, a major meat processing company, electrical and safety equipment companies, public relations and human resources organisations, audiologists, hearing sector organisations, mayors, councillors and MPs.

The Foundation’s landmark Listen Hear! New Zealand report released in February showed 880,000 New Zealanders had some form of hearing loss, which in 2016 cost the Government nearly $1 billion in services and lost revenue, and cost New Zealand $4.9 billion in total.

Ben Colgate
Ben Colgate

Online payroll provider Simply Payroll has appointed Ben Colgate as head of design and Krishna Guda as senior advisor. The newly created roles take Simply Payroll’s employee numbers to 12 and are the first in the establishment of an Auckland-based team. Simply Payroll launched in 2015, with its head office based in Wellington.   

Krishna Guda
Krishna Guda

Colgate has worked on some of New Zealand’s most well-known SaaS startups and will be charged with Simply Payroll’s software design, further improving the user experience for existing and future customers. Guda has over 30 years’ experience in finance management across diverse markets.

The newly formed Big Red Group (BRG) has secured the exclusive rights to bring the Artificial Intelligence (AI) digital marketing platform, Albert, to New Zealand and Australia. Group co-founder Naomi Simson says the agreement entitles the Big Red Group to distribute Albert to third-party media companies, across entire supplier chains, as well as to direct-to-consumer retailers.

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

Follow Divina Paredes on Twitter: @divinap

Follow CIO New Zealand on Twitter:@cio_nz

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Tags CIO100user experienceDXSpark New Zealandcustomer experiencewomen in technologyCXFulcrumUXDuanne O'BrienMovers and shakersdiversity

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