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Stories by Tom Pullar-Strecker

Renaissance stores to sell own 'iPad'

Renaissance, which is likely to be renamed YooBee, plans to develop a range of computer devices, including its own-branded tablet computers that could compete with Apple's iPad, which it will sell through a new chain of concept stores.
The NZX-listed company has engaged leading brand specialist Brian Richards, whose clients include Icebreaker and Fisher & Paykel Healthcare, to make over its image. Chief executive Richard Webb says it will test the YooBee brand with its new offerings before considering a name change for Renaissance in 10 to 12 months.

Written by Tom Pullar-Strecker25 Sept. 10 22:00

Grand designs for IBM's 'green' datacentre

IBM says its datacentre at Highbrook business park in Auckland will be one of the eleventh "greenest" out of more than 400 it operates around the world when it opens in March.
IBM New Zealand has been showing off the centre to dozens of corporate and government clients, but it went into "lock down" on Friday as electricians moved in to wire up the 25 tons of copper cabling that will feed power to its 1500 square metre computer room.

Written by Tom Pullar-Strecker05 Sept. 10 22:00

Gen-i yet to land Air NZ

A multimillion-dollar deal under which Air New Zealand would outsource the hosting of its mainframes to Telecom's Gen-i has not yet moved beyond a memorandum of understanding that was leaked in June, sources say.
IBM currently houses the systems at an ageing facility in Auckland that was originally built by Air NZ and later transferred to the vendor.

Written by Tom Pullar-Strecker08 Aug. 10 22:00

Tait Electronics switches to Google Apps

Christchurch technology firm Tait Electronics has become the latest flag-bearer for Google Apps, after switching all of its nearly 1000 staff world-wide from Microsoft software to Google's "cloud-based" email and calendar applications.
Information systems manager George Elder says it appears the firm will save money, but he cannot say how much.
"When you replace five different mail servers with one standard, then potentially you avoid the need to upgrade those and apply patches and maintain those for the future."
The main motivation was that Tait employs staff "all around the world" and had several mail servers in different locations, he says.
"Collaboration in the international environment was the major driver. This has enabled us to move to a single mail system, accessible from anywhere, and have a common calendar for all of our people."
Migrating to Google Apps was reasonably straightforward, he says. One of the challenges - cited by other Google Apps users - was migrating terabytes of archived email to the new system.
Many staff were familiar with Gmail, but some had to get to grips with the different way Google Apps collates emails. Google Mail catalogues emails in threads - conversations between users - rather than in a linear manner.
Elder says some people love threading and some hate it.
"It is something we would like to see made optional. Definitely people who are not used to threading, they find it a little bit more difficult.
"The people who are extremely heavy users of mail have probably had the most difficulty working with the change because it is different to what they are accustomed to.
"For us, the thing that is working best is Google Calendar." Google Mail was more reliable than Tait's own email system, he says.
"We believe we now have a more secure environment."
Elder is confident its contract with Google would let Tait switch provider, if required.
"They keep open a window for us to do that for a fixed period of time after the contract is finished.
"We could take other actions if we wanted, such as making our own copies of all mail independently, but then we would eliminate some of the benefits, as we would need to maintain our own data centre capability to do that."

Written by Tom Pullar-Strecker05 July 10 22:00