Stories by Divina Paredes

Defence mechanisms

Two years ago, Port of Napier (PoN) allowed internal users and clients to access data online and reduced their dependence on fax machines and phone calls to confirm transactions.
This was part of a major systems upgrade that put the enterprise ahead of the competition in e-commerce functionality and the provision of real-time data.

Written by Divina Paredes30 April 04 22:00

Graduating with distinction

When Victoria University of Wellington (VUW) deployed a new budget forecast, planning and analysis platform, users were prepared for a steep learning curve.
The migration followed a period of revenue growth and devolution of fiscal responsibility to the 24 heads of school. The university’s focus was not on cost cutting, but driving profitability. Heads of schools and units were made accountable by being provided with a target.

Written by Divina Paredes30 April 04 22:00

Power of three

During a meeting in Wellington for industry training organisations (ITOs), Ian Hogg and Ashley Perera from Forestry Industry Training discussed their common concerns about their Microsoft Access database system.
“We were dissatisfied with the system and wanted to move onto a SQL-based system,” says Hogg, financial controller of the Electro-Technology Industry Training Organisation (ETITO).

Written by Divina Paredes31 March 04 22:00

The price of spam

Bill Gates is “half right” in believing spam could be eradicated in two years through technology and electronic stamps. That is the opinion of Forrester senior analyst James Nail, who reckons the spam problem may be solved in maybe three, not two, years.
As for charging the spammer, Nail says there have to be fundamental changes in email infrastructure for ‘postage’ to work as a deterrent. “Right now, no one agrees on the specifications for those changes, and there are active dialogues around a number of different systems. It will take time for the industry to come to consensus, and then the standard must be broadly adopted before it will have any impact.”

Written by Divina Paredes28 Feb. 04 22:00

Slow uptake for licence to work

Locally, however, the uptake for the examinations leading to the licence is higher among those in school than those already in the workplace, according to Charles Wedd, New Zealand Computer Society Northern branch manager.
Wedd says more New Zealand employers should be aware of the benefits of ICDL. “It is a slow process getting employers to seek the benefits of more computer literate and competent staff.”

Written by Divina Paredes28 Feb. 04 22:00

Beyond the grapevine

Concerns regarding corporate data also emerged. As Dennis Robinson, winery services manager points out, “When Montana took over Corbans, there was a huge number of people who had stuff in their PC. Basically, staff may have left and had important research work sitting on one PC or a local server.”
There was always the possibility employees could be duplicating works unknowingly, or important research was not being distributed. And when employees left the organisation, their research findings might easily have been lost, he says.

Written by Divina Paredes30 Jan. 04 22:00

Outpacing the Aussies

For around a year, information technology staff in New Zealand have been benefiting from a ‘double whammy’ in salaries, compared with their Australian counterparts.
According to a survey by Classified Salary Information Services (CSi), New Zealand IT staff remaining in the same position received an average 4.4 per cent increase in total remuneration (base salary plus benefits and variable pay) in the year to August 2003 and base salaries rose 4.6 per cent on average. This is well above the current consumer price index (CPI) of 1.5 per cent.

Written by Divina Paredes30 Sept. 03 22:00

Sharpen your pencil

The University of Waikato used to run a student management system designed for a February-to-November academic year. But, like most higher-education institutions, it had already diversified its offerings to include summer sessions and short courses throughout the year.
The Ministry of Education was also demanding in its reporting requirements; it wanted data that could not be easily gathered using the old system. Meanwhile, more students were enrolling from overseas.

Written by Divina Paredes30 Sept. 03 22:00

A league of her own

The chairman of a recent IT conference ended his introduction of the first speaker for the day with the words, “I don’t envy your task.” The speaker was Joanne Bos, manager of the healthAlliance IS function. It has been said many a true word is spoken in jest, and the chairman’s introduction effectively places the demands of Bos’ current role in the spotlight.
The organisation, formed in July 2000, is a shared services company owned by the district health boards of Waitemata and Counties Manukau in Auckland. It aims to deliver back office functions to both boards and is responsible for transitioning their IT departments into a shared services structure. This means providing support to what Bos describes as “two separate and diverse infrastructures with different cultures, strategies and demands on information services”.

Written by Divina Paredes31 Aug. 03 22:00

Running on a full tank

It’s dusk and you’re driving along a country road in Blenheim when suddenly your beat-up but faithful Holden ute breaks down. You’re clueless: Battery? Transmission? You want to kick yourself for not getting it tuned up as you’d planned to do prior to the trip. Somehow, you never quite got round to it. You whip out your mobile phone and call the New Zealand Automobile Association for help …But what if you have to wait in a queue for 10 minutes because the operators are busy with similar requests for help?
After all, it’s a Labour Day weekend and half of the country’s population are out for a drive. Many others like you are off the beaten track and requesting roadside assistance.

Written by Divina Paredes30 June 03 22:00

Add to your shopping cart?

"Litigating in IT is like putting the gun to your own head and pulling the trigger," says Garry Collings, general manager IT development, Tranzrail, when asked why his organisation has not taken out IT insurance.
But in a business environment in which hacking, denial of service attacks and credit card fraud present serious risks to networked companies and e-businesses, insurance premiums may soon form an essential cost line in IT budgets.

Written by Divina Paredes30 June 01 22:00