Stories by Amanda Sachtleben

New skills storm brewing, says Hudson ICT

A complex technology skills crisis may be looming, according to new trans-Tasman research from Hudson ICT.
The report – Economic Recovery And The New IT Skills Crisis – says skills shortages in the sector in New Zealand and Australia are far more involved than simply a lack of staff to cover greater volumes of work.

Written by Amanda Sachtleben08 Aug. 10 22:00

TEIQ broadens SugarCRM agreement

TEIQ is now the first Riva Integration Server for SugarCRM locally, having became an authorised partner for the SugarCRM open source platform last year.
Riva was developed by Canadian firm Omni Technology Solutions and provides server to server integration between CRM systems, such as, Microsoft SharePoint, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, SugarCRM, Oracle CRM On Demand and Sage SalesLogix, with Microsoft Exchange and Novell GroupWise applications. These applications include Outlook, Entourage for Mac, BlackBerry and ActiveSync mobile devices, including the iPhone.

Written by Amanda Sachtleben15 July 10 22:00

NZICT contest encourages small firms to get smarter

Pan-sector lobby group NZICT is set to launch a Smart Business competition, to promote investment in ICT and fast broadband among small businesses.
The group wants entrants to submit inspiring concepts that could encourage other small businesses to consider making similar technology investments.

Written by Amanda Sachtleben14 July 10 22:00

Strategic review refines focus at Simpl

The Simpl Group has spun off its projects unit and sold its Oracle Primavera business following a strategic review.
The company will move from broad-based services to specialise in software that facilitates the exchange of information within enterprises, and between enterprises and customers they serve, says CEO Bennett Medary.

Written by Amanda Sachtleben12 July 10 22:00

Express Data, Intergen win global Microsoft prizes

Express Data staff and partners celebrate the award win at an Auckland dinner recently. [L-R]: Louis Nunn, Barbara Plester, Chantelle Te Hira, Sue Willems, Gerard Willems, Karen Nunn and Josh Te Hira.

Written by Amanda Sachtleben23 June 10 22:00

Security specialist branches out with own firm

IT security veteran Steve Rielly has established Auckland-based Katana Technologies, to represent vendors who want to establish a local presence.
Rielly has worked in networking and security for more than a decade, and was most recently a security consultant at distributor Chillisoft. Prior to that, he was business development manager for Symantec and before that a security consultant at Trend Micro.

Written by Amanda Sachtleben02 May 10 22:00

Symantec programme to encourage partner specialisation

Symantec says it wants to give partners the chance to differentiate themselves by rewarding key competencies under a revamped partner scheme.
Specialisations will become the focus of its partner programme when changes are introduced at the end of 2010.

Written by Amanda Sachtleben27 April 10 22:00

Theta Systems introduces new leadership

Interim CEO of Theta Systems, Rob Lee, has secured tenure in the role, and the company has made a number of other key appointments.
Lee is the company’s former sales manager and has filled the CEO position since the sudden death of CEO and chairman Steve Saunders in January.

Written by Amanda Sachtleben28 March 10 23:00

‘Geeks’ won’t chase WIT market

The head of Girl Geeks’ New Zealand chapter, Amanda Jackson, says it will stick to targeting more technical IT women rather than try to fill the gaps left by Women in Technology (WIT).
Both Jackson, a developer at Fronde, and former WIT general manager Cheryl Horo say WIT is no longer running, with Horo saying there has been no activity from the organisation since she left last year.

Written by Amanda Sachtleben04 Oct. 09 22:00

Optimation seals new services partnership with HCL

Optimation aims for a “broader and deeper” partnership with Indian IT services giant HCL than it had with outsourcer Satyam Computer Services, which has rebranded as Mahindra Satyam following a finance scandal and is under new management.
Optimation says its agreement with Satyam is coming to the end of its term, with an Offender Management system upgrade for the Department of Corrections already completed under the Satyam partnership and an SAP project for the Department set to be finished next month.
Satyam hit a crisis in January after founder B. Ramalinga Raju was found to have inflated the company’s revenue and profits, causing the firm to lose customer agreements.
When asked if Satyam’s troubles were a factor in Optimation’s decision to partner with HCL, chairman Neil Butler said, “It was about a partnership agreement that was running to term and us considering what represents the most powerful relationship for us. We looked at HCL’s commitment to this market and the close alignment between our organisations.”
Optimation and Satyam's relationship lasted about eight years.
HCL has nearly 100 staff across its Auckland and Wellington offices, and established a local presence in 1998. Optimation has about 200 staff across its Auckland and Wellington sites.
“The big difference is HCL has a significant presence in New Zealand already, and the work they’ve done with New Zealand enterprise customers,” says Optimation CEO Rhoda Holmes. “They understand the Kiwi market and the nuances of working in New Zealand. This gives us the opportunity to go much broader than we have done before.”
Holmes says the HCL agreement will result in broadened and deepened services offerings, particulary in the SAP arena as a result of HCL’s acquisition of UK SAP practice Axon in December 2008. She says HCL’s extensive relationship with Microsoft will allow Optimation to broaden its .Net development expertise, and says Optimation wants to extend its capability in large-scale application development.
Services offered under the partnership will include business transformation, remote infrastructure management, business process outsourcing, application development and maintenance, testing, document management, SOA and middleware upgrades.
HCL’s Asia Pacific senior vice president Virender Aggarwal says the Australia/New Zealand region is important to the company, but the size of the New Zealand market doesn’t warrant its own sales force.
“We established an early foothold with Fonterra two to three years ago and we want to build on that. We don’t see a reason we should replace the sales relationships Optimation has to reach a customer. We’ll be relying on Optimation for customer contact.”
Optimation’s partnership with Satyam accounted for three percent of the New Zealand company’s revenue in its last full year financial results, but at the peak of the relationship it accounted for about 10 percent. Optimation hopes the partnership with HCL will account for “much more” than three percent, and could grow to comprise a double digit percent of its revenue, says Holmes.
Sovon Thakur, as HCL’s Australia/New Zealand operations manager, has country management responsibilities for New Zealand.
Tech Mahindra, meanwhile, is the dominant stakeholder in Satyam, and new ANZ leadership was appointed in June.

Written by Amanda Sachtleben25 Aug. 09 22:00

HP to add hundreds of staff with new centre

HP says it will create hundreds of new roles to staff its newly-lauched global applications services centre in Christchurch.
National application services manager Alex Bouma says it is actively recruiting now, and will hire six graduates as well as workers from Christchurch and elsewhere.

Written by Amanda Sachtleben23 Aug. 09 22:00

Terry Shubkin exits Unisys, not replaced

Unisys’ local head of operations Terry Shubkin has left the company after more than eight years there, and the company says it is not replacing her.
She says her departure, which occurred in mid August, has been planned for about three months.

Written by Amanda Sachtleben17 Aug. 09 22:00

Solnet Solutions scoops Supreme IBM prize

Solnet Solutions is the Supreme winner in this year’s IBM Business Partner Awards, having also won the Workplace Collaboration category for its provision of new web portal infrastructure for Inland Revenue.
Solnet’s northern region general manager Brett Arthur says it isn’t often people get to thank Inland Revenue, but described the government organisation as a “fantastic client”.

Written by Amanda Sachtleben05 Nov. 08 22:00