Movers and shakers: Greg Mikkelsen, Willem van der Steen and Helen Robinson

Movers and shakers: Greg Mikkelsen, Willem van der Steen and Helen Robinson

Customer Experience (CX) Professionals Association launches in New Zealand

Greg Mikkelsen joins Auckland-based cloud and managed services provider SecureCom as a director and owner, after he and Chris New each purchased a one-third stake in the company earlier this year, with founder Andrew Holding retaining the remaining third.

Mikkelsen is responsible for sales and marketing at SecureCom, including the delivery of products, services and tailored customer experiences designed to acquire new clients, drive stronger customer loyalty and boost growth.

He believes that the market is ready for a fresh approach to managed ICT services, and says that they are having a great deal of success with their TotalCARE offering delivering onshore 24x7 support, local cloud services and managed SIEM security offerings for medium sized businesses.

Mikkelsen was former GM for Enterprise and Trans-Tasman business at Spark Digital. He has a Diploma in Business majoring in Marketing from the University of Auckland.

Willem van der Steen is the new head of IT at Perpetual Guardian. He succeeds Lincoln Watson, who moved into a newly-created role as general manager of Kōwhiri, Perpetual Guardian’s digital branch.

Lincoln Watson at a CIO roundtable discussion in Auckland.
Lincoln Watson at a CIO roundtable discussion in Auckland.

Van der Steen most recently worked as group manager at Callaghan Innovation, where he led the governance and strategy of the innovation and digital capability building programmes. Prior to that, he was business manager mobile ICT at Spark Digital.

Mike Foley is now with Fletcher Construction as business transformation consultant. His previous roles include head of information services at Auckland Council and CIO at Watercare.

NZTech CEO Graeme Muller has been elected to the board of the World Information Technology and Services Alliance (WITSA). The alliance is the leading recognised international voice of the global ICT industry, whose members from over 80 countries represent more than 90 percent of the world ICT market.

Graeme Muller - CEO, NZTechCredit: Supplied
Graeme Muller - CEO, NZTech

“This is a great channel for helping raise the awareness globally that New Zealand is a leading hi-tech nation," says Muller, in a statement. "There are huge opportunities for New Zealand tech firms to grow internationally and I will be working to ensure policies and relationships are in place to help them throughout the world.”

“The New Zealand tech sector is growing at unprecedented rates and now accounts for 9 percent of GDP and employs 5 percent of the workforce. But the big opportunity is the growth of exports, worth $6.3 billion in 2015 and on track to cross the $10 billion mark by 2018 at current growth rates.

Customer Experience (CX) Professionals Association launches in New Zealand. Three of the country’s founding CX practitioners have formed the local chapter: Jane Treadwell-Hoye, founder of epifani; Sue Atkins, founder of Connections; and Tony Hillson, founder of Service Design NZ.

Co-founded in 2011, by CX thought-leader and long-time researcher Bruce Temkin and 25 year CX veteran, Jeanne Bliss, the CXPA is a global non-profit organisation, with over 4,000 members.

”Internationally, the field of Customer Experience has matured,” says Treadwell-Hoye. More companies are committing to being customer-centred to drive loyalty and positively impact the bottom line. They recognise the capabilities required to embed CX as a key ingredient in strategy, to engage people and to design customer-centric experiences.

Julia Raue is now an independent director at The Warehouse Group. Raue became a professional director in 2014, and has held technology focused executive roles for some of New Zealand’s leading businesses, most recently with Air New Zealand where she was CIO for eight years. She is on the board of Jade Software and is also an independent director of Z Energy, Southern Cross Health Society, and Television New Zealand.

Jonty Kelt joins the advisory board of Valocity, New Zealand’s first digital property valuation platform,.

Originally from Hawkes Bay, Jonty now lives in New York with his wife and two children. Over the past two decades, he has cultivated an impressive international career which has seen him co-found a number of technology businesses in the UK and USA. He also worked for Google after its acquisition of DoubleClick, co-founded a media business in China, and helped establish Macquarie Bank in New Zealand. He currently works as an executive at Palantir Technologies, a big data analytics company, and is also an investor in early stage technology companies out of his fund, Fantail Ventures.

Valocity CEO Carmen Vicelich says the company is delighted to have someone of Kelt’s calibre and experience join its board. Kelt joins independent director, mentor and adviser, Debra Hall and Andrew Harris, a partner at Grant Thornton, on the Valocity advisory board.

Helen Robinson is the Supreme Award Winner in the 2016 Westpac Women of Influence Awards.

The judges cited Robinson’s executive and governance career. The former chief executive of Microsoft New Zealand, currently chairs Valens Group, Cloud M, Mondial Technologies Lt and N4L - which is helping schools become modern learning environments. She is also on the board for Auckland Tourism Events and Economic Development and part of the strategic committee for New Zealand Rugby. Last year she launched Organic Initiative (Oi) and it is now one of New Zealand’s fastest-growing companies, with 2 per cent market share.

In its third year, the Women of Influence Programme is designed to identify, recognise and celebrate the 100 most influential women shaping New Zealand across 10 categories.

Robinson won for the board and management category. The other winners are Gaylene Preston for arts and culture; Lisa King of Eat My Lunch for business enterprise, Catriona Williams of Catwalk Trust for community and not-for-profit, Sue Kedgley of Auckland University Women’s Liberation Group for diversity; NZ Auditor General Lyn Provost for the global category, Dr Michelle Dickinson (Nano Girl) for science and innovation; Naomi Ferguson, Chief Executive of Inland Revenue, for public policy; Mavis Mullins, chair of Aohanga Corporation for rural category; and Alexia Hilbertidou of Girl BossNZ for the young leader category.

Dr Michelle Dickinson, senior lecturer at the University of Auckland
Dr Michelle Dickinson, senior lecturer at the University of Auckland

Martin Mackay is now the president and general manager of its Asia Pacific and Japan (APJ) region for CA Technologies. Kenneth Arredondo, who has held this role since 2014, will be working with Mackay until the end of March 2017 to ensure a smooth transition for customers, partners and employees. Arredondo will be taking on a new role within CA Technologies in April 2017. Mackay will be based in Singapore and report directly to Adam Elster, president of CA’s global field operations.

Auckland based cloud services provider MHA Cloud Computing, a Microsoft Gold Hosting Partner, has unveiled a new company name as part of a rebranding initiative to position the company for strong future growth. “The new name is Lucidity, which means ’free from obscurity and easy to understand’”, explains Colin Williams, general manager of Lucidity. “This is precisely what we strive for through the delivery of our IT services.”

A collaboration of GO Rentals, Ministry of Transport, New Zealand Transport Authority, HMI Technologies and Resolve has taken out the Charted Institute of Transport and Logistics’ Safety, Security & Environmental Innovation 2016 Award.

GO Rentals general manager James Dalglish says he was thrilled and honoured to be part of a wide team that received the national award for the road safety trial which has shown how intelligent technology has improved the safety on a busy Kiwi tourist route.

The trial started earlier this year for GO Rental customers on the route between Christchurch Queenstown. The trial sent safety messages from roadside transmitters, via Bluetooth, to devices fitted in rental vehicles. The initiative may continue along the route and be implemented in other parts of New Zealand.

Dalglish says they have 60 devices being utilised across the fleet in the South Island for GO Rental drivers to help keep New Zealand and tourist motorists safe on the roads.

Sue Suckling is appointed chairperson of the board at Jade Software. She succeeds Ruth Richardson who stepped down from the board in May of this year after 18 years the role.

AMES IT recently hosted Point & Click, New Zealand’s first largest Secondary School eSports Competition. Forty six teams with 230 players from schools all over wider Auckland area battled in a 5v5 League of Legends tournament; which has a prize pool of $5,000 plus sponsors prizes.

The Point & Click Final, saw Auckland Grammar School (Freetyler1) verse Macleans College (Evy Will Carry). The grand final for this event was held in the Hexedome, NZ first professional eSports venue in Parnell. This event was live streamed on Twitch TV as well as LetsPlay.Live’s online platform. Auckland Grammar School (Freetyler1) won the first prize with $3000 cash as well as sponsor prizes; Evy Will Carry (Macleans College) came runner-up and XD (Macleans College) were placed third in the competition.

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