NZ Fry Up: Colocation centre lands in Southland; Kiwi workers want recognition on deliverables; Hi-Tech awards finalists revealed; A/NZ startup hub

New Zealand IT, tech, and telco news and views from our correspondent in the Central North Island.

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Destination Southland for Tier 4 data centre

Recently formed company T4 Group has announced plans to build a colocation centre in Southland, which it says will be both New Zealand’s first Tier 4 and carbon neutral data centre.

T4 Group was founded in 2021 and following its acquisition of Advanced Data Centres (ADC) in Northland, the company now plans to develop a network of regional data centres across the country. The group’s head office will also be located in Southland.

The new facility will use hydro power and maximise cool natural airflow to reduce reliance on powered cooling systems making it a carbon neutral data centre, T4 claims. Using the region’s natural resources, such as access to hydro energy, means the company will not have to rely on coal as a secondary power source as other data centres in New Zealand generally do, the company said.

The modular design of the new data centre will also allow newer, more sustainable technology to be incorporated into future expansions.

Construction is expected to start by early 2023.

Kiwi workers: “Reward us for what we do deliver, not how long we work.”

It’s time for New Zealand business leaders to reconsider what productivity means, according to a new report. Commissioned by Microsoft, the survey found 71% of New Zealanders want to be rewarded for the impact of the work they do rather than hours worked.

Respondents identified meeting business objectives, positive client feedback and achieving individual goals as the most important KPIs to hit. In response, 32% of New Zealand employers are rethinking how to measure productivity within the next year, said Microsoft.

The results also showed Kiwis place an especially high value on relationships.

Meanwhile, even though employees are keen to embrace a more hybrid way of working, beyond simply measuring time spent in the office, the report also found that one in three Kiwi employers will require their team to go back into the office full-time in the next 12 months.

With modern tools and technologies businesses should be better able to measure the elements of work that can help increase productivity, Microsoft said.

Titled “Great Expectations: Making Hybrid Work Work”, the report surveyed 31,000 people in 31 countries.

Hi-Tech Awards finalists announced

The finalists in the 2022 NZ Hi-Tech Awards have been announced. The event that runs since 1994 recognises tech companies and individuals across ICT, electronics, software, biotechnology, creative, telecommunications, and digital media.

A record number of new companies from across the country and from all areas of the high-tech sector entered the awards this year, according to the organiser.

The finalists across the 14 award categories are:

  • PwC Hi-Tech Company of the Year award: Cin7, Education Perfect, Kami, Pushpay, Seequent, and Wellington Drive Technologies.
  • Pacific Edge Hi-Tech Emerging Company of the Year award: Auror, LawVu, Lumin, MacroActive, NanoLayr, and UBCO.
  • Punakaiki Fund Hi-Tech Startup Company of the Year award: Halter, Hectre, Narrative, Onside, and Seen Safety.
  • IBM Hi-Tech Inspiring Individual award: Brooke Roberts, Dr Elizabeth Berryman, Graham Le Gros, Pieta Brown, Shaun Maloney, Tamara Buckland, and Terry Miller.
  • Callaghan Innovation Hi-Tech Kamupene Māori o te Tau – Māori Company of the Year award: Agrisea, Envico Technologies, Height Project Management, and Plink Software.
  • Duncan Cotterill Most Innovative Hi-Tech Software Solution award: Auror, M2X GroupParkable, Partly, and Wellington Drive Technologies.
  • Kiwibank Most Innovative Hi-Tech Service Award: Beany, Envico Technologies, Fi Innovations, First AML, Hnry, and Reveal.
  • Endace Most Innovative Hi-Tech Hardware Product award: Alimetry, Eight360, StretchSense, Teknique, The Insides Company, and The Village Goldsmith.
  • Halo Consulting Best Contribution to the NZ Tech Sector award: Digital Future Aotearoa, Humanitix, Microsoft, and Summer of Tech.
  • New Zealand Trade & Enterprise Most Innovative Hi-Tech Agritech Solution award: Crospy, Hectre, M2X Group, and SmartMachine.
  • Xero Hi-Tech Young Achiever: Ankita Dhakar, Caleb McIvor, Imche Fourie, Jamie Beaton, Levi Fawcett, and Tal Meser.
  • Soul Machines Most Innovative Deep Tech Solution award: Alimetry, Halter, and Marama Labs.
  • Auckland Unlimited Most Innovative Hi-Tech Creative Technology Solution award: Alimetry, Excio, Imagr, Rocketwerkz, StretchSense, and Writer’s Toolbox.
  • Visa Best Hi-Tech Solution for the Public Good award: GNS Science, and Kara Technologies.

Winners will be announced on Friday, 5 August 2022.

Microsoft launches A/NZ startup hub

Microsoft has launched a new service that aims to support founders in New Zealand and Australia at every stage of their startup journey with access to more than US$300,000 in benefits.

Microsoft for Startups Founders Hub is a digital platform which gives startups free access to technology, tools, and resources to help build and run their business. Founders will also be able to access mentorship and training opportunities with industry experts and Microsoft Learn —the vendor’s learning platform.

New Zealand-based cleantech company, Phytrac, has had early access to the programme. CEO Owen Darby said as an entrepreneur it was important that he can focus on his core offering while having access to technology, tools and resources to allow him to build his business. He said that for someone that doesn’t have a development background tools such as Power Platform, Power Automate and Power BI Pro, can be very useful.

The hub is designed for early-stage startups and is available to all startups in New Zealand, including those without third-party backing.

Copyright © 2022 IDG Communications, Inc.

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