Washington DC Day 3

It is now Wednesday afternoon, day three – short blog yesterday as I ended up falling asleep!

Microsoft-speakerToday we have had the Keynote with Satya Nadella – who is just a great speaker, everything you would expect from the CEO of Microsoft. The fly buzzing around and landing on his head would put anybody off but he handled it really well.   We got a great feel for the vision of where Microsoft is going, they also did a very good demo on a new version of Skype that is coming out that translates as you talk.  This was brilliant and is really going to change the way people communicate around the world.

The other thing that blew me away was “the Internet of Things” Tiffini Bova from Gartner spoke yesterday about chips in your child’s nappy (or diaper in American speak), so that you would not have to do a peek check (parents will understand this).  Rather the nappy will alert your mobile phone… take that to the next steps where Huggies will then know you are about o run low on nappies and will mail you some more.  This gives you some insight into where IT is going and how much it will be integrated into our lives before we know it.  My daughter is going to be laughing at me when I am a grandmother doing a “peek check” on my grandchild!

Washington DC Day 2

Mike-Moore-e1405546707370Right, this probably won’t get posted until Thursday NZ time due to the late time that I am writing this on Tuesday… it’s 11.40 pm and I am watching letterman – in America – got to be done 😉

It’s been a LONG day!  No trouble hitting my step count while I am here… Roland and I have estimated that the conference centre is at least the length of two jumbo jets end to end and I have been walking up and down that all day.  With the heat my feet have turned into sausages!

Last night I had the pleasure and honour to talk to the Right Honourable Mike Moore – who is the current Ambassador to the US.  He is doing some very impressive work on Trade Agreements and I think NZ needs to take it’s hat off to him for the great work that he is doing on behalf of our country, really the right man for the job.   Big Ups to Microsoft and the MFAT for organizing that for us.

Delve-e1405546930350Today started off with a great keynote on “Social” this is IT talk not just for social networking but for how everything integrates with each other – yammer, outlook, etc.  Keep an eye out for Delve, It is coming out soon and looks to be a game changer…

Look out for Day 3 Blog, coming soon



And so it begins . . .

Right well it’s pretty action packed in DC.


Highlight so far.. Seeing the Lincoln memorial – that has always been on my list and it was fantastic …the view over the reflection pool is amazing.


The heat is something to be believed … we walked around Arlington cemetery yesterday and we were all very hot and sticky when we got back on the bus ! Lots of water was consumed.


The Partner conference is HUGE! There are over 16 thousand people here – I took a panoramic photo of the stadium where they had the Keynote this morning, it was packed out (photos on IT Engine’s facebook page). They very thoughtfully fed us breakfast first which was really good as the Keynote was over three hours.  I also missed my first session as a result… by the time I walked up to the conference centre the session was half over. I did not take into account 16 thousand people trying to walk three blocks in DC … there were a lot of policemen blowing their whistles at j-walkers!


Keynote this morning was all about mobility and the cloud. As much as Microsoft have their surface device they were not pushing that, it was all about “using office 365 no matter what device you use”.


We got a really good over view of what Microsoft expects 2015 to look like and while they did not announce the release of a new OS they talked about it coming.


Security around mobility was a hot topic but they also gave us a look at where BI (business intelligence) is moving to and some of the stuff they can do with data now is mind blowingly good…. Gave us lots to think about.


This afternoon I am meeting with Paul Mucklston who is the CEO of Microsoft NZ and tonight we are off to the NZ Ambassador’s residence for dinner.


Tomorrow is going to be jam packed with sessions – wahoo ….



Countdown to Washington DC 13-17 July 2014

This year we’ve decided to go to the Microsoft World Wide Partner Conference. It’s a big thing for us – we are not a huge company and taking two staff out for any length of time takes its toll. However, we love Microsoft and we’re really keen to get their take on where the IT industry is going to be going over the next few years.

Every year we send engineers to TechEd which is the Microsoft conference for technical people, held in Auckland. The techs love it and we have to make sure they all get a turn to go. They have their favourite speakers. And they are going to hate it when I make them blog about their trip this year – LOL!

So this year it’s the sales team’s turn to go and do some training. But what a shame, it’s overseas in America – oh well we will just have to suck it up! J Microsoft New Zealand has had a webinar on what to expect and how to make the most of it. I’ve attached a copy of the conference programme so you can see what we’ll be up to. As we go through the days we’ll be blogging and tweeting about the various speeches and events that we attend.

We are pretty excited that we get to go to the ambassador’s residence for dinner – that is going to be a highlight. I am also hoping to pick up the new Microsoft Surface 3, which has been released there but not here yet.

The next blog will be on the different sessions that Roland and I will be attending.



Insurance and your IT

Cyber Risk Protection for Commercial Entities – Written by Bryce Wilson, Aon New Zealand

With recent data breaches hitting the headlines in Asia and New Zealand, loss of personal and corporate data has far-reaching ramifications that could potentially change the way your business is carried out. Most high-profile stories in the media today address the type of data loss that impacts people on a personal level; credit card numbers, medical records, birth dates, ID/passport numbers and other private personal information. We should also be mindful of the impact from the loss of corporate data and information such as intellectual property and proprietary information, which in the hands of a competitor or even an extortionist can severely disadvantage business.

With the above in mind, insurers offer tailored Cyber Liability products to help pass the Risk Exposure to “Insurance policy” based minimisation / Mitigation strategies. If you would like further information on Cyber Insurance please contact us for Bryce Wilson’s email address.


The Crypto Locker

While we are talking about “data loss ” and “cyber insurance”, we had a client recently that was hit with the Crypto Locker Virus. Their laptop became infected and it encrypted the network drives on their server (which meant they had no access to the data on their server). Fortunately for this client they had all the right processes in place. They had an image based backup and we had them up and running in a few hours and most importantly we recovered the data on their server to a half hour before the virus hit, which mitigated major data loss. What did come to light was that they did not have their laptop backed up and we could not recover this. It is really important to remind all staff to store all important documents on the Server, or other areas (like a cloud service) that is backed up. It is also important to note that this client had a good firewall and good antivirus software, but all antivirus software is reactive.. They cannot block a virus until they know about it. There are always risks in IT but if you ensure that you put the right processes in place then you can make sure that the risk is at an acceptable level to you and your business.


Good Stuff

Report on value of internet in NZ Business just released on the 31st of March this year, this is well worth a read. http://www.innovationpartnership.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Sapere-Google-INZ-The-value-of-internet-services-to-New-Zealand-Businesses_-_Report-31-March-2014.pdf.


It has some really good insights into technology use on businesses in New Zealand, two of these are:

  • Using the internet effectively could be worth $34 Billion to the New Zealand economy
  • Businesses that make effective use of the internet could increase productivity by 6%

Another good thing is a site call the Digital Journey www.digitaljourney.co.nz it has a great tool for doing a digital assessment on your business. Well worth a look.