Hot News in IT This Week
New OS for Apple
El Capitan is available now, although downloads are running a tad slow as is the way with such things it would seem.
New in the operating-system-that-isn't-iOS is … well… the wallpaper looks nice and there's some added functionality for the notepad app…
Pretty much it's fair to say this is an incremental update that you should go for anyway because of the obvious security requirements but beyond that, it's business as usual.
Which begs the question, what is the future for Apple with its two-tier operating system approach? So far it's kicking Microsoft's "One OS to rule them all" approach (predominantly because Windows 8 was just so hopeless - maybe 10 can resolve that particularly issue but it feels too late to me) but will that continue, especially as the world moves to a more mobile-first platform.
Orion signs deal with UK's Boots the Chemist
Orion Health, New Zealand's top performing healthcare system software company, has signed on with Boots, the UK pharmacy chain, to roll out its technology to 2,400 Boots stores across the UK and Ireland.
Normally this would be heralded as great news but a funny thing happens when software companies list on the stock market - good news starts to look like my old school reports. "C+, could do better".
This annoys me, because I really put some effort into that geography report. I'm sure it annoys Ian McRae as well because surely a deal of this scale should be worth a bit of an uptick in the hivemind that is modern day share trading.
Instead, shares in the company continued to slip away from its peak.
Health Start-up Weekend
Speaking of health, Wellington plays host to New Zealand's first start-up weekend aimed at the health sector.
Health IT, in association with Microsoft, Xero and Massey University, are hosting the event which will see teams of would-be entrepreneurs and developers come together to create beautiful music. Or something like that.
Book in the weekend of Novembr 6-8 in your diaries.
Fastest in the world - NZ LTE rules the roost
Just like an Indian motorbike with a dodgy Welshman doing a Kiwi accent, a UK analytics firm says New Zealand has the world's fastest mobile broadband.
More importantly, we've dethroned Australia as the leading contender in the 4G world.
The report says New Zealand's 4G rollout consistently delivers faster speeds than anyone else, presumably off the back of Spark and Vodafone both opting to use twice the spectrum of other operators.
This means the average real world download speed on 4G in New Zealand is 36Mbit/s, compared with 21Mbit/s in Australia, 13Mbit/s in the UK and a paltry 10Mbit/s in the US.
Oddly the report doesn't reference Vodafone New Zealand at all, despite assessing other Vodafone companies around the world.
MYOB buys another NZ software house
Accounting software house MYOB has been on something of a spending spree lately buying PayGlobal and Ace Payroll for multi-million dollar sums.
Now it's picked up Hastings-based payroll provider Information Management Services (IMS) in a deal worth up to $9.7 million.
MYOB SME Solutions General Manager James Scollay said the acquisition will drive the company's growth strategies in developing new online payroll solutions.
But given the whole world is moving to cloud-based solutions for everything (or so it seems) what is it about these companies that gives MYOB the urge to reach into its pocket?
Currently around one quarter of the MYOB user base are doing so via its cloud offering - the remainder are still in the habit of owning and driving their own software.
So far Xero's not-shy-for-a-word CEO Rod Drury has not commented on the deal.
OMG Tech Rangers now officially launched: paddling in N4L's Pond
Started by Vend's Vaughan Rowsell and science communicator Michelle Dickinson (and let's not forget Rab Heath, the power behind the throne), OMG Tech Rangers was launched Wednesday evening at Spark's Auckland headquarters.
OMG Tech was set up to help get kids excited about all aspects of the technical revolution that surrounds us.
Vaughan started the charitable trust behind the Rangers in his mother's name. As a low income, single parent, his mother transformed his life with "a simple act of kindness", when she took out a bank loan to buy her tech-obsessed kids a ZX Spectrum computer so they could do more than just read about computing.
From there, an empire was born and OMG Tech is Vaughan's way of saying thanks to his mum.
The rest, as they say, is history and OMG Tech is now holding workshops throughout the land for kids of all ages to take things apart, put them back together and find their feet in this tech industry of ours.
So successful has the pilot work been that Network 4 Learning has signed up OMG Tech as an educational supplier.
"N4L is excited to announce that OMG Tech, a charitable education initiative getting more Kiwi kids interested in STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering & maths), will be using online learning hub Pond to make its educational resources accessible to all New Zealand schools.
Pond will serve as a primary platform for OMG Tech learning resources and ongoing discussions about its programmes among the education community. Every teacher in New Zealand will be able to find OMG Tech resources in Pond, use them to help deliver OMG Tech programmes in their own communities, and connect with other teachers wanting to get involved."
Just a brief disclosure note: I helped the OMG Tech guys think about sponsorship and media in the very early days but honestly, not much more than saying "I think it's swell. Make it so."
Myles Ward leaves IRD
And finally it's farewell to Myles Ward, CTO of Inland Revenue, who is leaving IRD for the greener pastures as Chief Executive of Health Alliance.
Myles joined IRD in 2006 and has been a key figure in various IT roles, culminating in the CTO role. He has also been one of the key figures behind the transformation project.
Giles Southwell will be interim CIO until a permanent appointment is made. Myles has been integral to a changing culture within the tech team at IR, and IITP wishes him well in his new role.
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