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ICT-New Zealand creates single organisation

ICT-New Zealand creates single organisation to spearhead growth in New Zealand ICT sector

AUCKLAND — 13 March 2005 — Industry organisation ICT-New Zealand aims to unite New Zealand’s disparate Information and Communications Technology industry by acting as a single national organisation for New Zealand ICT sector companies, says interim Chairman Malcolm Fraser.

Representatives from key industry players such as NZ Software Association, ITANZ, ICONZ, Health IT Cluster, Canterbury ICT cluster, Canterbury Software Inc., NZ Computer Society, The NZ Wireless Forum and Internet NZ have formed the nucleus for the new organisation.

ICT-New Zealand’s formation will see an instant rationalisation of resources for the contributing organisations, which recognise that New Zealand’s ICT sector is heavily fragmented and needs to change if New Zealand ICT companies are to improve their performance in an international marketplace.

“A single national organisation that harnesses the value already created by industry organisations, but represents the wider interests of the New Zealand ICT industry, will provide a more attractive doorway into New Zealand for ICT buyers and deliver spin-offs for ICT-New Zealand members,” says Fraser.

“The bottom line is job creation and growth for ICT sector companies. This will only be achieved through better alignment and centralised representation of the wider interests of New Zealand ICT companies, both domestically and internationally,” says Fraser.

The alignment will see ICT-New Zealand work closely with the Hi-Growth Project, which was established by Government to identify and remove roadblocks to help grow New Zealand companies in the ICT industry.

Hi-Growth CEO Lester Singer says the HiGrowth Project was fundamental in supporting the formation of ICT-New Zealand as a nationally representative industry organisation, along with NZ Trade and Enterprise. “We recognise the need for the industry to have a strong, united voice and to gain the scalability that ICT-New Zealand represents.”

The organisation has formalised a strategy document and brand identity and is developing a New Zealand ICT directory and a web site. Members have contributed seed funding to establish the ICT-New Zealand initiative, which is currently in the process of finalising a business plan and organisational model.

Some of the key initiatives that will be targeted in this plan include business brokering, international business development, skills development, member business services, such as legal, industry research, and special interest groups and forums.

“Our value to members is about growing the market. Promoting and continually developing the industry and ICT-New Zealand members so that the cake is always getting bigger, which translates to better profits, more jobs and securing a better long term future for the industry,” says Fraser.

”We want to minimise industry overlap and duplication by fostering existing member special interest groups and forums, and streamlining supporting administrative structures using a shared services model.”

A key theme is collaboration. The ICT industry has developed at such a rate that industry organisations have historically escaped from having to formally collaborate, instead focusing more on specific interest groups directly aligned to technologies and industry verticals. ICT-New Zealand recognises that for the whole industry to reach the next level, a single industry organisation into which existing organisations feed may better serve the needs of ICT product and service providers, by delivering efficiencies such as shared administration services and, externally, a single more attractive face.

Owen Scott, chairman of Canterbury Software Inc., says end users are faced with diverse industry organisation choices. “So anything that brings together the efforts of these groups has got to be good for the end user. A super group like ICT-New Zealand will provide better visibility and more coordinated access to value that has already been created.”

While the business plan is still being finalised ICT-New Zealand is actively recruiting other ICT organisations to join them. “We offer the opportunity to have a strong national voice, international identity and still retain your local presence and the value you bring to your members,” says Fraser. “Everyone should win out of this, as a strong ICT Industry is going to give New Zealand its best chance of future growth.”

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