Archive for May, 2007

OPMC and Bartercard

Tuesday, May 15th, 2007

If you are a Bartercard member, you may not know that OPMC is too. We accept payment for a number of services via Bartercard, and are able to offer 100% payment in Barter Trade Dollars. If you are on Bartercard and have been considering your options for the internet, please get in touch.

We are also a member of Bartercard Australia, so if you do business in Australia we can assist here too.

OPMC and Bartercard

New service – Informant

Tuesday, May 15th, 2007

Last week we officially launched our new service – Informant. You can read more about the service by clicking here.

Informant is an online service that allows you to easily keep in regular contact with your customers. Using the cost effectiveness and flexibility of e-mail, you can send out newsletters and information to groups of customers via Informant. Communication via Informant comes to your customers in a professional format, meaning each and every time you communicate via Informant, your brand and company name is reinforced in people’s minds.

Customers can automatically subscribe to your newsletter via your website, or unsubscribe automatically when they want to.

Informant is a great way to quickly and easily promote new deals and specials, allowing you to boost sales and improve cashflow.

Informant - keep your customers

State of our Broadband

Monday, May 7th, 2007

I was reading Tony Rule’s blog the other day – in particular his post called “Plumbing, Plasterers and Traffic Jams”. It addresses his concerns about the state of broadband in New Zealand.

One of the interesting things he discussed was the difference between Telecom’s “Broadband” network, and Telstra Clear’s Cable Broadband.

So on to the current problems….. getting disconnected, getting lag, getting slow download and upload rates. I experienced all of these when I switch back to ADSL last month. Two years ago I quite happily talked on Skype to a friend in Japan while at the same time be remote desktoping into their computer on a 256kb jetstart plan. Getting disconnected 8 times in a day (I had to reconnect using my router control panel) and experiencing massive lag and not being able to talk to someone less than 30km’s away on Skype was a bit of an eye opener when I recently had Jetstream turned back on. This is in a house 10 doors up the road from where I used to live, so all the variables had stayed constant. What had changed?

I experienced this problem just the other day – I was testing the quality of Skype between our offices in Karori, and someone in Johnsonville (a distance of perhaps 10km?). The quality was sporadically terrible and at at times inaudible. The person at the other end had Telecom ADSL “Broadband” internet.

Compare that to communicating with our Prague office via our Telstra Clear Cable (a dedicated network of cables that has little if not nothing to do with Telecom), we are able to have hours of uninterrupted, video conferencing in crystal clear quality. With no problems at all.

The difference between the two networks is immediately obvious to anyone working in the technology industry – many of the things you normally can do on the Telstra Clear network you cannot do on the Telecom network. I have worked with Wellingtonians who have told me our servers in Prague must be out of service because they cannot connect to them. The first question I ask is “Do you use Telecom (or Brand X) ADSL for your internet?” – this is the root of 99% of all problems.

To bring this problem into perspective for small businesses competing in a global market from NZ, let’s use the analogy of the telephone.

Imagine if you operated a small business out of Wellington, New Zealand and:

-You had major clients in the US who you could only call 30 minutes of the day – otherwise the phone system might overload and you wouldn’t be able to hear them properly.

-Your phone line disconnects sporadically, when you are using it or not. You regularly get the “out of service” tone when you pick up the phone to call a client.

-You leave voice messages for clients, or send them faxes, unaware that they never receive 50% of them.

-30% of all phone calls made to you by major overseas clients never end up ringing your phone, and the message service works sporadically.

This is the state of our broadband today.

It is important to make this analogy, because while many may not view the internet as being fundamental to their business, it was not so many years ago on the grand scheme of things when you had to call an operator to make a call and party lines were commonplace. As technology developed, these things became – for the most part – redundant, and so we don’t really think about them anymore because we’ve moved on.

But there is going to be a point where New Zealand companies rely significantly on the internet in some shape or form, to do business. And at that time, these issues we have now have the potential to stagnate the economy. We have had numerous clients shift over to our web hosting services, because a significant proportion of their business was done overseas, and they were losing client communication via e-mail before it even got to them.

Telecom’s ADSL 2+ technology it plans to roll out soon, should in my opinion, be sidelined and Fibre be implemented as a priority. Because it’s all very well and good to have a technology with maximum speeds of 25Mbit a second, etc, etc, but if those speeds are not going to be attainable, or even remotely possible (for half that figure) then the point in offering the service is redundant.

I was in a lucky position to be one of the first 500 people in the country to trial Telecom ADSL fast internet technology when it was first released in the mid-late 90′s. I rated it highly at the time and was very impressed. Now it is woefully inadequate, because it seems like they have overloaded capacity for the technology. I believe some plans reduce your internet speed down to dialup speed if you exceed a certain limit, which is ridiculous. Imagine you run a home business and a client needs to e-mail you some documents to sign and they will only send them electronically. And those files are so big that either:

a) They get rejected by your e-mail provider before you even get them.
b) They get sucked into a giant anti-spam vat, something only possible with a certain larger internet company, never to be seen again.
c) It comes through to your e-mail, but you’ve exceeded your limit of internet for the month and so you have to sit there for an hour waiting to receive it.

Most internet for business in NZ does not run at the speed of business, so how can businesses be competitive online or run a business properly with the current infrastructure.

I believe it is up to the largest companies, and the relevant government David Cunliffe’s, to come to a resolution to this problem. And it needs to be done very soon before we lose more competitiveness as a result. I don’t think you can build an entirely new internet infrastructure overnight. launched

Tuesday, May 1st, 2007

(Very) early this morning we launched is the essential networking resource for the entertainment industry and is an international website.

It was created when Crewlist Limited founder Ben Milsom found a gap in the market – it was difficult to keep in touch after he and his friends had met on set. Now, with this new online networking site, you can store those contact details safely and easily.

It is free to sign up, and includes not only the entertainment industry, but suppliers to the entertainment industry can sign up too.

Check it out now at!