Archive for August, 2013

New program will teach New Zealand businesses how to better harness the power of the internet

Friday, August 30th, 2013

A Digital Enablement Training program will be rolled out across New Zealand in the coming months to help small businesses take advantage of the Government’s ultra-fast broadband (UFB) and rural broadband (RBI) programs.

The program will include workshops on how UFB, RBI and other new technologies will impact on companies and identifies the opportunities it presents.

“The internet is a strong and growing marketplace,” Communications and Information Technology Minister Amy Adams said when announcing the program. “Faster broadband can deliver greater productivity and lower costs, but small businesses need to know how to use it to maximum effect.

“Fast broadband enables businesses to connect easily to the world, and our investment in broadband will support innovation, high-tech jobs, and grow productivity.

“The Digital Enablement Training program will help these businesses understand the benefits that UFB, RBI and ICT services can bring, and help them make more sophisticated use of the tools and services available.”

The program has been supported by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and will be available through the New Zealand Trade and Enterprise Regional Business Partner Network around New Zealand.

Adams said although nearly two million New Zealanders want to buy online, only 64 per cent of small businesses have a website and only 11 per cent offer customers the ability to pay online.

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New Zealand websites slow to respond to industrialised hacking

Wednesday, August 28th, 2013

New Zealand businesses have been sluggish in responding to automated cyber attacks, leaving businesses of all sizes vulnerable, cyber security experts have said.

Modern hacking tools mean that cyber criminals can quickly and easily scan the internet for vulnerable websites and launch attacks and New Zealand is becoming a prime target, Mark Kraynak, senior vice president of US- headquartered data security company Imperva, said.

“Now that the bad guys can find anyone online, [things have] changed. They’ve figured out that the little guys are actually pretty good targets,” Kraynak said.

“It’s probably true that criminals weren’t paying much attention to New Zealand but it’s become easier for organisations to find places to attack here.”

Kraynak claims data attacks in New Zealand are ten times higher than in Australia, on a per capita basis and businesses from the largest banks down to the smallest online retailers are at risk because while other countries were diligent about beefing up online security, New Zealand lagged behind.

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New Zealand woman starts her dream store online

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

New Zealand’s Claire Ongley always dreamed of working for herself so when she moved back home a few months ago after six years in Sydney, she decided to start her own online business.

With the help of an online store service, she got up and running, selling unusual home wares and accessories imported from overseas.

The products Ongley sells include cotton fouta towels, which come in all different colours and are like Turkish bath towels, coats for dogs, neck ties from a New York designer and boots from Morocco.

Her first task was to get the website up and running. She used a popular e-commerce platform.

“You can set up your online store quite easily without having any technical knowledge. So that’s allowed me to do it all myself, except the logo that was designed by a friend of mine.”

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Briscoe looks to expand online

Wednesday, August 14th, 2013

Briscoe Group has turned its sights toward acquiring online retail businesses.

Rod Duke, managing director of Briscoe Group, which operates Rebel Sport, Briscoes and Living & Giving, said the company is not quite as keen as New Zealand’s biggest listed retailer, The Warehouse, to get into online business. The Warehouse has invested in the online stores Torpedo7 and

“It’s something we could look at,” Duke said. “(Online) is an interesting place to be.”

Duke refrained from giving any clues about any specific online businesses Briscoe might be interested in buying or when it might make those purchases.

“What I can say is if we were to buy a business it would play to our core competency (of high-volume consumer goods),” he said. “I don’t have any desire to get into a range of businesses that some people might think that we can operate in.”

Duke said that Briscoe would increase cash reserves in the current financial year from the $78 million it had at the end of January.

“We haven’t had any debt for 15 years,” he added.

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New Zealand businesses urged to use tech more cleverly

Wednesday, August 7th, 2013

The New Zealand government has taken it upon itself to urge New Zealand businesses to use internet technology better.

At a conference in early July in Wellington, the New Zealand Productivity Commission said the country’s productivity growth has been persistently low when compared to other OECD countries.

Among the problems were the fact that information communications technology (ICT) is not used as well as it could be to improve business productivity in New Zealand.

Sapere Research Group principal Hayden Glass, who spoke about research he conducted with Eli Hefter on the subject, said the debate was currently stuck on business access to technology.

“The debate should no longer be about access and it should go beyond technology. The debate is now about business use.”

According to Statistics New Zealand, 70 per cent of businesses in New Zealand had a website, which was less than the 96 per cent of companies which used the internet.

Of these websites, though, only 19 per cent had the capacity to accept online orders, and only 12 per cent would accept online payments.

Most of these websites were “basically brochures”, Glass said.

“In terms of selling things our businesses are much less developed.

“There’s still some work to do in terms of taking advantage of the technologies that are available.”

New Zealand was ranked seventh in the world for use of the internet but only seventeenth when it came to the country’s ability ability to extract economic value from the internet.

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Lack of online presence for New Zealand businesses means opportunity is ripe

Thursday, August 1st, 2013

With so few New Zealand businesses having a true online presence, or extremely limited online presence, the opportunity is there for savvy online entrepreneurs to make a big impact.

Aaron Schiff, an economist and blogger, says internet usage by businesses in New Zealand “sucks” and anyone who has a good idea for an internet business has an almost wide open field in the nation.

Schiff cites numbers from the Statistics New Zealand Business Operations Survey that say nearly a third of businesses don’t have a website of any kind; less than one in five businesses supports ordering on its website, and only around one in ten allow customers to make payments online. These numbers haven’t changed much in two years.

While the current numbers are dire, Schiff says, that does mean that huge opportunities await people willing to take the plunge to create an online business or get their bricks and mortar business online.

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