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2degrees, Snap, Quin star at Tuanz Awards

[UPDATE: Communications Minister Steven Joyce is overseas, but when NBR put the "public purse" funding Tuanz idea to his office, a spokeswoman replied:  "I understand this isn't something hat's been discussed at this point".]2degr

NBR staff
Fri, 03 Sep 2010

[UPDATE: Communications Minister Steven Joyce is overseas, but when NBR put the "public purse" funding Tuanz idea to his office, a spokeswoman replied:  "I understand this isn't something hat's been discussed at this point".]

2degrees took Carrier of the Year at the Tuanz Awards 2010, held in Auckland last night.

Yesterday, the telco revealed that 100,000 had ported their numbers to its service. In accepting the award, chief executive Eric Hertz promised a full customer update around February next year.

Snap, so to speak
Defying one commentator’s prediction that nobody ever wins twice in a row, Christchurch-based, nationwide service provider Snap won Best ISP for the second year straight.

Snap is a Telecom Wholesale customer.

Born on a battlefield
Pat O’Connell’s Chairman’s Award went to Geni Australasia chief executive Chris Quin.

Mr Quin worked himself to the bone, travelling the country and fronting up to customers during the XT crisis, helping to turn the situation around, Mr O’Connell said.

"Sometimes you don't get to choose what happens, only what you do about it", said Mr Quin in accepting the award, adding the earthier, “You learn a lot about your colleagues after working three days straight in the office, including how they smell.”

The Gen-i boss also offered what could be taken as a pithy summary of his company’s role in the new telecommunications landscape: "You have to face facts as they are, not as you remember them to be.”

Literal show of force by regional fibre contenders
Accepting the Next Generation Fibre-Optic Network Award, FX Network MD Murray Jurgeleit asked staff from regional operators Enable, Velocity and Vector to stand up (and, for good measure, Telecom Wholesale).

Your correspondent was reminded of a recent comment by a Tuanz insider to NBR that “FX could credibly conduct a regional orchestra” if the government ends up leaning that way for rural broadband or the UFB.

Certainly, the FX crew, and other fibre operators, are fiercely proud of their achievements to date. Either they, or national UFB bidder Telecom, are going to get their hearts broken when Crown Fibre Holdings makes its decision later this year.

End of an era
Host John Campbell, and many others, paid tribute to Tuanz chief executive Ernie Newman, who announced his resignation last month.

Mr Newman noted that when he began, in 1999, only three companies were up for Carrier of the Year. This year there were 15 - a definite mark of progress.

On a logistical note, Mr Newman said he would work for four more weeks.

Speculation is rife whether his replacement will continue Mr Newman's high-profile, assertive role, or have more of a heads-down administrative focus.

Public purse
Where now for Tuanz? In his speech, Mr O'Connell mused that the "public purse" could perhaps be used to fund the customer lobby group's activities.

The association represents around 450 corporate telecommunications users, but as Mr Newman noted last night, it has battled for all four million New Zealanders on issues like mobile termination rates.

The full list of winners:

Tuanz Telecommunications Innovation Award sponsored by VectorFibre
Winner: M-Com
Judges Comments: M-Com is set to become the world leader in mobile banking and payment services. Their innovation and constant product evolution is changing the way people do banking. Their solutions covering standard banking, online
banking, mobile proximity payment and mobile money transfer have already
been sold to more than 180 banks around the world. They have established a
strong presence in developed markets and are now poised to take on
emerging markets. M-Com is a great example of an innovative New Zealand
company taking the world by storm.

Tuanz Initiative of the Year Award sponsored by Voco
Winner: M-Com
Judges' comments: This is the second time M-Com have been finalists in the Innovation Awards, and in the past 12 months they have introduced a number new initiatives for their core product. In particular the judges were excited by their mobile offering, their mobile wallet offering, the opportunities in emerging markets
and the company growth.

Tuanz Mobile Application of the Year Award sponsored by Motorola
Winner: Run the Red and KHF Media
For: Run the Red and RedX Mobile Marketing Platform
Judges' comments: A highly interactive – multi platform product. Significant export potential. With a high level of telecommunication input.

Tuanz Education Award sponsored by Aurecon
Winner: Kiwibank and Social Capital
For: heaps!
Judges' comments: Overcomes a gap in the provision of financial literacy. Has a wide application to all New Zealanders with a bank account. Not only will it help solve New Zealand financial literacy problem, it also has the potential to grow the New Zealand economy.

Tuanz Healthcare Award
Winner: Gen-I, Alcatel Lucent, Auckland District Health Board
For: Mobile Telehealth
Judges' comments: Simplicity with wide implications for the population, reduces cost of care, benefiting those with high medical needs. Clearly a worthy
telecommunication application.

Tuanz Rural Award
Winner: Gen by Harmonic
Judges' comments: One of the judges' more difficult decisions. A highly innovative product, providing traceability and sustainability. Avoids pasture saturation and maintains satisfactory pond levels and benefits the farmer by saving fertiliser.

Tuanz Local & Central Government Services Award
Winner: North Shore City Council
For: Online Consenting Solution
Judges' comments: The judges had a very hard time deciding between the Metlink’s Route Planne and North Shore City Council’s Consent Planner. However, they selected North Shore City Council’s Consent Planner due to its potential to transform and simplify the entire consents process and in doing so saving vast sums of money. The building consents process affects many sections of society, from the general public wishing to apply for consent, the professional sector and of course the council staff themselves. The transparency for the end user was also a key factor in their decision.

Tuanz Commerce Award

Winner: Kiwibank and Social Capital
For: heaps!
Judges' comments: Judges were faced with diverse range of finalists with very different value propositions for the commerce category. However they felt that Heaps goes beyond counting your money and changes consumer behaviour. With a bank behind them at the outset, it also has huge export potential.

Tuanz Telecommunications Journalist of the Year sponsored by 2degrees 
Winner: Tom Pullar-Strecker
From: The Dominion Post
Judges' comments: All Tom’s articles were well written and easy to read with a good understanding of the audience. The article on Telecom’s split was a good
example of a scoop investigative journalist. The second article was an excellent
article showing behind the scenes analysis of the impact of Telecom’s
separation from a number of different angles. The third article, a review of
Teresa Gattung’s book Bird on a Wire was readable and interesting and well
structured as a book review.

Tuanz ICT Innovator of the Year Award sponsored by Kelly
Winner: Steve Fuller, Enable Networks
For: Open Access network for Schools
Judges Comments: There were two very different contenders for the Innovator of the year but after in depth discussion judgement that Steve Fuller deserved the award for his tireless efforts over a 3 year period to deliver fibre to the schools. This involved a keen understanding of the political situation, bringing the Ministry
of Education on board, working with key individuals and gaining the support
of the schools themselves, effectively changing the business model that can
replicated elsewhere in NZ.

Tuanz Next Generation Fibre-Optic Network Award sponsored by Northpower Fibre
Winner: FX Networks
For: The FX Next Generation Network
Judges Comments: FX has done for national networks what Citylink did for metro networks. They have challenged old-world business models, breaking down old-world thinking and have shaken up the place. They have an innovative interaction with customers, wide market impact and a co-operative operation.

Tuanz Internet Service of the Year Award sponsored by Telecom Wholesale
Winner: SNAP Internet

Tuanz Telecommunications Carrier of the Year Award sponsored by the Telecommunications Carriers’ Forum
Winner: 2degrees Mobile

Tuanz Technology Media of the Year Award sponsored by Kordia
Winner: Computerworld

Tuanz Chairman’s Award
Winner: Chris Quin

NBR staff
Fri, 03 Sep 2010
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2degrees, Snap, Quin star at Tuanz Awards