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The Techday Weekender - Aug 13th 2011

13 Aug 11

We reported on some great small business success stories on Techday this week, with a couple of successful start ups showing how New Zealand could be the next technology capital of the world.

Mt Maunganui-based online accounting tool provider Business Fitness NZ announced early in the week it had been purchased by international firm CCH. CEO and founder Viv Brownrigg said the acquisition demonstrated the confidence international investors have in New Zealand intellectual property.

Just a day later, POS software providers Vend announced a funding boost from a European investment consortium led by Point Nine Capital. Vend CEO and founder Vaughan Rowsell agreed that the international ICT community had a lot of confidence in New Zealand, telling Techday, "As a country, when it comes to cloud-based stuff we definitely punch above our weight.”

However, although it was a good week for New Zealand SMBs, international markets struggled, experiencing some of the worst volatility since 2008 following the announcement by credit analysts Standard & Poor’s that the United States’ credit rating was being downgraded from AAA to AA+. One analyst spoken to by Techday saw a bright side though, predicting that tight budgets would force IT departments to innovate, which would inevitably lead them into the cloud.

Speaking of the cloud, Microsoft partners Intergen held their annual Dynamics Day conferences in Auckland and Wellington this week. Techday attended the Auckland event, where Intergen COO Simon Bright and CTO Chris Auld spoke about the move towards cloud computing, while Microsoft New Zealand managing director Paul Muckleston gave a look into what the future holds for the technology giant.

In governmental news, Environment Minister Nick Smith this week announced that National was adding $1 million to the current ewaste recycling budget of $400,000. Although the move was welcomed, one industry group had been hoping for a product stewardship scheme, which would put the onus on manufacturers to pay for recycling rather than consumers.

Speaking of the government, the controversial Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Amendment Bill - nicknamed the Skynet bill after a speech by National MP Jonathan Young comparing the internet with the evil computers in the Terminator films - comes into force in three weeks. Although that may not seem like big news, it is backdated three weeks, meaning infringements from August 11 onwards are admissable. Techday spoke to Chris Barton, Clearswift ANZ regional manager, who had some advice for businesses who could be liable if their employees are engaging in file sharing at work.

Finally, the biggest news of all - tickets went on sale for the NetGuide Web Awards this week! This evening is sure to be a blast as we celebrate the best of the web, so grab your ticket before they're all gone and be ready to party on August 25!

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