Stories by Mark Broatch

Tranz Rail shows glimpse of IT treasure

For those wondering why Melbourne-based Toll Holdings bought Tranz Rail, it may have had something to do with the cleverness of the people and technology hidden inside the transport company. It may even be that Toll plans to use its New Zealand arm as an IT testbed, if a glimpse of what’s ahead is any indication.

And the IT staff come Russian in

You think you’ve got it tough in IT. You haven’t seen tough. A deadline for a CIO in Russia means just that: go over that line and you’re dead.

Microsoft muddies message as 3GL demand flatlines

It's looking a pancake-flat market for third-generation language (3GL) tools for the next year or so and only those which greatly boost the productivity of developers or cut product time to market are likely to be considered.

It's Real Groovy selling CDs online

It may be comforting for its rivals to know that Real Groovy Records faced the usual difficulties of any fair-sized retailer in its move into cyberspace: merging incompatible third-party supplier catalogues into one searchable database, integrating instore and online loyalty systems and keeping customers informed about the status of their orders.

Blogs butting into business

If you haven't noticed, weblogs are escaping the world of the opinionated scribbler in the wilderness and being taken up as a means to extend corporate intelligence gathering

Monitoring the business gets easier

If you've never heard of business activity monitoring, don't worry, you will. Coined last year by analyst firm Gartner, BAM could be the IT tonic you never knew your business needed.

Bank of NZ lets staff help themselves

The 4,500 staff at the Bank of New Zealand Ltd. are to gain access to a range of employee applications and Web-based forms thanks to a human resources portal that's been developed by the IT department of its parent, the National Australia Bank.

Sun flies desktop Linux kite

What are Sun's chances of successfully selling a Linux bundle on the corporate desktop? Fair to good, suggest users and analysts, who cite price advantages, "dissonance" from Microsoft's Software Assurance licensing scheme and a less proprietary desktop environment as elements in its favour.

Web firm does open source thing

An Auckland Web design company is following the open source model to success - creating commercial products and planning to give something back to the community.

Web services present host of developer issues

Analysts at a developers' conference in Sydney last week identified several issues that developers and companies need to get to grips with before attacking IT projects using web services.

CRM systems helps NZ sales staff to share

New Zealand sales staff of property company giant Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) have previously been particularly disinclined to share contact information with colleagues, because they have worked on a commission-only basis and tended to view colleagues as competitors.

NZ big business uses Web sites to lure staff

New Zealand's top companies are increasingly using their Web sites to lure new staff, though they may be damaging their reputations if they do so in a slapdash manner, a new Australian survey suggests.