Three topics will loom large on the radar of every reseller this year, predicts Canterbury Business Solutions general manager Steve Knutson. They are: Ultra Fast Broadband, cloud computing and mobility generally.
All of these technologies were already quite advanced in Christchurch, he says, partly because of infrastructure investment in recent years, but they have gained extra impetus as a result of the earthquakes.
“The UFB is already starting to rollout in Christchurch, which is making things like working from home or remote access much more of a practical proposition,” says Knutson. “It’s been particularly important here when offices have not been working.”
Knutson says that quite a lot of fibre has already been laid in the city and that pricing is “highly competitive” when compared to other parts of the country. He says this might be reflecting the difference between the purely commercial development in cities such as Auckland compared with the additional involvement of the city council in Christchurch.
Similarly, while cloud computing and SaaS-type applications will be significant thorughout the country this year, these technologies have been given a head start in Christchurch.
“One thing we learned from the earthquakes was how cloud computing provides the ability to scale and work from remote locations,” says Knutson. “A lot of people had to move and the only way to connect to the internet was via a datacentre.”
While the events in Christchurch stimulated datacentre builds across the country as businesses re-evaluated their disaster recovery capability, Knutson says there has also been a "substantial" increase in hosting in the city itself since the earthquakes.
“That might be surprising, but you have to remember that during the quakes there were no outages of the networks—the only outages that occured were because of power [failures]."
Knutson says local systems integrators are now moving into datacentres because of the rapid deployment they can enable—there is no need to set up the telco connections.
“The internet backbone already has connections with the datacentre, and you can connect to the office location far better with fibre than with a DSL type connection. Fibre is definitely the way of the future.”