Stories by Claire Rogers

I-lign takes cloud software to the world

A New Zealand firm gearing up to launch software it believes could improve public sector efficiency may partner computer giant IBM in a global sales push. Chief executive Tony Crewdson says i-lign's core software helps organisations share information and collaborate on projects and track their progress, while its next-generation "Uber i-lign" software provides a single platform for viewing and managing projects across multiple agencies and business divisions. The company has used a grant from the Science and Innovation Ministry to help develop a prototype of Uber i-lign which could be used to facilitate collaboration across public sector initiatives and keep them on track and within budget, Mr Crewdson says. Uber i-lign could be used by the National Health Board to oversee the initiatives of the 20 district health boards, "or [Prime Minister] John Key could have view of major public sector initiatives at once". Project information is typically stored across a variety of software products, making it difficult for lead agencies and head offices to easily get a view of "the big picture", he says. The 15-person company is working with NZTE and IBM to sell its cloud software – delivered over the internet – globally. "We're exploring a range of options with IBM that include working together to integrate our software, and to take i-lign out on the cloud. "We're also starting to talk through IBM with public sector agencies in the US and we've talked with [NZTE equivalent] UK Trade and Investment about opportunities for exposure. The idea is for IBM to be our international go-to-market partner." I-lign's customers include ACC, the Reserve Bank, Snapper, Auckland District Health Board, TVNZ and, in the United States, First Bank of Delaware. I-lign chairman Kerry McDonald, who is also president of the Institute of Directors, says business projects are too often siloed in individual departments and managed out of the context of the whole business. "If you don't see the bigger picture you can't engage stakeholders, you can't engage your managers and you can't engage your board."