Category

General News

CCL divests network services business assets, continues focusing on cloud and ICT

By | General News

Spark has today announced that Computer Concepts Limited (CCL), Spark New Zealand’s wholly owned provider of cloud and ICT services, has signed a conditional agreement to divest the operational parts of its network services division in a buy-out by a member of the CCL management team. Mark Jurgeleit, CCL’s current general manager of network services will set up the network services division as a new business called Octave.

CCL and Spark will retain all existing contracted client relationships and CCL will engage Octave as a sub-contractor to deliver network services. As such, existing CCL network services customers won’t experience any disruption or change.

The decision to sell the network services division is consistent with CCL’s shift to a simpler operating model following its brand merger with Spark’s wholly owned cloud business, Revera, in February 2019, explains Andrew Allan, CEO of CCL. “As part of the Spark business, CCL currently has areas of overlapping investment within network services and capabilities that already exist in the Spark Group. Consequently, despite divesting this division, the breadth of CCL’s end-to-end services remains unchanged – and we will continue to offer our clients the full suite of network services.”

Allan explains that this divestment will allow the CCL business to deepen its focus on growing its multi-cloud and ICT services. “By selling CCL’s network services business assets to Octave, a standalone business that will still work closely with us, we will continue to benefit from a tightly integrated network business while freeing up our resources to focus on delivering Spark’s wider cloud services strategy.”

All existing permanent CCL network services employees will be offered the opportunity to move to Octave, which will initially continue to operate out of CCL premises. CCL will retain the majority of its business, which provides full spectrum cloud and ICT services with the support of over 700 employees.

Mark Jurgeleit, the new owner of Octave says, “It’s been an incredible journey for CCL, from an idea born in 2015 through to an extremely fast-growing network today. Becoming an independent business from Spark will now allow Octave to focus wholly and solely on building excellent network service solutions.”

For media queries, please contact: 

Elle Dorset 

Corporate Relations Partner 

+64 (0) 21 238 9844 

For investor relations queries, please contact: 

Dean Werder  

Finance Lead Partner, Product and Performance  

+64 (0) 27 259 7176 

Social Enterprise Kilmarnock offers sponsors life changing partnership

By | General News

CCL sponsors Kilmarnock Enterprises, encourages other corporates to get onboard 

Leaving high school is a stressful time for many young Kiwis. For those with a disability it can be harrowing. As they navigate limited pathways to live a purposeful life, their peers chase further education, new jobs, and freedom.

Kilmarnock Enterprises is changing the lives of Kiwis with a disability for the better. But they need corporate sponsors to keep doing the job.

Founded in 1958, Kilmarnock – then known as the Canterbury Sheltered Workshop Association – soon acquired its first commercial contract, assembling leather sandals for the Suckling Brothers.

Today, Kilmarnock is regarded as one of the country’s most progressive social enterprises, providing commercial services to business juggernauts including Fonterra, The Gough Group, Murdoch Manufacturing (Pams range of herbs and spices), and Air New Zealand.

The organisation’s sweet spot, contract manufacturing, has developed significantly since its days of producing ANZAC poppies – a contract that ended in 2010.

And though contract manufacturing perhaps doesn’t have quite the same sizzle as new forms of work driving the digital economy, it is nevertheless work highly prized by both clients and the 70-plus people busy at workstations in Kilmarnock’s Wigram facility.

Like employees everywhere, Kilmarnock’s people relish the opportunity to earn a wage and bring purpose and meaning to their lives, turning their hand to recycling, assembly, and packaging.

More recently, the social enterprise launched a learning academy to help its people achieve NZQA qualifications in numeracy and literacy, a development that sees around 20 graduates each year extend their talents and work further afield.

But without government funding to run and develop its academy, Kilmarnock requires corporate sponsors to deliver the classroom training for its NZQA programme.

CCL has signed on as a corporate sponsor, but more are needed if Kilmarnock is to continue its good work and, longer term, achieve an audacious goal to replicate its services in Wellington.

“Sponsors are extremely important,” says Michael Toothill, CEO of Kilmarnock. “We’re extremely grateful that CCL has got onboard. While our factory operation benefits from some government funding, we’re on our own when it comes to the academy. The great thing for our sponsor partners is that we can show them outcomes.”

Cherie Roache, director of CCL’s southern region, says CCL is excited to support the academy. “Kilmarnock’s work is inspiring. We feel privileged to support them and the work they do to enrich the lives of Kiwis who face challenges most of us can’t even imagine.”

Contact Michael Toothill, CEO of Kilmarnock, to learn how your sponsorship could change the lives of Kiwis who deserve your help. Michael.toothill@kilmarnock.co.nz or 03 348 5162

CCL launches new service powered by Microsoft Azure

By | General News

CCL is pleased to announce a new enhancement to our Internet platform that ensures optimal transport for users connecting to Microsoft public services, including Microsoft Office 365, Microsoft Dynamics 365, Microsoft Teams and other SaaS-based services running on Microsoft Azure.

Many businesses around the world consider Microsoft’s SaaS product suite critical for productivity, collaboration, and administration. Given the importance of these tools, it is crucial to ensure that connectivity to the cloud is delivered to businesses in the most optimal way.

Using the Microsoft Azure Peering Service, CCL has set up diverse, dedicated connections to Microsoft that feed directly into our Internet platform.  Azure Peering Service is a collaboration with service providers to provide highly reliable and optimised internet connectivity to Microsoft services.  It also provides Internet latency telemetry and route monitoring, and alerting against hijacks, leaks and any other Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) misconfigurations.

This will benefit all clients consuming business Internet services from CCL, with customer traffic to/from SaaS services such as Office 365 connecting to Microsoft’s global network at the nearest location. Furthermore, prefixes advertised from CCL over the peering service will be assigned a higher local preference over the Microsoft network, ensuring the best possible network performance for SaaS applications.

As an optional add-on, business Internet customers can subscribe to Telemetry services via the Azure Portal.  This service will provide insight into performance, route monitoring, hijacks and leaks, and other statistics around first-mile, last-mile Internet services.

Note: Peering service is NOT a private connectivity product to Microsoft’s cloud services, neither is it an Express Route or VPN product – it is an IP service that uses the Public Internet, and offers optimised and reliable routing to public IPs or SaaS services such as Office 365.

To enquire about CCL’s Internet services, please contact your local CCL office.

CCL entrepreneurship and mid-market prowess recognised at Reseller News Innovation Awards

By | General News, Uncategorized

CCL took home two gongs at the 2019 Reseller News Innovation Awards, held last week at Auckland’s Cordis Hotel.

In front of 480 attendees representing New Zealand’s channel community, CCL client relationship manager Karl Moore was recognised for his continued success delivering customer focused outcomes using Dell technology, taking home the sales excellence award.

Moore was instrumental to Dell’s growing local revenue, which has increased by more than 20 per cent year-on-year over the past four years. He has also played a central role in CCL’s technical enablement.

For the third year running, CCL scooped the mid-market award, which recognises enterprise providers for their customer value and successes.

Richard Hansen, CCL’s Director Enterprise Sourcing, said he was stoked to beat out impressive competitors. “With so many deserving nominees I’m incredibly proud of the team for taking home the mid-market award. And special kudos to now official sales champion, Karl Moore. He just keeps on delivering.”

Josh Penfold, CCL’s head of infrastructure, was a finalist for the management excellence award.

CCL appoints Mike Manson – Head of Public Cloud Practice

By | General News

Mike Manson has been appointed Head of Public Cloud Practice, adding muscle to CCL’s public cloud business unit following accreditations from Microsoft, Amazon Web Services (AWS), and Google earlier this year.

Christchurch-based Manson, formerly the company’s Transitions Manager, previously worked at cloud provider Umbrellar. His 20-plus year career in IT covers both technical and business facing roles, from systems engineering and operations to service delivery and transformation.

Manson spearheads CCL’s freshly aligned public cloud practice, following the company’s merger with Revera announced in February this year.

The company’s new-look practice now comprises 80-plus architects and engineers, forming the engine-room driving the company’s growing public cloud footprint.

CEO Andrew Allan said Manson’s appointment added vital horsepower to the CCL client experience in the pubic cloud.

“Universally, enterprises are re-thinking how they put their data to work – and invariably all signs point to the cloud,” he said. “However, everyone has their own starting point. At one extreme you have organisations looking to unbundle legacy infrastructure and add agility layers before sizing up migration. And at the other end you have enterprises who have already lifted big chunks of their digital estates into the cloud.”

“Regardless, operating in the cloud requires a broad set of skills and experience. There are many moving parts and levers to pull to maximise the potential of cloud,” said Allan. “It keeps changing and regenerating, and new services abound. So, it’s one thing to buy cloud services from the likes of AWS and Azure, but quite another to keep everything running and optimised.”

In April this year Spark-owned CCL launched a Microsoft M365 Fast Track service, signing up over 100 clients to Microsoft-funded training and support to take advantage of the full M365 public cloud portfolio.

Good questions, better answers

By | General News

News and developments from Spark-sponsored Lightning Lab GovTech

Lightening Lab GovTech is a Spark-sponsored accelerator programme for public sector agencies to build, test, and validate new approaches and technologies for government. Ten teams are working side-by-side in the Lightning Lab facility over three months, before lifting the lid on their handiwork at a demo day showcase event on 5 November.

Stuart Van Rij coached teams participating in this year’s edition of Lightning Lab GovTech – Van Rij, a coach with the Camp Negotiation Institute, says the science of a good question involves knowing your mission and purpose – you’ve got to know why you’re asking the question and what you aim to find.

Ten teams have been working side-by-side in the Lightning Lab facility and will lift the lid on their handiwork at a demo day showcase event on 5 November.

Maggie Ford, a member of the Department of Conservation’s team exploring improvements to waste management practices at DOC sites, put the theory to test in a problem discovery sprint – a process designed to pinpoint the nature of problems and how they map to opportunities.

Learn more >>

Mental Health Awareness Week

By | General News

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week and CCL Together with Revera is focusing on the Five Ways to Wellbeing – Connect, Keep Learning, Take Notice, Be Active and Give. There is a lot happening this week, starting off with a wee treat on everyone’s desk encouraging team members to take a break and focus on the Five Ways to Wellbeing.

Explore your way to wellbeing – Whāia te ara hauora, Whitiora.

Meet the CCL, Reseller News Innovation Awards 2019 Finalists

By | General News

CCL has been shortlisted for three awards at this year’s Reseller News Innovation Awards:

Josh Penfold – finalist for Management Excellence

Karl Moore – finalist for Sales Excellence

And, CCL is a finalist for the Mid-market Partner of the Year award (CCL has won this award in 2018 and 2017).

The awards ceremony will be held on 23rd October. Good luck team.

CCL appoints Suzanne Miller – Director, Central Region

By | General News

Suzanne Miller has been appointed Director, Central Region, spearheading the newly-merged CCL’s business across the greater  Wellington and lower-North Island regions.

Completing CCL’s top-table line-up, announced in May this year, Miller joins CCL from Spark, where she held the position of Customer Unit Lead.

A former general manager of Datacom’s government cloud services, Miller’s track-record in the IT industry includes roles for a slew of top-tier organisations, including HPE and, client-side, IRD, Capital Coast District Heath Board, and Westpac Bank.

CCL CEO Andrew Allan said he was delighted with Miller’s appointment. “Suzanne has a formidable CV, with technical and leadership skills tested and proven in some of the country’s most dynamic organisations,” he said. “Her experience in cloud services, transformational change, and central government make her ideally placed to lead CCL in the central region.”

With 700-plus employees and 11 offices nationwide, CCL is the country’s largest New Zealand-focused IT services company, providing end-to-end IT management and multi-platform expertise to some of New Zealand’s most important organisations.

Since announcing the merger late February, the company has maintained a head of steam, winning significant transformation project work for New Zealand’s primary workplace health and safety regulator WorkSafe, and Children’s charity Barnados, as well was adding muscle in the public cloud arena with new accreditations from Microsoft and Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Workers still falling victim to old cyber tricks

By | General News

Fraudsters prey on busy execs’ impulsive email behaviour  

Few people these days fall for unsolicited emails from Nigerian princes offering juicy commission to transfer funds from a multimillion-dollar inheritance. But still plenty of Kiwis are being sucked in by a rising number of email phishing scams – and you can blame their impulsive email behaviour.

CCL’s security awareness service, which each week sends phishing look-a-like emails to thousands of employees working in organisations across the country, is registering a phishing success rate of 20-to-30 per cent among participating employees presented with their first duplicitous email.

CCL’s Head of Security, Tim Sewell, said analysis showed that while people in all job roles fell victim to phishing attacks, certain personality types, especially Type-A personalities, often found working in sales and leadership roles, appear more inclined to click duplicitous links and attachments.

However, personality type wasn’t the only factor to determine susceptibility, he said. “Personal workloads, stress, timing and context also influence the success rates of phishing attacks. For example, receiving a phishing email that looks like a courier company when you’re expecting to receive a parcel – bingo.”

Sewell said CCL’s training and education programme had reduced phishing success rates to around five per cent, with well-trained employees now regularly reporting phishing scams and being part of the solution.

In the meantime, real-life phishing incidents were likely to remain high as phishermen got more sophisticated, launching scams from previously compromised email accounts and impersonating trusted providers, such as Microsoft Office 365, Amazon, Google, even the IRD and NZ Post, he said.

“More people are working in the cloud and using browser-based logins to access services. As this behaviour becomes routine, people tend to let their guard down, providing an easy in for fraudsters to steal user login credentials,” said Sewell.

A report published by cloud security firm Avanan shows one in every 99 emails is a phishing attack, using malicious links and attachments as the main vector.

Closer to home, CERT NZ figures show the number of malware reports from Kiwi organisations more than doubled to 43 in the three months ended 31 December.

Phishing campaigns containing malware and targeting business customers of some New Zealand banks contributed to the increase. And in three incidents reported to the NCSC this year, New Zealand organisations lost nearly NZD$800,000 to ‘successful’ fraudulent invoice emails.

Sewell said multi-factor authentication (also known as MFA) helped reduce credential theft – one of the main prizes from phishing attacks – by requiring users to authenticate themselves to a website by another method, in addition to the standard username and password login procedure.

However, he said the additional cost of MFA and the inconvenience to users who are quick to moan about laboured access discouraged adoption, increasing the “attack surface” for criminals.

“And that’s a big problem, because once the bad guys have captured a user’s credentials their behaviour goes largely unnoticed – because there isn’t anything to trigger a security alert,” said Sewell. “That gives the crims time to watch and learn, email customers with revised payment details, send out mocked-up invoices, gain the trust of contacts linked to the compromised email account, and reply to existing emails.”  

He said regular, friendly phishing exercises, multi-factor authentication, and anti-phishing technology were essential steps in the current cybersecurity landscape, though tweaking existing policies in some cases was the fastest way to bolster defences, he said.

“For example, financial policies should ensure requests to change payment details are authorised and properly validated, without relying on email. Don’t accept emails as authorisation of payment method. And if someone keeps taking the phishing bait, maybe they’re in the wrong job,” said Sewell.