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Guest View: Technology ties bind New Zealand and Thailand

Karen Campbell, NZ Trade Commissioner to Thailand | June 20, 2014
Business leaders from New Zealand and Thailand are looking closely at a fundamental change in the world that has arrived with the monetisation of big data and related technological advances.

Wynyard Group's software specialises in building "Person of Interest" models. For example, if a person is identified as being involved in illicit drug smuggling activity, the software tracks their digital use and builds a pattern of behaviour which identifies other people and key events in the network to anticipate where the drugs are grown, shipped, distributed, and what happens to the proceeds. This information provides critical intelligence to apprehend suspects.

Mako Networks' CEO Bill Farmer, from New Zealand, told the session that credit card fraud in Asia is estimated to cost USD$1 billion and that it has a far-reaching impact on the financial and reputational image of entire countries. This has led to travel agents in Europe advising clients it is risky to use credit cards in Sri Lanka, Thailand, the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia.

Promoting secure environments

The advantages of harnessing these powerful technology trends - big data, cloud computing, mobile adoption - are immense. In the case of Mako Networks, its technology creates secure networks so that consumers and merchants have confidence in mobile and online banking solutions. Enabling a world-class, secure retail sector will encourage greater spending, especially by tourists, which in turn helps local economies to grow stronger. Mako is already finding success in South East Asian markets with this business model.

New Zealand company VMob, which provides mobile application solutions in the retail sector, was also present at the roundtable. VMob operates in Asia, Europe and New Zealand, and develops software for companies to enable mobile marketing programs.

VMob's technology allows for the personalisation of location-specific content to customers. For example, when a customer downloads a company's app that is built using VMob software, they can log on using their personal Facebook profile. This provides the company with information such as the customer's name, gender and date of birth.

Based on research of customers that share similar details, the VMob platform enables the company to electronically deliver targeted messages to an individual consumer, rather than bombard them information that may not be relevant.

Partnerships ahead

New Zealand and Thailand are seeking to increase their relationships across a variety of key sectors, with mutually beneficial opportunities identified in both the security and health IT sectors.

New Zealand technology companies are keen to form partnerships of lasting value with their Thai counterparts, and can demonstrate expertise in software development and tailoring solutions to meet specific needs.

Wynyard Group and New Zealand security experts Gallagher Security have discussed opening a joint office in Bangkok. This collaboration would add to the New Zealand technology presence already in Thailand, which is set to increase following Prime Minister John Key's visit in November.


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