In the first part of an interview, Geoff Lawrie, NZ country manager at Cisco Systems, talks to Reseller News NZ on how the Internet of Things is the next big thing for the company in New Zealand.
Q: What are the larger networking trends that you are seeing in NZ?
Geoff Lawrie: Here's my take.I think NZ is a relatively sophisticated networking marketplace. Cisco regularly brings together all the managers across mid-size markets globally. The Scandinavian countries, Norway, Denmark and Sweden, the mature Middle-European countries like Switzerland, Austria, Belgium, Portugal, Greece, Latin American countries that are doing well, couple of the developed Asian economies - we get together as a group. So I have a good opportunity to benchmark NZ.
One of my overall conclusions on that is we are a relatively sophisticated market. There is a good understanding here, the technologies are relatively mature, the infrastructure works well, it is relatively well priced. We are going through some transitions with relation to fibre at the moment, but in general it is a pretty well established networking environment.
As a consequence Cisco does as well here as it does anywhere else in the world. We tend to operate on the sophisticated end of the scale in terms of the networking capabilities that we offer to market and NZ is a good market for that. Customers understand that, they appreciate the value, and they place value on the support environment that goes behind it.
There is big disruption going on around UFB and its impact. There is nothing more current and topical right now than UFB, copper pricing and fibre. They will work through the system. But, ultimately, I am personally delighted that NZ has pushed in forward to getting in place a fibre infrastructure, because I think it is absolutely critical to the future.
It has nothing to do with my role here or my opportunity with Cisco. I just think that if NZ wants to be a globally relevant, well connected prosperous, productive kind of a country fibre infrastructure and networking, as well as strong connections to the rest of the world is one of the fundamental capabilities to have as a country. It is important to every industry - it is not a technology alone issue. It is important to the education process, important to the health process, critically important to agriculture and productivity in those areas, critically important to trade and government connections with citizenship. The underlying enabler to all of that is connectivity with fibre.
I am really pleased that we are pushing ahead with that and, ultimately, it will be a big disruptor.
The big thing we are seeing here in the last couple of years is the investment that telcos are making in networks and 4G. We are once again at the relatively sophisticated end of the case on a global basis. We may not be the first, right, but certainly incredible in terms of what we are doing with 4G. Vodafone has been in the market since October last year. And Telecom has come to market with their 4G option. And we have had a substantial volume of both of those projects.
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