by Divina Paredes

Movers and shakers: Tammy Auranen & Iain Urquhart at Northpower, Alin Ungureanu at Chelmer

Feb 19, 2019
Big DataCareersDigital Transformation

Northpower Limited is fast-tracking its transformation from legacy information systems to a strategic emphasis on digital with two key digital appointments: Tammy Auranen as group manager digital and Iain Urquhart as proposition and experience lead.

This is the next stage of the evolution of the digital services and offerings we are providing our clients, says Northpower, in a statement.

Iain Urquhart

Auranen has worked for over 18 years in a variety of digital, technology and improvement based roles, most recently leading the IT and systems functions for Far North District Council, CityFitness Group and SunRype Products (Canada).

Urquhart will lead research, design, testing and incremental achievement of exceptional customer and employee experiences.

Alin Ungureanu at a CIO NZ forum

Kiwi fintech opens first international office in Asia

One of New Zealand’s leading fintech firms – Chelmer – has opened its first international office in Makati, Metro Manila, in the Philippines.

“Our business has gone from strength to strength and put us in an exciting position to grow our business and share our technology with the world,” says Chelmer CEO Alin Ungureanu.

“With a similar technology profile and infrastructure to New Zealand, the Philippines’ financial markets and growing economy offered a prime opportunity to expand into Asia.”

In 2017, Chelmer partnered with Kris Finsoftware – a major partner to suppliers of digital, wealth and risk management solutions in Asia, and have been working together to give Philippine banks access to Chelmer’s leading-edge technology.

With growing interest in the tech and particularly fintech, Ungureanu says a dedicated office and development expertise on the ground was the next logical step.

“We’re committed to developing long-term relationships with our clients and partners, and recognised that having a local presence was going to be important. This step will enable us to collaborate more effectively on projects, and better understand and respond to the market’s evolving needs.”

Chelmer also took on two local developers to support continued growth and expansion into Asia.

Andy Robertson, chief innovation officer at Chelmer, says the two new developers will focus on enhancing Chelmer’s front-end user interface and working directly with local clients to deliver customised solutions.

“To be competitive in this market, customisation is key,” he says.

“Trusted financial software specialists who can collaborate on solutions that are flexible, easy to integrate, address specific needs and add value are high in demand. This is something our teams and technology can offer and will drive how we design and deliver solutions for our Philippine clients.”

Leo Paas

Leo Paas is now a professor of marketing at the faculty of business and economics at the University of Auckland. In February 2019 I joined The University of Auckland as a Professor in Marketing. Before this, Paas was with Massey University, where he led the Master in Business Analytics. His research focuses on big data analytics, with a focus on segmentation and respondent attention in online panels.

Andrew Miller

TeamTalk CEO Andrew Miller says the company has been selected as the preferred provider to manage Powerco’s private telecommunications network.

The network comprises a Digital Mobile Radio (DMR) Tier III Voice Radio Network, and a WAN (Packet Transport Network or PTN). These will be the primary means of communication with all field staff involved with the electricity network and communication activities. The network will eventually carry all of Powerco’s Network Operations voice, video, data and SCADA traffic.

“We’re delighted to have been selected to work with Powerco,” says Miller. “We know that the communications network is a critical part of their business and look forward to supporting their growth ambition in New Zealand’s regulated electricity and gas environment.”

Powerco is New Zealand’s second largest electricity utility and gas distribution utility with around 1.1 million customers (across 446,000 connections) connected to its networks. Powerco’s electricity networks are in Western Bay of Plenty, Thames, Coromandel, Eastern and Southern Waikato, Taranaki, Whanganui, Rangitikei, Manawatu and the Wairarapa. Its gas pipeline networks are in Taranaki, Hutt Valley, Porirua, Wellington, Horowhenua, Manawatu and Hawke’s Bay.

Andy Strain

Andy Strain is joining customer intelligence agency Perceptive as senior research analyst. Strain came from market research agency Colmar Brunton where his main focus was quantitative research, especially advertising testing, and worked with clients from FMCG, telecommunications, insurance, healthcare, retail, TV/media and public relations.

Dr. Zbigniew Michalewicz

Complexica chief scientist Dr. Zbigniew Michalewicz has been named recipient of the prestigious 2019 IEEE Pioneer Award for Evolutionary Computation research.

The IEEE is the world’s largest technical professional organisation dedicated to advancing technology for the benefit of humanity. The organisation has more than 423,000 members in over 160 countries, and is the trusted “voice” for engineering, computing, and technology information around the globe through its highly cited publications, conferences, technology standards, and professional and educational activities.

Michalewicz has published more than 300 technical papers in peer-reviewed journals during the past 30 years, along with many books, including the monograph Genetic Algorithms + Data Structures = Evolution Programs, which was translated into many languages and cited more than 20,000 times in other journals, books, and scientific publications.

He received this Ph.D. degree in Computer Science from the Polish Academy of Science, and his Doctor of Science (Habilitation) degree in Computer Science from the Polish Academy of Science. His research interests include artificial intelligence, data mining, predictive modelling, optimisation, logistics, big-data analytics, genetic algorithms, neural networks, fuzzy logic, and optimisation.

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