Geeks, nerds and that burning smell – ICT winners and losers in 2017

18 December 2017

Last year I compiled a satirical list of ICT companies that won or lost the battle for the affection of us ICT brokers for businesses. The response was a mixture of simpering sweetness and hate mail (you know who you are).

Nevertheless, I’m doing it again this year, in this article.

To my colleagues who I offend in the next few hundred words, I apologise for my ill humour, even if you have been the authors of your own destruction.

ICT Winners and Losers (a satire)

The Coolest Kids in Town Award: Kordia

Who would have thought that Kordia — formerly government-owned BCL with its unwashed hoard of nerds in walk shorts, sandals, long socks and straggly beards — would have transformed itself over a single decade into the ultra-cool company it is now?

Delivering superb, Ultra-Fast Broadband innovation at impressive price/performance levels and showing market leadership in emerging technologies such as the Internet of Things-enabler Sigfox, it seems maybe geeks can fly after all.

The How Many Fingers am I Holding Up? Award: 2 Degrees

It seems only a year or two ago that 2Degrees offered great coverage to the major cities and a big finger to the provinces.

Millions of dollars and a heck of a lot of hard work later, they now offer something resembling decent coverage at a very competitive price. A player to watch in 2018.

The Spurned Lover Award: Spark Marketing

Please, please, please Spark will you stop telling us how crap you were and how things will get better now that you have sacked half your staff. When all you have left are excuses for your bad behaviour and pleas for forgiveness, maybe it’s time to make a break with the past and move on.

In truth you are damn good at the things that matter and most of us love buying off Kiwi companies (see Kordia and Datacom).

The People’s Choice Award: Datacom

For those of you who have nothing but bad things to say about these guys I have two questions: “Where do the vast majority of the most respected and admired ex- Gen-i and Computerland people work now?” and, “Which other Kiwi success story has grown at over 11 per cent year-on-year for over a decade, while competing head to head against some of the world’s smartest and most successful multi-nationals?”

Datacom has proved, to the tune of $1.2 billion a year in revenues, that people buy off people, even if most of them have grey hair poking out their noses and ears.

The Comeback Kid Award: Samsung Galaxy S8

The best thing since the Nokia flip phone. Great camera, features and battery life. Pity people still think twice before putting it in their pocket.

The Lone Ranger Award: People still investing in DIY IT infrastructure

The No 8 wire mentality that you were so proud of in the 90s is now just a sign of your desire to control everything at the expense of business flexibility.

We know you want to prove that you are more intelligent than everyone else, but have you noticed that the guy who pays your wages and conducts your annual salary review has stopped putting you in front of the business and has informally renamed your section “The Department of No”?

That roaring sound is the jet engine that is public cloud departing with your career prospects.

The Hottie of the Year Award: Samsung Note 7

I was so proud when I took you out of the box and stroked your luscious lines. The screen definition, the camera, the selection of cool software: you made me truly happy for a while.

Then there was the smoke, the heat, the burning sensation in my pocket…has anyone seen the fire extinguisher? Oh, the humanity!


Merry Christmas readers. Talk in the New Year.

David Spratt is a director of Total Utilities. Email [email protected]