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NOW Brings Collaboration Innovation to Region’s Councils

20 December 2017

NOW Five Councils Shared Service

L-R Napier Mayor Bill Dalton, NOW CEO Hamish White and Hastings Mayor Sandra Hazlehurst celebrate region-wide collaboration enabled by NOW. Picture taken at Celestial Compass, Waitangi Regional Park.

Local phone and broadband provider, NOW, today announced an innovative partnership with Hawke’s Bay’s five councils that sees it become the first telecommunications company in New Zealand to introduce a Software Defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN) technology that will enable multi-council collaboration.

In a first for the region, the five councils have come together to embed an infrastructure solution provided by NOW that will support a productive, accessible and digitally enabled local body collaboration. Using NOW’s SD-WAN infrastructure, the councils will realise greater operational and cost efficiencies across their organisations through shared connectivity.

NOW Phone & Broadband CEO, Hamish White said NOW’s agility and culture of innovation had been a catalyst for securing this partnership with the five councils, against New Zealand’s largest telecommunications companies, that had also tendered.

“We pride ourselves on pushing boundaries for our customers, to help bring the possibilities of their digital worlds to life. Through this partnership we are bringing leading-edge technology to our region which will not only bring operational collaboration benefits to the councils, but also provide a future-proof digital platform to enable a smart region in the future.

“SD-WAN technology is able to provide the infrastructure toolsets that today’s businesses require to professionally service the connectivity between cloud services, remote and branch office employees and provide them with high quality network services. It is also the base platform for adding our Hosted Firewall and Wireless-as-a-Service (WaaS) solution.”

This world-class, fully redundant and resilient, evergreen technology platform will be shared across Napier City Council, Hastings District Council, Hawke’s Bay Regional Council, Wairoa District Council and Central Hawke’s Bay District Council.

Napier Mayor, Bill Dalton said the solution provided by NOW was a tangible example of collaboration between the region’s council bodies.

“This technology will reduce complexity and costs for all councils through centralised management. It also helps future-proof the region. This partnership is a really important one for Napier City Council and we want to thank NOW for coming on board, and our staff who have led the conversation to get us here. It’s fantastic to be investing in a young, innovative business - one that is already showing such great leadership within our city and our region.”

Hastings Mayor Sandra Hazlehurst concurred, saying it put the region ahead of some of the larger cities in New Zealand.

“This is a NZ first. What this infrastructure solution enables is not only a game-changer for how we operate across our region in local government, but also for our communities by looking after their digital futures.”

Central Hawke’s Bay Mayor Alex Walker added this partnership was a great example of councils within Hawke’s Bay working collaboratively “to enable innovation and enhance digital enablement for the communities we all serve - Central Hawke's Bay is proud to be part of this”.

And, in Wairoa, Mayor Craig Little believed the partnership was a great example of the five Hawke’s Bay councils looking to improve service and looking at efficiency gains in terms of cost savings.

“We’re doubling our speed and at the same time reducing our costs for internet services, which can only be a good thing.”

To bring this solution to the region, NOW partnered with one of the world’s leading SDN technology providers, Nuage Networks from Nokia, resulting in technology that is used by some of the world’s leading service providers - including British Telecom (BT), Telefonica, TeliaSonera and China Telecom.

Deployment and implementation of the solution will commence in the New Year.

*Supplied by NOW Phone & Broadband

20 December 2017

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