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What makes Wellington great in the global ICT space...?

03 Jul 2014

A tech-orientated city brimming with potential, Wellington continues to excel both at home and abroad.

Refusing to be defined by limits and constraints, the nation’s capital continues to be a hotbed for New Zealand tech talent, kickstarted by the global success of Kiwi darlings Xero and GreenButton among others.

“Wellington’s tech capital status seems to have come about from the global success of some of our innovative businesses who operate out of Wellington,” says Adam Barratt, manager, IT Wellington, Robert Walters.

“No doubt our success in the movie industry is also a factor, but also the quality of what is being produced in Wellington versus the cost at which it is done is a key factor.

“Many global organisation are taking advantage of the Kiwi hard working, quality values that our work force have, coupled with cost efficiencies.”

Microsoft’s recent acquisition of Wellington-based software start-up GreenButton inspired further conversations about the impact of the city, and its crucial role in producing world-class technology.

Staggeringly, Wellington has the most New Zealand companies in the 2013 Deloitte Technology Fast 500 Asia Pacific index, a ranking of the top 500 technology businesses based on revenue growth.

Throw Xero’s global expansion into the mix and Barratt believes the city has a formula for success, a formula built on a unrivalled reputation across the world.

“Many businesses are seeing the opportunity to expand globally, especially into south-east Asia and the USA, offering high quality solutions that are developed for the overseas markets, from here in New Zealand,” he adds.

“The global perspective of the ‘Kiwi’ brand is so strong, and many countries see it as a sign of trusted, quality and reliability, so are ready and willing to engage with our innovative businesses.”

Despite the ringing endorsements raining down on all aspects of the tech sector within the city, Barratt is quick to remind that Wellington is still a city of around 400,000 people - yet the products and services produced for the global markets are of “incredible quality.”

“We are definitely seeing amazing response and recognition for this,” he adds. “There is still a lot more to come from this city, especially on a technology front, so that recognition will only grow.”

But while Wellington’s role as the tech capital of New Zealand is well established, Barratt delves deeper, examining why the city continues to outperform Auckland on the world’s stage.

Would you agree that Wellington tech firms prefer to collaborate rather than compete? Is that a key reason for the city’s success?

“There is an argument for both sides,” adds Barratt, when analysing the notion that Wellington firms prefer to collaborate rather than compete. “There is obvious examples for the collaboration that goes on across firms here, I guess this is due to the close-knit nature of the city and it being very easy for people to meet and share ideas (utilising the many cafe and bar options on offer).

“However, there is definitely a lot of competitiveness around in the market too, especially in the Web and Mobile Development space, where it seems there are new business popping up all the time.

“You need to compete, standout from the crowd and innovate further than your competitors to even get off the ground, let alone survive.”

What makes Wellington great in the global ICT space?