Archive for the ‘Exporting’ Category

WooCommerce introduces 7 more extensions

Monday, July 22nd, 2013

WooCommerce has recently introduced another seven exciting extensions for everybody’s favourite online store creator.

They are:

  • Hipay.com Payment Gateway – This is a plugin to extend Woocommerce, allowing you to take payments via the Hipay payment service.
  • US Export Compliance – Makes your shop compliant with the US Export regulations.
  • Group Coupons – Allows you to link coupon validity to WordPress users.
  • ConstantContact Integration – Allows you to build Your Constant Contact email list with WooCommerce.
  • Recommendation Engine – Allows you to offer¬†Netflix/Amazon style product suggestions to your customers.
  • InterFax Integration – Integrates your WooCommerce site with InterFax, which enables you to fax the order details to your customers and yourself on every completed purchase.
  • Composite Products – With “Composite Products”, WooCommerce allows you to create sophisticated, dynamic product kits by compositing existing products.

To read more about this story, click here.

Shoes of Prey makes anyone a fashion designer

Tuesday, June 25th, 2013

Founded in 2009 by former Google employees Jodie Fox, Michael Fox and Mike Knapp, Shoes of Prey allows people to design their own women’s shoes using a virtual 3D designer that lets them pick style, shape, height and materials. The shoes are then custom made and shipped anywhere in the world within a few weeks.

The Sydney-based company reportedly received $3 million in funding last year.

To read more about this story, click here and here.

Domain name registration, web hosting and e-mail savings comparison with MelbourneIT.com.au

Saturday, February 14th, 2009

We price ourselves in the middle of the market, while still providing a high level of service. We recently compared our pricing to that of Melbourne IT’s, Australia’s largest domain name registration service – www.melbourneit.com.au

Domain name registration
.com.au – 2 years
Melbourne IT – $140.00
OPMC – $66.00

.com – 1 year
Melbourne IT – $75.00
OPMC – $27.50

.co.nz – 1 year
Melbourne IT – $110.00
OPMC – $43.95

Web Hosting – Monthly
Basic Plan
Melbourne IT – $25.94
OPMC – $9.95

E-mail – Monthly
Minimum plan
Melbourne IT – $19.95 (20 e-mail address minimum plan)
OPMC – $2.15 (1 e-mail address*)

Overall, we were a minimum of 50% cheaper on pricing than Melbourne IT, and if you want to stretch your dollar further you should consider switching to OPMC.

Click here to visit OPMC Australia.

Click here to visit OPMC New Zealand.

*Pricing is comparable when you have 20 e-mail addresses with us, however many clients have just one or two, so the minimum expense with Melbourne IT is significant.
(Pricing in AUD)

Telecommunication Companies’ application of technology – good, bad and the ugly

Monday, December 15th, 2008

At times like these, when I experience internet problems, I am inspired to comment on the state of Telecommunication Companies and their application of technology over time. And how useful is it?

Some quick observations:

-Vodafone Australia phone support attempts to resolve customers problems without having a staff person speak to them. The way in which this process has been established means that it is actually incredibly difficult to speak to a person, when the problem “category” you are experiencing is in their system, but the actual problem you have, is not, or requires you to speak to a person.

-Vodafone New Zealand has a person answering the phone. They resolve issues much more quickly.

-Telstra Bigpond Australia efficiently answers the phone, however today calling technical support I find myself talking to a machine. The voice recognition machine asks me what my type of internet is. Once I’ve advised, the voice then asks me, rhetorically whether I’ve been having problems with my internet or e-mail today. And if so, the issue has been identified and is being worked on. And, I am told, they don’t know when it will be fixed.

This system works great, to a certain extent. To then pursue this further, ie, to enquire as to the current status, the system fails on me. It goes through a very well thought out, yet entirely useless, process of determining what my problem is. When all I was trying to do was find out what the latest situation was.

-TelstraClear New Zealand, prefers to keep people waiting on hold for a long period of time. This exacerbates the issue when the internet stops working and one can only but sit there and wonder when it will be resolved, rather than making any concrete progress. TelstraClear did have a great feature which I used to use, which allowed you to leave a message so someone could call you back. I found this very reliable.

-To my most recent knowledge, all these companies are now allowing online payment, and they bill online too.

You can check your current balance online, even change plans online, these things are very handy. Many of the web based services they offer do add to the experience.

However, I would recommend they all consider doing some research into how people use and benefit from this technology. For example, all people I have spoken to about the Vodafone Australia automated phone process, do not like it. In fact, unless you just want to know what your balance is on your account, I think it fails in many respects. It doesn’t allow you to easily speak to a human, when you have something outside the square box of the system, you need to enquire about.

This has personally caused me a lot of frustration.

Technology provides us all with many benefits, but big companies need to spend more time on planning these systems. As it is not the technology that makes it work well, it’s the application and design of that technology that will save money, and customers’ time.

Business Trip – Wellington to Sydney

Wednesday, December 12th, 2007

For Wellingtonians intending to do business in Sydney, I offer the following tips for a day or two in Sydney.

-Keep a budget umbrella on hand at all times. You can pick one up from the CBD on the day for $6, anything more than $10 is midnight robbery for these things. If it rains, it usually is torrential rain. In Wellington you can get a good judgement on whether it’s going to rain, or at least have some warning. In Sydney you might find yourself in the middle of thunder and lightening and drenched. Sydney CBD also does not have the sort of street awnings to hide under in the rain that Wellington does. Your only option might be to wait it out for up to an hour until it settles down – they are usually over quite quickly.

-Look up all your destinations on Google Maps before you go – http://maps.google.com – and compare this to where you’re going to be meeting people. If it says it is a 7 minute journey you want to be very wary of this because the traffic conditions can change in a heartbeat in Sydney, particularly before 9:30AM, 11-1:30 and 4PM onwards. The train system is efficient, but again if the walking part of the journey looks short it probably isn’t.

-Make sure you allow plenty of time to get to your meetings. Arriving early is better than arriving late.

-If you have a chance, I would recommend visiting a BNI chapter (http://www.bni.com.au) while you’re there, where you can meet 20-30+ business professionals for a structured but friendly business meeting and gain some new contacts or even pick up some work unexpectedly. I am at these meetings once every week and can invite you along as a visitor. Just contact me through the website @ http://www.opmc.com.au

-Wireless internet is not as readily available as is in Wellington with services such as Citylink’s CafeNet. If you are a regular visitor I would recommend buying a data card from Dick Smith from a company called “Unwired” – http://www.unwired.com.au. This is an excellent solution, there’s no contract and there is ubiquitous coverage in the CBD. Otherwise try a Vodafone store where you may be able to pick up a one month data plan for $20-$30 – no promises though.

-Plan your trips to meetings carefully, and take plenty of water especially in summer. Once you are in the middle of nowhere in some Sydney suburb with no shelter, no water and no idea where you are, things will go downhill quickly from there.

-Take a map with you of the area you’re going to, CBD or otherwise. Ask what approximate location your meeting is at on any street – some streets stretch from one end of the CBD to the other, so if you start at the wrong end it may be like walking from St John’s Bar to the Ferry terminal under the motorway bridge in Wellington, to get to your meeting.

Starting a business network in Sydney

Sunday, September 16th, 2007

I have been over in Sydney for the last 2 weeks and this trip has been focused more on establishing our network over here.

This has been a good challenge, especially as we don’t have an established network here. One might ask how you can start operating your business in Sydney if you’re not into big budget advertising or don’t have an existing strategy in place. The first thing I would recommend is BNI (Business Network International). This is a structured networking member organisation that has weekly breakfast meetings on virtually every day of the week in multiple locations across Sydney.

You will need to call ahead, but you can find out more about times and locations on their website at http://www.bni.com.au.

It is an excellent way to meet new business professionals, and who knows? You might establish a great new business contact by taking an hour and a half of your morning to meet 15+ other business professionals.

Growth in 2007

Wednesday, June 6th, 2007

Thanks to our loyal customers, we have been able to expand into the Australian market this year. This adds to our existing offices in Wellington, New Zealand, and Prague, Czech Republic. I will be in Sydney establishing an apartment, meeting some of our new clients, and organising everything else business related from 2nd – 17th July this year, so if you or a colleague would like a free consultation on your website needs – big or small, please contact us on +61 (0)2 8456 5799

State of our Broadband

Monday, May 7th, 2007

I was reading Tony Rule’s blog the other day – in particular his post called “Plumbing, Plasterers and Traffic Jams”. It addresses his concerns about the state of broadband in New Zealand.

One of the interesting things he discussed was the difference between Telecom’s “Broadband” network, and Telstra Clear’s Cable Broadband.

So on to the current problems….. getting disconnected, getting lag, getting slow download and upload rates. I experienced all of these when I switch back to ADSL last month. Two years ago I quite happily talked on Skype to a friend in Japan while at the same time be remote desktoping into their computer on a 256kb jetstart plan. Getting disconnected 8 times in a day (I had to reconnect using my router control panel) and experiencing massive lag and not being able to talk to someone less than 30km’s away on Skype was a bit of an eye opener when I recently had Jetstream turned back on. This is in a house 10 doors up the road from where I used to live, so all the variables had stayed constant. What had changed?

I experienced this problem just the other day – I was testing the quality of Skype between our offices in Karori, and someone in Johnsonville (a distance of perhaps 10km?). The quality was sporadically terrible and at at times inaudible. The person at the other end had Telecom ADSL “Broadband” internet.

Compare that to communicating with our Prague office via our Telstra Clear Cable (a dedicated network of cables that has little if not nothing to do with Telecom), we are able to have hours of uninterrupted, video conferencing in crystal clear quality. With no problems at all.

The difference between the two networks is immediately obvious to anyone working in the technology industry – many of the things you normally can do on the Telstra Clear network you cannot do on the Telecom network. I have worked with Wellingtonians who have told me our servers in Prague must be out of service because they cannot connect to them. The first question I ask is “Do you use Telecom (or Brand X) ADSL for your internet?” – this is the root of 99% of all problems.

To bring this problem into perspective for small businesses competing in a global market from NZ, let’s use the analogy of the telephone.

Imagine if you operated a small business out of Wellington, New Zealand and:

-You had major clients in the US who you could only call 30 minutes of the day – otherwise the phone system might overload and you wouldn’t be able to hear them properly.

-Your phone line disconnects sporadically, when you are using it or not. You regularly get the “out of service” tone when you pick up the phone to call a client.

-You leave voice messages for clients, or send them faxes, unaware that they never receive 50% of them.

-30% of all phone calls made to you by major overseas clients never end up ringing your phone, and the message service works sporadically.

This is the state of our broadband today.

It is important to make this analogy, because while many may not view the internet as being fundamental to their business, it was not so many years ago on the grand scheme of things when you had to call an operator to make a call and party lines were commonplace. As technology developed, these things became – for the most part – redundant, and so we don’t really think about them anymore because we’ve moved on.

But there is going to be a point where New Zealand companies rely significantly on the internet in some shape or form, to do business. And at that time, these issues we have now have the potential to stagnate the economy. We have had numerous clients shift over to our web hosting services, because a significant proportion of their business was done overseas, and they were losing client communication via e-mail before it even got to them.

Telecom’s ADSL 2+ technology it plans to roll out soon, should in my opinion, be sidelined and Fibre be implemented as a priority. Because it’s all very well and good to have a technology with maximum speeds of 25Mbit a second, etc, etc, but if those speeds are not going to be attainable, or even remotely possible (for half that figure) then the point in offering the service is redundant.

I was in a lucky position to be one of the first 500 people in the country to trial Telecom ADSL fast internet technology when it was first released in the mid-late 90′s. I rated it highly at the time and was very impressed. Now it is woefully inadequate, because it seems like they have overloaded capacity for the technology. I believe some plans reduce your internet speed down to dialup speed if you exceed a certain limit, which is ridiculous. Imagine you run a home business and a client needs to e-mail you some documents to sign and they will only send them electronically. And those files are so big that either:

a) They get rejected by your e-mail provider before you even get them.
b) They get sucked into a giant anti-spam vat, something only possible with a certain larger internet company, never to be seen again.
c) It comes through to your e-mail, but you’ve exceeded your limit of internet for the month and so you have to sit there for an hour waiting to receive it.

Most internet for business in NZ does not run at the speed of business, so how can businesses be competitive online or run a business properly with the current infrastructure.

I believe it is up to the largest companies, and the relevant government David Cunliffe’s, to come to a resolution to this problem. And it needs to be done very soon before we lose more competitiveness as a result. I don’t think you can build an entirely new internet infrastructure overnight.

thecrewlist.com launched

Tuesday, May 1st, 2007

(Very) early this morning we launched thecrewlist.com. thecrewlist.com is the essential networking resource for the entertainment industry and is an international website.

It was created when Crewlist Limited founder Ben Milsom found a gap in the market – it was difficult to keep in touch after he and his friends had met on set. Now, with this new online networking site, you can store those contact details safely and easily.

It is free to sign up, and includes not only the entertainment industry, but suppliers to the entertainment industry can sign up too.

Check it out now at http://www.thecrewlist.com!

Business NZ calls for export growth

Wednesday, April 18th, 2007

Business NZ issued a press release today regarding a need to boost exports from NZ.

Business NZ chief executive Phil O‚??Reilly’s quote rings true – he says

New Zealand‚??s economy is too small to generate rapid growth without strong export performance.

Our challenge is to grow exports as a proportion of GDP. It‚??s the only way to grow the economy and improve living standards.

Our population makes up a tiny proportion of worldwide consumers and clients, so exporting is key to creating a viable long term growth plan for businesses.

We have a number of overseas clients, many of which have been as a result of collaboration with our Prague office. Working with these businesses gives one a strong sense that those not exporting are only getting the benefit of the tip of the iceberg.