Data sovereignty is an issue for the legal fraternity. There are no formal restrictions mandating that data be hosted only in New Zealand but it's certainly top-of-mind with many legal practices when it comes to modernising their technology.
“If there's a commercial dispute, how do you get your data back if its hosted offshore?” says Resolve Technology managing director Simon Falconer.
Resolve specialises in proving hosting services for legal practices, which make up 80 per cent of its business. It has formed a close relationship with international practice management software supplier Lexis Nexis.
“You're very small to an Amazon,” Falconer says. “You have a problem but no one will give a crap if you're a small organisation with, say, 15 staff. Office 365 is all very good but what does it mean if there is a problem in Singapore?
“A lot of lawyers are modernising and want to go to the cloud but they don't think about where the data should reside. We've had to educate most of our customers.”
Falconer formed Resolve Technology in 2010. He had been doing mainly break-fix work when his accountant asked him if he could provide a better and cheaper service than the accountant's supplier. Falconer began by leasing racks from Digiweb in Christchurch.
His second customer – and first lawyer – was high-profile practitioner Mai Chen. That led to several large legal practices signing up.
Falconer says data sovereignty has become a strong marketing point for him. “We store here” is the message.
He now has seven staff and uses data centres in Christchurch and Upper Hutt.
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“We've had to develop desktop services as well,” he says. “Once you provide hosting services, legal practices expect you to do everything. People like a one-stop shop.
“We've now got our heads around practice management, thanks to our close relationship with Lexis Nexis.”
Resolve is also hosting the Kiistone platform for all New Zealand charities. Funded by the Ministry of Social Development and under the auspices of the Open Home Foundation, the platform will provide all the necessary back-office functions for any New Zealand charity.