REANNZ staff members Desi Ramoo (Member Engagement Specialist) and Sam Russell (Network Support) both attended the New Zealand Network Operators Group (NZNOG) conference held in Christchurch on the 26th and 27th of January.
Desi, who usually works more with the network’s end-users, was there to gain a better understanding of the technology used in networking and to look for opportunities to add value for KAREN members.
The following is a small selection of the opportunities that presented themselves to Desi at the conference.
- REANNZ joining and supporting Vic Uni and Josh Bailey (Google) in a workshop to discuss OpenFlow.
- REANNZ engaging with Industry working in R&E to ensure they know they could connect to KAREN as a Sponsored Partner
- REANNZ becoming more involved with organising NZNOG and even delivering a presentation at the next conference.
Desi said he was surprised by how many people made a point of attending the conference every year—and overall, he found the conference attendees “very friendly and open-minded. I got a lot out of it. Even though my background is as a research scientist rather than a network specialist, everything was presented in a way that I could follow.”
Sam had a number of reasons for attending NZNOG. As a recent graduate who has enjoyed working with networks as a hobby long before working with them professionally, he said he has a lot in common with the other attendees. It was a rare chance for him to mix with so many others who share his interests.
Additionally, Sam said, “it was one of the first tangible steps made by Ops [the REANNZ Operations team] to engage more with the networking community—the first step in what is, for REANNZ, a bit of a change of direction.”
For Sam, it was all about listening (a lot) and talking (a little). The messages he received via the conversations he had were clear, and included:
- on the whole, members’ network engineers saw the value of REANNZ, but had been waiting for us to ask them what they want
- in some cases, we were being mis-perceived as just another network provider.
Sam said that the solution to both of these was to work more closely with members, to “listen to what they’re saying and to show them who and what we are—and how we can help.”
The main message that Sam delivered reflected this nicely: “We’re going to listen more.”
Sam said that he “really enjoyed the presentations, particularly the one on Openflow. It was good to see what the network community is doing—and to be able to put so many names to faces.”
If you’re looking for more information on what was presented at the conference, the detailed programme—as well as many of the slides from the presentations—can be found here.