One of the most enjoyable aspects of my job at Citrix is the time I get to spend visiting our partners and customers each year, capturing their stories for our Innovation Award program. When I’ve traveled to film videos for Summit and Synergy, I’ve always found the sense of a place always has a way of shaping the story, and this year is no different.

I had the opportunity recently to travel to Wellington, capital city of New Zealand, where I spent a week with Mike Bullock and his team at Fujitsu, a Global Systems Integrator partner, learning about the work they are doing with Citrix and the New Zealand Government. The award submission outlined an intriguing story around moving to completely digital delivery of government services, but it’s only when you experience the people and places personally that you start to appreciate the details.

We met with the Fujitsu team who shared their story around developing a Government-Desktops-as-a-Service — or GoDaaS — solutions to help reduce costs and make government workers more mobile. In a country with such a large rural population spread across a north and south island, mobile working and online service delivery are significant advances.

Central to the story were Chris Buxton, Chief Digital Officer at Statistics New Zealand (it’s not often you come across that job title), and Lucy Cobb, Business Solutions Architect at Fujitsu. We couldn’t have asked for more engaging and enthusiastic interviews, despite what would prove to be an extremely challenging week for everyone.

The trip was full of milestones: it was the first time we’d had a finalist from New Zealand, the farthest away from home I’ve ever traveled (more than 8,000 miles away from Fort Lauderdale!) and the first time I’d had to schedule a project around a natural disaster—specifically the 7.8 magnitude earthquake New Zealanders experienced in the early morning of November 14th.

To say it was a hectic week would be an understatement, but the team at Fujitsu stayed focused and supportive of the project throughout. New Zealanders are a self-sufficient bunch, and they are not afraid to try something new and to be inventive.

From the bustling Wellington Central Business District with its beautiful harbor to the vineyards in Martinborough, there seemed to be a real sense of the pioneer spirit. While we were only there for a week, and staying within a few hour’s drive of Wellington, it is the sort of place that you start planning for a return trip before you even depart.

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