Clarity cashes in on Taiwanese telecoms deregulation

  • IDG staff (Computerworld)
  • 15 December, 2000 13:01

Clarity International, a Victorian software developer that has its sights set on telecommunications and utilities markets, has won a contract worth about $A28 million to provide software and services to Taiwanese company Howin Technologies Corporation. Clarity will provide its Operation Support System (OSS) product suite as well as hardware, project management, interface development services and training to support the roll-out of a fixed line network with full spectrum capacity. Ongoing support and maintenance is expected to be worth about $A2 million a year.

Tony Kalcina, CEO of Clarity, explained that the deregulating Taiwanese telecommunications sector is one of the most aggressive and competitive markets in the Asia/Pacific region. "A key to Howin's success will be its ability to rapidly add new products and services that keep pace with the company's growth and customer demand. We look forward to helping Howin achieve this with the Clarity product suite," Kalcina said.

Clarity was established in 1994 and floated on the ASX in October. The company has other Asian installations at Time Telekom in Malaysia and BayanTel in the Philippines.

Trans Union Advantage wins Thai credit callSydney company Trans Union Advantage - a joint venture formed last month by Data Advantage and US company Trans Union - has won a contract to help implement a platform that will lift Thailand's credit reporting standards to international levels. The contract was negotiated with a credit bureau established by members of the Thai Bankers Association.

"Trans Union Advantage will participate in the development and knowledge transfer required to help establish a sophisticated consumer credit reporting infrastructure in Thailand utilising modern credit reporting technologies," explained CEO David Grafton.

"There are 61 million people in Thailand and we estimate that a significant proportion of those are economically active and would have to use credit," Grafton added.

The company will base its offering on Trans Union's consumer software, which runs on the Unix platform. "We will build upon this opportunity to serve the rapidly growing economies of the Asia/Pacific region," Grafton said.m2m wins sale to US online grocerVictorian Web designer m2m has won a contract to provide software and services to Webvan Group, which operates a full-service online grocery shopping and delivery service in the US. The deal revolves around m2m's catalogue content management system.

"As well as launching m2m into the grocery industry, the agreement with Webvan signals the start of m2m's move into the US market," a spokesman said. "It also provides the company with the opportunity to establish a presence in the US in line with its recent projections."m2m's catalogue content management technology is also used in e-procurement portals like Tasmanian Business Online and the Ariba Marketplace Network Edition, the spokesman added.

Telemedia snaps up seven North American dealsTelecoms software developer Telemedia has won seven contracts for the supply of its prepaid billing and switching systems in the US. The deals are expected to generate revenue of about $A4.43 million. "The strength of Telemedia's products and services, coupled with our worldwide 24 hour live support infrastructure, is enabling us to win more and more contracts in North America, noted Telemedia CEO Chris Jones.

The latest contracts were from Pensat International Communications in Washington DC; Globeline in Chicago; AccuTel Communications in Dallas (an existing Telemedia client); TelRon Communications in Washington; Sussex Communications Group in Canada; NationNet Communications in Missouri (already a Telemedia client); and Summit Standard in Florida.

"The solutions we are providing to these customers are part of Telemedia's wide range of enhanced services and intelligent network platforms, which enable telcos to offer a range of billing and value-added services," Jones said.

ASX signs up for Optus business InternetThe Australian Stock Exchange has become the first user of the Cable & Wireless eFinity "business-grade Internet", which is claimed to allow communities of interest to undertake online transactions in a secure and private environment.

Richard Humphry, managing director and CEO of the ASX, said the exchange's highest priority is to ensure the integrity of systems used to deliver services to customers. "eFinity was chosen to improve the ASX's delivery of its existing market data and CHESS services to customers and to facilitate the development and delivery of information-related products in the future," he explained. "Some ASX customers are already successfully using the service, which will be offered to all ASX customers over the next few months.

"Unlike private networks, which are fully owned and managed by the information provider, shared network VPNs cost-effectively provide excellent performance, security, adaptability and reach while remaining affordable," Humphry added.eFinity was developed in Australia and is intended to be the first of a series of international online financial centres using the Cable & Wireless IP backbone, an Optus spokesman explained. "eFinity has been designed as an e-commerce platform for communities of interest and the financial community is the first targeted market," he said.

AMP makes waves for TeleTech and KAZ

AMP made headlines last week when it extended an outsourcing agreement with TeleTech and then began serious discussions about selling its superannuation funds administration business to KAZ Computer Services.

The deal with TeleTech involves the provision of customer communication services for AMP Banking in Australia and NZ. TeleTech already provided credit card and savings account services and support for AMP Banking, which is a direct bank with no branch network and about 200,000 customers. "A major part of AMP's strategy is to be a customer relationship specialist and this agreement will help us to achieve that objective through access to improved customer communication services, technology, processes and expertise," explained Stephen Balme, managing director of AMP Banking.

The KAZ negotiations have not yet been explained, although it appears that KAZ is trying to raise up to $A40 million as part of the amount it needs to buy AMP Administration Services for a total of about $A110 million in cash and shares. AMP confirmed it is holding discussions with KAZ, but was at pains to point out that it was not intending to buy the computer services company. The talk was about "significantly expanding the strategic relationship between the two companies", the statement said.

Goodman Fielder finds freedom with mobilesWireless solution provider Freedom Technologies has won a contract to develop and deploy a field merchandising solution for the field operations division of food giant Goodman Fielder. The automated system will be based on mobile Internet software from AvantGo and handheld devices from Symbol Technologies using GSM communications,"We operate in the highly competitive, fast-moving consumable goods industry and we needed to find a better way of managing our large mobile workforce and streamlining our field processes," explained Paul Hitchcock, director of Goodman Fielder Field Operations. "There is a tremendous opportunity to reduce our costs and significantly streamline our current processes in addition to adding capabilities we have wanted to introduce but could not due to our paper-based system.

News in brief

LM Ericsson Telephone has won a five-year contract to operate and manage the entire current mobile network of Telecom New Zealand. Ericsson will perform monitoring and surveillance of the end-to-end services, implement network performance improvements, provide hardware support and manage the field and maintenance staff. Financial details of the deal have not been disclosed.

NIIT, the third largest IT company in India, has entered a Partnership for Development agreement with the Australian Federal Government. NIIT, which specialises in IT education and training, employs some 3500 people in 25 countries and generates revenue of almost $A300 million.

Christmas Greetings

We would like to wish all readers of The Rust Report a very merry Christmas and a prosperous and happy New YearLen Rust (publisher) Peter Scott (editor)This is the last edition of The Rust Report for 2000. We plan to recommence publication on January 19.