The New Zealand Dairy Board is implementing a new worldwide network to provide a unified platform for future e-business, Internet and intranet developments, and has chosen Equant to build and manage it.
The board's global finance and information group director, Peter Schuyt, says the multimillion dollar network is expected to be complete by the first quarter of next year. The board is not revealing any more accurate estimate of the costs, some elements of which will vary "depending on usage", he says.
It will connect 107 sites in 40 countries with the aim of improving the efficiency of information flow.
Services provided will include data delivery via frame relay, Web hosting, Internet access, and global dial services.
Schuyt declined to discuss further details of the board's e-business plans.
The board first called for tenders for a global network in early 1998, and provisionally selected IBM for this and other services, ranging down to supply of PCs. But a satisfactory arrangement with that company could not be concluded, Schuyt says. So the board decided to split out the global network for separate consideration and seek another supplier.
Meanwhile, the board has continued to use what Schuyt calls a "hodge-podge" of disparate networks in the various countries where it operates.