Telstra revs up automotive e-business

Car importers and dealers will gain access to the Australian Automotive Network Exchange (AANX) after Telstra announced on Thursday it had acquired the motor industry's e-business network for an undisclosed sum.

Established by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI), the AANX is used by approximately 30 manufacturers and suppliers for transactions and supply chain management, such as the design, sale and delivery of vehicle parts.

An IP network, AANX is also used for EDI, the support of just-in-time manufacturing, and collaborative engineering projects.

FCAI sold the network to Telstra in order to progress the service, said FCAI CEO Peter Sturrock.

"It's been in development for over three years, and we've taken it to the point where it should be given to a specialist provider," he said.

Dr Klaus Jahn, AANX business development manager, who has joined Telstra as a result of the deal, said the AANX will become a unified network for manufacturers and suppliers.

"The AANX has been a private, secure network for two years, with everything fully encrypted and authentication using digital certificates, so manufacturers have confidence they can't tap into each other's network.

"Our strategic direction is to bring in importers and dealers [into the extranet]. So that would help them with time critical transactions, parts supply, credit facilitation for vehicle purchase as well as insurance contracts," he said.

This was expected to occur within the next year or so, according to Dr Jahn.

EDI messaging will also be improved via Telstra's eTrading platform, said Dr Jahn. Currently Connect is the sole ASP for EDI.

"Telstra is getting the certification for EDI which will give choice to industry participants as to what they use," he said.

Available bandwidth will also be improved to help critical projects such as engineers collaborating on CAD files.

"The underlying philosophy of the network won't change though, and that is to provide a secure, stable network," said Dr Jahn.

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