News briefs: Telstra picks Deloittes, Objective wins in UK, Thin gets going and other items

Deloitte Consulting has got Telstra signatures on a $A300 million outsourcing contract that confirms the consulting firm will continue to develop and maintain the carrier's ERP stream, which encompasses finance, personnel, and administrative IT systems for a further five years. The extended contract is part of a new IT model at Telstra, where accountability devolves to each "strategic business unit" and -- as with Telstra's recent deal with EDS for the carrier's billing and shared services stream -- involves a transfer of staff.

Last week listed developer Objective gained the British Government's approval for the use of its software by government agencies in the UK, and this week it has won a contract to supply its knowledge management applications to the Trading Standards Division of the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment in Ireland. The division will use the software to test electronic and physical record-keeping procedures and workflow procedures.

Listed company Thin Technologies has belatedly finialised the development of its POS products and is gearing up to take its systems and services to market. Christian Singleton, CEO of Thin, acknowledged that the development phase had taken longer than expected, but claimed the delay had delivered additional functionality in the product which could be reflected in greater market penetration. The company is now re-evaluating its marketing plans with an eye to extending it to export models under either an ASP or licensing model, Singleton claimed. "Having a product on the verge of being ready for sale means we can now activate our marketing and product development strategies," he explained. Thin has completed the installation of its Sun Enterprise backend server and storage, has undertaken field trials, and has had certification of its EFTPOS system by DCS Technologies, Singleton added.

The University of Queensland is seeking additional recruits for its Master of Technology Management program from Singapore as it gears up to run a graduation ceremony for 110 recent graduates at Singapore's Shangri-La Hotel. The recruitment push is timely in view of a recent call by Yeo Cheow Tong, Singapore's Minister of Communications and IT, to dismantle travel restrictions for IT professionals within Asia. "We are all in a global war for talent," Yeo claimed. Singapore has estimated it needs about 10,000 new entrants into the IT industry each year, and Yeo has suggested that countries in the region could build a pool of talent through exchange programs between institutes of higher learning. "We face the disadvantage of having relatively small domestic markets. Even large countries like India and China have relatively small domestic markets compared to Europe and the US."

This is a big week for corProcure, the Internet portal established late last year by an agglomeration of some of Australia's largest companies. The group is planning to kick off its operations on Friday March 16 with a range of service offerings, including online purchase orders, purchase order acknowledgements, order status requests, and real time price check requests and results.

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More about CorprocureDCSDCS TECHNOLOGIESDeloitte ConsultingDeloitte ConsultingDeloitte ConsultingDeloittesEDS AustraliaTelstra CorporationThin TechnologiesUniversity of QueenslandUniversity of Queensland

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