Business briefs: Iocom, Amcom, Sirius, and Century Software grab headlines while a pharmaceutical giant floats a telco

Iocom Solutions has won two-year outsourcing contracts from office services supplier Kinkos and from Royal Doultan Australasia. Each of the deals involved a productivity services agreement that provides a tailored level of service for IT infrastructure with a strategic aim of developing the client's market advantage, an Iocom spokesman explained.

International wholesale bank ABN Amro has agreed to underwrite the cost of building a trans-Australia broadband link for Amcom Telecommunications. The link involves the construction of a high-speed fibre optic telecommunications link between Perth and Melbourne via Adelaide at a cost of $A145 million. A spokesman said that with the demand for data bandwidth expected to grow by between 40 per cent and 60 per cent a year for the next five years, the IP1 project will enable Amcom to offer a viable terrestrial network alternative to those offered by Telstra and Cable & Wireless Optus. Bandwidth on the Amcom link will be offered to both wholesale and corporate customers.

Recently listed managed application services provider Sirius Telecommunications has agreed to buy all the facilities management assets of Nomad Telecommunications from its receivers for $A3.45 million. The assets include hardware and software, infrastructure, contracts, equipment leases and staff, but not Nomad's mobile phone business. Nomad's clients include BHP, the Department of Defence, and Hamilton Island. "The acquisition has strong synergies with our existing business and will significantly increase our national coverage," noted Roger Mason, managing director of Sirius. "Facilities management provides an opportunity to increase the range of services to existing clients and operating costs will also be reduced through rationalisation of help desk services, sales and administration functions".

Sydney developer Century Software has worked with Oracle's Partner Program to develop a merchandise management and financial control package for midrange retailers. The Reveal software integrates Century's retail applications and Web Front e-commerce server with Oracle's financial and database technologies, a spokesman said. The product operates in the Unix or Windows NT environments.

Newly listed developer Integrated Research has entered a marketing alliance with Blue Sky Industries involving Integrated Research's Prognosis Unix systems and application management software for major Unix platforms. Blue Sky Industries is also master reseller of Santa Cruz Operation's UnixWare and NonStop Clusters products.

An unexpected new listing on the ASX is heading our way from Washington Soul Pattinson and Company, which has announced that it intends to float its subsidiary company SP Telecommunications. The IPO in May will seek to raise $A20 million through the release of 80 million shares at 25 cents each. A spokesman described SP Telecommunications as a full service provider with a business based on the wholesale carriage of telecommunications traffic on its own broadband network and the delivery of a full range of products and services to home and business consumers through its Kooee Communications retail business. Its initial focus is on regional areas of northern NSW and south-eastern Queensland.

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More about ABN AMRO MorgansAmcom TelecommunicationsBHP BillitonBlue Sky IndustriesCable & WirelessDepartment of DefenceIntegrated ResearchIocomIslandNomad TelecommunicationsOptusOracleSirius TelecommunicationsSP TelecommunicationsTelstra Corporation

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