AWB, previously known as the Australian Wheat Board, is the first customer of the $5 million Fujitsu Microsoft IT Solutions Centre which opened in Sydney on Friday.
The 25-person facility will focus on innovation in the development of solutions for business and government with particular emphasis on Microsoft's .Net platform and is expected to double its staffing level within a year. It will also include staff training programs as part of the NSW Government's ICT Skills Action Plan.
The AWB is using the resources at the centre for its e-business initiative to improve the quality and breadth of online services available to its 36,000 wheat growers.
"Once we had identified the Microsoft .Net platform as our preferred direction, it was a natural progression to partner with the centre to design, test and implement the new Web site," said AWB's e-business program director, Kevin Delaney.
Jill Gillingham, CIO, AWB, said with 36,000 wheat growers around Australia - mostly in rural areas - the redevelopment of the Web site is critical as the AWB needs to have effective communications with the wheat growers.
Gillingham said the new Web site is due for launch later this month to coincide with AWB's listing on the ASX.
Phil Kerrigan, CEO, Fujitsu Australia, said the centre will provide companies with access to innovation, technical skills, security and delivery as they look for new business opportunities using .Net and other Microsoft technologies.
The Sydney facility is the first Fujitsu Microsoft Solution Centre in Australia, with additional facilities planned for Melbourne and Brisbane within the next 18 months.