C&T Hopes e-Procurement Will Take Asia by Storm

HONG KONG - Hong Kong-based systems integrator Computer and Technologies Holdings Ltd. (C&T) is hoping to make a name for itself in the Asia-Pacific business-to-business electronic commerce market with its e-Procurement software suite. The company claims its e-Procurement suite is among the first of its kind in the region.

"Our focus is on making a unique product for Asia-Pacific," said Steve Yeung, business development manager for C&T Holdings in a phone interview yesterday.

Known as the e-Procurement Product Suite, the software consists of three modules -- e-Tendering, e-Sourcing and e-Ordering. The suite is designed to bring the benefits of e-commerce in terms of cost savings and improved business processes to companies and governments involved in the tendering process. The suite was unveiled here on Wednesday and has been developed by C&T Solutions, a wholly owned C&T Holdings subsidiary established in January of this year.

The company is hoping to first go after e-procurement business in Hong Kong and China, then tackling other Asian markets such as Singapore and Taiwan, according to Yeung.

Hong Kong's Government Supplies Department (GSD) is C&T's first reference site for the e-Procurement suite. GSD awarded a HK$3.86 million (US$497,109) electronic tendering system contract to the company in April of this year.

GSD has said it is likely to process the majority of its tenders on the C&T software, Yeung claimed. Last year, the Hong Kong government department dealt with more than 5,000 tenders worth more than HK$5 billion in contracts, according to GSD estimates.

The e-Procurement suite runs on Microsoft Corp.'s Windows NT operating system, but Yeung said that C&T welcomes market feedback for a possible Linux release or other Unix versions.

Version 1.0 of the e-Tendering module of the software suite is currently available, with a 1.1 release due out by year-end, Yeung said. The e-Ordering and e-Sourcing modules will be available by the end of first half of next year. "The three modules can operate independently or collaboratively," Yeung said.

While the e-Tendering module is likely to be used by large corporations and governments, e-Ordering and e-Sourcing may also find favor with SMEs (small to medium-sized enterprises) to assist them in document management, Yeung said. The software can also be customized so that it can interface, for example, with ERP (enterprise resource planning) applications from the likes of SAP AG, said Stephen Tam, director of C&T Solutions.

Tam said that e-Procurement is the first of a series of products and services that C&T Solutions intends to launch over the upcoming months.

"We are dedicated to expanding business through R&D (research and development) in software development so we can own our own brand name software," Tam said.

In Hong Kong, C&T Solutions concentrates mainly on the e-commerce market, but in China it also has two other roles. The unit provides business processes to Mainland Chinese telecom operators to enable them to build call centers and billing systems, as well as offering insurance management software to large insurance companies. Tam added that C&T Solutions is currently looking into CRM (customer relationship management) to enable the insurance companies to improve relations with their policy holders.

C&T, based in Hong Kong, can be reached via the Internet at http://www.ctil.com/.

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