Business briefs: Kaz does it again, Digital Now, IDEAS, XYZed and Senator Alston make noise

KAZ Computer Services has retained its hot streak for new business by winning a five-year outsourcing contract from Heinz Wattie's Australasia. Under the terms of its latest deal KAZ will take responsibility for the running of three IBM AS/4000 systems, which will be housed in a KAZ data centre. Heinz Wattie's Australasia previously housed and managed the systems itself, and timed the outsourcing deal to coincide with a relocation of head office -- eliminating the need to build a data centre in the new premises.

Troubled digital imaging company Digital Now has agreed to work with Korean ISP Unitel, which is affiliated with Samsung, to seek business relationships in the areas of Internet hosting, co-location and storage services within the digital imaging industry worldwide. "Digital Now and Unitel will be well placed to take advantage of the continuing growth in the global digitisation race," claimed Gary Mueller, president and CEO of Digital Now. "In addition, this agreement opens the possibility of Digital Now offering customers the added strength and security of third-party hosting." Last week Digital Now, which is listed on the ASX, announced a loss of $A18.5 million in 2000. The company is seeking additional capital and acknowledged that its auditors have raised doubts "about our ability to continue as a going concern".

IT research company IDEAS International has closed its $A4 million public share offer oversubscribed and expects to list on the ASX on March 27. "In today's volatile market we have been extremely pleased with the response to the offer and the quality of our investors," explained John Tulloch. The Rust Report has close ties to IDEAS, where it is chairman of the board.

The XYZed subsidiary of Cable & Wireless Optus has completed its initial DSL network development in Melbourne and Brisbane and now has 87 exchanges around Australia. When its national network is complete it will have more than 100 exchanges around the country. A spokesman said XYZed is already supplying services to a number of retail carriers which are onselling to end-users.

A trade mission will be led to the Middle East next month by Senator Richard Alston, Minister for Communications, IT and the Arts. The mission will visit the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey. "The Middle East currently runs second to China in new computer purchases and the region is already one of the fastest growing centres for e-commerce," Alston claimed. "However, the regional economies of the Middle East are seeking further expertise in meeting the demands of such high growth, opening up opportunities to external suppliers."

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More about Cable & WirelessDIGITAL NOWIBM AustraliaIdeas InternationalKAZ Computer ServicesNetwork DevelopmentOptusSamsungUnitelXYZed

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