Ansett Air Freight continues e-commerce roll out following acquisition

TNT has no plans to either halt the rollout of Ansett Air Freight's (AAF) e-commerce systems or replace the freighter's existing system with its own since its purchase of AAF last week.

Following the acquisition, AAF continued to rollout its new suite of e-commerce products, with the launch of an Internet freight tracking service adding to its online proof-of-delivery service completed last year .

Developed by AAF's IT outsourcing provider, EDS, the tracking service allows customers to query AAF's Oracle database for freight consignment histories, via an external customer interface platform (ECI) running on a Hewlett-Packard D370 server.

Gary Smith, IT director, TNT, said he did not expect TNT's acquisition to result in significant changes to AAF's IT operations, including the five-year outsourcing contract with EDS, signed in December 1997.

"It is our intention to run AAF as a separate business [to TNT]," Smith said.

AAF's contract with EDS covers IT infrastructure and applications including development of Internet, e-mail and Interactive Voice Response (IVR) systems with the aim of improving customer service and efficiency.

Smith said he had seen EDS' contract with AAF and was "happy" with its content.

"We hope to achieve an ongoing relationship with TNT and Ansett and are confident this will occur," an EDS spokeswoman said.

AAF has recently launched IVR bookings in Victoria, and plans to extend this service to NSW in 1999.

IVR, developed using Edify Electronic Workforce V5.3, runs on a Compaq Prolient 1600 Server with an OS/2 operating system.

E-commerce initiatives in the pipeline at AAF include EDI offerings and development of remote freight management system connectivity via the ECI, an EDS official said.

Meanwhile TNT moved to enhance its own Internet customer service offerings last month with the launch of QuickShipper, which offers one-stop, 24x7 online access to TNT's entire range of distribution services.

TNT also recently launched a customer extranet, a secure environment within TNT's Web site, offering registered customers access to more detailed shipment information using password and user ID.

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