NRMA gears up for $100m race to e-commerce

NRMA CEO Eric Dodd is cracking the whip on e-commerce, with a plan to invest more than $100 million in the organisation's online strategy.

NRMA's board has not yet approved the strategy, and is set to vote on it in about three weeks according to John Noble, manager, corporate affairs, NRMA.

Speaking to 'Business Sunday' this week, Dodd said: "[We] have set our management team a very onerous task of ensuring that we have our e-business in place, in every single part of our business, within the next six months."

Dodd revealed that NRMA is considering teaming up with a joint venture partner, to help the organisation realise its online plans.

"I think you'll need to partner in this market. I think there are skills that others have that we don't have," Dodd told Business Sunday.

He described the internet as both a threat and an opportunity for NRMA.

"The threat is obviously somebody coming into the industry with a totally different cost base, in terms of distribution, and doing perhaps what amazon.com did to Barnes & Noble and Schwab did to Merrill, and so on," he said.

In terms of existing IT partnerships, NRMA has a seven-year IT infrastructure outsourcing contract with IBM GSA.

Signed in March 1999, the contract covers NRMA's mainframes, mid-range and desktop computers, and its LAN, WAN and voice networks.

It excludes procurement, application development and maintenance, and architectural strategy operations, which NRMA has kept in-house.

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