Startup develops secure messaging

Sydney Internet-based recruitment firm Best People International (BPI) has developed a secure corporate facility it plans to take to market in the next few months.

The product, named BPI Connect, is an Internet-based chat facility delivered on a private network. It allows Web surfers to connect with company representatives via a secure chat facility while browsing a company's Web site. The enquiry can be directed among the company's staff, who are also able to communicate in a secure chat applet.

BPI's core competency is recruitment solutions for the IT industry, but the company developed the chat facility for its own Web site before discovering it had a more universal application.

"[BPI Connect] is an excellent way to touch your clients," said BPI's managing director, Tony Nash. "It is offered on a private network, which means you are in control and not competing with the rest of the world in terms of speed and traffic.

"Every message and session is secure and encrypted," Nash said. "There is no chance of traffic being intercepted like it can in public chat rooms. We would be comfortable in telling people to do business using this."

The product came about after Nash convinced former IBM employee Steve Traurig to take up the position of director of technology at BPI. Traurig used the interfaces and toolkits from the Lotus Sametime platform and developed BPI Connect.

The company is now looking at several ways of taking the product to market. It will sell the solution direct, by installing Connect servers in the client's place of business. It is also in discussion with a Sydney ISP about setting up the infrastructure necessary to host the application and sell via the ASP model. Finally, BPI is looking at reseller agreements, whereby other companies will on-sell the messaging product as a part of a suite of offerings.

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