Davnet finds muscle for Singapore push

Davnet, the Australian company that specialises in the infrastructure of smart buildings, has formed an alliance with Harmony Telecommunications to market broadband products and services in newly deregulated Singapore. Harmony is a joint venture between Telstra Holdings and DataOne Corporation and holds a Facilities-Based Operator Licence from the Singapore Infocomms Development Authority.

Robert Turner, CEO of Davnet Asia, said the alliance will allow the companies to roll out their broadband solutions to business users in Singapore. "By working together with Harmony Telecommunications we can combine our specific expertise and allow customers in Singapore to benefit from aggregated Internet, data, voice and video high bandwidth communications over a single socket in each office," he explained. Davnet Singapore recently completed the cabling of five office towers in Suntec City, one of Singapore's largest commercial complexes.

Under the terms of the agreement the two companies will sell and market each other's products and services.

Sausage finds e-business partner in UnisysSausage Software has moved to lift its profile on the international stage by forming an alliance with Unisys for the development and delivery of e-business solutions. "This significant development is part of our strategy to align Sausage with key global players and consolidate our services to increase profitability and shareholder value through controlled growth," explained Lloyd Roberts, CEO of Sausage.

"This partnership springboards Sausage into the global market, enabling us to tap into the US$7.5 billion Unisys market by developing a strategic partnership with a global company that complements and adds value to our business as well as becoming an important service provider to our client base."

Roberts added that the two companies will set their sights specifically on four markets: SMEs in Australia and, on the international stage the transport and aviation; education; and interactive development sectors.

"This alliance will provide SMEs with the opportunity to move their businesses online at affordable costs and technically low risk," Roberts explained.

"For the transportation and airline industry, Sausage will strengthen Unisys' existing platform of services through the provision of new e-business IT products specifically designed to improve quality and efficiency in the customer relationship management and loyalty areas," Roberts said.

NetComm purchase continues transformationListed Australian company NetComm has continued its diversification and metamorphosis from modem manufacturer into broadband telco by completing the acquisition of Van Gogh Investments. The transaction was funded by an exchange of shares and options.

David Stewart, managing director of NetComm, said that the Van Gogh acquisition was an important part of NetComm's plan to reinvent itself.

Looking to the future Stewart said that NetComm's former focus on modems had positioned the company well to capture a large piece of the predicted explosion in broadband DSL in Australia. That would be aided by a range of three DSL modems the company is about to put into mass production, with a further three in development for future release, Stewart added.

EftNet signs up partner for expansion

Australian payments and commerce solutions provider EftNet has found a Thai partner to back its efforts to sell the 13 PAID phone-based credit card payment processing system in Asia and the Middle East. Saha Regal Best Company will invest $A10 million to buy an interest in an operating company that is being set up specifically to license the technology in 34 countries in the region. The operating company will also have the first right of refusal to take other EftNet technologies into the region.

A spokesman noted that the deal is in addition to the sale of the sub-licence for the 13 PAID technology to Thailand last month.

"The need to enable convenient methods for traders to securely process credit cards and charge cards is important for Asian countries to be competitive on both a domestic and international basis," noted Police Lt General Vudhi Sucharitakul, chairman of Saha Regal Best.

Access1 forges online training links

Multimedia service provider Access1 has joined forces with ExecuTrain to deliver business training courses via a broadband distribution platform. The deal will allow ExecuTrain to provide two types of training:

The Training Channel, which will feature a series of packaged video training courses to all subscribers; andCustom Classes, which will be prepared and presented to individual clients.

David Spence, executive chairman of Access1, said the agreement was a perfect complement to the alliance Access1 entered with Wollongong University last month for the delivery of mainstream education content.

Business briefs

It appears that nobody has any very clear idea of what will be rescued from Telstra's planned giant alliance with Pacific Century Cyberworks, but it seems that something may. A statement released during the week noted that the two companies are "actively engaged in continuing discussions regarding their intended strategic alliance".

LibertyOne appears to have thrown in the towel and announced it may sell its ZIVO Web development arm. A statement released by managing director Marcelle Anderson noted that restructuring options are being considered. "In its present circumstances LibertyOne does not have sufficient funds to provide the working capital needed to achieve an appropriate long term return for shareholders," she explained.

The first franchised Compaq Connect Store has opened in the Sydney suburb of Castle Hill as part of a plan to roll out a network of similar establishments around Australia. Compaq has tested its plan for the franchise network with a pilot involving eight stores in Brisbane and Melbourne.

Data#3 has renamed its headhunting arm Data#3 Recruitment Solutions and is planning to expand its operations in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne. A spokesman said the company is hoping to exploit growing marketplace demand for skilled IT practitioners and executives.

Corporate quarters

Dell Computer sparked a slump on the NASDAQ this week when it announced that its third quarter revenue "is trending about three per cent below" expectations, although still providing a seven per cent sequential growth rate. The hiccup was attributed to weak demand in Europe and slower than expected growth in sales to small business customers worldwide. The company claimed it remains on track to meet profit expectations in the third quarter.

Xerox, too, was forced to inform investors that revenue its third quarter was weaker than expected in Europe and North America, as a result of which the company is likely to report a third quarter loss. "Aggressive actions to improve profitability in 2001 are being pursued," explained Paul Allaire, chairman and CEO.

Computer Associates, on the other hand, was able to assure analysts and investors that its recovery is progressing well and that its second quarter profit should be within the expected range. "We are very pleased with our performance, given the current business environment," explained president and CEO Sanjay Kumar. The company will announce its results on October 24.

Chip manufacturer Micron Technology lifted fourth quarter sales from $US1.08 billion a year ago to $US2.57 billion and turned a loss of $US17.4 million into a net profit of $US726.7 million. The increase in profit was attributed primarily to an "increase in per megabit in average sales price" and, to a lesser extent an increase in megabits sold. "We are very proud of our execution and extremely pleased to announce these outstanding results," noted CEO Steve Appleton.

In its third quarter to September 30 RSA Security expects to lift revenue 29 per cent from $US55.7 million a year ago to about $US72 million. Net profit is expected to climb about 33 per cent. The company will announce its results on October 12.

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