In a bid to win the lion's share of B2B e-commerce services, which analysts claim will total $99 billion by 2004, Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC) has opened a $10 million e-business solutions centre in Canberra.
The centre provides a testing environment to pilot and test e-business strategies and is already being used by the major banks and leading government agencies.
CSC's Australasian vice president of e-business, Philip Small, said the "paint has only been dry a few weeks" and there has been a lot of interest to test the centre's capabilities which feature Net Markets, WAP, Web hosting, security and knowledge management.
Small said the centre, which is one of four worldwide, has 35 staff but this will jump to 50 over the next month.
While the centre's location reflects CSC's strong presence in the government sector, Small said it was simply easier to source staff in Canberra.
"We were able to source the skills we needed here and it's also easier to retain staff as there is a higher churn rate in Sydney and Melbourne," he said.
Manager of the e-business solutions centre, CSC's Andrew Streeter said the National Australia Bank has been looking at online strategies for its corporate customers and Westpac will be assessing B2C and B2B initiatives at the centre in two weeks.
Streeter said solutions CSC has already developed include Milfirst, a secure communications system for the Department of Defence which employs the Internet and PKI technology to exchange information with defence forces overseas and Cabnet, an intranet developed for the Prime Minister and Cabinet.
CSC already has a strong presence in the B2B market and has launched trading communities for 65 online exchanges including e-Steel.com, plasticsnet, Aeroquip and 20Tons.com.