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Auckland Firm Gets First Technology Grant

Auckland Firm Gets First Technology Grant Under New Funding Guidelines

AUCKLAND, October 13, 2000: An Auckland company specialising in sophisticated customer relationship solutions for the retail sector has been awarded one of the first technology grants under the government’s new funding guidelines.

Visible Results Limited, a subsidiary of The Atlantis Group, has been granted $360,000 by Technology New Zealand for next stage development of its dynamic loyalty system project. Visible Results markets and supports a customer loyalty system using a thermal read/write card technology – the only card currently available to update and display loyalty information to customers instore.

The funding is to develop enhanced solutions that will enable the technology to be used more widely and to greater effect. The enhancements include the ability to support Asian characters, along with significant configurability and scalability. Once completed, the new system will allow global deployment of loyalty programmes, enabling marketers to change these on the fly, specific people to be targeted with appropriate offers, and the maintenance of the loyalty programme centrally from one location.

The Atlantis Group Managing Director Michael Whittaker said the grant was tangible evidence that the government was serious about providing active support to technology development.

“The development of technology with a commercial face has never been easy or without risk. The government’s initiative recognises the benefits of supporting technology initiatives that will capitalise on the entrepreneurial spirit, commercial expertise and sheer doggedness of New Zealanders,” Mr Whittaker said.

“The biggest risk the government faces in funding technology is the possibility that new products are created which, for commercial reasons, are never brought to market. In the case of Visible Results, we had a proven demand for the service and could show a track record of satisfying customers in four countries with this type of product. That allowed us to apply for funding confident that it would be put to good use.”

Visible Results’ existing graphicard tm technology attracted considerable attention when it was chosen to power the Mobil MAX programme in New Zealand in March 1999. The technology and supporting loyalty programme won gold medals in the 1999 and 2000 Direct Marketing Association Awards, and gold awards for the Best Loyalty Programme in this year’s Australasian Promotional Marketing Awards.

The Visible Results technology is also used to support loyalty programmes for Caltex in Singapore and Dymocks in Australia.

The Technology for Business Growth TBG Scheme has been refocused towards projects that have the potential to enhance technical capability and enable firms to move towards high value, high margin technology-based products, processes or services, and / or markets. Preference will be given to projects that have the potential to create an enduring increase in technical capability within the firm.


Editors’ Notes:

About Visible Results
Established in New Zealand in 1997, Visible Results launched with its first client 2 years ago. Today, the company has subsidiaries in Singapore, Australia, and Japan. Employing in excess of 40 specialist staff, it has quickly become one of Asia Pacific’s leading customer relationship companies serving an ever growing client base across convenience, fast food, fuels and the general retail industry.
Visible Results multimillion dollar investment into a future proof “customer relationship management” platform enables retailers the opportunity to access advanced transaction processing, customer analysis and e-commerce related facilities that have previously only been available as a result of expensive custom designed business solutions.
The future of Visible Results lies not only in its ongoing commitment to investment in technology, and adoption of sound best practice principals, but most importantly in the consistent delivery of accountable and successful programmes to clients.


About Business Growth Programme
Funding for the Visible Results programme came from Technology New Zealand’s Technology for Business Growth Programme (TBG). The Programme aims to:

 increase the level and quality of research and development in industry;
 encourage business growth and improved international competitiveness through technological development within businesses;
 catalyse and support improvements in the management of technological innovation.

TBG provides partial funding, of up to 50% of the cost of R&D and technology transfer projects.
Any business or group of businesses operating in New Zealand is eligible to apply for funding. As the business is usually stretching beyond its existing technical capacity, a technology partner will often be needed. These technology partners may be Crown Research Institutes, universities, polytechnics or private companies located in New Zealand or overseas.

The Technology New Zealand Scheme, part of the Foundation for Research Science and Technology (FRST), is designed to help businesses develop and adopt new technology.

Projects are assessed by a committee drawn from both business and academic worlds.
The Committee includes Dr Geoff Page, Industrial Research Ltd, Dr Ian Smith, University of Otago, Trevor Eagle, Eagle Technology Group Ltd, Maxine Simmons, Immuno Chemical Products Ltd, John Walley, Canterbury Manufacturers Assn, Noel Whiley, Consultant
Doug McConnell, Tait Electronics Ltd, Peter Squires, University of Canterbury,
Mr John Cunningham, Caltech Capital Partners Ltd, and Yvonne Lucas, Ministry of
Commerce

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