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Reference Site Offers Lifeline To NZ Companies

Knowledge Deficiency Delaying Adoption Of Critical Ebusiness Technology In New Zealand

New reference site offers lifeline to New Zealand companies

Companies seeking to make the transition to e-business have today been given a lifeline, with the launch of www.istart.co.nz, an online reference hub for all e-business and industry information relevant to the New Zealand market.

With a recent Deloitte Survey showing that nearly half of the respondents listed lack of knowledge as the major restriction to adopting e-business, www.istart.co.nz offers a one stop shop for business decision makers to understand, research, evaluate and select the right solution for their e-business needs.

Described as a “e-business informational portal” combined with an “online exhibition centre” by its creators, www.istart.co.nz provides an extensive case study library, eEncyclopedia, product descriptions and contact details for the leading providers of e-business solutions, as well as relevant and timely industry information. The case studies section is of particular value and visitors can search by ‘Industry type’ and ‘Solution type’.

The site development is headed by Kiwi businessmen, Marty Verry and Tony McDrury, who returned to New Zealand last year after five years working with e-business solution providers in Europe.

“I was surprised at how complacent New Zealand businesses were when it came to the adoption of e-business”, said Mr Verry. “Many companies are not capitalising on the cost savings achievable for themselves and better services they can provide customers and trading partners through the use of the Internet.”

He continued: “Export businesses are relying on weak exchange rates to maintain margins, but may find themselves out of business as the exchange rate appreciates. Meanwhile their overseas competitors have been adopting e-business solutions to increase cost efficiencies. We risk being left at a long-term competitive disadvantage internationally. The global economy is spreading and it’s using the Internet.”

“At the individual level, using e-procurement, for example, really does mean the difference between buying a Land Rover and a Range Rover next year for potentially thousands of managers here. The benefits are real and business managers need to get out of the comfort zone and start looking at how they can benefit.”

Early visitors to www.istart.co.nz list the scope and depth of the information available on one site, as one of its biggest drawcards. One of the initial exhibitors, IBM Marketing Communications Manager, Diane McGovern commented: “Visitors can now get an overview on all facets of e-Business from a single source, as well as see real life examples of how other companies are using the technology to their advantage.”

David Tse, Asia Pacific GM Marketing, Logical agrees. “Our customers are no longer necessarily from a company's IT department. iStart provides these non-IT decision makers with a valuable and independent hub to learn about e-business applications and compare offerings from leading local providers.”

“Businesses genuinely want to understand the solutions available today, especially in the e-Business and CRM areas” says Kevin Ogilvie, Director Olympic Software Limited. “At the same time we want to make this information available so it’s refreshing to have a service that facilitates this.”

The 35 or so Exhibitors currently on the site range from international brands such Microsoft through to leading New Zealand businesses that businesses need to be aware of. Verry expects the number of Exhibitors and the resources on the site to grow rapidly as more companies recognise the need to educate the business community on their solutions and the need to ‘showcase’ their experience at delivering these solutions.

Access to all areas of the site is free to the public at the following URL: www.istart.co.nz

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