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Advantage forms E-commerce Agreement with Microsof

(Note Republication Of Earlier Moved Releae)

Auckland - 11 August 1999 - Advantage Group Limited (NZSE: ADV) announced today that it has entered into an agreement with Microsoft New Zealand to create, deliver and operate e-commerce services for both corporate and consumer customers.

These will include service procurement, supply chain trading, and e-commerce web development. The agreement is designed to make it easier for customers to implement and operate e-commerce solutions using the combined resources of Advantage and Microsoft technologies. Advantage will develop and deliver e-commerce applications and Internet solutions capable of handling transactions processing across the e-commerce spectrum.

"The key to success in the information technology boom is identifying suitable partners in a borderless business environment," said Advantage CEO Greg Cross. "The skills, expertise and knowledge within Advantage will be complemented by the international expertise that Microsoft, as the world's leading software developer, has to offer. We anticipate being able to meet the full spectrum of e-commerce and transaction needs of customers in this increasingly competitive international marketplace."

"E-commerce success belong to companies that have speed, agility and dynamism," said Greg Cross. "The frictionless movement of money means that capital roams the planet. It chases novel ideas and smart people and it has a keen eye for those who will leverage new technologies toward opportunity and profit. Microsoft now supports Advantage's mission to capture this potential.

"Microsoft has recognised expertise in software platforms and tools, Advantage in electronic funds transfer, transaction switching and Internet-based e-commerce. This agreement will enable us to develop and deploy innovative, world class e-commerce applications founded on the security of a 100% Microsoft platform."

"Advantage's commitment and involvement in launching Biztalk-enabled offerings will provide a seamless and effective platform for New Zealand business to build local and international e-commerce offerings," said Terry Allen, Business Solutions Group Manager, Microsoft New Zealand. "When you combine this with Advantage's transactional aggregation capability across physical stores and the Internet, Advantage is well placed to offer compelling solutions for organisations extending their services across the web."

Under the agreement, Advantage becomes the first company in New Zealand committed to deploying comprehensive business-to-business e-commerce solutions built on a platform of Microsoftâ technology.

Advantage's entire range of business-to-business platforms and applications will be built on Microsoft technology, including Microsoft's BizTalk(tm) and Commerce(tm) technology. Microsoft will provide tools, technical support, training and project services from Microsoft Consulting Services. Microsoft will work with Advantage in collaborative marketing initiatives to establish Microsoft's BizTalk Framework and solutions into the market.

For Advantage shareholders, it is a significant sign of Advantage's investment in and commitment to providing e-commerce leadership to the New Zealand market, with backing from Microsoft.

Advantage's current market-leading e-commerce technology, such as the Advantage Transaction Server, which enables online credit card payments, already uses a fully scaleable platform with Microsoft Windows NTâ. About Advantage

Advantage Group Limited, an NZSE listed company, is a leading supplier of advanced electronic commerce and transaction processing solutions in the retail, oil, banking, health and hospitality sectors in New Zealand, Australia and throughout the southern hemisphere. It provides the hardware, software, transaction processing and funds transfer capabilities to enable complete e-commerce solutions. ENDS

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