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New Software Smooths On-Line Way

From the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology For immediate release

NEW SOFTWARE SMOOTHS ON-LINE WAY

A big Singaporean publisher is the first buyer of a New Zealand-developed computer application that will automate much of the work needed to put the publisher's work on-line.

The program, TurboPress, was developed by Christchurch companies South Pacific Information Services Ltd and Phasis Ltd. The two have established a joint venture company, WebCentre Ltd, which has been floated privately to handle marketing of the TurboPress system.

The project to develop the system was supported by Technology New Zealand, which invests in research into new products, processes or services as part of the Government's plan to fashion a knowledge-based economy.

NZ Science Monthly publisher and WebCentre marketing manager Vicki Hyde says TurboPress simplifies many tasks that eat up a publisher's time, with automated print-to-web conversion and site construction, subscriptions and advertising management, communications and e-commerce support. It was prompted by her experience of "trying to get a program that did everything".

"Nothing seemed to fit. I hunted around but couldn't find anything that did what I wanted or needed," she says. "But I was able to work with a team of web automation experts to analyse my needs and answer them." She says the Technology New Zealand investment during the research and development phase "allowed us to prove the technology".

Office staff using TurboPress can convert all of Science Monthly's material to an on-line publication in 40 minutes, complete with full automatic indexing and site generation from automatic construction of a table of contents through to links with authors and articles. It's a process Ms Hyde says used to take many difficult hours.

TurboPress is aimed at publishers who want to add value to their sites while maintaining costs at a reasonable level, and at web consultants who could market it to publishers.

"Overseas customers, particularly those in the US, tend to be more familiar with web publishing. But members of the US Magazine Publishers Association are paying an average $US2.5 million a year to support their own on-line publications. Eighty percent of them say they're losing money," Ms Hyde says.

Ms Hyde says they have allocated software valued at US$100,000 to non-profit organisations. The first recipient is a leading women's university in the United States.

-ends-

Contact: * Vicki Hyde, South Pacific Information Services Ltd, Redcliffs, Christchurch 8008. Ph: (03) 384-5137. Email: info@turbopress.com.

Website: http://TurboPress.com * Tony Hadfield, Technology New Zealand (Christchurch Office) at the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology, (03) 377-9340, 025 494-095. Website: www.technz.co.nz

Prepared on behalf of the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology by ID Communications. Contact: Ian Carson (04) 477-2525.

Email: ian@idcomm.co.nz


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