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Awesome Global IT Community Launched In Auckland

AUCKLAND, Wednesday, December 6, 2000 – An Internet marketplace seeking to provide the global IT community with a source of tested and authenticated software utilities was launched in Auckland today.

Called Awesome Utilities (www.awesomeutilities.com), the market is an initiative designed to match the authors of computer code with technologists wanting to use that code in their own IT work.

Founder David Spratt said Awesome Utilities assessed utilities code from around the world and, if the code reached certain high standards, would award it a certification mark. Having qualified for the Awesome Utilities’ rating, the code could be purchased from Awesome Utilities with the proceeds being split with the code’s authors.

“We have created an environment where people or companies who have written code can send it for assessment. We have an international panel of technical experts to assess it and, if it reaches the required standard, we will give it the Awesome Utilities seal of approval,” Mr Spratt said.

“At Awesome Utilities we have discovered that the net is full of some good and some not so good pieces of code built to make our technical lives easier.
“Our mission is to distinguish between the ordinary code littering web pages and the truly wonderful works of the technical person's art that cause us to say ‘Awesome’.”

Mr Spratt said while Awesome Utilities was filling the gap between the authors and users of great code it also offered a solution to companies who created utilities for specific situations but were unable to gain the full value of their work.

“Each year billions of dollars is spent by companies who write code to create a utility that is either never used or is used only once. The creators of that code don’t want to go to the expense of packaging, promoting and selling it so it never makes it to market,” Mr Spratt said.

“On the other hand, there are literally millions of IT technologists who need code like this and would be happy to pay a small fee for it.

“Anyone who needs a particular utility can visit our site and, for no more than $US100, buy a utility that might otherwise cost thousands if it was fully packaged, marketed and promoted for sale.”

Awesome Utilities, which launched its website on December 1, has its first utilities available. One, called Failover!, allows for efficient user management during corporate name changes, reorganisations, server migrations or technology changes. It is invaluable with Windows NT, Citrix and Windows Terminal Server Farm environments and can replace server names for some or all users without re-keying.

“We checked Failover! against its competitors and found that even the most basic utilities came in at well over $US1000. This product is truly awesome, and via Awesome Utilities anyone can buy it for only $US100,” Mr Spratt said.

Awesome Utilities has evaluated 14 products to date, however only three have been accepted to the ‘Awesome’ rating.

Mr Spratt said Awesome Utilities sat at the heart of the knowledge economy.

“We take pure code, sell it, and split the proceeds with the authors. There are no manufacturing, shipping, or packaging costs and we are paid by means of a credit card transaction.

“There is much talk about the importance of the knowledge economy for New Zealand. What we are doing here is opening New Zealand up as a hub for a global market in knowledge products.”

Mr Spratt was reluctant to discuss potential revenues for Awesome Utilities, but said the possibilities were impressive. “On the supply side, the number of companies and individuals writing code is large but unknown – obviously we know that even in New Zealand large amounts of code is written but never makes it to market.

“On the demand side, there is an enormous community of IT technologists who could use utilities with an Awesome Utilities label. For example there are approximately one million Microsoft Accredited Technicians worldwide with possibly three times that number who are not formally accredited.

Awesome Utilities is a subsidiary of Internet integrator gen-i but the firm has treated it as a genuine start-up. Mr Spratt says much of the work has been done by staff in their own time although the project has been funded in the initial stages by gen-i. “Although Awesome Utilities has a close association with gen-i, it has not been created to market gen-i utilities and will only succeed if IT professionals use it to find and promote their truly valuable utilities at affordable prices.”


ENDS
Notes to editors’

So what makes an Awesome Utility?
It's simple
It's easy to use
It’s cheap
Every techo says "I wish I had thought of this"
Improving it would be like trying to build a better mouse trap
It matches the criteria.

Those products that qualify are awarded the right to use the Awesome Utilities logo as a sign that they have been judged by their peers and found to be outstanding. This logo is awarded only to utilities which pass judging with a Gold (AU) Award score of 90 percentage points or more out of a possible 100.
Each utility has been nominated by members of the global technical community and then judged using specific, measurable and reviewable criteria.
Utilities have also been judged qualitatively to ensure that the soft factors that make products great are not ignored.

The soft factors include:
I love it!
I don’t know what it is
I just think it’s cool
What do you mean you want the disk back?

visit Awesome Utilities at www.awesomeutilities.com

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