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Computing History As Aoraki Farewells LINC

Christchurch, New Zealand. 1 August 2001. - A piece of computing history was completed yesterday as Aoraki Corporation finally severed its ties with LINC, New Zealand's most successful software export.

At midnight last night, Aoraki's connection to the last computers running LINC was switched off, ending an association with the software product that began when Aoraki's founder and CEO Sir Gil Simpson invented the technology in 1978.

In that time LINC, a software product programmers use to write systems for large mainframe computers, and its related services have generated earnings of more than $NZ1billion for the New Zealand economy and played a part in creating Christchurch's strong hi-tech community.

Sir Gil said it was poignant moment for the company, "Ending our association with LINC is like farewelling on old friend, it has been a great achievement but now it is time to move on."

LINC has been used to write software for thousands of financial institutions, telecommunication companies, manufacturers, retailers and so on around the world. "We're extremely proud of what we have achieved with LINC, and think it can be used as inspiration for New Zealand as we look to re-invent ourselves as a knowledge-based economy."

Aoraki has replaced its LINC revenue base with earnings from a newer generation product called JADE, released at the end of 1996. "In that time we have achieving an incredible transformation from a company 100% driven by LINC to one entirely based on JADE.

"This has involved spending tens of millions on research and development, staff retraining and computer hardware. It is a change akin to Alliance or PPCS becoming a dairy company in the same timeframe."

"What I think is remarkable is that we have managed to keep our revenues fairly stable over that time, and now we are in a good position to expand considerably."

Sir Gil Simpson is predicting even greater success with JADE than he achieved with LINC. "JADE meets some fundamental needs in computing that aren't being addressed by other software manufacturers as they grapple with the challenges of electronic commerce.

"We have also been able to develop partnerships with several large global players like IBM and PricewaterhouseCoopers to help take JADE to the world, rather than being restricted to a single partnership as we were with LINC.

"We're experiencing good growth in demand for JADE, particularly in the United Kingdom, and building some partnerships with global players that will lead to substantial growth in the next five years."

"As well as the JADE development tool, we have some ready-built software in the healthcare, transport, education, customer relationship and payroll markets that have excellent growth."

Invented by Sir Gil Simpson in 1978, in 1980 the rights to LINC were sold to US computer giant Unisys Corporation (then called Burroughs Corporation), who contracted Aoraki to continue developing and maintaining the product until June 1999. Unisys continue to support and market LINC worldwide.


Aoraki Corporation Limited is a privately owned New Zealand company, headquartered in Christchurch. It employs 400 people in New Zealand, Australia and the United Kingdom. The company's founder and Chief Executive is Sir Gil Simpson.

Aoraki produces a software development suite called JADE. More than 40 JADE Partners, including companies such as IBM, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Telstra Saturn, gen-I and Mi Services Group use JADE in their product or service offering. JADE is used in New Zealand, Australia, Japan, Singapore, Korea, India and the United Kingdom.

In addition to its JADE division, Aoraki has five divisions focussed on building software for specific market sectors, namely transportation, healthcare, tertiary student management, customer relationship management and payroll/human resource management.

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