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Specialist To Expand E-Business Opportunities

Telecom's Advanced Solutions Engages Internet Specialist To Expand E-Business Opportunities For Clients

Telecom's IT&T integration division, Advanced Solutions, has engaged technology futurist Gary Connolly to develop specialised Internet and electronic business opportunities for clients in New Zealand, Australia and Europe.

Mr Connolly has an extensive background in technology and Internet business development. He first became interested in the Internet in 1985 while studying for a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science. Since then he has worked widely in various fields, including health and education, as well as local and rural government. He was subsequently northern regional manager of Netlink, the Victoria University ISP. He then worked for TelstraSaturn and Clear Communications as an Internet specialist.

Explaining his new relationship with Telecom's Advanced Solutions, Mr Connolly says his main purpose will be to work with business clients to maximise their commercial opportunities by leveraging technology. "The majority of businesses in New Zealand do not have a well thought out plan for migration to electronic business," he says.

"Advanced Solutions, leading the transformation of Telecom from a telecommunications company to an IT&T company, conceptualises, designs, builds, implements, runs and optimises integrated technology systems, ensuring the technology input enables a positive business outcome."

"My role will be to provide an objective viewpoint - essentially to find out what Telecom's clients don't know - and to help demonstrate that a meaningful electronic business channel can add substantial value to their businesses."

Advanced Solutions Manager Consulting, Findlay Herbert explains that Internet technologies have the potential to cut across every traditional business process.
He says, "They can be used to transform every step in the value chain and to strip cost out of support processes. They can also magnify mistakes and present them to an audience of millions. Gary is able to bring these opportunities and issues back to practical business terms. He communicates the 'what' and the 'how' of migrating processes to the Internet in language that non-technologists understand. His input will be invaluable in helping our customers prepare plans and business cases for investment in e-business initiatives."

While his work with Advanced Solutions will focus on e commerce solutions, Mr Connolly is quick to point out that it (the Internet) is not a panacea for business needs. He says that it is wrong to assume that there is a straightforward formula - a one size fits all - for e-business success.

Instead, he explains the approach will be to first see how companies are working with their existing information. "My job will be to help them understand all of the channels that are open to them on the Internet and then how they can use their own data to access a much wider and fast growing market."

Despite the disillusionment with dotcoms, with some major online traders - like Amazon - under-performing, Mr Connolly predicts a big future for electronic business. "Last year global business-to-consumer sales over the Internet surged by 179 per cent, becoming a US$31.2 billion industry and it is on track to reach some US$400 billion by 2003. With over 380 million global users (according to and climbing, the Internet has transformed from an academic tool into a diverse hybrid medium that is part information hotbed and part economic model."

"It is already pervasive and ubiquitous and it is going to spur a total shift in the way people view computing. It's changing the way global business is done and New Zealand businesses dare not afford to ignore it."


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