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The E-Buzz

Friday 8th December 2000

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It was a bad week for Telecom ISP Xtra. First it got caught out by the Prolin-Shockwave virus, unwittingly passing on the virus on Monday. PR firm Botica Conroy, which has Norton Anti-Virus developer Symantec on its client list, was also caught out. Two days later Xtra's email system crashed for almost 24 hours, one of the biggest network failures in Xtra's four-year history.

Trade New Zealand has begun due diligence with a consortium led by KPMG as preferred tenderer for its e-business strategy. Other partners are Cisco, Microsoft and Telstra Saturn. Work will begin on a $2 million commercial prototype focusing on the food sector in Australia. The government has committed $13.2 million to the project over two years.

Advantage subsidiary Aldridge Punter (APL) has signed a support service agreement with Air New Zealand worth $20 million over the next three years. The three-year contract is for the supply and enhancement of the application support services used to run the airline.

ANZ, Telecom and EDS announced a joint initiative that allows Telecom prepaid mobile customers to top up their phone accounts at ANZ hole-in-the-wall machine. The transaction is treated as an electronic cash withdrawal with no extra charges for the service.

Receivables Management Group subsidiary CreditNet International has signed a heads of agreement with unspecified power companies to supply an internet-based credit reporting service. CreditNet will partner Auckland database intelligence company Atlantis Marketing, in which RMG took a 25% stake this year, to provide the new facility.

Liquor King said its e-tailing arm has become cash-positive in less than a year with sales income covering operating and capital costs. The site has more than 200 registered users and an average sales rate over four times that of LK's physical stores. Of the online customers 75% were not regular customers, with corporates accounting for 60% of the business. A large number of overseas customers used the site to order gifts for New Zealanders.

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