INDEPENDENT NEWS

Kiwis Make Net Collaboration A Breeze

Published: Mon 8 Nov 1999 11:25 AM
A simple, cheap means of allowing people to collaborate better over the Internet has been developed by Auckland technology company Infolink
Developed at a fraction of the cost of similar methods used by some big corporations overseas, this New Zealand-made software can assign, track and monitor what work is being done, and by whom, anywhere in the world.
It can lead to the faster delivery of goods and services to customers, better management, and reduced costs to businesses and consumers alike. It’s called Infoshare and was part-funded by Technology New Zealand, which helps businesses develop new products, processes or services.
Infolink Group Ltd part-owner Larry Hill says the project grew out of a requirement by a computer printer company with service agents spread over New Zealand.
"They wanted something that was simple, could be fitted to their system without great cost, but could efficiently move work around. It had to combine repairers who could be in Auckland or Hokitika, a help desk, call centre, management, accounts – the whole lot."
The key is the Internet, "and what we are increasingly calling eCommerce".
"That's how business is being conducted now," Mr Hill says. "And customer service is now measurable. Transactions are timed as they move along the workflow. This information can now be analysed to see how a company is doing. Previously, the company had no idea of what work was being done until the repairer’s invoice turned up."
Outsourcing, monitoring and virtual offices are not new. "But some big companies in the United States like Amazon, or Dell, or FedEx have spent hundreds of millions of dollars on developing their own software, which we don't think has the flexibility and the simplicity that our Infoshare has," Mr Hill says.
Infolink's approach takes what already exists.
"We don't write programs. We customise what's already there. And we can do it in a day."
Mr Hill says Infoshare can be scaled according to a company's size and activities, can be altered quickly and is flexible enough to embrace change rather than make change more difficult.
Technology New Zealand analyst Ian Gray says the project improved the technical capability of the company. "The result is a commercially viable service based on innovative technology."
Mr Hill says Technology New Zealand's investment enabled the project to be developed much more quickly than otherwise would have been the case.
ends

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