Oracle has helped the New Zealand Dairy Group turn its Anchormart rural merchandising chain into an e-commerce site and farming community portal called RD1.com.
The new venture was announced yesterday and is scheduled to go live today for 300 farmers who have signed up for a pilot phase.
The new dot.com company will operate as an independent business with NZDG - the country's largest dairy manufacturing company, with more than 8000 farmer shareholders - and other business partners. It builds on a close relationship which has seen NZDG use a range of Oracle products.
The software behind RD1.com includes Oracle iStore, an e-commerce application for Internet storefronts; and Oracle Portal. Both applications are powered by the Oracle 8i database.
The new site will initially offer 2000 products from Anchormart's range of 20,000, including agricultural chemicals, cleansers, rubberware, fencing, water reticulation, fertiliser, farm fuel and farm clothing.
In addition to e-commerce services, RD1.com will feature free personalised services such as news, weather, calendars and email utilities, plus chat rooms, e-broadcasts and research papers. Customers will be able to put together personalised Web pages. The ability for farmers to access their individual milk supply accounts - already available on NZDG's Web site - will be extended to the new venture.
The company also wants to provide Anchormart services such as insurance, power supply, telecommunications and cashflow management assistance.
RD1.com also provides farmers with access to their information that is also available on NZDG's Web site.
Following the trial period, the test group will be expanded to include 3,000 farmers in December, before the full service is made available, free of charge to anyone with Internet access early next year.
RD1.com CEO Neal Murphy says Anchormart customers can now choose from three full integrated channels - the 27 Anchormart retail outlets, a call centre and RD1.com.
Oracle New Zealand managing director Leigh Warren noted the 90-day implementation of the e-business solution for NZDG.