Akamai helps Trade NZ cope with spikes

Trade New Zealand says technology from hosting specialist Akamai will help a new web platform for exporters cope with spikes in demand.

Trade New Zealand says technology from hosting specialist Akamai will help a new web platform for exporters cope with spikes in demand.

The government agency last week launched MarketNewZealand.com after four months of trials and market speculation (see Trade NZ, Akamai discuss exporters' web profile), claiming the website will revolutionise the way it does business by placing many of its processes online and speeding them up.

Project planning began in 2000, as part of Trade NZ’s $13.1 million e-business programme, which has already led to the launch of other export-related e-initiatives.

The toughest part of the project was planning the website — encompassing issues such as classification of goods available for export. Bringing together the technologies was the relatively easy part, Trade NZ says.

The website features profiles of potential exports, offers customised information, including news, and links with Trade NZ offices around the world.

“It’s our one-stop-shop for exporters,” says Trade NZ CIO Hans Frauenlob.

“This is streamlining our key processes. This thing isn’t a brochure. It’s a transactional website capable of handling high business value transactions. It is capable of personalisation, one that you can provide subscription-based news items to,” he says.

Trade NZ says usability and fault tolerance are key factors in the site design. The arrangement with Akamai means the website is also “engineered for resiliency and scalability”, though Trade NZ won’t give a load capacity other than “tonnes”.

MarketNewZealand.com was built using Vignette’s V/6 content management software, which is also used on the main Trade NZ site.

The software allows Trade NZ staff to manage content themselves.

The new website runs on Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server, Com +, IIS 5, SQL Server 2000 and Microsoft’s active server pages technologies. It is secured using 128-bit SSL authentication. The site is hosted in Auckland.

Frauenlob advises anyone contemplating a similar large-scale project to properly engage all the “constituencies” to be served by it. For Trade NZ, that included buyers from offshore as well as local exporters.

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