10: 1999 in review - October

A summary of the year's big stories: October 1999

October 1999

  • Sequent, now known as IBM Numa-Q, is stymied in its plans to launch as an application service provider in New Zealand. Before the merger Sequent had planned to launch in September. IBM says it will launch as an ASP at a later date.
  • Home Internet Solution, an Internet access system developed in Napier by Ericsson New Zealand, takes off in Poland and is to be exported to other countries around the world.
  • EFTPOS software by Auckland-based DPS (Direct Payment Solutions) is licensed by international distributor Ingenico for world wide distribution.
  • Clear launches as an application service provider renting an automated credit card clearing facility called Payment Gateway using Internet technology.
  • Christchurch-based CA-Systems, is bought by Australian firm MYOB for $22 million.
  • TVNZ subsidiary BCL embarks on a nine month, $30 million project upgrading its microwave relay stations to a new digital standard capable of carrying 200 channels at a time.
  • The first stage of the Property Office’s Intellectual Property Online project goes live with a new Oracle database. The Property Office says patent and trademark applications will be able to be filed over the Internet when the new system goes online next year.
  • People from the electronics, software and telecommunications industries meet to develop a jointly-run High Tech Council with a cohesive voice to lobby government.
  • Dell Computers signs a $US6 billion service deal in the US between Dell and IBM Global Services but this doesn’t affect the local subsidiary’s service agreement with Unisys.
  • The fund set up by Morel Ventures to invest in New Zealand hi-tech companies, No 8 Ventures, reaches $25 million.
  • Trade New Zealand’s investment agency, Investment New Zealand, establishes a Call Centre Attraction Initiative (CCAI), with 35 voluntary partners from the telecommunications, software, hardware and consulting sectors. The partners will use their contacts internationally to increase awareness of New Zealand as a call centre destination.
  • Waikato management school launches New Zealand’s first Bachelor of Electronic Commerce degree.
  • Advantage Group buys local Internet developer WebMasters for $3 million in cash and $5 million in shares making it one of the largest Web development firms in Australasia.
  • The Labour party releases its e-commerce strategy focusing on four key issues: government as a leader in e-commerce, as a model user, as a promoter and as a “key enabler”.
  • Social Welfare says it will roll out voice over IP (Internet protocol) in the new year, making it the first government department to implement the technology.
  • The New Zealand Dairy Board expects to improve its decision-making to the value of $20 million a year with a new Constraint Optimisation Reasoning (COR)-based optimisation model.
  • Taranaki Health makes its entire patient information system available to medical and nursing staff through its intranet Web site.
  • Ihug opens a "drive-through" personal computer store in Auckland.
  • New Zealand’s first "free" Internet service provider, FreeFunds Internet service, is set up in Auckland - although it only offers 20 hours free each month and is targeted at online investors.
  • Computerland buys training company Champagne Consultants.
  • New Zealand financial software developer, Greentree International, joins a committee to help the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) with the introduction of GST.
  • Asia Online, an ISP owned by Japan-based investor group Softbank, buys the Internet Company of New Zealand (Iconz).
  • eVentures, a joint venture between Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation and Softbank launches eVentures New Zealand (EVNZ) which will localise some of the Net's biggest brands - including E-Loan, WebMD and Buy.com - and also provide support and capital for local start-ups. Sky TV founder Craig Heatley takes 20% in the new company and heads it up.
  • IT services group Sanderson buys the local government systems division of Sydney-based Genasys Systems.
  • Financial and distribution software company Masterpak relaunches as Tenuteq in a move toward the CRM market.
  • Datacom, the Employer Manufacturer's Association, Ernst & Young and Tenuteq - formerly Masterpak - form a partnership to offer ASP services to members of the Employer Manufacturers Association.
  • AC Nielsen announces it will set up an online market research arm, NetRatings in New Zealand.
  • Investment company Active Equities takes a 16% share in Auckland-based IT company Trilogy Group.
  • IBM files counter claim against government which is suing for more than $3 million over the Police Incis computer project.
  • Telecom and Vodafone release figures indicating that more than one million New Zealanders use mobile phones.
  • ERP company PeopleSoft buys Californian CRM software company Vantive Corporation.
  • No 8 Capital (not to be confused with No 8 Ventures) takes a majority stake in Wellington start-up CyberElves as its first New Zealand investment.
  • State sector organisations are required to file their final Y2K reports.
  • Compaq New Zealand’s managing director Robin Paterson steps down for six months due to health reasons. He will return in a new position next year.
  • Auckland software developer Orion Systems wins a contract worth tens of millions of dollars with the Puerto Rican health service.
  • The government rejects a Waitangi Tribunal decision that Maori have ownership rights over radio frequency and the spectrum auction is due to begin on November 15.
  • The Southern Cross cable’s 8,000km link between New Zealand and Hawaii is completed.
  • Healthlink South says it has chosen SAP for its new $4 million information management system. Healthlink South is the first hospital to implement SAP in New Zealand.
  • Trade and Exchange says it will start charging for access to its Internet listings and is setting itself up as a Web design company.
  • A States Services Commission report on IT monitoring guidelines goes before Cabinet.
  • Microsoft announces it will launch the much-anticipated Windows 2000 on February 17 at the IDG World Expo's Windows 2000 Conference and Expo.

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