Philips seeks help in localising web content

Philips New Zealand is having trouble localising the content on its part of the company's global website, claiming the right software is not available.

Philips New Zealand is having trouble localising the content on its part of the company's global website, claiming the right software is not available.

The electronics giant operates an international website, developed and hosted in the US, which is currently being upgraded. Content management for the region is handled in Singapore, using in-house-developed software which Philips NZ says is not user-friendly enough. And it wants a system that will let the local company control local content.

Philips Asia-Pacific e-business project representative Francis File says adding new features to its website, such as local product information or news, will be more easily done locally than through Singapore. The company also plans next year to link local dealers to the site.

"We are trying to get a [content management software] product that will do the job rather than have it developed ourselves. That product is extremely difficult to find because we have a fairly extensive product basket. We also want to put a lot of content per product so it's difficult [to find a solution]," he says.

File says three systems made by large international content management companies, whom he won't name, are presently being tested. None appear to meet the specifications Philips wants, so he says a compromise on standards is likely. Philips Europe has for some time been evaluating software from channel management specialist iMediation to track site use and deliver content to the global website.

The company has meanwhile started revamping the look of the website through Auckland-based Walker Advertising, which also handled the pages of 14 Asia-Pacific countries. Stage two, due next year, will see Philips linking the site with its authorised dealers so they can order online, ask for price lists online, receive product material and perform other B2B transactions. But despite an "alliance" in the US with AOL allowing some online selling, Philips has no immediate plans for direct sales in New Zealand.

  • Philips last week launched a DVD recorder, which will sell for $4999. Philips say the DVDR 1000 recorder will initially bought by the “early adopters” of new technology -- many of whom own existing DVD players and want a record function. The company expects a quicker take-up of the technology than occurred with VCRs and CD players, suggesting it will become mainstream within several years as prices drop. The machine can record TV programmes, transfer movies from camcorders and download from their PC onto DVD discs in digital quality. Philips says the DVD recorder is compatible with most other DVD players and DVD-Rom drives in PCs.

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