BankDirect's Freeman plucked to run Telecom-Microsoft-EDS venture

Telecom, EDS and Microsoft have appointed BankDirect's Jane Freeman to head their esolutions alliance, which will create and deliver e-commerce applications from early next year.

Telecom, EDS and Microsoft have appointed BankDirect's Jane Freeman to head their esolutions alliance, which will create and deliver e-commerce applications to corporate and business customers from early next year.

The announcement gives shape to an e-commerce strategy that was spawned in March when Telecom split its Internet business into a consumer-focused group that kept the Xtra name, and a new "online solutions group". The alliance with Microsoft and EDS was announced in September.

In a statement yesterday, Telecom CEO Theresa Gattung, EDS managing director Steve Smith, and Microsoft New Zealand general manager Geoff Lawrie, said they were delighted a person of Freeman's calibre and experience would lead the venture. As general manager of BankDirect, Freeman has overseen the launch of New Zealand's first solely phone and Internet-based bank.

The statement yesterday promised that New Zealand businesses would have access to "solutions that combine Telecom, EDS and Microsoft best of breed online capabilities and commitment to long term support."

Freeman will report to an advisory board comprising Gattung, Smith, Tony Henshaw (president of the Asia Pacific esolutions group for EDS Asia Pacific), Lawrie and Karyn Devonshire (Telecom General Manager of Corporate Strategy and Information Services). She will also be a member of Telecom's Executive Group.

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