Wang opens e-door for Blue Star siblings

Wang is spearheading a move by Blue Star Business Solutions companies to enter the e-business arena with a business services portal. The portal will initially give Wang customers an online ordering and procurement service.

Wang is spearheading a move by Blue Star Business Solutions companies to enter the e-business arena with a business services portal.

The portal, which will initially give Wang customers an online ordering and procurement service, will be expanded to provide services from other Blue Star Business Solutions companies Ubix, Cogent Communications, Hart Candy, Auldhouse Computer Training and ultimately BSG Finance.

The move is part of a strategy touched on by Blue Star Business Solutions CEO Anthony Howard, when former Blue Star chairman Eric Watson bought the division in June. At the time Howard said electronic commerce and electronic service markets would increase opportunities between the companies.

Peter Westerveld, has been appointed to the newly created position of general manager of e-business. He says Wang has about 40 people working on e-business.

The portal which launches at the end of the year will eventually allow customers to deal with non-Wang supplied products and services. Portal services will include online ordering, workflow software to assist clients purchase product, asset management applications to assist them in managing their IT investment, the integration of services - for example network and system monitoring and reporting, and tracking fault resolution.

The ultimate aim is that the portal will provide access to services and products from companies outside Bluestar Business Solutions making it a broad based New Zealand business products and services portal.

Leading up to the portal Wang has been piloting online ordering, called WangOrder, for the last two months pumping through $1 million worth of business with 10 clients. These clients, including Southern Cross Healthcare and the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, will also pilot the portal in the next few weeks. Because Blue Star Business Solutions is soon to be re-branded (although name and timing have not yet been announced) the portal does not yet have an official name.

It's front end has been developed with Jade by Cardinal and the back-end services uses PeopleSoft's ERP (enterprise and resource planning) suite; Vantive client service software, and Computer Associates' Unicenter TNG to provide remote support, diagnosis, monitoring and fault resolution.

As a second part of its e-business strategy Wang is also adding Internet integration, whereby it builds e-business solutions for customers, to its traditional role of systems integrator. The first example of this has been the development of an online registration system for APEC.

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