A handful of large deals seem set to end Netscape Communications' long silence in the local market. The proposals are the fruit of the company's new distribution relationship with Datacom.
Netscape Australia managing director Rob Stewart is refusing to comment on who the customers for its new enterprise offerings might be, but confirms that the proposed deals "involve large organisations and when you're talking about large organisations you're typically talking government.
"It also involves a number of large telco opportunities too. Basically, we're very focused on those deals, which involve user communities in excess of 10,000. We're now working with Datacom with a view to figuring out the best approach to implementation."
Stewart says the company may be in a position to make announcements within weeks. One obvious — and very large —candidate for such a deal would be New Zealand Post, which owns 25% equity in Datacom and also outsources much of its IT to Datacom.
Stewart says the partnership with Data-com does not cut out Netscape's long-running distribution deal with Express Data (formerly Com Tech), which was thrown into doubt earlier this year.
"In New Zealand our traditional procurement channel or master distribution will continue to come in through Com Tech, but we're looking for people to come in at the value-add level and we've already had significant discussions with Datacom with a view towards partnering with them in the higher level of the model — the system integration, software development and consultancy level."
Stewart admits that less than a year ago "Netscape wouldn't have known what some of those words mean", but its enterprise product offerings have garnered regional credibility lately with significant deals with Telstra in Australia and the government-owned NETS e-commerce system in Singapore. Stewart says even significant sales are unlikely to see Netscape opening a New Zealand office.
"We're a virtual organisation. Our role will be to educate our partners and provide them with formal training programmes."