Netbridge Systems Integration has exercised its network integration muscles, installing a $50,000 network system at Oce-Australia Limited to meet the company's e-business services objectives.
The move follows an Oce survey of its customers' e-business needs, which resulted in Netbridge's integration of the company's Cisco router, two new IBM Netfinity servers and a dedicated Internet connection.
According to Andy Bulloch, Oce's network operations manager, the company surveyed 7000 customers to discover what services they wanted to see online.
The survey revealed customers want to receive the latest news and technical information, download Oce printer drivers, access manuals online, and find out about Oce special offers.
Oc manufactures digital and analog copiers, printers, plotters, and scanners for the office and engineering systems markets, in addition to providing technical expertise and value-added software development.
Bulloch said surveying the company's customer base would ensure it made the right technology investments.
"We saw little value in diving into e-business as a reflex to industry trends. Too often companies provide the online services they think the customer should have rather than what the customer is demanding," he said.
Bulloch explained that Netbridge configured the router and installed the servers to complete its network and enable it to host its Web site.
One server is designed to act as a Web server, while another is a proxy server for firewall and caching functions.
The solution incorporates a three-year on-site warranty and service-level agreement from IBM.
Bulloch said the system is designed to improve Oce's customer communications via the company Web site and provide each staff member with Internet and e-mail access.
Netbridge won the integration deal after a recommendation from Oce's ISP Connect.com.
"I chose Connect.com and they had a good relationship with Netbridge," Bulloch said.
While the integration itself posed few difficulties, Bulloch said the biggest challenge was moving the company Web site from the incumbent ISP to its own servers.