Local IT solutions provider Balanced IT Services (BITS) is confident the launch of three new initiatives aimed at facilitating business online will continue its solid 60 per cent growth rates.
Developed from existing technology, licensing.com.au was established on a simple premise, according to BITS' managing director John Perkins, and costs only $50,000 to install. In essence, the service allows a business to buy all its Microsoft licences online.
"It's cost-effective because you don't need anyone on the phone and it's time-efficient because the entire process is automated," Perkins claimed.
"The site will manage all your licensing requirements, alleviating every IT manager's fear of a BSAA raid. We are anticipating that it will reduce a customer's licensing costs by 10 per cent."
BITS worked closely with Microsoft to develop the site and, according to Perkins, the software vendor supports licensing.com categorically.
"Microsoft believes this is the only site of its kind in Australia and of all the similar sites worldwide it is the best one it has seen. It is estimating that in the first 12 months the site will make $10 million and in the second 12 months it will bring in around $25 million.
"We were already using the site for our clients and thought it would be a good idea to commercialise it," Perkins explained.
Simultaneously, BITS launched LocalWeb.net.au, a small business Internet initiative. LocalWeb is designed to assist small businesses go online, ranging from merely having contact details registered on the site to having the ability to do electronic transactions.
The site acts as a point of reference for local communities, assisting customers to find anything from a loaf of bread to an accountant.
"LocalWeb is the equivalent of [The Sydney Morning Herald's] CitySearch but locally focused," Perkins said. "Small businesses have thought about going online but no one is interested in them. This gives them the opportunity to do it for about $100.
"A number of small businesses use LocalWeb as their e-mail address, while it also becomes a portal that can be used to locate business partners in their local area."
BITS intends to establish the site within its own local precinct and rapidly expand it to include the entire Sydney metropolitan area by the end of the year, eventually taking it nationwide.
Perkins confirmed that the concept is not demographically restricted and plans are already under way to utilise the same technical and design principles to provide sites for various groups of people, such as the elderly, to cross-reference ideas and issues.
The integrator has also established a Business Solutions Division (BSD) with the intention of providing PC-based e-business solutions established on commercial concerns and technological considerations.
Michael Bridges, the newly appointed manager of BSD, is anticipating that this division will provide IBM with the competition that is absent from the market at the moment.
SMEs get a look-in
"IBM owns the e-business market with its AS/400 and hitherto only very large customers have been able to afford an e-business solution."
BSD allows businesses of between 10 and 200 people to establish a Web presence.
"A true PC-based e-business solution can't be static, we can allow information to be automatically changed and the system is completely maintenance free. The major savings the Internet provides aren't just in ordering and transactions but in total solutions.http://www.licensing.com.auhttp://www.LocalWeb.net.au