Australian integrator Praxa is flying high on a deal which has seen it develop the software element of an inflight entertainment intranet for US-based company Sony Trans Com.
Called P@ssport, the intranet delivers inflight entertainment via Internet Explorer 4.0 tech- nology. It offers video and audio on demand to up to 500 passengers at a time and gives each individual control over their viewing.
Sony Trans Com, a member of the Sony group and the marketer and developer of P@ssport, had been looking for developers to undertake the custom development of Microsoft-based software elements for the system.
Praxa has been looking to move into the inflight entertainment market for some time. It found Sony Trans Com through Microsoft in December last year and, after contacting the company via e-mail, the two companies got down to business.
Praxa provided its prowess in software development and Microsoft tools whilst Sony Trans Com brought a strong history in aircraft entertainment systems to the table.
Praxa also received a timely boost during that period when it was chosen as Microsoft's worldwide solution provider of the year.
"It was a rather large call to use a group of guys from Australia who you have never heard of before to do software development for the major system you are working on," said Brian Walshe, Praxa Microsoft business manager.
Two other factors worked in Praxa's favour - the value of the Australian dollar and a shortage of good programmers in the US.
"Basically the problem is if you can program, you either end up working in Silicon Valley or Seattle. Sony Trans Com is located in Los Angeles and just couldn't find programmers," Walshe said.
"The other thing was with the Australian dollar, we're very cheap for them and we can charge what is a reasonable rate over here and when converted it's very very cheap."