Fightback 09: What's in the pot?

Fightback 09: What's in the pot?

It’s an eclectic mix of good news in the IT cauldron this week with a handful of contracts, a dollop of positive figures and a pinch of philanthropy.

NSC has won a three-year contract with Vision Australia to give vision impaired communications assistance.

“The speech mechanisms, which allow vision impaired people to interact with the system without distracting the person on the other end of the line, was a challenge for us,” NSC CEO, Craig Neil, said. “What’s good about it for us is that it will be a nice feature for any organisation with sight impaired people, so we’ll be marketing it for future solution tenders as well.”

Another company which had some luck was CSC. It snapped up a six-year $300 million managed infrastructures services contract with wealth management provider, AMP (ASX:AMP).

The deal is an extension of a previous arrangement between the two companies which involves the provision of mainframe, mid-range, desktop, service desk, network and security services.

Point-of-sale (PoS) reseller, GunPos, joins the winners circle after landing an electronic retail upgrade deal with long time customer, The Body Shop.

The reseller will install a total of 116 HP rp5700 retail PoS PCs in most of The Body Shop’s 80 stores across the country in the next 12 months. Rollout of another 80 units is set for the following year.

The deal is worth about $150,000.

Services provider, ASG (ASX: ASZ), also had good news to tell with the released of a positive guidance for its financial year. In a press release to the ASX, the company announced expected yearly earnings before tax of $19 million, following earnings before tax of $9 million for the December half.

ASG is expecting double digit growth in revenue and earnings in the 2010 financial year.

The retail sector also is also boasting healthy numbers. It continued its comeback from March. Figures indicated a 0.3 per cent rise for April, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

This was a strong result compared to February where the sector posted a 2 per cent decline.

Turnover also increased by 7.2 per cent this month compared with the same period last year.

Industries that had an increase in April were: Clothing and soft goods (0.8 per cent), household goods (3.9 per cent) and other retailing (0.1 per cent). However, decreases were seen in food retailing (-0.2 per cent), department stores (-2.8 per cent) and cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services (-0.5 per cent).

An organisation that is defying employment trends and actually hiring is the Australian Tax Office (ATO). It is calling for system testers to explore its ICT infrastructure in its multi-agency initiative aimed at simplifying business-to-government reporting, the Standard Business Reporting (SBR) program.

The ATO opened a tender inviting organisations to provide qualified personnel to work in Canberra in a team known as Enterprise Applications which will perform ICT services.

Consultants will need a Highly Protected security clearance and will provide services in conjunction with the development of ATO Web services, authentication or internet security framework teams. In other news, non-profit organisation, One Laptop per Child (OLPC), has handed out its first batch of notebooks to indigenous children in remote Australian regions at a Northern Territory (NT) launch event.

“We will complete our trials in the three schools first and then look for other locations in NT and far north Queensland to move numbers up to 2000 units, 5000 units and then 20,000 units by year end,” OLPC chairman, Geoff Anson, said. “Our ultimate goal is to hand out 400,000 notebooks and we expect to do this within the next four to five years.”

Hungry for good news, keep watching ARN Fightback 09, your daily dose of optimism.

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