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News Briefs

First Kaz off the rank

Sydney IT outsourcing company Kaz Computer Services is expected to list on the ASX next month in a float worth $80 million. As part of the initial public offering, the listing, one of the first technology floats of 2000, is expected to attract $10 million in fresh equity and $22 million from institutional investors. The underwriter of the float is KTM Capital.

Kaz develops software packages and provides outsourcing services for enterprise-level companies and is a joint partner of IBM and Cisco.

The company is currently carrying out a $54 million six-year outsourcing contract with AMP, which started in 1997. Under the contract, Kaz runs AMP's superannuation mid-range operations, hardware and systems software. Kaz's list of clients also includes Colonial and Nestle.

KTM Capital was unable to comment on its role in the float, while Peter Kazacos, Kaz's managing director and a major shareholder, is overseas.

Sun to ship Solaris 8

Sun Microsystems unveiled its Solaris 8 operating system last week during a New York press conference, and said that the new OS will ship in early March.

Sun officials touted the forthcoming OS release as historical, with president and COO Ed Zander proclaiming: `There is no Unix marketplace anymore. It's a Solaris marketplace,' and insisting, `this is the platform to bet your future company on.'

The 64-bit Solaris 8 Operating Environment, as Sun calls the software, is aimed at so-called `.com' companies that rely on the Internet to do business and therefore can't abide downtime. Solaris 8 is intended to provide service levels that help such companies avoid taxing their traditional IT infrastructures because of the technological requirements of having an Internet presence, which requires frequent upgrades and application installations, according to Sun.

Sun also announced that it won't charge licensing fees for Solaris 8, and that it will offer free access to Solaris source and end-user binary code. While the software and co-packaged code will be free, Sun is charging a $US75 media fee that covers receiving the OS in 10 languages and a companion CD.

Lan 1 unveils SnapAccess reseller programQuantum distributor Lan 1 announced last week it will run the local version of Quantum's exclusive partner program for Snap servers, SnapAccess, with the aim of increasing the products' reseller ranks in Australia.

The channel program guarantees resellers exclusive pricing, demo package discounts, partner-only Web site access, direct marketing campaigns, collateral kits and POP/POS, free priority technical support and free initial product training and course updates.

The Australian SnapAccess program, unlike the American one, does not tie resellers to strict sales quotas. The only requirements are that they purchase a `One-to-Show, One-to-Go' demo package, sign up for the initial product training and continue to sell Snap servers.


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