Menu Briefs: Commander, Sundata, IBM Briefs: Commander, Sundata, IBM

Commander lists on ASX

Commander Communications, formerly Plestel, has commenced trading on the Australian Stock Exchange under the ASX code CDR.

Commander issued 143 million shares at $0.95 per share, a price that remained solid for the first week of trading. Traditionally a telephone systems provider for SMEs, the IPO is part of Commander's move into data communications, under the leadership of deputy managing director Dean Gingell, formerly of OzEmail and F2. Gingell will lead a new Web-hosting unit under the Commander brand name.

"The funds raised will allow us to implement a growth strategy to capitalise on the convergence of voice, data and Internet technologies," said managing director, John Dougall. "We have a leading brand, and have established distribution channels to the SME market."

The ASP crystal ball

Analysts from IDC and Gartner have both attempted to size up the application service provider market (ASP), suggesting adoption rates have been slower than expected and predicting the market will boom in the near future.

An IDC report said the Australian and New Zealand ASP market is still in its infancy, but forecasts the 1999 value of the market ($8 million) to leap to $184 million in 2004.

Meanwhile, the folks at Gartner Dataquest have been interviewing chief information officers at large Australian companies and discovered that less than 1 per cent of CIOs are leasing applications through such a model. Gartner's regional director for the IT services market, Rolf Jester, sticks by his earlier prediction that more than 60 per cent of today's ASPs will fail.

Sundata looks global

Queensland-based systems integrator and software developer Sundata has been handed some worldwide marketing support under IBM's B2B Extreme Team Program, which involves the marketing of B2B-enabling applications developed for IBM's AS/400 server.

Sundata's product, Link2Parts, is an electronic catalogue application that integrates back office and Web systems. It recently made it to a list of four finalists in this year's Asia-Pacific Queensland IT&T awards for the "Best new IT innovation eCommerce award".

With IBM marketing the product worldwide, Sundata now plans to embark on its own campaign to target the worldwide AS/400 market, which is believed to be over 650,000 sites. The company plans to generate the majority of its sales through strategic partnerships with resellers or software OEM organisations.

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