MultiEmedia goes multinational

MultiEmedia goes multinational

Web and software developer MultiEmedia came into its own last week, shedding the mining company that helped it list through the back door, launching a range of new development tools and moving into overseas markets.

MultiEmedia listed on the ASX under the umbrella of mining company Australian Environmental Resources (AEV) only three months ago, after an exhaustive search through PricewaterhouseCoopers for a liability-free organisation.

"We were going to do a front-door listing but our products were ready to go to market. This way saved us six months and $1 million," explained MultiEmedia's executive chief, Adrian Ballintine, contending the company was seen as more legitimate the instant it listed.

With MultiEmedia released from the stigma of the mining brand, Ballintine will attempt to manoeuvre it into new markets and will begin to accelerate product development and geographical expansion.

It has already launched its Web development software, ZoneStudio, in June and is finalising details of IntraZone, to be launched this week, as well as the more mundane matter of selling off a mine site by Christmas.

In addition to ZoneStudio, a small business Web development tool, and IntraZone, an intranet application, MultiEmedia will release SalesZone and EduZone in the next couple of months for the financial, insurance and telecommunication industries and the education sector respectively.

"These are products developed for the worldwide market that will help companies move into e-commerce," said Ballintine. Claiming to have scored the last four big Web development contracts in Australia, including the $50,000 Hamilton Island site, Ballintine still assures businesses from all industries and of all sizes that the Internet is not just a big player arena.

"ZoneStudio will help small and medium businesses build a Web site for $10 a month. If they want it to have transactional capabilities it will cost $100 a month."

With this all-industry, all-sizes strategy Ballintine is expecting MultiEmedia to spread into North America and Europe relatively easily. "We will have an office in the US within 30 days and we're in negotiations with companies in nine European countries."

Ballintine believes MultiEmedia's recent acceptance as the first Australian company in the Application Service Provider Consortium, which boasts members such as Cisco, IBM, Compaq and Sun, will also strengthen its international presence. "We've achieved a lot of firsts," he said. "We are the first Australian Internet company whose share price has held up and hasn't slipped below our listing price. We are the first company that will make a profit in our first quarter of operations and we are the first Australian company to join the ASP Consortium."

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