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RealTime IT News

Spescom Soars in Wake of Microsoft Deal

[Johannesburg, 2 June 2000] - Stock in local e-commerce software developer Spescom gained over 70c in trading yesterday afternoon on the JSE in the wake of an announcement by the company that it has clinched a major global software deal with Microsoft. In terms of the agreement, Spescom's US subsidiary, Altris Software, will supply Microsoft's product support centres around the world with its eB Knowledge Management Software. No value has yet been disclosed by Spescom for the deal.

The Altris-developed software will be combined with workflow software allowing Microsoft to develop and manage localized content for its wealth of country-specific Web sites around the world. These Web sites will use the new technology to integrate text, video, voice and data that will then be available to end-users in the specific language of that particular region.

Despite fluctuations in Spescom's share price over the recent few weeks, the Johannesburg Stock Exchange responded favorably to this announcement yesterday, boosting the share price by 72c. At the end of yesterday's trading, stock stood at 515c a share.

Spescom believes that the backing of Microsoft will do much to increase the profile and international credibility of its operations. Speaking yesterday, Spescom Marketing Director Johan Leitner commented "The deal...is a major breakthrough, not only because of the tremendous endorsement of the Altris software by the world's leading software supplier, but also in terms of realizing the value of the group's strategy behind the Altris investment."

The investment to which he refers took place late last year when Spescom took 58% of the data solutions company that had been rattled by allegations of financial irregularity. Spescom then bought the 58% in shares for less than $9-million, a bargain price for a company that had been rated as one of the top ten knowledge management software companies by no less an authority than the Gartner Group.