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Singapore Tech Firm Creates Office Web Depot

SingaTrust Pte. Ltd., a Singaporean technology firm, will launch a virtual office supplies Web store on February 1 through its incorporated subsidiary, webOffice Pte. Ltd.

SingaTrust has core businesses in the semiconductors and electronics industries and annual earnings of S$28 million (US$15 million).

The company established webOffice Pte. Ltd. in October 1998 soon after a government organ, the National Computer Board, declared that the Internet had become a standard by which companies do business.

"It is the first office supplies store in Singapore to capitalize on the Internet by setting up its own business-to-business EC model," said Rick Siu, sales and marketing manager for webOffice.

The webOffice site was developed with the assistance of Ohio-based Sterling Commerce, Inc., a leading global provider of e-commerce solutions and software.

"It's a set of libraries co-developed with Sterling Commerce for Internet electronic commerce," said Siu. "It runs on MS NT Server and MS Site Server-Commerce Edition. The back office system is ACCPAC, and the Messaging Server is GENTRAN from Sterling Commerce."

"Sterling Commerce is delighted to be chosen as the EC vendor in this venture," said, Lilian Koh, Sterling Commerce's local business development director. "webOffice embraces the future of business-to-business EC."

Initially, payment for webOffice's supplies will only be made by check because, as Siu points out, most Singaporean companies are not ready for electronic payment.

However, Siu states, e-commerce is gaining popularity and some multinational firms in Singapore like Seagate and Shell are starting to pay electronically for smaller purchases.

"We have built in e-payment capability in our system, but its part of our strategic planning that we will only switch it on in October 99."



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