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.

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