NZ Post makes Silent move

NZ Post makes Silent move

By Alicia Camphuisen

New Zealand Post is steadily moving into information technology, after taking a 35 per cent stake in Wellington-based software developer Silent One.

The venture capital deal will provide Silent One with the financial resources to recruit more technical expertise, as a prelude to the company's intended global expansion.

Silent One will take to these markets its Internet-based 'knowledge library' software, SilentOne, which was released earlier this year and has already been incorporated into large sites such as Massey University and NZ Trade Development Board, which has implemented the product worldwide.

The product is bundled with Microsoft's Index Server, which indexes data about files as they are saved to the company repository. SilentOne is the actual search component of the solution, finding files based on this data and able to allocate specific access to documents.

"We will be using our solid base in New Zealand to expand, first into Australasia," said Silent One managing director, Ian Hight. "We also have broader plans for the US and UK markets. We are focusing on organisations that want to share their intellectual capital."

This is the second investment NZ Post has made in an IT firm, after taking a 50 per cent stake in NZ firm The Electronic Commerce Network last March.

"NZ Post has a development fund for this kind of investment, with the rationale being that we want to develop new streams of revenue," said NZ Post business development leader, Paul Robinson. "We have identified those technologies that we think will have a huge global impact - technologies like document management, workflow and electronic billing."

"We would like to take a stake in a reasonable number of these companies. We would like to invest in another six companies in the next six months."

Mr Robinson added that NZ Post is in the final stages of confirming another investment, this time in a New Zealand workflow vendor. This agreement is expected to be finalised by mid-March.

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