Portal developer establishes Malaysian base

There is a new Internet startup in town, sttarfire.com, which aims to help enterprises shift their businesses onto an e-business platform with minimum disruption.

There is a new Internet startup in town, sttarfire.com, which aims to help enterprises shift their businesses onto an e-business platform with minimum disruption.

KUALA LUMPUR, 19 May 2000 - With the tag line "We simplify", sttarfire.com said it will do away with the hassles involved in evolving into an e-business, by providing the strategy, technology, and portal solution that can readily be deployed.

The company recently spread its wings into the Malaysian cyber jungle, through its initial investment of US$2 million from Singapore Technologies Telemedia, delivering end-to-end business consulting and system integration services.

A subsidiary of sttarfire.com (Asia Pacific) Pte Ltd, sttarfire.com (M) Sdn Bhd, will develop and market a package that leverages on a Java-based portal infrastructure and vertical industry application software for deployment across various industries.

Operational since April 2000, the Malaysian base will be sourcing for business, perform sales, consultancy, implementation and service functions for its potential clients. There are also plans to set up operations within the MSC in the second half of this year.

While its main office remains in Singapore, sttarfire.com's Kuala Lumpur subsidiary is the first in the Asia Pacific region. There are plans for subsidiaries to be set up in Bangkok, Hong Kong/China, and Taiwan by the second quarter of this year.

sttarfire.com will also be breaking into the US market by end 2000, in line with its plans for dual listing in 12 months' time in the US and Singapore.

Apart from these locations, sttarfire.com will also be making an indirect presence in Indonesia, Japan, India, Korea, and the Philippines together with business partners.

"Our aim is to establish a global company with Asian roots, yet with a presence in the USA as well," said Ron Tan, managing director of sttarfire.com (M) Sdn Bhd.

"With the rapid and tremendous growth in e-business in this region and in Malaysia, there exists a need to deliver infrastructural solutions to meet the needs of different businesses from different industries to enable them to conduct e-commerce."

The financial industry, such as banks, securities firms, and traders, is its prime target at the moment. sttarfire.com is currently in negotiations with several companies in Malaysia, which it declined to name.

In Singapore, sttarfire.com is working with United Overseas Bank (UOB) on their CyberBank project, a joint initiative with Sun Microsystems.

The solution

sttarfire Portal Solutions are designed to provide the flexibility and scalability to meet different e-business strategies and needs, ensuring high developer productivity and shorter time to market. This is accomplished using sttarfire's very own suite, Sttarfire Portal Application Framework (SPAF).

The software is based on an open architecture concept, a Java-based portal structure. It works across multiple platforms. With its pre-constructed portal modules, it leverages the Web and allows integration of systems (total integration portal suite). SPAF is patented to Sttarfire.com.

Due to its open framework architecture, it caters for various input and output channels, complying with open systems. This enables the creation of vertical applications.

SPAF has an infrastructure that enables portal operators to build, extend and personalise their portals to their own needs and specification.

The core common components include targeted marketing, session management, security control, membership management, profiling, reporting, personalisation, content aggregation, single sign-on and a command center for managing the portal.

sttarfire has strategic partnerships with Sun-Netscape Alliance, Sun Microsystems, Netgrity, a developer of single sign-on solutions, and Netlife, a provider of e-banking, e-brokerage and e-payment solutions.

"We're also looking to tie up with other strategic e-business consulting and systems integration partners to expand the deployment of sttarfire portal solutions throughout the Asia-Pacific region," added Dr Thomas Choong, CEO, sttarfire.com (Asia Pacific) Pte Ltd.

The pricing for SPAF will be divided into two: software and services. With regards to the software, pricing will depend on the number of CPUs involved. The pricing for services will depend on market rates and the project itself. Figures range between US$10,000 and US$100,000.
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