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ITG chairman bets on collaborative ASP

Internet Technology Group executive chairman Koh Boon Hwee places a bet with collaborative commerce on ASP.

Internet Technology Group executive chairman Koh Boon Hwee places a bet with collaborative commerce on ASP

SINGAPORE - Mr Koh Boon Hwee may seem to be a betting man at first glance, but further examination shows that he's calculating the odds shrewdly.

"It's not something two 27-year-olds can start"

Koh Boon Hwee
Cofounder,
ConneXwave

Koh, who also sits as the executive chairman for Singapore-based Internet Technology Group Ltd, also holds posts as non-executive chairman at Singapore Telecoms, Omni Industries as well as holding directorships at several other companies, and is now the cofounder of new ASP startup ConneXwave.

He is also a founder of Delteq Limited, together with Mr S C Chen, who is also a cofounder of ConneXwave.

ConneXwave, an ASP that provides a collaborative platform for the electronics industry, services clients by allowing designers, manufacturers and suppliers to work over the Internet simultaneously, thus avoiding the traditional hiccups that accompany a strenuously long supply-chain structure.

Collaborative commerce, or c-commerce, is distinguished from e-commerce in that the bulk of the processes occur prior to the transaction, at the design and manufacturing stages. This helps to cut costs prior to the actual production of the product.

About 80% of a product's cost is determined at the design stage, said Koh, and a collaborative platform is expected to cut costs and design cycle time by at least 50% if executed properly.

ConneXwave has partnered with Unigraphics Solutions, who will be providing its Unigraphics DesignKNet solutions for the ASP to use.

HP is also a partner, and will be making a debut with its e-utilica solution. The e-utilica allows ConneXwave's clients to conference with each other using VPN, keeping communications secure, while supplying power from it's compute farms to run the application and services that are needed.

Clients of ConneXwave will be charged US$150 to US$500 per user per month, depending on the stack of services, once the ASP starts business in two weeks time.

The company will pay its partners a combination of royalties and upfront licensing fees, said Koh, who also confirmed that the company, having already invested US$2 million, is seeking another US$15 million.

The company hopes to break even by the end of its second year, said Koh. He added that 70% of the company's equity would eventually be owned by the people working for it. The 30% remainder is being held by Delteq Ltd.

At present, ConneXwave has 3 employees, and aims to recruit another 12 by year end.

The ASP hopes to leverage off the familiarity that the community already has with CAD/CAM tools, and is targeting the regions of Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong and other parts of "north Asia".

Unigraphics is not an unfamiliar name in the local scene, with the National University of Singapore making it compulsory for all first-year engineering students learn to use - until this year, when the module is no longer compulsory.

Koh and Chen are pinpointing the electronics industry, an area where they have long-standing expertise in.

"The nice thing about this business is that the market is there, it has always been there," said Koh.

"You practically know the people by name," he added, noting that it took a deep domain knowledge to start such an ASP.

"It's not something two 27-year-olds can start," he said.