The Online Technologies Consortium (OTC), comprising over 180 online companies and sponsored by 14 key online industry players in Singapore, today announced new alliances with leading international virtual community ...
Singapore, 8 December 1998 | For Immediate Release
Consortium strengthens Singapore's position as the launch pad for international online services targeting Asia.
The Online Technologies Consortium (OTC), comprising over 180 online companies and sponsored by 14 key online industry players in Singapore, today announced new alliances with leading international virtual community and technology partners, as well as a second wave of new virtual communities to be developed by local industry partners. In addition, the Consortium also adopted a set of internationally recognised privacy codes. It is believed to be the first group of companies coming together to put privacy policies into practice in Asia.
The new strategic partnerships were formalised in 12 Memoranda of Understanding signed between the OTC and key players from both international and local online industries. International partners include Community Connect, Inc., FortuneCity.com, TRUSTe, CommTouch Software, and Paralogic Software Corporation. Local partners include Aretae Interactive, Educom Pte Ltd, Ednovation Pte Ltd, Cybersource Pte Ltd, Kent Ridge Digital Labs, International Application Solutions Pte Ltd and Net Megastore Pte Ltd.
Mr Michael Yap, Deputy Chief Executive, National Computer Board, said, "The OTC's Virtual Community Initiative has been set up to help local online companies pool resources and experiences. In doing so, we hope to help companies leverage on the unified strength generated to keep pace with the rapid Internet current. Such collaborative partnerships are necessary for companies to reap maximum benefits from the global market for online services presented by the Internet."
"In 6 months, these partnerships are expected to create over 10 virtual communities that will collectively generate more than 400,000 registered community members and attract over 10 million online visitors per month," Mr Yap added of the new collaborations sealed today. "This will bring the OTC a big step forward in realising its goal of achieving over one million registered users for its network of virtual communities by the year 2001."
Through these initiatives, the OTC aims to achieve three key objectives. Firstly, to create greater synergy among Singapore's online companies and to accelerate the collective build-up of a critical mass of online users. This will facilitate the expansion of the local market for online services. Secondly, to create partnership opportunities between local and international online players to share and exchange expertise, experience, and market access. This will enable local and international online players to use Singapore as the launch pad to reach out to the online services market in Asia. Finally, to facilitate the local online industry to acquire, at shared cost, leading-edge technologies and services that will enhance the quality and global competitiveness of their online services.
"The OTC's efforts in building strategic virtual communities alliances with global partners augur well with our national objective to become a global centre for Internet-related services and industries for the region." Mr Michael Yap added.
About the Online Technologies Consortium (www.otc.ncb.gov.sg)
The Online Technologies Consortium (OTC) comprises over 180 members of the local online industry and is sponsored by 14 key industry players. Singapore's National Computer Board (NCB) serves as host and caretaker for the OTC. Viewed as an essential mechanism for transferring technologies and solutions at a shared cost, the OTC's mission is to become the dominant factor and interface in establishing and maintaining industry-led partnerships that benefit from the pooling of resources and experiences for the growth of the Online Industry.
The OTC's Sponsor Members include Acer Computer International, BCS Information Systems, CSA Holdings, DBS Bank, Linbert Travel Exchange, National Computer Systems, National Library Board, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation, Singapore Network Services, ST Computer Systems and Services, Sterling Commerce (Singapore), Strategic Technologies, Times Publishing Group and Xpress Multimedia.
ISSUED BY CORPORATE COMMUNICATION DEPARTMENT
ANNEX A: SUMMARY OF PARTNERSHIPS
1. Community Connect, Inc. - New York-based Community Connect Inc. and the OTC today launched Asian Avenue Singapore (www.AsianAvenue.com.sg) an interactive online community specially catered to Web users in Singapore. Asian Avenue Singapore is a localised version of the highly successful AsianAvenue.com, the leading online community for Asian Americans with over 120,000 registered members. The partnership will enable Community Connect to begin establishing a strong presence in Asia with its online communities. At the same time, it brings a leading international online community to Singapore users, and creates further partnership opportunities for Singapore-based online companies to reach out to the Asian American online market.
2. FortuneCity.com, Inc. - New York-based FortuneCity.com, Inc. and the OTC today signed an Alliance Partnership to launch FortuneCity ASIA within the next month. This will be the first homestead virtual community targeted specifically at Asians, beginning with Singapore, with plans for quick expansion into Japan, China, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines. FortuneCity ASIA will be available in English, Chinese and Japanese. This latest FortuneCity community network site will also offer broadband services on Singapore ONE. This joint initiative will enable both FortuneCity.com and local industry players to create a strong foothold in the Asia-Pacific online market. FortuneCity.com, Inc. is one of the largest as well as fastest growing global online community networks on the Internet. It has sites in the USA (FortuneCity.com), Germany (.DE) and Sweden (.SE). FortuneCity.com's sites worldwide have over 815,000 registered users, of which 200,000 are from the Asia-Pacific region. FortuneCity.com is rated the 13th fastest growing Web site in the United States and 31st most trafficked Web site, reaching 6.1% of US-based Internet users.
3. TRUSTe Partnership: Internationalisation of Industry-led Privacy Initiative - The OTC today signed an agreement with TRUSTe, the Internet leading privacy seal programme, to offer the TRUSTe privacy seal programme to local online companies. The OTC is the first consortium of Asian companies to embrace comprehensive consumer online privacy protection measures. The TRUSTe programme requires member sites to provide full disclosure of their data collection and use practices and allow users to opt out of secondary marketing uses. This partnership extends the OTC's industry-led privacy initiative to the global marketplace. The move will serve to build up consumers' confidence and trust online, and will facilitate the growth of usage of online services and electronic commerce.
4. CommTouch Software - Under the agreement with CommTouch Software, a leading international email syndicator, the OTC will license CommTouch's bi-lingual, free, web-based email service and child friendly email at shared cost. This initiative will enable OTC members and alliance partners to offer free English and Chinese language email accounts to registered users of their virtual communities.
5. Paralogic Software Corporation - Under this partnership, the OTC will license Paralogic's leading ANEXA Microcommunities solution on behalf of its member companies at a shared cost. This collaboration will enable local online services to integrate best-of-breed community features to their online services at minimum cost.
6. Aretae Interactive Pte Ltd - Under this partnership, Aretae will develop MCIS 2.0 components to deliver multimedia online learning services targeted at young children on the OTC virtual communities platform.
7. Cybersource Pte Ltd - Cybersource will partner with the OTC to build the Living Place service - a series of virtual communities for town councils, creating a platform for resident communication and community building for Singaporeans. Living Place will feature wireless alert messaging to allow the virtual community users to locate and communicate with one another via pager and mobile phone messaging.
8. Ednovation Pte Ltd - Ednovation Pte Ltd, one of the largest educational software developers and solution providers in Singapore, will expand its online resource-based learning application LEARNetTM and integrate with the OTC's Registration and Login System by early 1999. This will provide registered members seamless integration and access to the network of virtual communities of the OTC. Ednovation will also leverage on the child friendly email service available through the OTC to enhance its online services. The partnership will bring about new virtual community services to over 50,000 children at more than 250 kindergartens in Singapore and the region.
9. Educom Pte Ltd - Educom will launch a series of content-rich and community
centric learning environments by the first quarter of 1999. The initiative will focus on equipping educators and students with relevant tools to sieve through the myriad of information on the Internet to identify useful resources for more effective learning. Educom will be targeting its virtual community initiative at its current user-base of 30,000 students and teachers, and to grow the user-base to 500,000 by the year 2000.
10. International Application Solutions Pte Ltd - IAS will integrate OTC's virtual communities services with the Lotus Domino environment to develop an information-rich interactive virtual community targeted at technopreneurs and the research and development communities, supporting the National Science & Technology Board's objective of promoting science and technology in Singapore.
11. Kent Ridge Digital Labs - KRDL will integrate its CommonTown technology with OTC's Virtual Communities services and will launch a virtual community targeting at children by first quarter 1999. CommonTown technology is a software program that puts users into a virtual community where they not only surf and acquire information and knowledge, but also become actively involved by contributing to the content and communicating with other fellow users.
12. Net Megastore Pte Ltd - Net Megastore is partnering with the OTC to introduce advanced personalisation and product recommendation capabilities that will allow individual online music shoppers to select music products based on their own preferences, and to enjoy special bargains and co-promotions. Net Megastore operates DiscVault (http://www.discvault.com), a Singapore-based online music store with a growing database of over 10,000 products, over 20,000 audio samples and full image previews. This partnership will enable DiscVault to offer its customers a more personalised shopping experience by responding proactively to the needs of its customers and providing personalised recommendations according to specific tastes.