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News from NET and COM '99

  • Towngas, Microsoft Ready Hong Kong Customers for E-Commerce
  • February 8, 1999 (HONG KONG) -- Hong Kong and China Gas Co., widely known as Towngas, recently launched a Virtual Customer Center (VCC) built in partnership with Microsoft Hong Kong.
    Towngas produces and provides gas for 1.1 million households and 12,000 commercial and industrial customers.

    The partnership aims at putting e-commerce into real action and fostering a Web lifestyle in Hong Kong, according to Jimmy Wong, general manager of Microsoft Hong Kong.

    The VCC can be accessed from the Towngas Web site (www.towngas.com) or at customer center touch-screen kiosks. Visitors can order appliances, book maintenance appointments, report meter readings, open and close accounts and make inquiries.

    Future developments for the VCC will include full e-commerce with electronic shopping basket, online payment and real-time stock checking, and software-generated recommendations of appliances that meet the individual's needs and home location.

    Among the current projects is the development of a 3D showroom that will allow architects and developers to walk through a virtual flat equipped with appliances from Towngas.

    Towngas has built its web-based infrastructure around Internet Information Server (IIS) on the Microsoft Windows NT server networking platform. It has upgraded to Internet Information Server 4.0, which is believed to enable faster component testing and improve set up and administration.

    A key function of the IIS server is its support for Microsoft's Active Server Page (ASP) technology. ASP makes it possible to build database-driven, Web-based business solutions, thus allowing Towngas customers to pay for their purchases and receive customized advice online in the near future.

    (Eleanor Yeung, Asia Biztech Hong Kong Editor)

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    Updated: Fri Feb 5 18:02:02 1999 PDT