(Nikkei BP Group)
(No.1 High-Tech News Site in Japanese)
| 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
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
(Eleanor Yeung, Asia Biztech Hong Kong Editor)
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