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Remsoft making inroads in the land of Frodo

March 19th, 2004

NB Telegraph-Journal | N.B. Companies
As published on page C3 on March 19, 2004

FREDERICTON - A Fredericton-based software firm is making inroads in Middle Earth. Two employees from Remsoft Inc. recently spent a few weeks in New Zealand - where the Lord of the Rings trilogy was filmed - to train new customers how to use their forestry management software.

About two years ago an enterprising New Zealander approached Remsoft to purchase their Spatial Planning System to replace their current software. Since then, sales have sprouted throughout the island and spread into Australia making the region the third biggest market for Remsoft after Canada and the U.S. Douglas Jones, a business development manager, and his college Andrew Cogswell journeyed to the land of the kiwis in February to teach their new clients how to navigate through the new system.

"The obvious benefit is going there in the wintertime. It's nice to go there any time, but in the middle of winter it's even better," said Mr. Jones, who had a chance to do a little sightseeing while he was there.

The company is planning to go back at least once a year for training workshops and sales visits to Australia. There's even been some thought of opening up an office down under but right now those plans are just on the radar screen, said Mr. Jones.

"It's more marketplace for us, and it's very similar to doing business in Canada and the United States. The hurdles of doing business in New Zealand aren't that significant," said Mr. Jones.

"The only real hindrance there is the fact of distance, they live on the other side of the world in the southern hemisphere. But in the electronic age, that doesn't hurt us very much anyway, because that's how we operate here in Canada or in the United States."

The island - which exports 80 per cent of its wood to Australia, Asia or the U.S. - made big changes in how they organize their forests. New Zealanders set aside a chunk of forest for conservation and designated the other sections as space for intensive pine plantations, similar to what's happening in some areas in the United States.

Even though their forestry management differs from the methods used in Canada, Mr. Jones said the software can handle various environments. The New Zealanders themselves are ambitious to learn and readily take to innovative ideas, said Mr. Jones. "One thing I've learned about the basic New Zealander is that you're on this small island, you've got three or four million people there so you have to be innovative," he said.

"They are an export-based country, so they have to be leading edge, they have to be efficient in what they do so they spend money on education and technology that's going to help them do their business and be more efficient."

Media Contact: Moira Finn Manager, Communications & Publications
Tel.: +1 506 450-1511

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