Affiliate Club awards affiliates with trip to Caribbean

AffiliateClub.com may be new to the industry, but the company certainly isn’t a novice when it comes to motivating its affiliates.

Just ask the nine men who were part of an all-expenses paid excursion to the Caribbean island of Curacao earlier this month as part of a promotion AffiliateClub.com ran for its affiliates.

“It was quite a trip,” reported AffiliateClub.com’s Claire Leighton, who hosted the trip along with fellow affiliate managers Nicole Sims and Katerina Milfaitova. “We’re a new brand. The affiliate managers all have experience in the business, but the program is new so this type of thing is very important for us to do. It helps us get the point across to our affiliates that we’re serious about the business and we’re here to stay.”

AffiliateClub.com offered a spot on the trip to any of its affiliates that could increase new traffic by 20% during a three-month span.

“We put the target out there and these guys went out and hit it,” Leighton added. “It’s just a nice way for us to reward them for putting their trust in us and sending traffic our way.”

The four-day journey began immediately following CAC Amsterdam, meaning the majority of the people on the trip flew directly from the conference to Curacao. But the nine-hour flight was simply used as a resting period as the party of 12 stepped off the plane at 4 p.m. and wasted no time beginning the festivities. Drinks at the Marriott Resort & Emerald Casino Hotel’s beach bar were followed by dinner at The Governour where the group was seated on a balcony overlooking the ocean.

Day 2 of the trip began with an exploration of the island atop 12 four-wheel quad motorbikes that weaved 25 miles through mountains, up a bat cave and along the coast. Muddied from their joy ride, the group washed off with an ocean swim and quenched their thirst with some ice cold beer at Mambo’s Beach Bar. Five hours later, the Dirty Dozen made its way back to the hotel to freshen up and sit down for dinner at another beachside locale called Hook’s Hut.

Dinner was followed by a trip to the casino (after all, these are “gambling” affiliates we’re talking about) and then the group headed back to Mambo’s for more drinks and some dancing into the wee hours of the morning.

“I think we spent almost 20 hours together that day,” laughed Leighton. “Believe me, you really get to know the people you are with when you spend that much time together in one day.”

Day 3 got off to an understandably later start, but was just as action-packed. The crew chartered a simulated pirate ship that took them for a tour around the island for some snorkeling and a treasure hunt. They had a barbecue on board (with cocktails in hand, of course) and headed back to the hotel where the hearty mates prepared for the grand finale dinner at the Marriott’s Portofino restaurant. With the time ticking down on the vacation, the group made sure to eat up every last minute by heading back to the beach bar after dinner for more drinks and dancing.

“You would think that by the fourth day we would all have been tired and ready to go home, but this trip was so much fun we could have stayed for another week,” Leighton said. “It was sad to leave, but we have plenty of memories and pictures to remember the trip.

“This was really a great trip for everyone involved. We had a lot of fun, but it was good from a business standpoint as well because we were able to talk about work, but without the pressure of a conference. And I think all the affiliates enjoyed meeting in person and hearing about each other’s businesses. So from that standpoint we accomplished a lot.”

Leighton added that she thinks these types of trips will become a regular part of AffiliateClub.com’s promotions.

“It worked out very well for everyone,” she added. “And it increased traffic. So it really was a win-win situation.”

By Gary Trask
garytrask.casinocitytimes.com

UTS is a government-owned company

Like their Curacao colleagues, United Telecommunication Services (UTS) workers in the Windward Islands received an advance on the profit share of five per cent for employees as laid down in the Collective Labour Agreement (CLA) signed by the union Sitkom. While one undoubtedly has to be happy for them as fellow residents, the whole issue raises some questions.

How does a company that has been losing millions and millions for years already even sign such a CLA? If management’s reasoning at the time was that the company would never make a profit anyway, the Supervisory Board of Directors and shareholders should have stepped in.

Moreover, how is it that a company that has incurred such great losses that the managing director was held responsible and made to leave can suddenly turn around and come up with a profit of 25 million? There was talk that the former management used so-called creative bookkeeping to keep the profit down so that dividends would not have to paid, but the reported financial result for 2006 still seems questionable at best. While the profit sharing is in the CLA, the bylaws of the company reportedly also state that profits made after losses incurred should be used to offset those losses. Why was that not done in this case?

The answer is simple: UTS is a government-owned company and it was a political rather than business decision. Commissioner of Finance Mike Willem and Minister of Transport and Communication Maurice Adriaens initially had their objections, but they were overruled by the majority in the PAR/PNP/FOL coalition of Curacao parties governing at both the island and Antillean level.

It’s once more proof that the so-called ‘privatisation’ of utility services by making them government-owned companies instead of government services did not solve the problem of political influence. Who knows how much more affordable and reliable the service provided by these companies could have been had they really been privatised?

In any case the UTS employees have something to celebrate about. They should remember that this is an advance that hinges on the approval of the annual account confirming the profit. Considering all that’s happened at UTS in the past few years, they would probably do well not to spend it before that approval is granted, because in the event it is not, they may have to pay it back.

Source: The Daily Herald St. Maarten

TelEm Group unaware of MIO’s plans, intention

November 3, 2007 by admin · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Business and Economy, Internet and Technology 

The TelEm Group has stated it has not been contacted by Telecommunications Company MIO regarding a possible purchase of TelEm, but a MIO representative in Curacao has said, “I know we are interested.”

Christopher Engels of CuraNet, which is believed to be a MIO subsidiary, said he was very excited about the possibility of coming to St. Maarten to work for MIO, as he had worked in St. Maarten for Xerox in the past and loved the island.

Regarding allegations that Telecommunications Minister Maurice Adriaens was in bed with MIO, Engels said, “99 per cent of what we read in the Curacao newspapers is incorrect. I mean, these people even said I went on an MIO private jet to Suriname with the Minister.”

St. Maarten Telecommunication Holding Company TelEm Group Supervisory Board Chairman Rudy Hoeve said Wednesday he was unaware of any negotiations between MIO and TelEm Group for the purchase of the St. Maarten government-owned telephone company.

He said the board had scheduled a meeting with the shareholder for next week Wednesday during which several important matters would be discussed. He also said that there had been no decision yet regarding Curtis Haynes’ replacement as Managing Director of international phone company Smitcoms.

MIO boasts of being the largest provider of third generation (3G) mobile communications service in the Netherlands Antilles and the Cayman Islands. It also boasts via its Website of having licences to operate in Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, St. Maarten and the Cayman Islands, providing 3G services with strategic partners Qualcomm, Lucent, Sprint and Verizon.

3G is a wireless industry term for a collection of international standards and technologies aimed at increasing efficiency and improving the performance of mobile wireless networks.

MIO is part of EOCG E-Oliver Capital Group in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. EOCG has focused its activities on developing countries worldwide, concentrating on telecom and related media opportunities and a broad array of next generation technologies.

EOCG currently owns and operates networks in St. Maarten, Curacao, Bonaire and the British Virgin Islands. Its Website boasts its “strong network of domestic and international relationships with leading financial institutions, operating partners, senior business executives and government officials.”

“This strategic network,” it states, “has allowed EOCG to execute multiple acquisitions, contracts, agreements, joint ventures and organic growth opportunities.”

Online Casino For Sale

London-based Leisure And Gaming has announced that it is to seel one of its long established online casinos, AcropolisCasino.com, for a price of $500,000.

The AIM-listed company is one of the world’s largest betting and gaming companies and owns the operation through its subsidiary, Grouse Entertainment.

The online casino has a database of some 24,000 non-US cash players and, despite no recent attempts at marketing the site and a decline in net wins since 2006 levels, AcropolisCasino.com still generates an average of $100,000 per month in net win and $16,000 per month in EBIT since the beginning of the year. This is through returning players who like the established and recognised brand that also features natural search engine optimisation.

The online venue has been listed at eGamingBrokerage.com who revealed that Leisure And gaming are exploring the possibility of selling Grouse Entertainment as it is the legal entity that owns and operates the AcropolisCasino.com. Grouse holds a Curacao gaming license and owns its own fully depreciated equipment and uses Playtech casino software while outsourcing payment processing and customer services.

Intelsur-UTS telecom provider in Suriname set to launch in October

PARAMARIBO, Suriname: Intelsur-UTS, one of two new wireless GSM communications operators in Suriname, is set to launch its services in October under the brand name ‘Uniqa’ company officials have announced. At the launching ceremony of the new brand name here in Paramaribo, officials disclosed that the company will invest up to US$ 20 million in its operations.

Intelsur-UTS, a Suriname-Curacao joint-venture, several months ago won a licence to provide GSM communications services in Suriname. UTS holds 51 percent of the shares in Uniqa, while Intelsur holds the remaining 49 percent. The second license was awarded to Digicel.

Intelsur president Eric Leliënhof remains CEO of the joint-venture, while Tyrone Alberto of United Telecommunications Services (UTS) has been appointed as president of Uniqa.

During the launching ceremony UTS president and former prime minister of Curacao Anthony Godett disclosed that all is set to start operations in October. He further noted that one of the main targets of the new company is community development. In accepting their licenses the new telecom providers agreed to provide services all over the country including the rural areas and remote interior of Suriname.

Currently Intelsur-UTS and Digicel are negotiating an interconnection agreement with incumbent Telesur. Several weeks earlier the minister of Telecommunications and the Telecommunications Authority Suriname (TAS) intervened after state-owned Telesur was being accused of stalling the negotiations.

Liberalisation of the telecommunication sector in Suriname took effect in April this year when the new Telecommunications Act was published.

Digicel is awaiting completion of the interconnection negotiations to launch its services. Reports indicate that Digicel has already completed logistics set up of its network.

According to Leliënhof, Uniqa will provide, amongst others, internet, GPRS and SMS services with competitive tariffs. He noted that the negotiations to reach an interconnection agreement with the two other providers are going very well.

“It’s just a matter of talking care of the commercial aspects,” said the Intelsur president. Alberto noted that Uniqa will distinguish itself from the other companies by providing a quality service.

Currently UTS has operations in Curacao, the Netherlands Antilles and the Netherlands.

Curacao minister of Telecommunications and Transport Maurice Adriaans was also present at the Uniqa launching ceremony and told reporters that the investments of UTS in Suriname are a step in the right direction for closer economic cooperation between Suriname and Curacao.

By Ivan Cairo
Caribbean Net News Suriname Correspondent

Source: Caribbean Net News

Only 5 per cent UTS shares to St. Maarten

PHILIPSBURG–St. Maarten has no part in United Telecommunications Services (UTS) and will only be entitled to a small percentage of the shares of the telecommunications company because of the dismantling of the Netherlands Antilles. Because of the division of assets and liabilities, St. Maarten will have a claim on approximately five per cent of the total shares, Telecommunications Minister Maurice Adriaens told The Daily Herald.

Home Affairs Minister Roland Duncan recently reacted to statements Adriaens had made that St. Maarten does not have a claim on shares of UTS stating that this is not true. Thirty per cent of the UTS shares must be divided between the islands when the Netherlands Antilles is dismantled, he added.

Adriaens re-iterated his statement made earlier that St. Maarten did not participate in the establishment of UTS and had preferred its own international telephone company Smitcoms. Actually what St. Maarten demanded accelerated the process of liberalisation of the telecommunications market, Adriaens said.

UTS was the result of the integration of Antelecom and Curacao’s local phone company Setel, which was a lot bigger than Antelecom. In theory, a 50-50 share of the shares between Curacao and the Central Government was applied, but recent investigations by independent accountant bureaus showed that a 70-30 allocation was just.

According to Duncan, St. Maarten still has to get 20 per cent of the shares to be divided between the islands. This means the island will have to be paid dividends as shareholder as well.

Adriaens, however, said that preliminary calculations showed that St. Maarten, because of the dismantling of the Netherlands Antilles, would be entitled to approximately 16 per cent of the shares the Central Government holds, which comes down to St. Maarten having right to more or less five per cent of the total shares of UTS.

Source: The Daily Herald St. Maarten

Technology Group Provides Internet Sites Access to Smartphone Users without Platform Redevelopment

February 8, 2007 by admin · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Business and Economy, Internet and Technology 

Conet E-commerce Services, Curacao, Netherlands Antilles, announced the rollout of a new platform that can make nearly any proprietary Internet system accessible by Smartphone subscribers without the need to redevelop their Internet system.

Willemstad, Netherlands Antilles, February 05, 2007 –(PR.COM)– Conet E-commerce Services N.V. http://www.conet.net, the Dutch ISP technology arm of the Cyberluck Curacao N.V. http://www.cyberluck.com announced that they have entered into a technology licensing agreement with the developers of Mobile Bridge granting them certain exclusive rights. The technology enables Internet-based sites access to Smartphone subscribers who previously had no access due to the limitations of the Smartphone and the high costs of developing for mobile platforms. By opening access to the 3 billion subscriber mobile phone market to companies that previously could only reach traditional Internet PC users, Mobile Bridge provides immediate access to a potential market that is 3-times the size of the Internet.

Mobile Bridge provides existing server systems developed for the Internet, regardless whether proprietary or not, seamless event driven integration to mobile devices.

Mobile Bridge works with a broad spectrum of wireless devices and form factors, and can be applied to any server platform. This offers a quick and simple technical path to expand web services to include mobile users.

Using industry standard protocols, Mobile Bridge easily handles the transfer of data and events from existing systems to mobile users. Mobile clients connected via Mobile Bridge appear as traditional clients to back-office systems. Mobile Bridge allows industry-specific engineers to focus on their industry – without developing new communications applications to accommodate mobile users. Mobile Bridge can be integrated and customized for any industry and any web-based offering.

Mobile Bridge leverages Microsoft’s .NET framework 2.0 for maximum scalability. The technology is flexible enough to integrate with any hardware platform. Data and server events are transmitted over HTTP and HTTPS, which ensures mobile device connectivity – even when mobile service providers block other proprietary protocols. Mobile Bridge represents data using compressed XML and JSON, which simplifies porting and increases device support, while its compression and event driven platform saves precious mobile bandwidth.

Mobile Bridge eliminates server polling by mobile clients for the latest data updates. All server-side events and data changes are “pushed” out to the mobile devices, ensuring that all mobile users are kept current, while eliminating the need for the device to constantly check for updates.

Scott Moar, Conet’s Director of Technology remarked, “We presently host many different applications that run on the Internet. IT professionals are cautious when investing significant sums to offer these services to mobile users because of the high cost of redevelopment and the fast changing pace of mobile phone technology. We now can significantly minimize [with Mobile Bridge] the redevelopment cost and time required to bring all kinds of services to Smartphone subscribers regardless of the brand of Smartphone.”

The Mobile Bridge is appropriately named as it bridges the technology gap. Any company that invested in Internet technology and wants to penetrate the Smartphone market are all candidates for the Mobile Bridge.

Mobile Bridge sits in the secure Conet Datacenter. Conet operates an ISP which hosts many proprietary applications. Conet also offers a fiscal package consisting of domiciling in Curacao, Netherlands Antilles and receiving a special tax exemption of only 2% of net profits. In the event that your proprietary platform is too difficult to relocate to Curacao – No Problem – a secure channel between the platform locations to the Mobile Bridge will be established.

For further information please contact Scott Moar, Director of Technical Services, Conet E-Commerce Services N.V. either by email mobilebridge@conet.net or by telephone at +1-888-625-9457; +599-9-563-5828

Local Internet Marketing – A Lesson From Curacao!

April 17, 2006 by admin · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Internet and Technology 

I just spent a relaxing week in Curacao, an island off the coast of Venezuela. We stayed at some quaint apartments overlooking a bay called the Spanish Waters. This place is really off the beaten path. Our day started with Costa Rican coffee on the patio only a few feet from the water. Big Sigh!

The inn is owned by a charming couple, Raul and Sylvia. He gives scuba diving instructions and she teaches Salsa dance lessons. The name of the place is called the Limestone Holiday in case you’re looking for an ideal location to rejuvenate.

I was talking to the owners and they asked what I did for a living. That is not always an easy answer, but to simplify the response I said Internet marketing. That answer always stimulates interest, especially from local business owners. Now I originally found this quaint inn through the Internet. In fact, it kept popping up on a number of different keyword searches. They proceeded to tell me how they use to spend considerable money advertising offline, and the results were not all that impressive.

Several years ago they built a web site and now they get 90% of their business off the Internet. Except for a listing on the official Curacao site, most of their traffic is free and generated through the search engines. What is amazing is that they made little effort to optimize their site for the search engines. They just built pages that focus on their rooms, their location, scuba diving and local attractions. But important terms like Curacao, scuba diving, restaurant, etc. are peppered throughout the site.

The same terms people would use if they were researching Curacao for a vacation. There was no conscious effort to strategically position the terms throughout the copy for the sake of the search engines. In fact, they do not even know what search engine optimization means. This is a perfect example how a local business can generate new customers with a minimal effort. I can tell you that the owners of the inn were not working on their site on a daily basis. In fact, they may not have updated it in the last six month.

And yet they are generating new business that would cost thousands on a monthly basis if they were advertising offline. Depending on the competitiveness of your market, with a just minor effort you could dominate the search results for your local area. And those results can generate targeted prospects who are actively looking for your products or services. By following the basics of search engine optimization, and by creating content that is search engine friendly, you could significantly increase your profits and have the time and money to visit the Limestone Holiday in Curacao.

Source: Best Syndication

By Fred Waters
Fred Waters is President of the Local Online Marketing Association, where you can get the Free Ebook, The Indispensable Guide to Local Online Marketing. Learn how you can profit online and reach new customers.

HEALTHPOINT Acquires Collagenase Topical Business from BioSpecifics Technologies Corp.

FORT WORTH, Texas, and LYNBROOK, N.Y., March 7 /PRNewswire/ — HEALTHPOINT, Ltd., a DFB Pharmaceuticals Inc. affiliate company, and BioSpecifics Technologies Corp. (BSTC.PK), today announced the sale of BioSpecifics’ topical collagenase business. As part of the agreement, HEALTHPOINT’s affiliate will assume ownership and operation of BioSpecifics’ manufacturing facility in Curacao and certain other assets in Lynbrook, NY, owned by BioSpecifics’ affiliate, Advance Biofactures Corporation.

Deal terms involve an upfront cash payment of $8 million to BioSpecifics on signing for the assets and an additional payment for future services to be provided by Advance Biofactures Corporation. The deal terms also include the potential for BioSpecifics’ to benefit from an earn-out based on sales.

HEALTHPOINT’s affiliate plans to invest $1.5 million in upgrading the newly acquired manufacturing facilities which currently produces Collagenase ABC, an enzyme derived from the fermentation of the bacterium Clostridium histolyticum.

“HEALTHPOINT is delighted to add BioSpecifics’ topical business to our product portfolio,” said Michael Steadman, President of Tissue Management Division, HEALTHPOINT. “This acquisition underscores our commitment to offer our customers a comprehensive line of prescription pharmaceuticals, biologics and technologies that improve treatment and outcomes for healthcare professionals and their patients,” continued Mr. Steadman. “With the acquisition of BioSpecifics’ topical collagenase business, HEALTHPOINT continues to demonstrate its dedication to drug development for the wound care market.”

BioSpecifics President Thomas Wegman said, “The purchase of the topical collagenase business allows BioSpecifics to focus our efforts on collagenase products for injection and the clinical development of new promising therapeutic indications. HEALTHPOINT is a proven leader in the wound management market and they are in an ideal position to maximize the potential for topical collagenase.”

About HEALTHPOINT, Ltd.

Since its inception in 1992, HEALTHPOINT has established a U.S. presence in the research, development, and marketing of branded pharmaceuticals, over the counter drugs, and medical devices for tissue management, dermatology, and surgical indications. An aggressive research and development effort has brought HEALTHPOINT’s unique technologies to the market, setting the pace for its highly trained field sales organization of direct sales representatives. HEALTHPOINT, with over 300 employees, is a DFB Pharmaceuticals, Inc. affiliate company. HEALTHPOINT is based in Fort Worth, Texas. Visit HEALTHPOINT’s web site at http://www.healthpoint.com.

About BioSpecifics Technologies Corp.

BioSpecifics develops collagenase-based products for therapeutic use, which may provide advantages over currently available treatments. BioSpecifics has partnered with Auxilium Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: AUXL – News) to develop and commercialize collagenase for injection in Dupuytren’s disease, Peyronie’s disease, and Frozen Shoulder. Phase 3 clinical trials with collagenase for treatment of Dupuytren’s have been initiated. Peyronie’s disease is in Phase 2 clinical investigations. Auxilium announced that they had exercised the rights to Frozen Shoulder in December 2005 based on positive clinical results in a Phase 2 trial.

Uncertain future for Curacao telecoms CEO

February 23, 2006 by admin · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Business and Economy, Internet and Technology 

by Nikola Lashley
Caribbean Net News Netherlands Antilles Correspondent

CURACAO, Netherlands Antilles: The board of directors of the troubled government funded telecommunications company, United Telecommunications Services (UTS), has confirmed they have suspended their CEO Julio Constansia and are now considering his permanent dismissal.

Mr Constansia’s pending demise began back in September 2005, following a report carried out by the board of directors, in which questions were raised about the ongoing losses being suffered by the company.

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