IT service provider Origin will open an office in Shanghai next month and has centralised regional operations in a strategy aimed at strengthening and co-ordinating its Asian enterprise. The global company was formed last January when Philips Communications and Processing merged with BSO/Origin. Established in 27 countries, it offers consulting as well as the implementation and management of automation services. Origin provides services in the areas of enterprise resource planning, year-2000 compliance, desktop/client environments, mainframes and networks, and management of application facilities and systems. Asia accounted for only 4 per cent of Origin's US$1.4 billion worldwide sales in 1996, but is forecast to grow by 43 per cent this year. 'Asia-Pacific is our fastest growing region by any measure,' Origin regional chief executive officer K.C. Neoh said. Projects under way in the region include a 'smart telephony' system combining telephone services and PCs for a major telecom company in the territory and an Internet-based virtual shopping mall in Taiwan. The company has established a Hong Kong-based greater China operation to interconnect - via private network - Origin offices in the territory and Taiwan with its upcoming wholly owned subsidiary in Shanghai. Its Asia offices, previously operated independently, will have intranet-based databases to enable its IT professionals to share methodology and knowledge. Origin will have 30 staff at its Shanghai office. Its most requested service is for desktop computers.