FlexSystem Holdings, an online enterprise software developer, is forming alliances with auditing companies to help ensure privacy of customer data. Chief executive Adam Lok said many customers were hesitant to adopt online software applications through fear that information about their operations stored at data centres might not be secure. The company has set up Deloitte Flex E-Business, a joint venture with Deloitte & Touche in Taiwan, which will store customer data at its 'trusted data centre'. The centre will start operation next month. FlexSystem is setting up a similar project in Hong Kong with Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu and is in talks with more than 10 auditing firms on similar co-operation. Mr Lok said many competitors 'have an inherent problem' in their business model, as they either host their customers' data at their own data centres or at a third-party data centre. Hera Siu Kit-wan, chief executive of competitor Solar - a joint venture between Cable & Wireless HKT and American software house Computer & Associates - said using a trusted party could help relieve privacy concerns, but Solar did not see the need to adopt a similar strategy. 'We would rather not use a third party's help to establish our credibility. I think HKT's credibility in the market is sufficient for our purpose.' Customers' data privacy is ensured by separating the operation of database and software applications servers, she added. Mr Lok claimed the company was the only local online software provider that had completed development of an entirely self-developed application-service provider (ASP) service. He said competitors such as Sunevision and Solar had less control over their software solutions, as they were integrating software from three foreign software companies in order to create a full ASP. He also criticised competitor Corp2Net, a subsidiary of newly listed DigiTel, for failing to deliver online software it claimed to have launched. DigiTel chief executive Lee Chuen-kit denied the allegation, saying the company has 10,000 customers using its online software. FlexSystem is aiming to raise up to HK$159.6 million by selling 120 million shares at a target price of HK$1.23 to HK$1.33 each. The company's shares are expected to be traded next Monday on the Growth Enterprise Market. FlexSystem sourced about 90 per cent of its revenues from Hong Kong and the remainder from the mainland. It claimed to have a 20 per cent market share in the accounting software market among locally listed firms.