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IBM Launches New Offerings for Telecom Providers

IBM Tuesday (Nov 14) announced a major initiative to help telecommunications service providers (TSPs) deliver high-value applications over next-generation networks. IBM will leverage its new hardware, software and services capabilities with key partners to offer TSPs integrated solutions to address current challenges in the service provider marketplace.

IBM's key business partners in this new initiative are Telecommunications Equipment Manufacturers (TEMs) and Independent Software Vendors (ISVs). IBM is announcing initiatives with Alcatel, Lucent Technologies, Nortel Networks, Telcordia Technologies and Ulticom to build new e-business infrastructure and deliver industry leading solutions over these networks.

The communications sector expenditure is expected to grow from approximately $70 billion in 2000 to more than $100 billion in 2003, as telcos convert from voice (circuit switch) to digital (packet switch) networking. "Telecommunications companies are migrating their legacy networks, and we have now reached that critical point in time where industry business models are changing virtually overnight," said Mike Hill, general manager, IBM Global Telecommunications Industry. "Together with our business partners we will help TSPs completely rebuild their e-business infrastructure."

IBM will deploy an integrated set of offerings that include NEBS compliant servers and storage, carrier grade middleware, Tivoli service management tools and consulting, systems integration and operations services.

Among the solutions to be delivered are wireless e-business and broadband offerings, IP telephony solutions, business support systems (BSS) and operations support systems (OSS) transformation services, Internet data centers and point-of-presence buildout solutions.

IBM is forming Network Innovation Laboratories in North America, Europe and Asia to create and test these new services and solutions. These laboratories are under development and will be fully operational by March 2001. IBM Global Services will develop its next-generation solutions through this global network of Network Innovation Laboratories staffed by IGS service professionals with expertise in designing and deploying network architectures, software and systems integration in a service provider environment.

Solutions will be tailored to the unique requirements of each TSP and will leverage the full capabilities of IBM's hardware, software and services as well as those of its partners. Applications and middleware developed by IBM and partners will be integrated in end-to-end solutions with network-compliant servers and telecommunications equipment to ensure interoperability, scalability and reliability. In addition, IBM Global Services will continue to offer the industry's most extensive range of systems integration, strategic outsourcing and integrated technology services.

IBM will exploit its extensive experience with enterprise clients and solutions from a variety of networking vendors and will add new TSP capabilities to focus on such areas as access infrastructure, mobile and wireless, IP telephony and wide area transport. IBM is also offering services to address the Internet data center opportunity, including the provision of physical facilities and management services. IBM will provide maintenance services to provide world-class service support for many non-IBM products.

The IBM WebSphere Everyplace Suite extends IBM's WebSphere platform to let businesses easily connect web and enterprise data to non-PC devices, including mobile phones, PDAs and other Internet appliances. It combines into one product all the "software ingredients" businesses, application developers and web integrators need to create and deliver applications for a new generation of pervasive devices.

The IBM WebSphere Everyplace Suite features IBM transcoding software that can automatically "translate" data into a format that can be read on non-PC