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NTT Com, IBM to Team on E-Biz Outsourcing

NTT Communications Corp., IBM, and Tivoli Systems announced this week they plan to form a strategic alliance to promote NTT Com's e-business outsourcing services.

NTT Com's planned services will include managed network and IT solution consulting, design, and implementation, as well as outsourcing for corporate intranet, extranet and Internet servers.

NTT Com intends to begin offering these services in April 2000. Target customers will span the range from large corporations to mid-sized and small SOHO businesses.

NTT Com president and CEO Masanobu Suzuki said that online business is becoming an important tool for companies to increase profits and reduce operating costs. Suzuki also said that NTT Com's outsourcing services would enable businesses to effectively manage their total network and IT environments and exploit new markets through e-commerce.

Under the announced four-year agreement, IBM will support NTT Com's efforts by providing its scalable server operating technology as well as e-business solutions and related professional services.

Texas-based Tivoli Systems, an IBM unit since 1996, will supply software solutions for comprehensive management of multiple vendors and cross-platform systems. Tivoli Systems CEO and chairman Jan Lindelow named outsourced services a key market opportunity area, adding that Japan and the rest of Asia Pacific represents one of Tivoli's fastest growing regions.

NTT Com's Suzuki told attendees at a Tuesday joint press conference that the market for e-business outsourcing services in Japan will initially "be worth several hundred billion yen [several billion dollars] per year."

He declined, however, to reveal a sales target, saying that the precise division of revenues and responsibilities between the three firms has yet to be determined.

NTT Com currently provides managed data, multimedia, and Internet services to several major global corporations through its Arcstar brand international services, and its OCN (Open Computer Network) is one of Japan's leading Internet service providers.