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Nortel Networks, Sun-Netscape Create Directory Solution

Heeding rumblings from clients about the clumsiness of multiple directory services, Nortel Networks and the Sun-Netscape Alliance Monday introduced a new directory solution for service providers.

Designed to help Internet service providers and application service providers create new service bundles and manage them more efficiently, the solution is expected to provide a standards-based framework for the fully-integrated delivery of next-generation applications and services.

ISPs and ASPs face challenges to meet customer and market demand using today's fragmented service delivery infrastructures. With no shared concept of a user, it is difficult and expensive to offer tailored packages and bring new services to market quickly. The proposed solution from Nortel Networks (NT) and the Sun-Netscape Alliance will be designed to give service providers more control over the content and delivery of their service packages so that they can attack new markets and offer their customers more choices.

"We looked at ISPs and ASPs and realized there is no common infrastructure for providing directories," said Steve Nicolle, vice president and general manager of Nortel's Preside Service Ware Solutions unit. "So, it was an easy equation."

Nicolle said the package bears the fruit of Nortel Networks Preside Policy Services, which work across a wide range of network technology including wireless, dial, digital subscriber loop and cable. He said the alliance will offer its iPlanet directory, Web, Messaging, and calendar server products.

Nortel Networks and Sun-Netscape will jointly define a directory schema, which they plan to propose it as an open industry specification. Each party plans to support this proposed standard with compliant products by the second half of 2000.