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With Fanfare, Genuity Unveils Black Rocket

Network services provider Genuity Inc. is seeking to carve out a whole new niche for itself in the network services industry and a $20 million marketing and advertising campaign will ensure that everybody knows it. The company Tuesday launched Black Rocket, the industry's first Network Services Platform (NSP), which bundles all key Internet infrastructure services into one fully integrated package.

This is the company's first major offering since it was spun off from GTE Corp. (now part of Verizon) this summer.

Aimed squarely at mid- to large-size enterprises, Black Rocket is a scalable platform for building, deploying and managing high-end eCommerce Web sites and other eBusiness applications. The price tag starts at $25,000 per month. It will be available beginning Oct. 2.

The initial release of Black Rocket will provide support for Unix and NT-based platforms. The NSP will include: Web and application servers as well as NSP software (operating system, database, utilities and Web development tools); managed Web hosting; content distribution and performance enhancement tools; managed security (including VPNs, firewall policy management and monitoring); Internet access services (dedicated, remote and broadband access, voice over IP); and transport services (ATM, private line, and network collocation services).

For companies skittish about migrating their businesses to the Internet with Black Rocket, Genuity is offering some hefty guarantees. First, the company is guaranteeing that it will deliver Black Rocket to its customers and ePartners in 10 business days or it will credit all platform installation fees. In addition, the company is guaranteeing that the platform will have up-times of at least 99.9 percent, calculated on a per day and per month basis. If the platform is unavailable for more than 15 minutes in a calendar day or incurs multiple outages of a shorter duration that exceed a total of 43 minutes in a calendar month, the company will also give customers a credit.

"Black Rocket signifies a definitive shift in the industry," said Paul R. Gudonis, chairman and chief executive officer of Genuity . "We have created an entire new industry category: Network Services Platforms. This platform comprises our core competencies of managed Internet infrastructure services -- Internet access, security and Web and application hosting -- and allows Genuity and our ePartners to provide our customers with the managed eBusiness solutions they need, in the timeframe that they need them."

Genuity's ePartners -- including companies like Cisco, IBM, Cap Gemini Ernst & Young, Sapient and PricewaterhouseCoopers -- will be building eBusiness solutions for customers on the Black Rocket platform. Genuity will work with its ePartners to develop, build and deploy each solution. The company and its ePartners are initially targeting six eBusiness areas:

  • eCommerce -- on-line sales of goods and services (B2C or B2B) -- created with IBM WebSphere and eServices from Cap Gemini Ernst & Young
  • eMarkets -- on-line trading relationships among specific sets of business partners to reduce costs and reach new markets
  • eMedia -- publishing content on-line, streaming media
  • eSupply Chain -- facilitating the integration of business operations of the extended enterprise across the supply chain
  • eCRM -- on-line management of customer relationships to increase brand loyalty, retention and customer satisfaction.

The eCommerce and eMarkets solutions will be available on Oct. 2. The other solutions will be rolled out over the course of the next year.

While the ePartners will be building the solutions, Genuity will be the single point-of-contact for any questions or problems a customer might have. Still, Rob Fuggetta, senior vice president of marketing with Genuity, said Genuity's goal was not to create solutions but to enable solut