RealTime IT News

Equant Creates Services Division

After nearly 50 years in the business, Equant officials Thursday created a dedicated services division it says caters to the communications needs of multinational corporations (MNCs).

At the same time, the international communications provider -- fashioned through the merger of Equant and Global One, a subsidiary of France Telecom, in 2000 -- said it would devote more attention to other markets in the world.

The decision to create a dedicated services team comes, officials said, from MNC's who have to address migration to next-generation communications technologies.

To address that need, Equant will create a 3,000-strong roster of employees to manage five services areas separate from the communications side of the house: consulting, project management, service management, integration services and managed services.

To date the company has about 3,000 service professionals scattered throughout the world, a hodgepodge of certified consultants, field engineers, project managers and such tied together using Hewlett-Packard's OpenView software.

For the time being, the new division will focus on the areas it is already providing service, building new services offerings as it goes.

"Initially we will sell our existing offerings - consulting, project management, service management, integration services and managed services, which include messaging, server management and security," Howard Ford, Equant president and managing director, told internetnews.com. "As these businesses evolve, we will continue to add new products and services, including Wi-Fi and a service that helps enterprises transition from frame relay to [Internet protocol] VPN ."

Ford said its services offerings would address a growing need within multinational companies today -- expanding their own services while cutting costs.

"The Internet and related technologies have opened up fantastic opportunities for virtually every multinational company," he told internetnews.com. "The challenge is how to exploit the opportunities with the highest level of efficiency at the lowest total cost of ownership."

Officials expect services revenues under its own division to nearly double by 2007, to 25 percent. Services are only part of the revenue solution, however. While Equant officials expect the creation of a services branch to bring in more revenue, the provider plans on devoting more time and energy to companies in the Asia-Pacific region as well as North America, where officials say 40 percent of the world's MNC's are headquartered. Countries like Japan, on the other hand, have a significant 3G wireless phone network in place, which dovetails nicely with their voice over IP business.