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RealTime IT News

AT&T Expands Global Hosting Centers

AT&T is expanding its managed hosting services in Europe, Asia and in Australia with three new Internet Data Centers in those regions.

The new centers are in Hong Kong; Nice, France, and in Sydney, Australia. The latest addition brings AT&T's data center tally to 21 in North America, Europe and Asia.

AT&T also said it would be upgrading its customer support centers in Europe and Asia. The company is targeting major businesses and governments with its expanding suite of managed hosting services, which require a variety of security, storage and content distribution services.

The data centers will be connected to AT&T's global network, which by year's end will have a worldwide reach of over 800 sites in 60 countries. An AT&T spokesperson said the global network is supported by 2,500 remote access points of presence (PoPs).

AT&T's global network division is a major backbone of its outsourcing, managed services and connectivity products. With other networking providers either in bankruptcy, such as Global Crossing and WorldCom, or struggling through the downturn in the past three years, AT&T has enjoyed a bounce in contracts as customers flock back to Ma Bell for a range of networking and managed services.

The expansion appears to be paying off, especially in the government sector. Since the fourth quarter of 2002, AT&T has signed more than 240 new hosting contracts with a variety of customers, including the General Service Administration of the U.S. government, which has been a long-time client.

The company's Government Solutions division also recently won a $3.5 million contract to manage The Food and Drug Administration's Web portal, which receives more than 80 million hits per month.

The latest expansion of its data centers reflects AT&T's moves to capitalize on the momentum, while building in new features, such as linking the data centers with customer support centers where automated systems help the company monitor customer networking systems and applications.

In a related development, AT&T this week said it would partner with Siebel Systems on sales and marketing around Siebel's eBusiness Applications software suite along with AT&T's managed services unit, which specializes in hosting, storage and business planning.

While AT&T and Siebel will mainly market and sell their complimentary products and services, they will also co-develop new offerings. One service expected to be offered by the partners will analyze a client's networking infrastructure and assist in the design, or redesign, to make sure the network is optimized to handle Siebel's applications.

The alliance is similar to an expansive sales and marketing deal AT&T struck earlier this year with Cisco Systems .