Cable & Wireless a-Services Launches in the UK

Cable & Wireless today announced the UK launch of Cable & Wireless a-Services, a full-service provider of e-business solutions.

Cable & Wireless a-Services offers ‘pay-as-you-grow’ IT solutions that package computers, software, support and Internet connectivity for a monthly fee. The first product now available from C&W a-Services, a-Workspace, delivers an end-to-end, fully managed collaborative computing service. The service combines C&W Internet access, Compaq iPAQ Internet PCs and support, and Microsoft applications for a single per-user monthly fee. Further application services to be delivered on the a-Workspace platform soon will include sales force automation, financial accounting, supply chain management and e-commerce applications.

C&W a-Services, launched in the United States last month and now available across the UK, combines hosted business applications with Internet access, end-user Internet appliances such as desktop PCs and handheld devices, and 24×7 services and support. C&W a-Services was formed through a strategic alliance with Compaq Computer Corporation in November 1999. Microsoft Corporation joined the alliance in June 2000 to further enable the delivery of rich services to a broad range of customers.

“With Cable & Wireless a-Services, small and medium sized British businesses can – for the first time – access an entire IT infrastructure – the network, the hardware, the software, and the services – from a single provider at a price they can afford.” said Graham Wallace, chief executive, Cable and Wireless plc. “a-Services provides real business benefits to our customers and is an excellent example of a value added service delivered over our IP infrastructure.”

a-Workspace includes a hosted virtual desktop – built on Microsoft Windows 2000 and Internet Explorer – on which application services can be launched and data securely stored. The initial application services available, Microsoft Office 2000 and Microsoft Exchange 2000, are hosted on Compaq servers and storage area networks within C&W’s secure state-of-the-art data centers which are located directly on C&W’s global IP network. Organizations can add network services and Compaq client devices for a complete end-to-end managed IT solution.

a-Workspace is enabled by Compaq server platforms and storage architecture, systems integration and managed services, and professional support for the design of the application hosting centers and associated operational support systems. In addition, Compaq Global Services is providing all customer care and help desk services for C&W a-Services.

a-Workspace with Microsoft Office 2000 and Exchange 2000 is now available throughout the US and UK and will be launched in Australia by the end of the year. Next year, a-Workspace with Microsoft Office 2000 and Exchange 2000 will be available in Japan and other European countries. The service is available on a monthly per user fee from £175 with Microsoft Office 2000 and from £199 for Microsoft Office 2000 and Microsoft Exchange 2000 under a 24-month contract.

Cable & Wireless acts as a single point of contact for all components of the service with performance assured by a comprehensive industry-leading Service Level Agreement (SLA). Customer data is protected by an extensive array of security technologies and skilled personnel. a-Workspace with Microsoft Office 2000 and Exchange 2000 is available through Cable & Wireless a-Services authorized business partners.

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