WorldCom Shifts to Web Services

SAN MATEO (04/14/2000) - MCI WorldCom Inc. CEO Bernard Ebbers and other key executives said Thursday the company will fundamentally shift its emphasis to become a provider of Web-enabling services to the lucrative market of mid-sized businesses.

To go after that market, valued at $7 billion, WorldCom - as the company now wishes to be called - will rollout a series of "micro services."

These services will be both turnkey and customized offerings developed as part of an e-business "toolkit." Target customers include both established companies looking to quickly take on advanced Web capability and the burgeoning new class of e-commerce companies.

In re-purposing the company, Ebbers said he will change the way WorldCom invests in its own infrastructure.

"We haven't tried to quantify specific investments in this announcement. But each year we have about $8 to $10 billion in capital expenditures. What you will see is a reprioritization of the capital expenditures we are making," he said.

The company will not unveil specific toolkit offerings until next month. But officials generally described the offerings as directory services, security/certificate services, and voice browsing.

"These will be microservices needed to do business on the Web. The toolkit services will be available a la carte or in combined packages," said Fred Briggs, WorldCom chief technology officer.

WorldCom will also begin rolling out significant voice over IP (VOIP) services officials hinted at weeks ago.

Next month, the company will unveil a new arrangement with a hardware vendor that will provide WorldCom with new softswitch products to make its VOIP services possible, said Briggs.

New VOIP managed services will include voice over frame relay and voice over ATM -- as WorldCom will begin its VOIP campaign with its enterprise customers.

In staking its claim as a data-centric company for a data-centric economy, WorldCom will kick off a marketing blitz dubbed "generation d."

WorldCom, Inc. is based in Clinton, Miss. and is located at www.wcom.com

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