AT&T Details Service to Streamline Contracts

SAN MATEO (05/09/2000) - AT&T Corp. today formally launched a service designed to let midsize corporate customers use the Web to electronically add emerging telecommunications services onto a single contract with existing services.

Dubbed AT&T Business Network (ABN), the service should emerge as a practical way for companies to migrate toward IP technology, AT&T officials said.

In announcing that ABN -- which was unveiled last fall -- is now generally available, AT&T executives detailed some of the frustration telecom managers have when forced to cancel existing contracts just to add new services.

ABN is aimed at companies that spend between $2,500 to more than $500,000 per month on telecommunications costs and have limited staffing to juggle different telecom contracts for the services those companies need.

"We've been [testing] this service since late November, targeting midsized, high-growth customers who want a truly integrated service, not merely services that are stapled together," said Rick Roscitt, president of AT&T Business Services.

Using ABN, AT&T customers will be able to access a personalized Web site to configure services or add new services onto existing AT&T contracts.

AT&T right now has available only voice service -- local, long-distance, and wireless -- under the ABN offering, which is supported by its own network infrastructure the company has developed.

In the coming months, however, AT&T will add data services and will even include those now if customers push for them initially, Roscitt said.

Data services slated to soon appear on ABN include frame relay, ATM, and IP-enabled frame-relay services. Eventually, AT&T will add Web hosting and other enhanced services to the integrated package, officials said.

AT&T Corp., in Basking Ridge, New Jersey, is at www.att.com.

Jennifer Jones is an InfoWorld senior editor.

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