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June 1, 2004
By Paula Bernier
Carrier’s carrier WilTel Communications Inc. formally unveiled its enterprise strategy at the early May Networld+Interop tradeshow in Las Vegas, announcing an enhancement of the company’s sales resources and introduction of new products and services for enterprise customers.
This is the second time the sworn carrier’s carrier has crossed over to compete with its wholesale customers for the enterprise market. The original WilTel got into the retail business after years as an underlying transport carrier for other providers.
In a press statement, the company said it would use its experience serving carriers to create highly customized networking solutions for the enterprise marketplace. “For the past 18 years, WilTel has almost exclusively served the world’s largest telecommunications companies. Using its unique Solutions Model approach, we delivered highly customized solutions to meet the most complex carrier network challenges,” says Jeff Storey, president and CEO of WilTel Communications, in a press statement. “The same approach, which includes extensive design, construction, deployment and network management capabilities, will provide enterprise customers with an unmatched level of creativity and flexibility.”
Although WilTel is known as a carrier’s carrier, the company’s Vyvx unit has long served ABC, CBS, CNN and Fox - some of the country’s largest enterprises with video transport services, says Anthony Tomae, senior vice president of marketing. He adds WilTel is not altogether new to the Fortune 2000 crowd.
The carrier has established a sales force that targets large enterprise customers in four key enterprise verticals: finance, insurance, health care and education. WilTel’s emerging markets sales force also will provide midsized companies with a suite of data and IP services. In addition, WilTel has enhanced its product portfolio to include several new services designed to ease the burden of managing complex networks.
The company also announced the re-launch of several existing products that have been upgraded to serve the enterprise market, including MPLS IP VPN and Ethernet WAN. WilTels MPLS IP VPN service allows enterprises to rapidly deploy and modify networks to connect corporate headquarters, branches, partners distribution facilities, data centers and other locations and to converge all existing business traffic - even latency-sensitive voice and broadcast video - onto one network.
WilTel’s EWAN service, announced in February 2003, extends Ethernet protocols to the wide area network allowing enterprises to connect offices, devices and applications as if they were in the same building. EWAN enables customers to seamlessly transport traffic regardless of their existing network infrastructure.
Forwarding its new strategy, WilTel this week announced it was added to the U.S. General Services Administration’s Federal Supply Schedule 70 and disclosed it has been providing financial services company Lava Trading Inc. with professional and EWAN services.
Presenting enterprise prospects with “solutions” as opposed to simply connections is key to WilTel’s new approach, says Tomae. “We don’t go in and quote for a DS3,” he explains. “We say, ‘What do you want to do with it?'” Then, he says, the carrier’s representatives suggest the best connectivity options, design and engineer networks, address operations and field support issues, help define workflow and processes, and stage and implement CPE solutions.
The company already offers a managed router service, which provides preconfigured hardware and software. And WilTel will manage any part of a customer’s network at their request, says Tomae.
WilTel also plans to launch in June a managed security service, which consists of managed firewalls and intrusion detection, and a service called FocalPoint that offers DS3 and OCx connectivity at a fixed rate with no mileagebased charges.
Tomae adds that many large enterprises have multiple data centers. WilTel can design data centers and offer connectivity among those sites, he says.
And because WilTel has 12,000 access points (it recently added 300 new access points in tier 2 and 3 cities), companies and other organizations don’t have to pay exorbitant fees for local connections to get onto WilTel’s network, Tomae continues.
WilTel Communications Inc. www.wiltel.com
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