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Demand Fuels AT&T Managed Service Adoption in Private and Public Sectors

In the past few months, AT&T has announced increased demand for managed services on new contracts ranging from just under $5 million to more than $200 million, with companies in the private, public, and non-profit sectors. The range of both the deal size and the diverse applications indicates two key facets of managed services: its advantages truly span multiple business sectors, and organizations can deploy it by selectively out-tasking their networks.

The $4.9 Million Managed Services Contract
For instance, Evansville, Indiana-based Berry Plastics is consolidating a number of legacy networks into a single IP-based platform. You probably have one of the plastic products in your home that Berry Plastics manufactured. The multinational company has 68 manufacturing facilities worldwide and nearly 14,000 employees.

Its $4.9 million contract with AT&T includes the creation of an IP-based virtual private network (VPN) for its 76 domestic locations. Alan Letterman, manager of IMS Engineering and Technology for Berry Plastics, said in a statement that "information technology supports our business momentum and positions us for expansion."

The non-profit Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association extended its managed services relationship with AT&T through two multi-million dollar contracts. AT&T will provide the BCBSA 39 member companies across the U.S. with services ranging from mobility, data, voice, hosting, Internet Protocol (IP) application support, consulting and managed services. BCBSA anticipates greater cost efficiencies and higher reliability for their network services.

The $223 Million Managed Services Contract
The most comprehensive of all the recently announced AT&T deals, though, was the $223 million contract with the County of Los Angeles. It's a five-year contract, renewable to twelve years, that covers all voice and data services for up to 1,000 county locations. The contract means AT&T will be supporting multiple network types, including IP, frame relay, and ATM; remote access; VPNs; local and long distance service; plus Web, video, and audio teleconferencing services.

When you assess each deployment in context, there's a common link connecting them, even though they represent diverse industries and business models. The leaders of each organization clearly faced significant cost pressures, and each proactively redirected their attention to a solution that didn't require significant capital investment.

Their deployments represent the ongoing trend for companies to outsource network infrastructure, choosing instead to focus on their core competency -- while still retaining the flexibility and agility they need to serve employees and customers with state-of-the-art telecommunications capabilities.

Several industry analysts are predicting a continued groundswell and increased momentum towards managed network service deployment. Furthermore, CIOs and IT managers who previously resisted this trend are now ready to join the movement. They recognize that service providers will adapt to their needs and address any lingering concerns that may stand in the way of adopting the solution to their current network operation challenges.