BT, MCI and Microsoft To Develop Global Intranet Services

London, November 13th, 1996— BT, MCI and Microsoft today said they will expand their alliances to develop a new suite of global intranet services. The new services will be marketed worldwide by BT and MCI and offered by Concert, the existing BT and MCI joint venture global communications company.

The portfolio of intranet services, based on open and widely accepted Internet standards, will combine the global networking expertise of BT, MCI and Concert with the leading network and desktop applications offered by Microsoft. This unprecedented global intranet solution leverages the broad strengths of this alliance, including:

The Concert managed data networking services, available from more than 800 cities in more than 50 countries, provided by BT and MCI. In addition, Concert InternetPlus Service, the world’s first global Internet backbone, this week became operational between the United States and Europe and will support intranet transport for the new intranet service from BT, MCI and Microsoft. Concert InternetPlus Service, Concert Frame Relay Service and other BT/MCI communications services supporting the new intranet service will offer the service-level assurances required to support mission-critical intranet communications.

The full range of Microsoft’s messaging and intranet platforms, including the recently launched Microsoft (R) Commercial Internet System (formerly known as Normandy), Microsoft Exchange Server and the complementary intranet server products in the Windows NT (R)-based BackOffice (TM) family. The service will also utilize the Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0 web browser and exploit the full capabilities of ActiveX (TM) controls.

BT, MCI and Microsoft are combining these capabilities in an expansion of their existing alliances to address the rapidly growing intranet market. Demand for intranets, or private internets, is exploding because of the ease with which they enable information to flow within an enterprise and with customers and vendors. According to industry analysts, the total Internet market will be valued at $43 billion by 1999. By this time, products and services associated with building corporate intranets are expected to account for $28 billion — more than half of the total Internet market.

“BT’s and MCI’s leadership in global communications combined with Microsoft’s advanced application software and position in the IT market, provide customers with a solid way forward to benefit from the intranet revolution,” said Rupert Gavin, BT’s director of Internet and Multimedia Services. “The new intranet service will be particularly appropriate for businesses wishing to form ‘community of interest intranets’ where there are real benefits to be gained from sharing information with business partners for mutual advantage – but where no one company would want to own or manage the infrastructure.”

“The obstacle facing our global customers is not in determining if an intranet makes sense, but rather how they are going to build it without losing momentum, and integrate it with their existing complex enterprise environment,” said Stephen Von Rump, MCI’s vice president of Enterprise Marketing. “We have built intranet applications for hundreds of our customers with locations in the U.S., as both stand-alone networks as well as part of larger enterprise solutions, and now look forward to working with our alliance partners, BT and Microsoft, to extend the benefits of intranets to our customers on a global basis.”

Cameron Myhrvold, vice president of Public Network Sales, Microsoft Corporation, said: “Microsoft is very excited by the opportunity to work with BT and MCI and exploit the Concert network to deliver the next generation of global intranets. Microsoft products are quickly becoming the popular choice for building intranets, with many of our corporate customers embarking on intranet projects and finding that it revolutionizes the way they work, at extremely low set up cost. This service takes the concept a stage further, making it even simpler to create and maintain intranets. BT and MCI will deliver value added, turn-key intranet solutions to multi-site customers combining Microsoft intranet platforms with the performance, security and global reach of the Concert managed network.”

BT, MCI, Concert and Microsoft plan to respond to two sets of customer demands. One is for a range of intranet solutions for businesses that want to build and manage their own intranet, making available from a single source all of the software, hardware and communications services necessary to develop secure, reliable intranet applications. The second, to be rolled-out in early 1997, is for a fully managed, network-based intranet service for customers seeking a communications partner that can build and manage their intranet on a global basis. Both intranet service offerings will support a range of intranet applications. For example:

  • information management tools, including authoring, publishing and web searching;

  • e-mail and gateways to other mail systems as well as groupware;

  • project collaboration tools, including private news groups and bulletin boards;

  • powerful directory facilities; and

  • software distribution, to distribute and upgrade software programs to employees throughout an organization.

“Building on the success of Concert’s managed data services, the new intranet service will offer a complete end-to-end intranet solution bringing customers a robust and secure environment on a global scale,” said Peter Erskine, president and CEO, Concert.

BT is one of the largest and most successful telecommunications companies in the world. It has a market capitalization of more than $36 billion, operations in 30 countries and employs about 130,700 people worldwide. BT’s principal activity in the fully competitive UK market is the supply of local, long distance and international telecommunications services, serving over 27 million residential and business exchange lines through a fully modernized and largely digital network. With MCI, the second largest carrier in the US, BT has a one billion dollar joint venture named Concert to create a global network and advanced products and services for multi-national customers. BT also has joint ventures in Spain, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden, South Africa, New Zealand, Japan and India.

MCI, headquartered in Washington, D.C., provides a full range of integrated communication services to more than 20 million customers. Credited with opening up the U.S. long distance market for competition, MCI is now leading the charge to bring competition to the $100 billion local market, offering American consumers for the first time the freedom to choose their local carrier. With quarterly annualized revenue of more than $18 billion, MCI is one of the largest and fastest growing telecommunication companies in the world.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (NASDAQ “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.

Concert develops advanced networking services for BT and MCI to market to global companies. Today, Concert’s intelligent network platform provides an array of global communications services to 3000 customers. Concert services are available through MCI, BT and 36 additional distributors in North America, Europe and Asia. The Concert network has 6,000 nodes deployed in over 800 cities in over 50 countries.

NOTE:Microsoft, ActiveX, BackOffice and Windows NT are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries.

For further press information, please contact: Media contacts: Jim Barron, BT Jim Monroe, MCI Jim DeNike, Kerry Morgan, Concert 212-418-7860 800-644-NEWS Waggener Edstrom for 703-707-4224 202-887-3000 Microsoft, 206-637-9097

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