Revving up its corporate Intranet attack, Microsoft has signed a global deal with Concert, the BT-MCI joint venture, to deliver a range of globally managed Intranet services that will reach 800 cities in more than 50 countries.
The services, which will be based on Microsoft Back Office and associated Intranet products, can be fully managed - for businesses that want a third party to set up and run, on their behalf, world-spanning Intranets - or can be purchased by companies with their own networks. Concert, the telecomms services joint venture between BT and MCI, which are planning a full merger, will license the Microsoft products to offer to corporate clients.
Included in the offerings, which will run across Concert's global Internet backbone, will be Microsoft?s range of messaging and Intranet platforms. These include the recently launched Commercial Internet System (formerly known as Normandy), Microsoft Exchange Server and the complementary Intranet server products in Back Office.
The range of applications available will include information management tools, such as authoring, publishing and web searching; email and gateways to other mail systems a well as groupware; project collaboration tools, including private news groups and bulletin boards, directory facilities and software distribution capabilities.
The companies plan to roll out the services early next year.
MCI and Microsoft already work closely together and the proposed merger with BT may give the software vendor a chance to link up with a top three telecomms carrier. In February, MCI dropped its alliance with News Corporation in favour of hosting Microsoft Network, in return for Microsoft marketing its telephone service. This was followd by a joint development and marketing venture between the two companies and Digital Equipment to deliver network services to corporates.
The US carrier has also completed a $60 million upgrade of its global Internet backbone, which now transfers data at 622Mbps, four times the speed of the previous network. The company said it expected to need to double capacity by the end of 1997 as Internet usage explodes. Traffic is currently growing at 30 per cent a month.
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