IBM Introduces Standards Based Systems for Next Generation Telecommunications

tekVizion Helps VarTec Telecom Lower Operational Costs via IBM BladeCenter Solution

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ARMONK, NY - 22 Jun 2004: IBM today announced an integrated set of products and services based on open standards that helps telecommunications companies provide faster and more economical telecom services for their customers. The new IBM eServer Integrated Platform for Telecommunications (IP-T), provides customers with proven hardware solutions based on the eServer BladeCenter and eServer BladeCenter T running carrier grade Linux and supported by IBM Global Services.

In addition to the IP-T, IBM also plans to offer the Integrated Platform for Telecommunications - Extended Offering, which includes the integrated features of IP-T, combined with middleware such as IBM WebSphere, DB2 and Tivoli. The IP-T platforms have been developed to assist customers as they transition from their existing proprietary systems to an open standards based technology. This is an increasingly common situation as the data, voice and enterprise networks converge and Next Generation Network datacenters are deployed.

IBM also announced that VarTec Telecom, a leading provider of local and long distance service to residential and small business customers in the United States and around the world, has deployed IP-T enabled eServer BladeCenter and BladeCenter T systems to power their telecom networks operation. VarTec worked with tekVizion PVS, Inc ( to develop a customized network solution utilizing IBM technology. tekVizion's ongoing role of providing network operations support to VarTec was expanded to provide additional solution testing, integration, software development and support services for the BladeCenter solution. The new Linux-based system is expected to help VarTec deliver new services to their customers faster, more easily and at lower costs.

"VarTec uses innovative technologies and strategic vendor relationships to ensure we can provide value-added services and affordable local and long-distance calling to our rapidly growing customer base," said Kevin Hausler, chief technology officer, VarTec. "IBM's BladeCenter platform coupled with tekVizion's depth of industry experience provides us with a cost-effective solution that allows us to continue to offer innovative call services at some of the lowest rates in the industry."

IBM is the world's leading vendor of blade systems (1), and customers such as VarTec can choose from perhaps the industry's most extensive portfolio of blade server systems, modules and options as they deploy their telecommunications infrastructures. (2)

"IBM is leveraging its industry leadership in blades and Linux to deliver an open, integrated approach to network delivery for telecom companies," said Jim Pertzborn, vice president IBM eServer telecommunications solutions. "By utilizing this IPT solution, telecom providers can reduce the time required to introduce new services, reduce their total costs and more importantly improve their customer experience."

IBM is further expanding upon its focus on the telecommunications industry by announcing that the IBM TotalStorage FAStT600 and the IBM TotalStorage EXP700 have been issued a Certificate of Conformance by National Technical Systems, Inc., for conformance to Network Equipment-Building System requirements for Level 3 type 2 and 4 equipment (NEBS 3). The NEBS standards represent the telecommunications industry's stringent requirements relating to the ability of network equipment to survive severe environmental conditions, including high temperature, violent shaking, lightning strikes, airborne contaminants, fires, and electrostatic discharge.

Additionally IBM announced the new eServer xSeries 343, a powerful NEBS-compliant rack server designed specially for the telecom industry. The xSeries 343 features dual Intel Xeon 2.4/533 processors, 12 GB, fast 266 MHz PC2 100 memory and two hot-swap Ultra 320 SCSI x 144 GB storage capability.

The eServer Integrated Platform for Telecommunications and eServer Integrated Platform for Telecommunications - Extended Offering are currently available with pricing based on solution requirements. The eServer xSeries 343 is expected to be available in August with pricing to be announced.