Communications services leader AT&T (News - Alert) has been selected by international petrochemical and energy company Shell to create and maintain a global enterprise-wide unified communication (UC) service. This is in support of Shell's Digital Workplace vision and is being done to help serve the needs of Shell's 150,000 customers hailing from more than 90 countries.
This initiative is a three-year, $90 million deployment that is part and parcel of the estimated $1.6bn global strategic sourcing agreement inked by Shell and AT&T in 2008, during which Shell awarded AT&T with a contract to manage most of its telecom and IT infrastructure services. AT&T is managing this initiative in its entirety, from design and implementation to management and support, and is being supported around the world via AT&T's Internet Data Centers in the United States, the Netherlands and Singapore.
While the initial roll-out of this service to users began last month-the largest UC deployment ever performed by AT&T for any single enterprise customer-AT&T has already been managing the global deployment of the previous version of this software for Shell.
AT&T's UC solution is a comprehensive, unified group of voice, video and data capabilities and services hosted and managed by AT&T and based on Microsoft (News - Alert)Office Communications Server 2007 R2. It is to be used to provide key features such as secure corporate instant messaging; Enterprise Voice calling features like single number reach, click to call, forward, transfer, and integration with desktop applications; and enhanced 'presence' information across the various means of communication resorted to across the world. AT&T is also providing a Disaster Recovery service and 24x7 customer support.
Ron Spears, AT&T Business Solutions president and CEO, said that this deployment is a significant milestone for Shell in its drive to revolutionize its infrastructure. Shell's use of AT&T's common seamless IP backbone and cutting-edge technology platform allow it to provide their employees with top communications and productivity services. By doing so, added Spears, Shell sets the global benchmark for all multinational companies and how they can improve their communications.
Jay Crotts, Shell vice president IT Services, says that the Unified Communication solution will provide a significant improvement in the way Shell people innovate, communicate and use technology, as it improves productivity at a lower cost.
AT&T is also in news as a report on Gizmodo states that beta version of the next operating system for Apple (News - Alert)'s iPhone , OS 4 beta 4, released to developers yesterday, includes an option for Internet tethering. According to Patrick Barnard from TMCnet, this indicates that AT&T is finally ready to support this option.
Anuradha Shukla is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Anuradha's article, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Patrick Barnard