Cisco And SBC Partner On Telephony Services - InformationWeek

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02:07 PM

Cisco And SBC Partner On Telephony Services

Duo will offer managed services, including IP telephony and VPNs.

Cisco Systems and SBC Communications Inc. are teaming up to sell advanced telephony services to businesses.

Under the terms of the four-year deal revealed Monday, Cisco will provide SBC with the hardware needed to offer customers managed services, including IP telephony and VPNs.

The deal allows Cisco to exploit a growing and attractive market. "There is a large market for managed services," says Joel Conover, an analyst with Current Analysis. "It's been strong and healthy."

Cisco will also provide wireless networking equipment used in the deployment of wireless Internet hot spots. On an internal basis, SBC will install some Cisco optical gear on its existing network to increase the amount of traffic it can handle.

Analysts say the deal is a win for each company, filling holes in each company's expertise. Cisco is experienced in working with large enterprises, and SBC has thousands of small and midsize business customers in nine states. The two companies will initially target businesses in the education, finance, government, and health care markets.

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