article

Collaborative: INDUSTRY NEWS

Posted: 8/2003

INDUSTRY NEWS

ILD Acquires Chicago Conference
Call Company

ILD Telecommunications Inc., a
privately held multiservice telecom firm, announced the acquisition of
two-year-old Chicago-based Ternion Conferencing LLC.

Ternion offers audio and Web-based
conferencing under the Ternion brand. ILD’s conferencing product, ROLLCALL
Business Conferencing, offers a full suite of services — from reservationless
conferencing to operator-assisted conferencing and Web-based application
sharing.

"This acquisition represents a
strong expansion of our commitment to the conferencing business," says ILD
Chairman Michael F. Lewis. "We are gaining a strong customer base along
with some very talented individuals who will bring wonderful experience in both
sales and operations."

Ternion president Pamela Wilson will
move to ILD’s headquarters in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. "This partnership
with ILD and ROLLCALL fits in quite nicely with our growth strategy. We will now
have a dramatically increased capacity for conferencing. We look forward to
becoming even more competitive in a fast-growing market and to raising the bar
in customer service," she says.

ILD recently tripled the system and
port capacity of its ROLLCALL product.

ILD’s services include billing,
operator, corporate calling cards and prepaid phone cards sold in about 13,000
U.S. retail outlets. ILD operates network and call center operations in Dallas,
San Antonio, Atlanta and Ft. Lauderdale, as well as sales offices throughout the
country. The company has about 500 employees and reports approximately $140
million in annual revenue.

West Completes Acquisition of
InterCall

West Corp., a provider of outsourced
communication solutions, announces it has completed its acquisition of InterCall
after receiving approval from the stockholders of parent ITC Holding Co.

The acquisition, for a net purchase
price of $399.6 million in cash, first was announced on March 27, and is being
funded with a combination of cash and a committed bank credit facility.

InterCall, which will operate as a
division of West Corp., is a provider of audio, Web and video conferencing
solutions with a client base of about 14,000 organizations in North America,
Europe and Asia. Founded in 1991 and based in Chicago, InterCall employs
approximately 1,200 people. In 2002, InterCall produced revenue of about $196
million and net income of approximately $30.1 million.

Founded in 1986 with headquarters in
Omaha, Neb., West has 25,000 employees based in North America, Europe and Asia.

"We are very pleased to close
this acquisition," comments Thomas B. Barker, West president and CEO.
"Every part of this process has confirmed our original research that buying
InterCall was the best way to enter the growing teleconferencing market. The
InterCall management team will remain with the company, and their expertise will
be invaluable in the integration process and future growth of the company."

West CFO Pail Mendlik says the
acquisition will allow the company to leverage the West Interactive call
processing platform, which will enable InterCall to expand its capacity while
reducing future capital expenditures. He adds InterCall has demonstrated strong
revenue growth and consistent margins and the transaction should bolster West’s
earnings in 2003.

MCI Introduces Global Video
Streaming

MCI has announced a new global
video-streaming service powered by Yahoo! Broadcast Solutions. The new service
lets companies use existing video conferencing systems to Webcast large-scale
meetings and events.

"MCI’s video-streaming service
allows any organization to turn a standard video-conferencing system into an
Internet broadcasting tool," says Phil Knell, president of conferencing
services at MCI. "Our industry-leading conferencing, coupled with the
Yahoo! Broadcast Solutions’ Internet streaming expertise, delivers a
best-of-breed solution for companies to simultaneously reach thousands of
customers, employees and constituents around the globe."

Anyone with an Internet-connected
computer, Web browser and streaming media player can view a Webcast. Audience
members do not need video-conferencing equipment to participate. In addition,
streamed events can be archived and accessed on-demand to meet participants’
schedule constraints.

Equant Launches All-IP Video
Conferencing

Equant has launched a complete IP
video conferencing solution with global availability. The Equant IP Video
Solution includes wide-area network transport, network-based multiparticipant
conference bridging and management, and video equipment deployment and
maintenance.

The company is targeting companies
looking to lower the risk of migrating from ISDN. By providing video
conferencing equipment, infrastructure, network and end-to-end service level
agreements, Equant seeks to prove that rich media conferencing over IP is
viable.

The converged IP offer is an MPLS-based
solution running across Equant’s private IP VPN network, with bandwidths
available to at least 2mbps. It carries a fixed monthly charge — not
usage-based billing. A single help desk number is available to customers around
the clock and a Web portal handles conference booking, launching and reporting.

Equant has formed a partnership with
Polycom Inc. to carry out the IP video equipment installation and maintenance
portion of the solution.

AT&T Introduces Crisis
Management Conferencing

By Tara Seals

AT&T offers a full-featured
enhanced option of the service and a "do-it-yourself" basic option.

In setting up the enhanced service,
AT&T works with corporate clients to create a database of key individuals to
notify if an emergency occurs and a conference call is scheduled. When an
authorized executive contacts AT&T’s reservation center to launch an
emergency teleconference, AT&T automatically notifies the designated
individuals in a variety of ways — e-mail, text pager and/or calls to home,
office and cellular phones — with details of the teleconference time and
dial-in number.

An AT&T Corporate Crisis
Management Service call can be launched within an hour of notifying AT&T. An
AT&T teleconference specialist greets and screens everyone dialing into the
call to ensure only people designated by the host are allowed to participate.
The service can incorporate AT&T’s Web Meeting Service, which allows a host
to share a slide presentation or other documentation via computer with
teleconference participants. SSL encryption provides added security on all data
traveling to and from AT&T’s servers.

A professional AT&T
teleconference moderator facilitates the call, announcing participants as they
join and coordinating the question-and-answer session, if one is scheduled. The
call also can be divided into subconferences for work sessions. After the
breakouts conclude, subconference participants can be added back to the main
call.

There are no set-up fees or
recurring monthly charges, and usage counts toward a customer’s contract. A
per-person notification charge is applied when an emergency teleconference is
implemented.

The basic option of Corporate Crisis
Management Service ensures customers have conference-call capability during a
crisis or emergency with guaranteed access to dedicated conferencing ports.
Customers establish the call themselves, at a moment’s notice and without a
reservation. Pricing varies by customers’ specific needs.

Citizens Conferencing Enhances
eAccess

Citizens Conferencing introduces
enhancements to its online account-management service, eAccess. Customers now
can access eInvoice to view past and open invoices, download an invoice in a
printable format, view aged trial balances and pay bills online.

Through eInvoice, customers also
will be able to select their preferred delivery method of an invoice — paper or
electronic.

"Our goal is to streamline the
billing and payment process for our conferencing services. Many accounting
departments are looking to reduce time and the amount of paper required to make
a payment to an invoice. Our eInvoice service will allow these departments to
view and pay their invoices completely online, reduce the invoice cycle time,
eliminate excess paper and minimize the required storage of those
documents," says Brad Hurst, the company’s business operations manager.

eAccess allows customers to make
online reservations, view post-call activity, send instant reservation
confirmations and update account information. Other new features include the
ability to send reservation invitations or confirm telephone numbers for an
operator dial-out call through an eAccess personalized address book.

AT&T Corp. has released a secure
teleconference service designed to augment companies’ business continuity plans
by enabling them to respond quickly to natural disasters and other emergency
situations. AT&T’s Corporate Crisis Management Service makes it possible for
a company’s leadership team to convene via teleconference after an emergency has
occurred — from anywhere there is telephone service and at any time.

"In today’s fast-paced world,
corporate executives may need to meet with their leadership team most any time
of the day or night to deal with an emergency, a natural disaster or an abrupt
change in business conditions," says Sue Soares, vice president of AT&T
teleconference services. "AT&T Corporate Crisis Management Service
provides a means of quickly convening a secure teleconference call, whether
people are at the office, at home, traveling or on vacation."

 

Links
Citizens Conferencing www.citizensconferencing.com
Elix www.elixonline.com
Equant www.equant.com
ILD Telecommunications Inc. www.ildtelecom.com
Linktivity www.linktivity.com.
MCI www.mci.com
Netbriefings www.netbriefings.com.

Polycom Inc. www.polycom.com
Raindance Communications Inc. www.raindance.com

Ternion Conferencing www.ternionconferencing.com
Voyant Technologies Inc. www.voyanttech.com
West Corp. www.west.com
Yahoo! www.yahoo.com

 


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