British Telecom Woos Global Companies

Quality of fiber-optic networks appeals to financial-services market.

InformationWeek Staff, Contributor

November 22, 2002

1 Min Read

British Telecom, which saw profits plunge 28% in its past fiscal year, is looking to become a force in the U.S. hosting and services market. "Over the next several months, it should become clear that that's our intention," says John Campbell, VP for new customers. Neither BT nor Campbell would provide details.

The quality of the BT site in Glasgow sealed J.P. Morgan's decision, Hioco says.

BT will probably build hosting facilities in the United States like it has under its BTeLocations initiative, which provides co-location services at sites throughout the United Kingdom. Last week, investment and retail bank J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. said it will base 325 application-development personnel at BT's Glasgow, Scotland, location. The quality of the IT infrastructure, which features a fiber-optic network with redundant routing paths, drove the bank's decision, managing director Christophe Hioco says.

BT's move reflects an urgency to find new revenue streams. "It's essential that telcos develop new businesses," says Greg Douglass, VP for telecom and media networks at Cap Gemini Ernst & Young.

BT plans to do that by developing services that go well beyond low-cost co-location hosting. "We can take an entire business process and run it on behalf of a client," Campbell says. For example, in partnership with Accenture, BT has recently completed development of an online banking system for Intelligent Finance, a retail arm of British financial-services company Halifax plc.

Photo of Christophe Hioco by Sacha Lecca

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