N+I: BellSouth Forms Alliance With Sun, Qwest



Regional telephone company BellSouth says it will work with Sun Microsystems and Qwest Communications International Inc. to develop the services and network infrastructure that customers need for their E-business efforts.

Under the alliance unveiled at the NetWorld+Interop show in Atlanta, the trio will continue to build Internet hosting centers that use BellSouth's network services and Sun's hardware, software, storage, and professional services. Qwest will lease space in the hosting centers for its own use.

Top officials for BellSouth, which has opened two of the centers in Miami and Atlanta, say they will open four more within the next 12 to 24 months. BellSouth plans to offer custom Web hosting, managed storage, managed security, content delivery, caching, and disaster-recovery services. Sun will join with BellSouth to sell the E-business infrastructure services to its customers in BellSouth's nine-state region in the Southeast. For its part, Qwest has committed to helping BellSouth roll out an unspecified number of the services at the centers. The BellSouth centers will have access to Qwest's own hosting centers in the United States and abroad.

"There is really no differentiation of what they are offering coming out of the gate," says Jeanne Schaff, a director at consulting firm Forrester Research. "They've aligned with strong partners in Sun and Qwest. It will be interesting to watch and see how they offer more sophisticated and managed services beyond bandwidth and data center space."

As part of the deal with Qwest, BellSouth will have access to Qwest's facilities in order to serve customers with hosting needs outside of its nine-state region.

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