Telephone customers want more than long-distance, and Sprint is working to make sure that they can get everything they need from a single source.
"We are really focused on the customers need for integrated services across wireless, voice and high-speed data services, both domestic and global," says Len Lauer, President of Global Markets Group at Sprint.
For now, Sprint, directed by CEO William T. Esrey, is working on taking favorite features — such as Voice Command voice recognition — and integrating it across all of its telephone services. The company is also considering offering unified communications services that might, for example, give users a common voice-mail system whether they are using their local, long-distance or wireless service or allow users to pick up e-mail via a voice-activated portal.
Lauer says Sprint is reinventing itself from a pure network provider to "an enabler of network-based solutions or applications." The companys Integrated On-Demand Network service, known as ION, bundles local and long-distance voice and high-speed Internet access, all over a single connection on a single bill from a single provider.
Sprint also is answering the cries from the enterprise, where information technology folk are struggling to allow mobile workers access to the corporate network, whether theyre at home, on the road or using wireless devices. "Although we will continue to be a provider of transport, we want to leverage that to enable network-based services and help customers repurpose applications from being internal to external," Lauer says.
The companys E-Solutions Business Unit is expected to be particularly useful to enterprise operations. The new unit will consult with customers in order to identify their needs, help identify alliance partners, repurpose applications, bring in new applications, offer server hosting and more.