Catering increasingly to enterprises of all sizes, the large incumbent telephone carriers are offering an expanding range of managed network services targeted at businesses. Last week, BellSouth Corp. launched a managed VPN service that supports remote access, intranet, Internet and extranet applications.
BellSouth champions its latest enterprise service as offering the robustness of a corporate backbone without the complexity or high capital cost such a dedicated network entails. Called Managed Network VPN Service, the new offering includes virtual private network site-to-site service, remote- user service, hosting and Internet access with an integrated firewall.
With managed VPN services, companies seeking to deploy high- bandwidth applications across multiple sites no longer have to integrate a variety of access technologies to connect remote users.
Lynk Systems Inc., a payment processor in Atlanta, uses BellSouths VPN service to offer fast and secure services to its own customers, according to Ken Paull, the companys executive vice president. Lynk processes more than 25 million electronic payment transactions monthly from point-of-sale terminals and ATMs in retail locations. The companys customers also include restaurants and gas stations.
“This offering from BellSouth will enable us to give our customers a secure solution for sensitive data, including payment transaction information,” Paull said. “For businesses with high-volume or fast-response requirements, this network VPN service provides a cost-effective communications solution.”
BellSouths customers can leverage the carriers digital subscriber line footprint for site-to-site and remote access connectivity, whether its for telecommuting, ATMs, point-of-sale terminals or cost-effective alternatives for ISDN backup networks. By using its regional IP backbone that runs MPLS (Multiprotocol Label Switching), BellSouth, also in Atlanta, takes on the responsibility for network integration and configuration of WAN routing so the customer doesnt have to worry about it.
Other major carriers are also enhancing their managed network services for enterprises. According to a Cable and Wireless plc. official who asked to remain anonymous, Cable and Wireless will launch a VPN service of its own, but the companys official spokesman would not confirm the plan.
Last summer, the London-based carrier launched its MPLS-based IP-VPN QoS service, which includes a wide-ranging service-level agreement that provides for packet loss, jitter and latency.