Make the Switch, Fill Your Pockets - Page 2

Lighten Up Given the voice crisis, its not surprising that the one bright spot for telcos is data services. With their existing customer connections, its far easier for telcos to pitch high-speed lines such as digital subscriber service (DSL) and data hosting services than startup competitors.

Naturally, hardware vendors and integrators are working to make the shift from voice to data. IBM, for one, is doing a brisk business selling servers to telcos, and last week the company inked a deal with BellSouth to deliver turnkey e-business solutions combined with broadband services to midsize businesses.

IBM is looking to sell more hardware in the deal. BellSouth is looking for an ongoing revenue stream in the data world, where its sales are expected to grow 30 percent this year. Thats up from 27 percent growth in 2000.

"This will be in the market within 60 days," says Ian Bonner, IBMs VP of global business development. "We expect to see revenue start flowing fairly quickly."