• United States

Equant expands consulting offerings

Nov 12, 20032 mins
Internet Service ProvidersNetworking

* Equant offering free TCO tool

Equant, the European juggernaut of the ISP market, is expanding its suite of consulting services as a means to attract more U.S. multinationals to its customer base.

“The big focus, and where we’ve put a lot of our energy in the last four to five months, is in the solutions space,” says Bruce Smith, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Equant. “We’ve got hundreds of people on our payroll who are consulting types, who have experience in a certain vertical or experience in messaging and security…We’re trying to offer solutions that are higher up in the value chain than simple connectivity.”

Last quarter, Equant introduced a managed intrusion-detection service as well as a cache management service. Early this month, Equant announced a free total cost of ownership (TCO) tool for IT executives to use to evaluate whether to outsource their LAN and desktop maintenance – another service that Equant offers.

The TCO Tool, called Abacus, uses a TCO methodology from Gartner and allows IT executives to benchmark their IT maintenance costs in different regions against industry averages worldwide.

“We are providing this tool free of charge with a four-hour analysis,” says Gopi Gopinath, head of products and solutions for Equant. “The information is secure, so no one else has access to it. Several large multinationals have used it already.”

With these new service offerings, Equant is trying to focus on supporting the business applications that U.S. corporations are running rather than selling mere pipes.

“We’re starting to see companies buying more applications – sales automation, CRM – and those are the things that generate bandwidth,” Smith says. “Our goal is to get the end user to talk about application performance. Then we can talk about total cost of ownership over the next couple of years. We’re still seeing companies in the process of crossing the chasm to IP VPNs.”

Equant officials admit they have a ways to go to educate network executives about their new consulting services