AT&T opens shop in Menlo Park

Ron Resnick (
Mon, 11 May 1998 04:03:31 -0400

Also newsworthy of course is the rumoured SBC/Ameritech buyout.
I'm shaking my head
on that one. We spent a couple of years on a strategic project
to move Ameritech services out of the 1950s and into a world
of "Intelligent Telephony" - nice oxymoron, that. Anyway,
we got to see lots of Ameritech business practices & strategy
over that time - can't say I was impressed. I expect most RBOCs
have comparable amounts of cluelessness about where this stuff is all
but having seen it personally and so vividly at Ameritech,
I vote them as least-likely
LEC to figure out that voice is gonna get slaughtered by IP. Hence
my raised-eyebrows whenever they're in the news, esp. in a deal
like this.

So, anyway, here's the AT&T story (note that companies which
have - or had - interests in equipment manufacturing & were
not strictly operating companies, seem to be adjusting better
to the world of packets. Nortel's been - more quietly- on
an IP kick for a while now.)

> AT&T's Silicon Valley splashdown points to IP as company's future
> By Stephen Lawson
> InfoWorld Electric
> Posted at 6:43 AM PT, May 9, 1998
> MENLO PARK, Calif. -- AT&T this week used the introduction of a new
> research facility to reorient the company toward IP as the future of
> telephony.
> Chairman and CEO Michael Armstrong announced the creation of AT&T Labs
> in Silicon Valley at a reception here Friday that provided glimpses of IP
> products and services under development at the company's new facilities.
> After acknowledging that AT&T has not been on the leading edge of
> Internet-related technologies, Armstrong pointed to IP telephony as the
> dominant focus of the company going forward.
> "The telephone will be the most ubiquitous Internet device in the world,"
> Armstrong said. "We expect this lab will make AT&T the IP communications
> services leader in the world," he added.
> Armstrong did not project when these goals would be reached, but
> said the company will pursue initiatives toward this goal in four
> areas. It will make significant investments in its Internet backbone,
> create new IP-based services for businesses and consumers, and expand
> its on-line communications services available through companies such
> as Lycos, he said.
> But his comments returned frequently to voice services and products
> to enable those services.
> "AT&T is going to be first in the market for voice over the Internet,
> with a quality product with competitive pricing," Armstrong said.
> Among the technologies demonstrated at the lab opening on Friday was
> the Advanced Network Services Platform, a core set of authentication,
> accounting, security, access control, and user registry functions that
> will form the basis of future IP-based services from AT&T and allow
> corporations and providers to create new services rapidly.
> The platform, code-named GeoPlex, currently is being applied in the
> development of Internet II. Researchers demonstrated services for voice,
> video, and fax over IP that have been created at Carnegie Mellon
> university using GeoPlex.
> Cisco officials at the event said Cisco is providing the router element of
> the advanced services architecture. Future cooperation between AT&T and
> Cisco could include a strategic partnership, the officials said.
> AT&T Corp., in New York, can be reached at (212) 387-5400 or
> Stephen Lawson is a senior writer for InfoWorld.