Ford Taps SBC, Cisco For VoIP

Financial terms weren't disclosed.

SBC said the project will be one of the nation's largest deployments to date of voice-over-Internet Protocol technology. The SBC service, based on technology from Cisco Systems, merges Ford's communications networks into a single IP-based network, carrying voice, video and data.

SBC companies will deploy a customized product based on the SBC PremierServ IP Telephony Advantage platform, using Cisco Systems' IP Communications system. The network will include about 50,000 Cisco IP telephones, rolled out to users in 110 Ford facilities in southeast Michigan over three years. SBC PremierServ Managed Care engineers will work on-site at Ford's data center in Dearborn to manage the service on an ongoing basis through the course of the contract.

SBC said the new service will allow Ford to manage employee moves, adds and changes instantly, and said businesses can scale up or down without calling vendors or ordering new cards.

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Beyond the IP telephone contract, SBC Long Distance is working with Ford to deliver services for its facilities in Michigan, and SBC also is working to serve as the primary channel for Cisco equipment for Ford's data network.

The contract expands a longstanding relationship between Ford and SBC companies. SBC has provided Centrex voice services to Ford since 1986, and Ford today uses SBC GigaMan Service, a point-to-point Ethernet product, for high-bandwidth connectivity between its southeast Michigan locations.

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