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Equant and Akzo Nobel Sign Five-Year, Multimillion Dollar Contract for IP VPN and Professional Services in 80 Countries

Published on 2004-09-23. Author : SpecialChem

WASHINGTON & AMSTERDAM, Netherlands -- Akzo Nobel relies on Equant network solutions to reduce costs and improve network performance Equant has signed a five-year, multimillion dollar global network services contract with Akzo Nobel to design and implement an integrated global MPLS-based IP VPN solution.

This contract demonstrates Equant's strategy to develop global, customized and integrated communications services, leveraging its high-end IP VPN strengths and reducing total cost of ownership for its multinational customers.

Headquartered in Arnhem, the Netherlands, Akzo Nobel is an international company active in the areas of pharmaceuticals, coatings and chemicals with operations in more than 80 countries and employing around 64,000 people.

Using Equant IP VPN, Akzo Nobel can maximize its communications infrastructure and optimize performance of business-critical applications such as SAP and Microsoft Exchange. Equant IP VPN will interconnect sites in 80 countries. Equant will also provide additional consultancy and project management services as well as Equant WebVision, a Web-based network performance monitoring tool.

The new IP VPN, MPLS-based solution replaces a number of Frame Relay networking solutions. By appointing one single supplier, Akzo Nobel underlines its new "One Lane" strategy. The aim of this strategy is to take a structured and coordinated approach for network design, security, change management, performance management and billing across all three business groups. By appointing Equant as "prime contractor" for communication infrastructure, Akzo Nobel expects to benefit from improved network performance and increased security, in addition to significant cost savings. Furthermore, the solution will provide Akzo Nobel with a uniform technology structure, which will enable the company to more efficiently adopt new technological developments in the future such as IP-based voice and video solutions.

"A global, uniform networking solution brings us many advantages," said Bill Stubbins, CIO at Akzo Nobel. "By working with one global supplier, network management will be simplified enormously. This gives us a better view of how our network is performing on a local and global basis, while helping us to reduce overall costs."

"Akzo Nobel is among nearly 1,300 other companies that appreciate the benefits of IP VPN," said Philippe Koebel, Equant's senior vice president of Sales and Marketing, Europe, Middle East and Africa. "Companies are seeing that an IP VPN associated with Professional Services provides streamlined global infrastructure, while significantly reducing overall networking costs and offers the flexibility and security to adopt IP-based voice and video solutions in the future."

About Akzo Nobel

Akzo Nobel is an international company active in the areas of pharmaceuticals, coatings and chemicals. Based in Arnhem, the Netherlands, Akzo Nobel has operations in over 80 countries and employs around 64,000 people.

Akzo Nobel is divided in three business groups: Pharma, Coatings and Chemicals. The Pharma group manufactures products for both the human and animal healthcare markets, such as oral contraceptives, antidepressants, infertility treatments and veterinary vaccines. The Coatings group manufactures brands such as Sikkens®, International®, Crown® and Interpon®. Akzo Nobel's coating products were used on London's Millennium Wheel, La Scala Opera House in Milan, the Oresund Bridge between Denmark and Sweden, Stadium Australia in Sydney and the Olympic stadium in Athens. Akzo Nobel is also one of the world's leading chemicals producers and world's leading salt specialists. It produces chemicals found in everyday items such as ice cream, toothpaste, bakery goods, cosmetics, plastics and glass. Sales in 2003 were EUR 13.1 billion, with Pharma accounting for EUR 3.5 billion, Coatings for EUR 5.2 billion and Chemicals for EUR 4.4 billion.

About Equant

Equant (NYSE: ENT - News; Euronext Paris: EQU) is a recognized industry leader in global communications services for multinational businesses. Equant combines its network expertise - including unmatched seamless network reach in 220 countries and territories and local support in approximately 165 countries - with its expanded services capabilities to provide global, integrated and customized communication services to enable its customers key business processes. Equant serves thousands of the world's top companies, with the industry's most extensive portfolio of communications services and network solutions, including the market-leading IP VPN used by nearly 1,300 global businesses. Equant, a subsidiary of France Telecom, was named Best Global Carrier 2003 and Best Managed Service 2003 at the World Communication Awards and consistently leads industry surveys in corporate user satisfaction.

This release may contain projections or other forward-looking statements related to Equant that involve risks and uncertainties. Readers are cautioned that these statements are only predictions and may differ materially from actual future results or events. Readers are referred to the documents filed by Equant with the SEC, specifically the most recent filing on SEC Form 20-F, which identifies important risk factors that could cause actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements, including, among other things, risks relating to Equant's history of operating losses, the unpredictability of growth in Equant's markets, changing technology, uncertain and changing regulatory restrictions, Equant's international operations, dependence on suppliers, network security issues, competition, and volatility of Equant's stock price and risks relating to the combination with Global One. All forward-looking statements are based on information available to Equant on the date hereof, and Equant assumes no obligation to update such statements.

Source: Equant


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