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EDS readies communications services provisioning

Electronic Data Systems this week signed an agreement with Toronto-based Digital Fairway to use the company's eOSS Communications and Provisioning software for automating service order requests and provision networks and circuits more effectively for carrier partners.

The deal will enable EDS to provision high-speed voice, video, and data services for its customers, said Rich Ramos, network engineer for enterprise information technology at EDS.

Through its Digital Fairway-augmented network services, EDS will take on management of communication services for an organisation's enterprise and its employees, and access to LAN and WAN, as well as carrier fat pipe, ATM and Frame Relay processes.

"[At EDS] we're talking about taking all of a customer's applications and servers and moving them to a leveraged facility, buying a big box and using that across multiple customers," said Ramos. "To that end, we needed to be able to provision communication services accordingly."

EDS is architecting a platform - possibly ready by the first quarter of 2003 - to allow its new communication services to interoperate with its Opsware IT automation managed services for the mainframe and midrange servers, Ejasent-powered metering of processing power, and its Peregrine technology for desktops and digital workflow support.

However, analysts say a difficult road lies ahead for EDS as it attempts to construct and integrate other on-demand capabilities into its own version of a distributed and one-to-many global operational support system.

"In the voice world it's about making a connection between two points. In the IT world it's about data and how data is processed and how you get access to data stored on five different servers," said David Tapper, program manager for networked infrastructure managed services at IDC.

"EDS is trying to get the parts to build an end-to-end systems management platform. [Digital Fairway] is a piece of the puzzle."

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