AT_T creates network consulting service for small_ midsized firms

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					AT&T creates network consulting service for small, midsized firms
San Antonio Business Journal - October 4, 2006

AT&T Inc. has developed a new slate of consulting services to help small and medium-
sized businesses select custom-fit communications and information technology networks.

Known as AT&T Consulting Essentials, the telecommunications company's new service
will help business owners, state and local governments, schools and health care
organizations take advantage of the same level of services available to large enterprise

AT&T (NYSE: T) will market these services nationwide.

AT&T Consulting Essentials will offer consulting services in six areas:

Network and information security;
Business continuity planning;
Network optimization;
Telecom strategy;

IPT (Internet Protocol Telephony) Readiness to determine whether an existing network
can support the digital transmission of voice, data and video over an IP platform;
and client tutorials, where AT&T employees conduct whiteboard sessions either on site
or online.

David Garrett, associate director of consulting services for AT&T, says the company
already has network integration capabilities and performs consulting services for Fortune
500 companies.

The goal is to offer the same level of service to small businesses that a Fortune 500
corporation would expect, he says.

In 2003, the company (before SBC Communications Inc. merged with AT&T Corp.)
bought privately held network consulting company Callisma. It eventually became
AT&T's consulting arm.

AT&T Consulting Essentials will try to provide pure professional services to small and
medium-sized businesses without directly pushing AT&T's products, Garrett says.

"Our goal is to be a trusted adviser to our customers," he adds.

The service will cost between $1,400 to $34,000 for technical assessments depending
upon the size of the company and scope of the work.

AT&T officials point to market research commissioned by the company that shows that
one-third of all small and medium-sized businesses currently use consultants. More than
half of those surveyed said they are likely to look to a telecommunications company for
consulting services.
"As more small and medium businesses realize that their IT needs are outstripping their
in-house expertise, they're turning to trusted technology providers like AT&T for
technical advice and direction," says Curtis Price, program director of market research
firm IDC.

IDC research showed the U.S. IT consulting market to be $10.3 billion in 2005. The
market is forecast to reach $12.3 billion by 2009.

AT&T is one of the world's largest telecommunications holding companies and the
largest in the United States.

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