AOL already partnered with Bertelsmann in March 1995 to form AOL Europe, a consumer-oriented service that has been competing with the likes of CompuServe, which has the largest online presence overseas, and local companies.
Now the two companies are going after the burgeoning overseas medium and large-sized business market, hoping to leverage their strengths across the globe.
The plan is to either directly provide service or to establish new partnerships with existing companies, according to Mike Read, vice president of service development for ANS.
"We will specialize in services to online companies," Read said. "We also will provide services to businesses, both large and medium."
He added that, like other Internet companies, both Bertelsmann and AOL will be seeking new partners. "It's obvious that there's no company in the world that can provide everything on its own because the cost is so great. That's why we need to provide partnering."
Clearly, the partners will head to places where AOL already has, or is in the process of, establishing markets. Expect a new partnership to be announced soon in Japan, Reed said. AOL recently established a consumer online presence there.
Reed added that AOL's consumer network, plagued with problems from busy signals, for the most part runs on a different system, from the ANS service.
The new partnership is hoping to lure not only large businesses but also those that have multinational presences and want service in several different countries.
The companies will provide intranets, Web hosting, security, and remote dial access, as well as several of the newer technologies, Read noted.