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Wang offers desktop, network services

Wang Global unveils a raft of IT services intended to help companies standardize their desktops and networks as they shift over to new business and e-commerce applications.

Wang Global today unveiled a raft of IT services intended to help companies standardize their desktops and networks as they shift over to new business and e-commerce applications.

Wang's NetWorkPlace includes 19 services--about half of them new--that the company will sell to create a common support environment for clients using standard tools and methodologies. The services, available immediately in the United States and released throughout the year abroad, are targeted to companies with 1,000 to 50,000 users that want to implement a common network and desktop environment.

NetWorkPlace services include assessment and planning, migration and deployment, and management and maintenance. Throughout 1999, the $3 billion Billerica, Massachusetts-based company expects to add remote systems management, total cost of ownership management, and disaster recovery to its suite. Cost is based on the size of the project, the amount of equipment on a network to assess, or per user, said Wang's marketing president David Hudson, who did not provide specifics.

Wang's service partners, Microsoft, Cisco, and Dell, are the company's preferred vendors, though Hudson said the company will alternately work with the customer's vendors of choice.

Wang has worked in recent months to revamp its IT services offerings as part of its restructuring and analysts say the company now competes in the top tier against rivals including Unisys, IBM Global, and AT&T Solutions.

New services in the NetWorkPlace package include network performance assessment, asset assessment, and security assessment, including Year 2000 compliance checks; Windows NT desktop migration, secure intranet, trusted extranet, enterprise messaging services, and asset management.

Before offering NetWorkPlace, Hudson said the company converted its own five internal operating systems to Windows NT in 18 months, moved four messaging systems to Microsoft Exchange/Outlook worldwide, and collapsed four networks into one Cisco-based WAN. The changes helped Wang cut support costs by 10 to 20 percent, improve network performance, and reduce support staff, the company said.

Wang, which has stumbled with poor financial results and job cuts over the past several quarters, is investing $100 million this year in infrastructure necessary to support its new services line, Hudson said. The company currently operates three enterprise service centers in the United States, Australia, and the United Kingdom, and is linking 22 smaller operation centers worldwide to those main locations.