Cumberland Farms to Upgrade its VSAT

VA-based Spacenet will provide the upgraded data network for c-store Cumberland Farms.
Spacenet is deploying an innovative hybrid VSAT and DSL/Cable/EV-DO
network that provides optimized support for Cumberland Farms’ expanding
retail applications. Satellite networks combined with wireline services
provide cost-effective redundant communications and a diverse network
path to protect against network downtime. Spacenet is upgrading
Cumberland Farms’ existing VSAT network to the industry-leading SkyEdge
VSAT platform for faster speeds and advanced functionality. The network
supports improved performance for web-based and back-office applications
including credit/debit card authorization, POS polling, HR software and
inventory tracking. Spacenet’s services include its custom
satellite and hybrid network solutions for enterprise and government;
“Connexstar” VSAT services for primary, backup and disaster recovery.
Convenience store and petroleum marketer
Cumberland Farms’ network of retail stores, gas
stations,dairy and grocery
distribution operations spans 11 states across the Northeast and
Florida.

SANCHEZ BEACHHEAD

Sanchez Computer Associates announced the opening of its new European
headquarters in Amsterdam. Europe accounts for more than a quarter of
Sanchez’s annual revenue. Sanchez is a leader in developing and marketing
scalable and integrated software and services that provide banking,
customer integration, brokerage, wealth management and outsourcing
solutions to nearly 400 financial institutions in 21 countries. Sanchez’s
customers include Lloyds TSB, ING Group, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, CSFB, Merrill
Lynch, Morgan Stanley, Scotiabank and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp., among
others. Sanchez corporate headquarters is located in Malvern, Pa., USA.

USWD New Hires

U.S. Wireless Data announced that it has appointed three vice presidents to its senior management team.

Karen Hochman has joined the company as Vice President of Marketing, with responsibility for the company’s branding, advertising, and public relations efforts.

Ms. Hochman joins USWD with 20 years of experience in marketing and advertising. Prior to joining the company, she was vice president of marketing and product development at HealthStreet Interactive, where she led the development and marketing of Web-based searchable databases of doctors, dentists, and other healthcare providers. She previously served as president of Jordan, McGrath, Case & Partners/Direct, an integrated marketing agency; as president of The Loyalty Partnership, Ltd.; and as a vice president of marketing at Citibank. She holds a B.A. from Boston University and an M.B.A. from the Columbia University Graduate School of Business.

Kristine Demareski has joined the company as Vice President of Product Development, with responsibility for managing the development and implementation of the company’s flagship product, Wireless Express Payments Servicesm (WEPSsm), as well as other product enhancements.

Ms. Demareski joins USWD with over 10 years of experience in the telecommunications industry. Prior to joining the company, she was a product director for AT&T’s Data business unit, where she led the development of advanced packet services such as ATM, frame relay and DSL optimized for local markets. Earlier in her career, Kristine had a variety of sales and marketing assignments with Teleport Communications Group’s Data and Internet Business Unit and CompuServe Business Network Services (now MCI WorldCom). She holds a B.S.E.E. from Lafayette College and an M.B.A. from New York University Stern School of Business.

Kenneth Byers has joined the company as Vice President of MIS, with responsibility for the company’s Management Information Systems in Colorado and New York.

Mr. Byers joins USWD with over 20 years of experience in information technology. Prior to joining the company, he was director of MIS for Channelpoint Inc. where he led the MIS function, expanding it threefold to support the company’s growth. He previously served as president of KD Enterprises, an IT and financial consulting firm; as manager of IT infrastructure for LSI Logic; and several senior IT management positions at Lockheed Martin. He holds a B.S. in physics from Fairleigh Dickinson University and an M.B.A. in finance from the University of Southern California Graduate School of Business.

About U.S. Wireless Data, Inc.

U.S. Wireless Data, Inc. ([www.uswirelessdata.com][1]), founded in 1991, markets proprietary technology that brings together three large, rapidly growing industries -transaction processing, wireless data transport and the Internet – to enable wireless payment processing. The Company’s WEPS platform provides a gateway among all of the parties within a wireless point-of-sale (POS) transaction. This enables businesses that require mobility (i.e., not tethered to a telephone line) and/or faster transaction speed to accept wireless point-of-sale payments. By providing a seamless interface among merchants’ POS terminals, wireless carriers and card processors, credit, debit and other card transactions can be processed as fast as cash, without the cost and inconvenience of a telephone line. In addition, WEPS’ Internet-based tools offer on-line, real-time transaction monitoring, remote diagnostics and automated terminal activation. The Company is headquartered in New York City.

[1]: http://www.uswirelessdata.com/

Telscape Internet Strategy

Telscape International, Inc., yesterday announced the launching of a comprehensive Internet strategy to capitalize on the growth and demand for Latin American eCommerce and Internet related services. enableCommerce.com, a standalone entity, is being created to enable companies, including U.S.-based, to penetrate one of the fastest growing and most attractive markets in the world.

Telscape has hired Mr. Ulises Barbosa, an eBanking expert formerly with Banco Santander, to spearhead this effort. Mr. Barbosa will be assisted by other experienced management, which he has recruited, as well as the dedicated efforts of Carlos de Lara and Jose Luis Apan Wong, both of whom have been with Telscape and have extensive Internet and systems integration experience.

Unique Approach to Market

The mission of enableCommerce.com is to become the leading provider of eCommerce outsourcing services for companies worldwide interested in pursuing the Latin American marketplace. Through an electronic business platform (“eBusiness Platform”), enableCommerce.com will assist companies in expanding sales by getting closer to and better understanding their customers, increasing operating efficiencies, improving response times and reducing costs.

The eBusiness Platform will be a high-volume eCommerce transaction processing system developed by enableCommerce.com to allow its business customers to achieve their objectives with reliability, security, scalability, economies of scale and technological adequacy. The Internet is the core of the eBusiness Platform; however, Telscape’s eCommerce strategy is broader and will provide for different means by which a customer may interface electronically with a business through the eBusiness Platform. These customer-facing technologies include, for instance, call centers, faxes, touch-tone phones, pagers, e-mail, kiosks, handheld devices, interactive TVs, smart cards, and the World Wide Web, some of which are being provided by Telscape today. The combination of a robust and flexible network, system security and infrastructure architecture plus the proper Business to Business and Business to Consumer application software, coupled with strong data warehousing capabilities will constitute one of the most advanced eCommerce initiatives focused on the Latin American market. The need for a central and external source for increasingly complex eCommerce projects, which go beyond simple web page design, is evident, and Forrester Research estimates that over 40% of Internet and internal corporate sites will be outsourced by 2002.

However, providing only a mechanism that enables customers to do business electronically with companies is not enough. Telscape either has launched or is developing solutions to two critical aspects of the eCommerce challenge faced by companies desiring to do business in the Latin American market.

1) Facilitate the Redesign of Business Process: A successful eCommerce strategy requires a company to streamline certain internal tasks. Since the eBusiness Platform centralizes the majority of the transaction processing, a high-speed (typically asymmetrical) telecommunications link has to be established between the eBusiness Platform and the business enterprise systems to facilitate the interaction of the company with the eBusiness Platform. In light of the lack of economical and reliable broad band corporate ISP services and last mile services in Latin America, enableCommerce.com’s product offering will include a low cost, high bandwidth, asymmetrical Internet service through satellite. This service will be provided by Telscape’s subsidiary, INTERLINK. For services being provided in Mexico, this product offering will ultimately be supported by Telscape’s fiber optic buildout.

2) Driving Customer Traffic: Customer traffic is key to any Business to Consumer eCommerce initiative and can be driven through advertising provided that the telecommunications and Internet infrastructure is in place to support it, which is not the case in Latin America where the infrastructure is poor and fragmented. enableCommerce.com plans to help its customers drive traffic by leveraging Telscape’s unique telecommunications assets in Latin America. In Mexico, Telscape intends to become an ISP to consumers and businesses through the utilization of its fiber optic network buildout. INTERLINK is a significant Network Service Provider (“NSP”) to ISPs in Latin America and will leverage those relationships to help enableCommerce.com to promote a partnership approach and change the ISPs’ revenue model from dial-up accounts to sell advanced Internet and eCommerce solutions to companies. For instance, either through a direct or partnership approach with ISPs, enableCommerce.com will offer to business customers creative marketing concepts to bundle eCommerce packages with discounted Internet dial-up accounts for their consumers.

Attractive Market

The growth of Internet usage in Latin America is expected to outpace growth of worldwide Internet usage over the next several years. According to Nazca Saatchi & Saatchi, the number of Internet users in Latin America is expected to increase from 7 million users at the end of 1997 to 34 million users by the end of 2000. This number could increase substantially with the proliferation of low-cost, non-PC Internet access devices. Latin America is comprised of 23 countries with a total population of 500 million people.

Unique eCommerce and Internet Assets enableCommerce.com will take advantage of the following Telscape strategic assets:

INTERLINK Communications, Inc. owns a satellite teleport facility in Mountain View, California, which has been operational for over fifteen years providing premium satellite communications services. INTERLINK is connected to the Tier One Internet Backbone via an OC-12 SONET fiber optic ring and has been providing high quality, high speed internet access as a NSP to internet service providers, corporations, universities, governments and local carriers throughout North, Central and South America.

Telereunion has begun construction of a state-of-the-art fiber optic long distance network in Mexico. The project is being engineered, furnished, installed and financed by Lucent Technologies, Inc. (NYSE:LU). In addition, through a recently announced fiber exchange with Avantel, S.A., the network will cover nearly 1,750 kilometers, resulting in a network that will reach 90% of the Mexican population.

Telscape de Mexico is one of the largest providers of complex systems integration solutions in Mexico for more than thirteen years. The Company has in excess of 2,500 commercial customers and a highly trained technical workforce of more than 130 people. Telscape de Mexico has engineered, furnished, installed and managed one of the largest asynchronous transfer mode/internet protocol (“ATM/IP”) metropolitan networks in Latin America for the National University of Mexico. Approximately 22,000 computers, 10,000 voice ports, and the largest NSP and distance learning videoconferencing network in Latin America are connected in a multi-protocol, multi-vendor environment. MS Noticias has been providing bilingual interactive voice response and help desk solutions to the U.S. Embassy through its call center. Through the utilization of Telscape de Mexico’s systems integration expertise, MS Noticias successfully re-engineered in a short period of time the appointment and information processes for nearly 2 million US visa applications per year. The call center provides a key customer-interfacing asset to enableCommerce.com and is a prime example of streamlining a business process consistent with customer requirements.

Management Team

Mr. Barbosa, formerly with Banco Santander in Mexico, has been intimately involved in the development, implementation and management of one of the most successful eBanking initiatives in Latin America. He has more than 13 years of experience developing and managing telecommunications and systems operations primarily for financial institutions. He also developed and implemented a very successfully asymmetrical, broadband satellite Internet and Wide Area Network service in the business environment.

Carlos de Lara founded NSI, a highly evolved, data systems integrator specializing in Wide Area Networks, which was acquired by Telscape in 1997. Mr. de Lara is currently chairman of the subcommittee for eCommerce and Secure Transactions of the National Telecommunications Standardization Committee of Mexico. He is a founding partner and member of the board of directors of the Mexican Association of Multimedia, Info-routes and Information Content (AMMICI), an entity dedicated to the promotion of business-oriented Internet content in Latin America.

Mr. Apan Wong currently manages the Company’s help desk and call center operations in Mexico He was responsible for engineering, furnishing and installing the ATM/IP network mentioned above. Prior to joining Telscape, Mr. Apan Wong served as Regional Telecommunications Manager for Hewlett Packard where he was responsible for the installation and operation of HP’s telecommunications network in the Latin American Region.

Telscape International, Inc. is a fully integrated U.S. based communications company that supplies international voice, video, data and Internet services, via switched and dedicated networks, principally to and from Latin America.

The Company owns and operates a satellite teleport facility in Mountain View, CA, which delivers an array of communications services to customers throughout North, Central and South America. In addition, the Company provides a full range of systems integration and value-added telecommunications services in Mexico to major public and private sector customers. Telereunion, a Telscape subsidiary, is one of a select number of companies that has been granted a facilities-based long distance concession by the Mexican government.

Calling Card Market

More than 1800 U.S. companies now compete in the prepaid calling card market which grossed $8 billion last year. According to new study from Frost & Sullivan entitled “U.S. Card Calling Markets”, many service providers will need to employ more customer-focused marketing strategies in order to retain their existing customers, and to take more proactive measures in establishing new customer bases. F&S says the prepaid calling cards market has been growing exponentially as a result of its growing visibility and acceptance for mainstream applications such as used by young adults, travelers and students, but aggressive strategies to capture these potentially lucrative end-users markets, such as 10 to 17 year-old children, are important in all  segments of the card calling industry to all participants.

Coming Calling Card Explosion

The passage of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 will result in service providers flooding into both the interchange and local exchange markets in the very near future. In preparation for this vast operator services and card calling market growth, both current and future market players must take proactive measures to retain their existing customers and to establish new customer bases within the market.

According to recent strategic research by Frost & Sullivan (), U.S. Operator Services and Card Calling Markets are expected to grow from $14.5 billion in 1996 to $22.7 in 2003, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.7 percent. This in-depth analysis of the market is divided into two segments: the interexchange carrier (IXC) operator services and card calling market and the local exchange carrier (LEC) operator services and card calling market. The IXC Segment is then further divided into domestic and international subsegments to ensure the closest possible examination of all aspects of the market.

The operator services and card calling market is currently being revitalized by prepaid calling cards which will later be joined by higher technology “smart cards.” Some major trends within the expanding market include continuing automation of the operator services industry leading to decreased labor and switching equipment costs for service providers, and the imposition of rate caps on operator services by state authorities preventing exorbitant fees and lowering revenues for the operator services market, according to Frost & Sullivan’s Telecommunications Industry Manager Larry Herman.

This research U.S. Operator Services and Card Calling Markets includes a representative sample of 136 companies currently in the U.S. operator services and card calling market, out of more than 1,000 companies currently competing in the market. Also included are ways competing market players can strategically, and wisely, adapt or redirect their present resources into these flourishing markets. In providing an objective overview of the entire operator services and card calling industry, four end-user categories are highlighted by industry: hospitality, institutional, pay phone, and residential and business customer.

AT&T, MCI, and Sprint dominate the IXC services market. Combined they hold more than 85 percent of the market for domestic interexchange services and over 95 percent of the market for international interexchange services. Thus leaving more than 1,000 competitors to compete and account for the remainder is the revenues in the market. So how will these companies succeed?

“It is clear that as a result of the passage of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, many providers in the interexchange and local exchange markets will enter both markets,” says Herman. “To compete effectively in this deregulated environment, service providers need to take proactive measures to retain their existing customers for operator and card calling services and establish new customer bases in markets that they are entering.”

This telecommunications industry research has integrated the Market Engineering consulting philosophy into the entire research process. Critical phases of this research included: identification of industry challenges, market engineering measurements, strategic recommendations, planning and market monitoring. All of the vital elements of this system help the market participants navigate successfully through the telecommunications market.

The technologies reviewed include signaling system #7, billing validation application (BVA), advanced intelligent network, automatic number identification (ANI), dedicated access, switched access, fiber optics, smart card technology, dialaround, voice activated calling cards, prepaid calling cards, and automated operator services

Market Participants include: Ace Telephone Association, Adams Telephone Co-Operative, Advanced Lightwave Communications, Inc., Albany Mutual Telephone Association, Aliant Communications Company, ALLTEL Corporation, Americall Enterprises, Inc., American Telesource International, Inc. (ATI), Ameritech Corporation, AMNEX, Inc., AT&T Corporation., Bell Atlantic Corporation, BellSouth Corporation, Benton Cooperative Telephone Company, Blackduck Telephone Company, Brooks Fiber Properties, C-TEC Corporation, Cable & Wireless, Inc., Cascade Operator Services, Inc. , Century Telephone Enterprises, Inc., Chautauqua Erie Telephone Corporation, Cincinnati Bell, Inc., Citizens Utilities Company., ClearTel Communications, Coastal Telephone Company, Coastal Utilities, Inc., Communications Services of Colorado, Concord Telephone Company, Consolidated Communications, Inc., ConQuest Telecommunications Services Corp., Crosslake Telephone and Cablevision Company, Davel Communications Group, Denver and Ephrata Telephone and Telegraph Company, East Otter Tail Telephone Company, Easton Telephone Company, Elcotel, Inc. , Equity Pay Telephone Company, Inc., Excel, Inc., Executive Telecard, Ltd., Fairbanks Municipal Utilities System, Farmers Telephone Company, Federated Telephone Cooperative, Fone America, Inc., Frontier Corporation., Garden Valley Telephone Company, GST Call America Business Communications, GST Telecommunications, Inc., GTE Corporation, Gulf Telephone Company, Hamilton Telecommunications Company, Hancock Rural Telephone Corporation, Hargray Telephone Company, Harmony Telephone Company, Horry Telephone Cooperative, Inc., Hospitality Communications Corporation, Hutchinson Telephone Company, ILD Teleservices, Interstate Telecommunications, Inc., ITC Holding Company., Johnson Telephone Company, Kasson and Mantorville Telephone Company, Lakedale Telephone Company, LCI International, Link USA, Inc., Madelia Telephone Company, Mankato Citizens Telephone Company, MCI Communications Corporation, Network Operator Services, New Hope Telephone Cooperative, Inc., NTS Communications, Inc., NYNEX Corporation, Oasis Communications, Inc., ONCOR Communications, Operator Service Company., Opticom Operator Services, Pacific Telecom, Inc., Pantel Communications, Inc., Park Region Mutual Telephone Company, Paul Bunyan Rural Telephone Cooperative, Peoples Telephone Company, Inc., Peoples Telephone Cooperative, Inc., Phoenix Network, Inc., Pine Belt Telephone Company, Inc., Polar Communications, Procom, Quest Group International, Inc., RL Telecommunications, Inc., Rock Hill Telephone Company, Roseville Communications Company, Runestone Telephone Association, SBC Communications, Inc. , Smart Choice Long Distance, Inc., SmarTalk Teleservices, Inc., SmarTel, Inc., Southern New England Telephone (SNET), Sprint Corporation, Standard Telephone Company, Start Technologies, Inc., TDS Telecom, Tel Advantage America, Inc., Tel Call Communications, Inc., TeleKey LLC, Telephone and Data Systems, Inc., Telephone Service Company, Teleport Communications Group., Teltrust, Inc., Toledo Telephone Company, TotalTel, Twin Valley-Ulen Telephone Company, U.S. Long Distance Corporation, U S WEST, Inc., Valley Telephone Company, Vartec Telecom, Inc., WATS International Corporation, WCS Long Distance, Westel Communications Services, Winthrop Telephone Company, Wolverton Telephone Company, World xChange Communications, World Telecom Group, Inc., and WorldCom, Inc.

Frost & Sullivan is an international marketing consulting company that monitors the environmental technologies industry for market trends, market measurements, and strategies. This ongoing research is utilized to update a series of research publications such as #2696-63, U.S. Call Center Service Markets, and to support industry participants with customized consulting needs.

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