Nicor Services Makes Way for VoIP in Deal with AT&T

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    NAPERVILLE, Ill., Oct. 3 -AT&T today announced it has won a three-year networking services contract from Nicor Services Inc., a subsidiary of energy holding company Nicor Inc. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

    Under the agreement, AT&T will deploy an Internet Protocol Virtual Private Network (IP VPN) integrating Nicor Services and its three operating companies: Nicor Home Services, Nicor Solutions, and IBT Solutions.

    The VPN supports Nicor Services' plans for enhancing business continuity and disaster recovery and managing network traffic more efficiently between sites. It also enables the company to streamline customer service and improve online collaboration among sales and management teams.

    The AT&T solution also lays the groundwork for Nicor Services to replace its legacy voice system with a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) system in the future. VoIP offers businesses the opportunity to have all their communications - voice, video and data - carried over one, secure IP network and increase their productivity and performance at a lower cost. Full integration between VoIP and data systems also enables employees to retrieve, forward and archive voice mail through traditional e-mail systems.

    "Whether it's the middle of a heat wave or a blizzard, our customers need to be able to reach us 24 hours a day, seven days a week," said James Millan, Senior Manager of IT Operations of Nicor Services. "AT&T's proven reliability and outstanding customer service and support team offer superior dependability and peace of mind."

    About Nicor Services

    Nicor Services Inc. is a non-regulated affiliate of Nicor Gas serving residential and small commercial customers throughout Northern Illinois. With over a half a million customers and growing, Nicor Services and its affiliates offer a range of products and services, including, service warranties on home energy systems and appliances, heating and air conditioning sales and service, and various energy billing solutions. Nicor Services also owns IBT Solutions, which provides businesses the unique opportunity to increase revenues and reduce costs through IBT's customer touch point optimization model.

    About AT&T

    For more than 125 years, AT&T (NYSE: T) has been known for unparalleled quality and reliability in communications. Backed by the research and development capabilities of AT&T Labs, the company is a global leader in local, long distance, Internet and transaction-based voice and data services.

    (Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/19991018/ATT )
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