If you ask Bill Archer, Chief Marketing Officer of AT&T Business Solutions what his Fortune 500 and Fortune 1000 enterprise customers want, the answer is simply put: solutions that fit their needs.
"We serve, for instance, every customer in the Fortune 1000," he said. "We know that they want services, not a bag of parts, but services and our capabilities assembled in a way they can put them to work and create business value."
To say AT&T is bullish on its business services prospects would be an understatement.
Proof of AT&T's commitment to business services was made clear in February when it announced it would make a $1 billion investment to expand its global network to serve the needs of the "largest multi-national corporations around the world to the smallest companies served within the United States."
In addition to expanding its network reach, AT&T will address mobility applications and the ongoing integration of IBM's global network operations. But even with these bold new investments, Archer knows his national and multinational customers are operating in a challenging economic environment.
To gauge what concerns the CIOs of his major multinational enterprise customers in the U.S. and Europe, AT&T issued its Road to Growth Study. U.S. companies that responded to the survey said that time to prove ROI narrowed by 50 percent, while 87 percent of respondents said that "reducing operating costs" was another major concern.
"CIOs said in large numbers that reducing operating costs is very important, but almost equally as important was improving productivity and enhancing collaboration across their enterprises and with their customers and suppliers," Archer said.
Whatever challenges CIOs are facing, AT&T's commitment to business services seems appears to be paying off. Despite typical ongoing landline losses, IP-based business services fared well for the service provider during the second quarter.
The telco reported that total wireline IP data revenues, which were driven by residential U-Verse service expansion and business VPNS and VoIP, grew 5.2 percent to $6.6 billion in 2008.