Magazine article Information Today

Interoperable Multimedia Services Will Be Developed through the New MSAF

Magazine article Information Today

Interoperable Multimedia Services Will Be Developed through the New MSAF

Article excerpt

An effort to provide business customers with globally accessible and interoperable multimedia applications and services gained momentum last month as 25 of the world's leading telecommunications service and technology providers announced the creation of the Multimedia Services Affiliate Forum (MSAF).

Forum members are providing customers with new business opportunities by accelerating the deployment of interoperable multimedia services based on both public and private networks. The MSAF will facilitate interoperability among service provider network-based software platforms, and will promote linkages between its members' services and other public networks. The Forum members will work together to implement interconnected services that provide the security, performance, and reliability of private networks combined with the global access and ease of use of public telephone networks. In addition, Forum members will provide links between their services and the other parts of the Internet. The Forum's committees are already at work identifying and addressing service definition, deployment, and interoperability.

Companies announcing their membership in the Forum include AT&T, Bellcore, Bell Global Solutions, British Telecommunications PLC, Cisco, DaCom, Deutsche Telekom, Electronic Trade Center, Folio, GTE, IBM Global Network, KDD, Korea Telecom, LEXISNEXIS, Lotus, Microsoft, Novell, NTT Corp., NTT Data, Siemens-Nixdorf, Singapore Telecom, Telecom Malaysia, Telstra, and Unisource. France Telecom has committed to join early in the second quarter of 1996.

"Interoperability among carriers is a key requirement for all parties involved in building advanced, robust, mission-critical inter-enterprise applications and services," said David Marshak, vice president of Patricia Seybold Group, Boston. This unprecedented cooperation among the world's leading telecommunications service and technology providers will allow business customers to expand and enhance their intra- and inter-enterprise communications processes worldwide.

"MSAF offers our customers and our product operations an opportunity to leverage an exciting emerging global data network with common platforms, protocols, and underlying technology. We plan to work closely with MSAF to realize this opportunity," said Jim King, vice president of technology strategy of LEXISNEXIS.

Thomas Arthur, general manager Novell business Internet services, explained, "Across all major platforms, businesses of all sizes will gain access to global network services that range from outsourcing WANs, dial access for remote users, and inter-company communications. …

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