Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

MCI Plans to Bundle Together PC Communications Package

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

MCI Plans to Bundle Together PC Communications Package

Article excerpt

NEW YORK _ MCI Communications Corp., the nation's second-largest long distance company, on Monday jumped into the software business, another sign of the growing importance of the personal computer as a communications device.

The company next month will begin selling communications software from six other firms under the "networkMCI" brand name. It has already started advertising the product in a serial TV ad campaign set in a fictional publishing house.

The product, called "networkMCI Business" includes fax, electronic mail, work collaboration, electronic marketing and customized news programs. By the end of the year, it will likely also have a program to access the Internet.

MCI will charge $50 per month per person for the product, a price its executives said is below what many people spend each month for online services such as America Online or CompuServe. Installation is $100 and there is a $110 monthly charge for optional video conferencing equipment.

The company may also create a similar product for consumers to use at home, Doug Maine, MCI's chief financial officer, said at a news conference.

The move gives MCI another product to sell to businesses that don't use its long distance service. And it at last brings substance to the "networkMCI" vision touted for six months in ethereal TV ads that showed a girl talking in a desert.

Some companies will likely have purchased separately the programs MCI is selling, the most popular of which is Delrina Corp.'s WinFax software. And some companies may have hired expensive consultants to create a comparable package that is used solely by them.

But MCI is the first to package the most widely-used communication tools together, give them a common appearance and sell them in a variety of ways, ranging from a toll-free line to its 2,000-person direct sales force. …

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