Bell Atlantic's New Extranet Services Provide
Powerful Communications Tools for Businesses
Services Offer Secure Online Link to Partners and
Customers Wherever, Whenever
January 26, 1999
NEW YORK -- Bell Atlantic is introducing a package of services that give
businesses the power to communicate online with partners, customers and
employees from home, the office or the road.
The services enable businesses to establish an extranet -- or network of
outside clients -- they can reach online instantly and securely.
"We have developed an innovative solution for businesses looking to
create their own controlled electronic 'community' where users can
quickly exchange information, process work orders or access the
Internet," said Joe Farina, president and chief executive officer of Bell
Atlantic's Data Solutions Group. "The new services empower companies
to interact and share information online with other businesses critical to
their success and growth."
Bell Atlantic's package features several applications that businesses can
choose from to meet their individual goals and objectives. Included
among the options are administrative tools, web-based management tools
and a directory service. The services also offer enhanced security
functions that ensure information shared online is tightly guarded and
accessible only to authorized parties.
Safety Insurance, one of New England's top auto insurers, plans to use the
full suite of extranet services to give independent agents direct access to
its databases and applications. Such access will provide agents with
extensive, timely information and a quicker way to process policies and
By using the services, agents can contact vendors they regularly do
business with -- such as auto body shops and rental agencies -- right from
their laptop or desktop computer. Instant access to businesses they trust
means faster and better service for their clients.
"Safety is committed to the independent agent," said Daniel Loranger,
vice president of Information Systems at Safety Insurance. "Our agents
have asked us to open our systems to allow them to inquire about and
maintain their accounts. Bell Atlantic's extranet services provide the
performance and security -- within a single application -- that enable
agents to access important records. Our agents are extremely pleased with
the (Bell Atlantic) products we have rolled out to date.
"We will provide this new service to our insurance agents for free as a
way of retaining existing agents and attracting new ones," said Loranger.
"Giving agents the ability to access the company's database real-time and
exchange information with colleagues will give them more control over
day-to-day functions and enable them to be more responsive to
Felipe Alvarez, director of Vertical Industry Solutions for the Data
Solutions Group, said: "We are confident that Safety Insurance will find
our extranet services to be an invaluable communications tool. We are
eager to help other customers create their own unique online communities.
Healthcare providers, for example, could use the new services to enable
authorized doctors, nurses and patients to access sensitive clinical data
instantly and securely. And hospitals could manage their resources more
effectively by communicating directly with suppliers and partners."
Alvarez said businesses can share important documents online with
confidence using Bell Atlantic's extranet services.
The services use a public key infrastructure platform (PKI) -- the industry
accepted framework -- to support the following security functions:
- Strong mutual authentication: Replaces the standard user ID or
password mechanism with digital certificates, a stronger form of
- Data confidentiality: Encrypts information the moment it leaves the
user's desktop or laptop until it reaches the destination server or
- End user authorization: Allows only authorized users to view
- Data integrity: Ensures that a document is in no way altered as it
travels over the Internet.
- Digital signature: Adds capabilities that help identify the originator of
a transaction or message.
About Bell Atlantic Data Solutions Group
Bell Atlantic Data Solutions Group (DSG) is dedicated to providing
globally integrated network solutions that seamlessly connect businesses
with their customers, partners and employees. DSG provides all aspects
of data networking from the management and operation of customer
networks and network integration, to network transport and advanced IP
services such as intranets and extranets, virtual private networks, web
hosting and multimedia services. DSG will offer complete, end-to-end
solutions through third party alliances and partnerships it will form
nationally and globally.
About Bell Atlantic
Bell Atlantic is at the forefront of the new communications and
information industry. With 42 million telephone access lines and eight
million wireless customers worldwide, Bell Atlantic companies are
premier providers of advanced wireline voice and data services, market
leaders in wireless services and the world's largest publishers of directory
information. Bell Atlantic companies are also among the world's largest
investors in high-growth global communications markets, with operations
and investments in 23 countries.