Verizon Service Helps French Financial Firm Meet the Need for Speedy Information and Disaster Recovery

NEW YORK - The need to comply with federal laws and regulations targeting corporate integrity and governance, business continuity and consumer privacy is driving the demand for innovative technology solutions. One solution getting a lot of attention is the use of storage area networks (SANs), which enable large businesses to move and store information in remote and protected data centers.

Concerns about these issues were top of mind when CDC IXIS North America (IXIS), a capital markets and financing subsidiary of the French financial institutions Caisse d'Epargne and Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations, recently signed a five-year, multi-million dollar agreement with Verizon to use its newly built Enterprise Advance network for data transport, storage and recovery.

Based on its own audit of storage requirements - from financial records to employee email - IXIS recognized an increasing need for high-speed data delivery to back up servers for "real time" or instant storage. The company worked with Verizon to design a network solution that can support that need today and as its business continues to grow. As a result, a synchronous optical network (SONET) speeds IXIS's critical data between its offices in New York and New Jersey at more than two gigabits per second.

"Time is of the essence in financial services," said Sylvain Pendaries, chief information officer for IXIS's North American subsidiary. "After a thorough vetting process, we chose Verizon with its SONET ring offering as the carrier and platform of choice for the firm's WAN (wide area network) network."

Kieran Long, head of IT communications for the subsidiary, said, "The company gets full redundancy with diversity and access to several central offices. We also chose Verizon for the high reliability of its SONET architecture and for the ability to speed disaster recovery, get back to business and serve our customers. The ring gives us the necessary flexibility to redirect services to alternate sites at the touch of a button."

Verizon's service provides IXIS's North American traders and account managers with instant access to market and portfolio information to make buy and sell decisions and provide immediate service to clients. At the same time, data files flow into IXIS's backup servers at a disaster recovery site. Another dedicated circuit links operations in New York and New Jersey to headquarters in Paris.

Ed McGuinness, senior vice president of marketing for Verizon's Enterprise Solutions Group said, "Today, our customers need instantaneous access to information that helps them maintain their competitive edge, serve their customers reliably, and recover from the most unexpected situations quickly. Optical technologies like enhanced SONET enable us to meet these critical customer needs. With new legislation and regulation on data storage and security, we expect to see tremendous growth in optical networking."

In the event of a disaster involving an IXIS location, the design enables the company to operate from alternate sites. In fact, tests conducted by the company's staff show that performing data backups to the disaster recovery site now take approximately one-third of the time previously required.

According to the Probe Group, an industry research organization, roughly half of large businesses' IT expense goes to data storage. Another telecommunications industry follower, The Yankee Group, predicts that planning for disaster recovery will fuel growth of the SAN market for the next five years. In financial services alone, storage requirements are expected to double from 2003 to 2005 as companies work to achieve compliance with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.

Companies like IXIS in the financial services industry are leading the charge to address what happens to information if disaster hits. Companies like Verizon have stepped up efforts to design services that provide instant backup and recovery using the intelligence of today's advanced optical technology.

Verizon's enhanced dedicated SONET ring solution is increasingly popular. The optical technology combines a highly reliable architecture with the ability to expand and serve new locations at speeds up to roughly 10 gigabits per second. Verizon's expertise in network design and experience in Storage Area Networking has resulted in a surge of optical sales over the past year.

Verizon Enterprise Solutions Group manages the design, operation and maintenance of end-to-end integrated network solutions for large business, government and education customers across the United States. With over 7,200 employees in 35 states, Verizon Enterprise Solutions Group offers a complete range of basic and advanced communications products and services to meet the voice, video, data and IP-related needs of its customers. In addition, over 5,200 field operations personnel support enterprise customers nationwide. In the enterprise market, Verizon Select Services Inc. provides Verizon long-distance service. For more information on products and services available through Verizon Enterprise Solutions Group, visit www.verizon.com/enterprisesolutions.

A Dow 30 company, Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) is one of the world's leading providers of communications services, with approximately $68 billion in annual revenues. Verizon companies are the largest providers of wireline and wireless communications in the United States. Verizon is also the largest directory publisher in the world, as measured by directory titles and circulation. Verizon's international presence includes wireline and wireless communications operations and investments, primarily in the Americas and Europe. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.