Paper manufacturer Norske Skog selects Equant to provide fully managed IP VPN services

December 2, 2003

2 Min Read

WASHINGTON -- Equant (NYSE: ENT) (Euronext Paris: EQU), a recognized industry leader in global data and IP services for multinational businesses, has signed a $3 million deal to provide Norske Skog fully managed IP VPN and Private Dial remote access services.

Norske Skog is the world's second largest manufacturer of publication paper, with 23 wholly- and partly-owned paper mills in 15 countries on five continents. The company decided to use Equant's IP VPN solution as part of an extensive restructuring program. Faced with economic difficulties in the paper industry, Norske Skog has implemented a radical cost reduction plan called Improvement 2003. During 2004, the program is projected to save $282.6 million (NOK 2 billion), and according to Norske Skog's calculations, Equant's network solution will generate a 25 percent reduction in the company's telecommunications budget.

"This agreement makes Equant a strategic business partner that enables us to easily carry out future market expansion," said Lars Nestaas, senior advisor Communications, Norske Skog IT. "We chose Equant because it offers the best geographic coverage, best service portfolio and best service management organization. Equant is also the supplier with the widest presence in the Asia-Pacific region."

As part of the Improvement 2003 program, Norske Skog focused strongly on its IT systems, which serve 4,900 users at 36 locations in more than 18 countries. It chose to outsource to Equant the management of its corporate network, which is shared by the whole company on a global basis. The managed service agreement allows Norske Skog to leverage Equant's seamless network in 220 countries and territories and its local support in 165-plus countries. Equant will also monitor the Norske Skog IP VPN network around the clock and provide consistently high quality of service - an important requirement because many of the company's offices are in remote countries where the incumbent carriers often deliver poor service.

"We are happy to welcome Norske Skog and its 4,900 employees to our fast-growing IP VPN family," said Detlef Spang, Equant's senior vice president, Sales and Marketing, Europe, Middle East and Africa. "Norske Skog employees will be able to securely log on to the company's network from virtually anywhere in the world, including when they are travelling abroad or working from home. Of special importance to a company like Norske Skog that is expanding its operations, new services and applications may be easily added to this flexible IP VPN solution."


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