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BT Chooses New SLA Standards

Digital Fuel Technologies Inc. , a startup that sells service-level agreement management software, says BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) has decided to globally standardize its SLA offerings based on its technology. (See BT Selects Digital Fuel and Startup Spotlight: Digital Fuel.)

BT actually already was a customer of Digital Fuel's, but Digital Fuel CEO Yisrael Dancziger feels that this move by BT is "the equivalent of multiple customer wins."

Previously, BT had been using Digital Fuel's SLA management software for only one of its enterprise accounts -- Thomson Reuters . "Recently, because of the growing need for catalogue and SLA solutions and their customers demanding these types of solutions, they have evaluated that this is the single platform they are going to use and will go about standardizing based on our platform," says Dancziger.

Digital Fuel was a $20 million business last year and is hoping to grow by 70 percent this year. Its increased exposure to BT should certainly help.

The move by BT is representative of what has been a movement by carriers to become a one-stop-shop for all types of services. On the enterprise side, carriers have been adding more and more services like video, VPNs, and managed security to their service catalogues. But as the services that the carriers provide become more and more complex, so too does their management and the cost of delivering them.

"In the process of doing this, they are required to manage a complex web of services and dependencies," says Dancziger. "BT is taking a bold and aggressive move towards their customers by standardizing with us."

By standardizing with Digital Fuel's software, BT hopes it can now easily track what services it is delivering to what customers and quickly detect any problems that might arise -- sometimes before they even occur.

"It's about doing things in a repeatable manner to multiple customers. Once our software does something, it builds a template and can repeat it. When you're managing thousands of customers, you don't want to constantly be rebuilding code and script from scratch."

Dancziger and Digital Fuel are hoping that as carrier services become even more complex in the future, customers will further demand SLAs to guarantee that their investment always works. This will in turn increase the demand for his software from carriers to ensure that they can deliver on their promises.

— Raymond McConville, Reporter, Light Reading

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