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Equant, Others Add Archiving

Equant (NYSE: ENT; Paris: EQU) is the latest of several companies aiming to capitalize on organizations' growing demand for help with archiving.

The business services provider announced this week that it's enlisted Kahn Consulting Inc., an Illinois-based firm specializing in legal advice about data archiving, in order to offer service to business customers worldwide.

Using Centera storage systems from EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC) -- chosen for its support of Microsoft Exchange -- Equant plans to help customers plan their archiving strategies, then put them into practice on the carrier's facilities. "Our approach is assess, design, implement, and manage," says Andy Earley, director of IT services at Equant.

For the service, Equant's taking the role of application service provider (ASP), offering three primary sites for archiving email, in Sydney, Australia; Rennes, France; and Atlanta, U.S.A. There are a series of four secondary backup sites at undisclosed locations.

Presently, Equant's offering each customer its own dedicated storage system on the network. But by the first part of 2005, Earley says, Equant will have a fully secure, shared environment as well. It's not clear exactly how that will affect pricing, but it should help a bit. Right now, Earley says Equant's got a range of proposals out to customers, ranging from $20,000 to $200,000, per month, depending on what services and facilities are required.

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