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IP Networks Prove Integral to Successful Global Collaboration


75 Percent of Firms Plan to Increase Collaborative Relationships With Overseas Third Parties, According to Research Released Today

San Antonio, Texas.-London, UK — AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) has announced that, according to the results of a survey from the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) conducted for AT&T, global Internet Protocol (IP) networks are integral to promoting successful collaborative relationships and are a key to doing business globally.

The worldwide survey of 497 senior executives reveals that 75 percent of firms plan to increase the number of collaborative relationships they hold with third parties overseas in order to bring greater economies, talent and efficiencies to their operations. The main role IP networks will play in supporting collaboration will be to enable the secure sharing of information among partners, according to more than a quarter of surveyed executives. More specifically, firms look to IP networks to foster collaborative online work on project documents by dispersed teams.

The survey also reveals that firms are deploying an entire range of tools to communicate with overseas partners, rating Web conferencing and video conferencing as the most promising of multiple technologies that will help collaborative relationships succeed. Other technologies — including mobile IP applications and social networking tools — are also being explored in order to forge better links with partners.

“Collaboration among partners involves more than the simple exchange of goods, services and money,” says Lloyd Salvage, AT&T vice president for Global Segment Marketing.

“Relationships can include R&D partnerships with niche specialists, cross-border design engineering, international sales and marketing alliances, and even customer-supplier teamwork,” said Salvage. “Today’s forms of collaboration essentially make the partner an extension of your firm and businesses have only scratched the surface of the flexibility and resourcefulness that IP networks can bring to global partnerships.”

The survey also reveals that the human factor is viewed as a fundamental part to making collaboration work. Almost half of survey respondents agree that the skills of personnel assigned to a partnership are vital to its success. Employees managing alliances need to be versatile and mindful of factors beyond the immediate project objectives. They not only need to keep an eye on the safety of the company’s intellectual property, but also gauge when the team needs to meet face to face, whether tools are being used effectively and whether cultural misunderstandings are waylaying the process.


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