MCI WorldCom: "It's not an age, it's an attitude"
Turner -May 10, 2000
According to President and Chief Executive Officer Bernard J. Ebbers,
"MCI WorldCom is fundamentally shifting its corporate strategy, business
initiatives, product focus and sales practices to expand its leadership
position beyond high-growth, high-speed data and Internet services," Ebbers
said. "The company is announcing a sweeping initiative to extend the network
and transport services MCI WorldCom is so well known for to include a
broad range of value added services to facilitate e-commerce and e-business."
move leverages MCI WorldCom's global network assets, experience in data
communications and Internet operations, as well as 77,000 employees.
company unveiled its vision for providing a range of services for both
emerging and established "e-companies," and existing brick-and-mortar
companies who are adding "e" capabilities to become "click-and-mortar"
services are part of five core service sets, which include network and
access, hosting, an e-business "toolkit," turnkey web solutions, and custom
web solutions. The initiative builds upon the Internet transport and access
capabilities provided by its UUNET business unit.
differentiating MCI WorldCom's approach is an e-business toolkit, which
enables its customers to choose carrier-class components to build their
e-services. These tools include directory services, security/certificate
services, voice browsing, prepaid access alternatives, and support for
delivering third-party applications.
WorldCom is leveraging its call center services experience to create a
broad range of capabilities to establish "web centers" and to turn existing
call centers into web-enabled communications centers.
There are literally hundreds of companies that provide various pieces
of the puzzle that businesses need to become "e-companies." Dozens of
companies offer hosting and/or web site creation services. Others provide
a turnkey e-business creation environment. While still many others furnish,
to varying degrees, customized solutions or key components that customers
can use to build their own solutions.
MCI WorldCom's strategy is to provide a soup-to-nuts range of services
- from network and access services to hosting and site creation services
- for small businesses to global multinational corporations.
part of the corporate-wide effort, MCI WorldCom is launching a national
advertising campaign focusing on new types of customers, entrepreneurial
companies, and MCI WorldCom employees - "generation d" - all of whom are
driving today's new digital economy. A main theme of the campaign - "generation
d, it's not an age, it's an attitude" - will be incorporated in broadcast,
print, and on-line media.
marks an interesting direction for MCI. Competitor AT&T has launched its
"Ecosystem" in an effort to provide service and infrastructure support
to companies embracing the application service provider model. Having
built an impressive array of partners, AT&T is leveraging its technological
resources and established brand to support clients. MCI has chosen a slightly
different track as it hopes to provide network /access solutions, as well
as customized, turnkey e-business solutions.
The announcement is chock full of potential but short on substance. MCI
WorldCom has unveiled the "vision" but has not described the path or methodology
to achieve these new value added services.
they partner? If so, with who? When will this vision become a reality?
What will make their services better than those of smaller companies?
Exactly how will they provide the "soup to nuts" solution, and will it
be all things to all people? More details are needed.
An additional consideration is the approval and execution of the Sprint
merger. With services in more than 65 countries, it is not difficult to
imagine the merger will require time, resources and mind-share to be successful.
Perhaps with MCI's top down vision, coupled with strong marketing and
an even stronger implementation and support mechanism, they will achieve
the "attitude" required to become the full service provider Mr. Ebbers