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BELL ATLANTIC AND AMERITECH WORK WITH UNIFI COMMUNICATIONS TO DEMONSTRATE FIRST DISTRIBUTED CALL SYSTEM BASED ON ISDN

 BELL ATLANTIC AND AMERITECH WORK WITH UNIFI COMMUNICATIONS
 TO DEMONSTRATE FIRST DISTRIBUTED CALL SYSTEM BASED ON ISDN
 ARLINGTON, Va., May 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Imagine walking into your local computer software store and finding among the rows of spread sheet, word processing and project management packages a shrink- wrapped box of software labeled "private phone system" which you can use with a personal computer to design your own customized telephone service.
 The viability of such a scenario, which would fulfill one of the promises of Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) technology, was recently demonstrated by Bell Atlantic and Ameritech. The two companies illustrated how a customer could establish a call distribution system that used local and long distance public switched networks to link offices hundreds of miles apart.
 "Technicians at Chesapeake and Potomac Telephone serving Washington, D.C. (a Bell Atlantic company), loaded Unifi Communications' PhoneServer and Distributed Call Center software into an ISDN equipped IBM PS/2 computer, and within minutes they were working in a Windows-type environment, setting up the logic for the system," said John Seazholtz, Bell Atlantic vice president of technology planning.
 "The C&P workers coordinated with technicians at Ameritech in Chicago who were working with a similar computer set-up, and in less than two hours they had established and tested software that automatically forwarded incoming 800 number calls to Washington or Chicago, using interexchange carrier facilities, depending on the time of day and availability of agents," said Seazholtz.
 Unifi's software allowed the computers in Washington and Chicago to remain in constant contact using the signalling, or "D" channel, capability of ISDN. Messages about the status of customer service agents were silently forwarded from one computer to another over a combination of ISDN circuits and local (X.25) and long distance (X.75) packet data networks, without ever placing an actual call. Armed with this intelligence, the Chicago computer worked as a Distributed Call Center, forwarding 800 number calls from Chicago to Washington when needed.
 The Unifi software that was demonstrated showed how ISDN enables computers and telecommunications to be closely integrated, and it may help inspire the development of a host of new PC software-based services and telecommunications products that are affordable by broad, new markets.
 Large businesses will be able to use ISDN to make outlying locations and employees' homes part of their private company phone systems. Small businesses may be able to band together to share resources and present the face of a larger company to the general public. By linking their phone application to a calender program, companies could develop a "follow-me" application that would forward calls according to a person's whereabouts.
 It is even possible that such applications will penetrate consumer markets. A number of siblings, for instance, might want to set up a "private" phone system that enables them to better stay in touch by dialing only four digits or by taking advantage of calendar programs to develop "follow-me" applications.
 "Here, at last, is one of the 'ISDN payback applications' for which industry pundits have long been waiting," said Bob Pokress, Unifi's president and chief executive officer. "Unifi PhoneServer software takes advantage for the first time of the peer-to-peer computer communications capability of ISDN, and it will produce not one, but many payback applications that over time will change how people think about and implement communications systems."
 "The demonstration of Unifi's software application provides a dramatic example of the powerful transcontinental communications potential that will be offered to businesses and consumers when standardized, nationwide ISDN is deployed in the next couple of years," said William Flood, director of technical planning for the Ameritech Bell companies.
 National ISDN-1 is the symbol of a movement by the nation's local telephone companies, interexchange carriers and equipment and software developers to set uniform ISDN specifications and to speed the deployment of ISDN services nationwide. A demonstration of the National ISDN-1 network, called "Transcontinental ISDN Project," or "TRIP '92," is scheduled for November 1992. By December 1994, more than half of the nation's telephone customers will be able to order ISDN service.
 Founded in 1989, Unifi Communications Corporation develops software-based telecommunications systems that run on open, general purpose computers and allow users to unlock and control the power and intelligence of the public phone network. The company has received more than $11 million in financing from some of the most successful venture capital firms and major corporations.
 Ameritech (NYSE: AIT) is the Chicago-based parent of Bell companies serving Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin, as well as several other information-related subsidiaries, both foreign and domestic, providing mobile communications, directory publishing, audiotex services, systems integration, lease financing and voice messaging.
 Bell Atlantic Corporation (NYSE: BEL), based in Philadelphia, is the parent company of New Jersey Bell, Bell of Pennsylvania, Diamond State Telephone (Delaware), and the Chesapeake and Potomac Telephone companies of Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and Washington, D.C.
 Bell Atlantic is also the parent of companies that provide wireless communications, business systems services and software services and financial services, throughout the United States and internationally. In addition, Bell Atlantic International offers network services and consulting to telephone authorities throughout the world, and in conjunction with Ameritech, owns a majority interest in Telecom Corporation of New Zealand.
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 /NOTE: PhoneServer and Distributed Call Center are trademarks of Unifi Communications Corporation. PS/2 is a trademark of IBM Corporation. Windows is a trademark of Microsoft Corporation./
 /CONTACT: Nancy Murray of Bell Atlantic, 703-974-1719/
 (AIT BEL) CO: Bell Atlantic; Ameritech; Unifi Communications Corporation ST: Virginia IN: TLS SU:


MH -- DC019 -- 9136 05/12/92 12:34 EDT
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Date:May 12, 1992
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