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ADVANTIS ANNOUNCES PORTFOLIO OF SERVICES

 TAMPA, Fla., Feb. 2 /PRNewswire/ -- Advantis(A) today announced the portfolio of services it will offer to assist customers in meeting their business objectives.
 The announcement launches Custom Network Solutions and introduces the converged value-added network services previously offered by the IBM(B) Information Network and Sears Communications Company. Custom Network Solutions addresses network implementation for corporate managed networks, regardless of hardware, protocol or transmission medium, and associated professional services.
 "Our customers have discovered they can no longer meet the challenges of rapidly changing business processes and technology on their own," said Syd N. Heaton, Advantis chairman and CEO. "These pressures, combined with the globalization of business, are causing companies to seek innovative networking solutions. Our strategy is to provide these solutions by using leading-edge technology and the skills of Advantis' networking experts."
 Customers need access to higher bandwidth as applications continue to migrate from the mainframe to LANs and the desktop. Advantis is exploring various options to support these requirements, including an asynchronous transfer mode (ATM)-based network; frame relay and switched multi-megabit data service (SMDS) technology; support of wireless technology; and extension of network management capabilities beyond the network to the desktop.
 Also announced today, LAN internetworking solutions address specific requirements for LAN-to-LAN communication and client-server processing. LAN internetworking solutions support a variety of protocols and high- speed, point-to-point protocol routers from a variety of manufacturers, and are available on a special request basis.
 Advantis services are designed to provide a complete range of networking solutions. The services fulfill customer requirements that range from custom networking solutions to value-added services. Advantis services are divided into five categories: Custom Network Solutions, Network Services, Messaging Services, Capacity Services and Information Services.
 Highlights
 Advantis Custom Network Solutions provides networking solutions tailored to specific customer requirements through a variety of outsourcing options for businesses small or large. Custom Network Solutions includes custom managed networks and network implementation services:
 -- Custom managed networks: services including installation,
 operation and ongoing management of network hardware, software
 and bandwidth for data, voice and video networks
 -- Network implementation services: advice, guidance and hands-on
 assistance in telecommunications, including long- and short-range
 planning, integration and project management.
 Advantis Network Services provides customers with a variety of connectivity options for the applications they need to access. Network Services includes connection services, networking software and International Network Services:
 -- Connection services: leased line or dial access to the Advantis
 value-added network
 -- Networking software: leading-edge terminal emulation software
 -- International Network Services: planning, installation and
 management of network connections for users around the world
 offered through affiliates and other service providers.
 Advantis Messaging Services provides customers with several services that make doing business electronically easy. Messaging Services includes electronic mail, electronic data interchange (EDI) and an interactive bulletin board facility:
 -- Electronic mail: Mail Exchange, an E-mail service designed to
 extend the reach of companies' internal mail services; IBM Mail
 LAN Gateway/2, developed to provide communication between
 selected E-mail platforms operating on LAN-based or host-based
 systems; and enabling services
 -- EDI services: Data Exchange Services, a portfolio of EDI
 translation and management software operating on a variety of
 platforms ranging from PC to mainframes; consulting services in
 strategic direction, planning and design, implementation, skills
 transfer and education; and trading partner enabling
 -- Information Exchange: an offering that provides customer access
 to a mailbox used for sending files and other free-formatted data
 -- Bulletin board facility: SHOWBBS, a bulletin board application designed for service providers that want to offer an online, interactive communication option to their customers.
 Advantis also is announcing today its continued support of open systems through its intent to provide X.400 EDI service. To support the standard, Advantis will provide a bridge from Information Exchange to X.400, enhance existing interconnections with other EDI service providers to accommodate X.400 transactions, and provide a transport that will enable user-to-user X.400 EDI.
 Advantis and Texas Instruments have signed an agreement for the joint marketing of EDI Gateway, a Texas Instruments product for mainframe systems that enables communication between a variety of EDI systems and provides for the storage of inbound and outbound EDI transactions. EDI Gateway extends the reach of customers' host-based systems by enabling direct communication to the Advantis network, other value-added networks or trading partners that are not connected to an EDI service provider.
 Advantis Capacity Services provides a variety of time-share services using IBM software and mainframe computing power. Capacity Services includes Remote Computing Services, Shared Capacity Services and the Dedicated Processor Custom Offering:
 -- Remote Computing Services: a wide range of VM and MVS software
 products are available for use in application development,
 testing and production on an as-used basis
 -- Shared Capacity Services: similar software product and computing
 resources as Remote Computing Services designed for large-scale,
 long-term projects
 -- Dedicated Processor Custom Offering: designed for companies with
 outsourcing requirements that cannot be addressed with
 traditional time-share options; offers the customer flexibility
 and control.
 Advantis Information Services gives customers access to commercial databases, IBMLink(B), Software Mall and Remote Screen Viewing Services Facility (RSVSF).
 -- Commercial databases: industry-specific services, bulletin
 boards and electronic catalogs offered by Third-Party Providers
 -- IBMLink: IBM's electronic support facility
 -- Software Mall: a collection of electronic stores operated and
 maintained by individual software vendors
 -- RSVSF: a productivity tool that allows multiple users to view an
 IBM software application being operated by another user.
 Custom Network Solutions, LAN internetworking solutions, Shared Capacity Services and the Dedicated Processor Custom Offering are available on a special request basis.
 Advantis, a networking technology company, provides an unequaled spectrum of network offerings. The company, a partnership formed by IBM, through its wholly owned subsidiary Integrated Systems Solutions Corporation (ISSC) and Sears, Roebuck and Co. was announced in August 1992 and began operation Dec. 1, 1992. Advantis is headquartered in Schaumburg, Ill., a suburb northwest of Chicago.
 (A) -- Advantis is a trademark of Advantis.
 (B) -- IBM is a registered trademark and IBMLink is a trademark of
 the International Business Machines Corporation.
 -0- 2/2/93
 /CONTACT: Linda Wizner of Advantis, 813-878-5472/


CO: Advantis ST: Illinois, Florida IN: CPR SU:

AW-JB -- FL002 -- 1717 02/02/93 10:00 EST
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Date:Feb 2, 1993
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