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More users are putting ISDN to work and fitting it into their planning.

Leading edge users are beginning to take advantage of ISDN and figure it into their long-range plans.

Business Research Group, in a survey of 250 companies with 1000 or more employees and several multi-user computer systems, found that one in six--17%--is now using ISDN.

Another 12% have plans for ISDN, and 26% are currently evaluating ISDN. That adds up to a 55% interest in ISDN, compared with the 45% who are not interested in it yet.

Of those already using interexchange carrier primary rate ISDN, 41% subscribe to AT&T's ISDN service, with 15% using US Sprint's. Another 12% report using ISDN from their local exchange carrier. MCI's ISDN service will not be widely available until later this year.

ISDN services provide standard access methods to telecomm network services, including 800/900 and WATS. ISDN allows users to reconfigure their mix of such services on a time-of-day or as-needed basis.

By combining information provided over the network with data on their computers and PBXs, users can integrate voice, data, and text communications to create new applications. These applications take advantage of the networks' signaling system and standard ISDN interfaces.

Among the new services possible with ISDN is matching of customer records with telephone calls in help desk, customer support, and telemarketing applications. As the network provides the caller's number to the user's PBX, the switch accesses information from a host database about that number. The relevant information can pop up on an agent's screen at the same time as the telephone rings.

Among ISDN users, the most common switch-computer interface link is Northern Telecom's ISDN/AP. That approach is relied upon by 23% of users. Another 18% use IBM's Callpath 400, 15% use Digital's CIT, and 9% use AT&T's ASAI.

For many users, it has been difficult to determine if implementing ISDN is the right thing to do at this time. With ISDN service tariffs not yet available in all parts of the country, and inconsistent, companies that operate nationwide and worldwide have been hesitant to commit to ISDN.

Adding to the problems, says the BRG report, the regional Bell operating companies have been slow to equip their access lines with ISDN technology. BRG says less than 1% of RBOC access lines had been equipped with ISDN technology by the end of 1990. That figure may only improve to 3% by 1995.

But, concludes BRG, there is a clear user awareness of ISDN and an increasing willingness to deploy ISDN services.
COPYRIGHT 1991 Nelson Publishing
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1991 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:ISDN User Strategies; integrated services digital network
Publication:Communications News
Date:Jul 1, 1991
Previous Article:Bandwidth on demand saves Penneys: ISDN cuts cost of merchandiser's product selection process.
Next Article:Videoconferencing: it's more affordable when you use ISDN.

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