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 MINNEAPOLIS, March 31 /PRNewswire/ -- Enclosed are a news release and backgrounder on the implementation of a corporate data network backbone by Telecom Australia. The news release and backgrounder are dated March 19, 1993, but have not been distributed in the United States.
 Significant aspects of the agreement include:
 -- Backbone implementation will provide very significant savings -- approximately $50 million per year in internal communications expenses. Cost reduction is a very critical issue for Telecom Australia, since like its telecommunications company counterparts in the United States, the company has had to move from a monopoly position into a highly competitive global business environment.
 -- The company chose Network Systems Corporation's 6000 Series routers for its data network backbone following an evaluation that also included routers from the other three leading vendors.
 -- One reason for the selection of NSC's routers is that their RISC- based architecture supports Novell's IPX protocol. While this protocol was not designed with such a large network in mind, it is readily handled by the distributed architecture of NSC's routers, which splits up processing of the protocol into different locations in the router.
 -- Another factor in the selection was the fact that NSC's routers have a feature that no other vendor can offer -- direct channel attachment.
 Gartner Group's Local Area Communications program director, Dick Boyle, would be glad to provide perspective on the features and capabilities of the leading router vendors' products in regard to Novell IPX support, IBM internetworking, heterogeneity and other demands of large data networks such as Telecom Australia's. His number is 203-975-6438.
 Other contact information can be found in the news release and backgrounder.

Company is Building One Of The World's Largest TCP-IP/IPX Networks in a Bid to Rationalize Data Communications Costs. Based on Routers Supplied and Installed by Network Systems Corporation and Techway, the Network is
 Expected to Save Up to $50 Million a Year.
 AUSTRALIA, March 19 -- Telecom Australia aims to slash its internal communications costs by up to $50 million a year with the implementation of its Corporate Data Network-Backbone (CDN-B), the corporation announced today.
 Signing a partnership agreement with suppliers for the network, the general manager of networks for Telecom's Information Technology Group (ITG), Doug Crocket, said the network would provide lasting operational improvements for the corporation, in addition to efficiency gains.
 "The CDN-B is the fundamental 'glue' product for Telecom, which will provide the corporation with universal access from any terminal to any network resource or application. This in turn will reduce Telecom's cost structure and enable its employees direct access to relevant information to improve customer service. Telecom's customer service representatives will be able to provide a speedier and more relevant service."
 Crocket said the partnership agreement is part of a new philosophy in Telecom's view of its relationship with suppliers: "In an effort to increase the quality of our work for Telecom, we are working more closely with suppliers to develop sophisticated solutions which ensure that technology meets business needs."
 This cutting-edge network will be accessed by tens of thousands of Telecom users who require daily access to a network made up of 25,000 PCs, 15,000 host-based terminals, 500 UNIX workstations, and over 1,200 Novell servers accessing 26 IBM mainframe domains. The CDN-B will form one of the world's most effective, state-of-the-art enterprise-wide networks.
 Up until recently, Telecom's internal information technology requirements in the Wide Area Network (WAN) had been met by a variety of computing hardware platforms, operating systems, database environments and data communication networks. There was a lack of centralized control and operating standards.
 Growing industry competition and a more business-focused approach within the organization meant that 26 WANs had to be rationalized into one network, enabling any employee anywhere to access information wherever it might be residing.
 The CDN-B has been planned to enable users to have LAN-to-host and LAN-to-LAN accessibility throughout the network. It forms part of Telecom's Overall Systems Architecture (OSA), which provides a framework for the development and delivery of information systems within Telecom.
 Mariyon Skreblin, national manager, Data Networks, said, "The primary aim of the CDN-B is to allow connectivity from any local area network within Telecom to any corporate computing resource. It does not invalidate existing data communications and processing technologies, but rather is complementary in nature."
 The network is centrally planned, centrally managed and standardized in order to achieve maximum integration and efficiency. Most important for Telecom, it is highly scalable to run mission-critical applications, and will allow the organization to grow the backbone network consistent with internal traffic requirements.
 "Prior to the implementation of the backbone network, we spoke with a number of suppliers on the basis of some very fundamental criteria," said Skreblin. "We needed to see a proven track record on the internetworking technology itself, as well as the vendor's experience in handling large-scale projects.
 "We also looked at the style of protocols and the technology solutions for IP and IPX. In the long term, the CDN-B had to be able to respond to any requirements that arose from our own internal customer divisions at any time.
 "We had worked with Techway and Network Systems (NASDAQ: NSCO) since 1984, establishing a platform to connect disparate hosts and sites. Techway had project-managed the implementation of a HyperChannel-based network."
 Network Systems Series 6000 DX routers were selected by Telecom's ITG Group as the basis for the CDN-B in order to provide a platform with a wide range of standards-based interfaces for different media, host connections and protocols.
 Construction of the network began in July 1991 and it currently comprises a mesh of high-speed interstate data links between high- performance router nodes which provide connection for clients and corporate resources in that region. Techway has installed over 200 routers to date. These allow the CDN-B to respond to any requirements that arise from customer divisions at any time within the organization.
 The large number of LANs dictates the need for the network to conform to various standards. Telecom's Standard Operating Environment (SOE) defines the software, hardware and communications standards necessary to support the network. By restricting the number of brands of equipment, support and training costs are minimized and application portability enhanced.
 This migration to standards will provide Telecom with the flexibility to interconnect the best technologies to all the existing platforms. It also meets the important objective of network rationalization, as bandwidth can be shared among several different application systems.
 "Our targets were far reaching," said Michael Middleton, general manager, Techway Networks. "The priority was to work in partnership with Telecom Australia's ITG Group to design, build and support the CDN-B to meet all of Telecom's internal networking needs. Techway has developed a core competence over the years in building computer networks for Australia's largest organizations. The CDN-B is a world class, mission-critical production network. We have the capability and flexibility to act in partnership with an organization like Telecom with the backing of one of the world's leading internetworking companies, Network Systems.
 "Our partnership with Network Systems, which has unmatched experience in computer networking and internetworking, has developed over 14 years and has provided us with a local team with unrivaled capabilities for meeting the requirements of the largest, most vital information technology organizations in our part of the world."
 Network Systems, based in Minneapolis, provides industry-leading networking solutions that integrate the host-based and LAN-based environments.
 Techway Networks provides organizations with a wide range of internetworking and channel networking solutions, with applications such as multi-site rationalization, remote device support, networked storage support, disaster recovery and avoidance, multi-vendor connectivity, and high-speed transfer of data over large distances.
 -0- 3/31/93
 /CONTACT: Mark Wolff, communications manager of Australia Telecom, 03-6342814; Don Flanagan, director of communications, 612-424-1555 or Tony Speilman, internetworking manager, 510-440-2138, both of Network Systems; or David Bass, marketing directions, Techway, 02-9594544/

CO: Network Systems Corporation; Australia Telecom, Techway Networks ST: Minnesota IN: CPR SU:

AL -- MN012 -- 1754 03/31/93 18:04 EST
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