Printer Friendly


 KANSAS CITY, Mo., Jan. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- SmithKline Beecham (NYSE: SBH), one of the world's largest and most respected pharmaceutical companies, has selected Sprint (NYSE: FON) to begin constructing a global data network using X.25 and frame relay technologies.
 Moreover, the health care giant selected a number of additional Sprint services to enhance its global communications systems. The company is: installing its first "telemedia" application using an automated "800" number system; taking advantage of a unique international FONCARD(SM) for its overseas executives; installing a Global Virtual Private Network to simplify dialing between overseas facilities; making a major commitment toward using Sprint's FONVIEW(SM) invoice management system; and shifting its "800-service" business from AT&T and MCI.
 The changes are part of a decision to expand an expiring basic voice and private line contract to cover all Sprint services worldwide. The new three-year contract is conservatively valued at more than $50 million.
 "SmithKline Beecham has a huge international operation and a global presence," noted Sam Shiels, SmithKline Beecham's Director of Voice and Video. "One of the biggest keys to our decision to go with Sprint was its ability to meet our goals for a custom international FONCARD with billing to handle currency changes, and a global VPN. We want to make it as easy for our executives outside the United States as it is inside the U.S., and Sprint's doing just that."
 "SmithKline Beecham also is constructing a global data network," added Bill Cael, Director of Data, SmithKline Beecham. To pursue that effort, the company has divided the world into thirds, starting with North and South America; then extending to Asia and the Pacific, and then to Europe.
 In North America, Sprint recently turned up the first five nodes for a frame relay network inside the United States, supporting data transmission between various facilities of the SB Consumer Brands Division. Internationally, the first of 17 frame relay nodes for Asia and the Pacific now is operating in Australia. SmithKline Beecham ultimately plans another 34 frame relay nodes in Europe.
 SmithKline Beecham employees outside the United States also had been looking with envy on the customized FONCARD provided by Sprint to SmithKline Beecham's American workers. The company has faced huge telephone markups overseas at most hotels and was searching for a means of slashing those bills while making life easier for its employees. It also had grown tired of contending with fluctuating foreign currencies.
 Working with American Express, Sprint has developed for the first time an agreement that allows SmithKline Beecham executives outside the United States to receive their long-distance bills on their American Express statements. Thus, American Express handles currency conversions and SmithKline Beecham executives still receive the discounted rates negotiated in the master Sprint contract.
 SmithKline Beecham expects to roll the new card out to roughly 2,000 international users within the next few months. The company has some 5,000 FONCARDS in the hands of U.S. employees.
 Also on the international front, Sprint is extending a Global Virtual Private Network for SmithKline Beecham, to Japan, Australia and the United Kingdom. SmithKline Beecham facilities in these countries now have a seven-digit identifying number assigned to them and with the GVPN, employees in one of these countries can easily dial a colleague in another with just those seven digits.
 Within the United States, Sprint has been using its X.25 network to support a call-in system for Consumer Brands salespeople equipped with portable computers. The same X.25 network is being turned on for similar purposes overseas, primarily by the SB Pharmaceuticals and SB Clinical Laboratories Divisions.
 On the telemedia front, SmithKline Beecham plans a special trial early this year for its SB Animal Health Division. The trial, to be staged in Texas and Florida, will automatically connect callers to the participating veterinarian located closest to their home. The company anticipates rolling the service out nationally later in the year.
 Consumers with pets will be given an "800" number that will be tied by Sprint to an automated telemedia system. The system, in turn, will identify the caller's location and compare it to a computerized data bank of veterinarians using SmithKline Beecham products across the United States. Then, if the caller wishes, the system will automatically transfer the call to the nearest one.
 SmithKline Beecham further decided to take advantage of what's known as "800 portability" to shift all of its 800-service business from AT&T and MCI to Sprint. Before portability -- a federally mandated option that allows businesses to move their 800 service to other carriers without giving up their phone numbers -- SmithKline Beecham was locked in to the carriers that controlled certain key numbers.
 "Once that artificial market constraint was removed, we were able to compare all the carriers on the same footing and we chose Sprint," said Larry Lake, Vice President and Director of Telecommunications at SmithKline Beecham. "Our overall telecom shopping list was rather long, but international and 800 were key issues. Sprint addressed both of them and really came through for us."
 "SmithKline Beecham truly is a multinational concern with unique and numerous requirements," said Kevin E. Brauer, President of Sprint's Business Market Group. "And it's not easy to satisfy all of them. But the employees of Sprint pride themselves on devising real solutions and making them happen, and that's what we're doing here. Our capabilities obviously are reflected in the level of trust that SmithKline Beecham is putting in us now."
 Beyond the various voice and data components of the new contract, several large parts of SmithKline Beecham also have adopted FONVIEW to better manage and analyze their spending on telecommunications. FONVIEW, which makes it possible for the monthly bill to be delivered on a floppy disk or compact disk, extends to SmithKline Beecham's telecommunications managers the capability to easily analyze or segregate phone and FONCARD charges using their own personal computers.
 FONVIEW is being widely deployed within SB's Clinical Laboratories Division and has received rave reviews.
 The Clinical Laboratories Division, meantime, which processes millions of laboratory tests for physicians around the nation every year, is relying on a Sprint private line network to transmit lab results and other pertinent data between its facilities and to hospitals and doctors around the nation.
 The new three-year contract also covers SmithKline Beecham's audioconferencing and videoconferencing requirements.
 SmithKline Beecham, headquartered in Brentford, England, is one of the world's leading health care companies with revenues of more than $9 billion. The company's principal activities are the discovery, development, manufacture and marketing of both human and animal pharmaceuticals, over-the-counter medicines, health-related consumers and clinical laboratory testing services.
 Sprint is a diversified international telecommunications company with more than $10 billion in annual revenues and the United States' only nationwide all-digital, fiber-optic network. Its divisions provide global long distance voice, data and video products and services; local telephone services to more than 6 million subscribers in 19 states, and cellular services to 42 major metropolitan areas and more than 50 rural service areas.
 -0- 1/18/94
 /CONTACTS: Norman Black, 404-859-6096 or, home, 404-578-0679, or Rick Johnson, 404-859-6095 or, home, 404-421-8820, both of Sprint/

CO: Sprint; SmithKline Beecham ST: Missouri IN: TLS MTC SU:

DT-IH -- DC004 -- 2616 01/18/94 09:44 EST
COPYRIGHT 1994 PR Newswire Association LLC
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1994 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 18, 1994

Terms of use | Copyright © 2017 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters