News Release

HP and Cisco Deliver Internet Usage Platform and Billing and Analysis Solutions

New Platform and Solutions Allow ISPs and Carriers to Offer Value-added Services
Apr 28, 1998

PALO ALTO, Calif., and SAN JOSE, Calif., April 28, 1998 -- Hewlett-Packard Company and Cisco Systems, Inc. today announced their Internet Usage Platform and two new Internet solutions that will allow Internet service providers (ISPs) and other large IP network operators to offer new Internet Protocol (IP) services. The new platform provides the ability to accurately extract accounting information from an IP environment for use in various business functions, including billing, marketing, and capacity planning.

MCI will be the first carrier to evaluate this new platform. As a result of the rapid growth of the Internet, and greater demands for new and improved IP services for customers, carriers are looking at ways to maximize cost efficiencies and provide greater value to customers.

Cisco and HP Internet Usage Platform

The Cisco and HP Internet Usage Platform, which integrates with existing network systems and services, is an integrated system that collects, aggregates and correlates - in near real time - subscriber usage data from across the IP network operator's infrastructure. This information is structured into an open, extensible Internet Data Record (IDR). This record format is the foundation for multiple business solutions. Examples of new offerings include multi-tiered subscriber plans as well as such specific services as e-mail, Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) or Web hosting.

Cisco and HP both contribute special technologies to form this versatile platform. Cisco's NetFlow and NetFlow FlowCollector allow accurate IP information gathering from an IP environment. HP's Smart Internet Usage technology collects this information and correlates it to a single user account.

Internet Usage Billing Solution

Internet Usage Billing is a complete, integrated solution that provides IP network operators with the ability to perform near-real-time rating, as well as billing of subscribers' network resources and IP service usage. This information is formatted as IDRs and fed into a billing application such as Portal Software's Infranet, a real-time rating and billing application. Using this solution, ISPs and other network operators can collect usage information and segment, bill for, and manage value-added services more accurately.

Portal's Infranet software is a customer management and billing system that has been designed specifically for the Internet. It unifies the management of all core business operations, including the ability to register, track, manage and bill subscribers. Cap Gemini, one of the world's largest systems-integration and business consultancies, is the first solutions integrator to offer the Internet Usage Billing Solution.

"The Cisco and HP solution gives Internet Service Providers unprecedented capability to capture customer usage information," said Alexandre Haeffner, group vice president, Cap Gemini Telecom & Media.

Internet Usage Analysis Solution

Internet Usage Analysis enables IP network operators to collect and analyze subscriber usage data and integrate it with data from other systems. Access to this information allows IP network operators to plan network growth and service expansion. It also can create new opportunities for customer service, strategic marketing, capacity planning and financial analysis.

"Today, customers are demanding increasingly complex services and solutions from ISPs," said Steve Behm, vice president of Cisco Strategic Alliances. "This solution, designed to help IP operators identify new subscriber communities of interest and focus on customer needs, provides ISPs with the competitive advantage they need to offer new bundled services to the marketplace."

About Hewlett-Packard

HP is the official information-technology hardware and maintenance supplier to the 1998 World Cup soccer tournament. Selected for its technology and skills to support and manage mission-critical applications, HP will help create an information-management infrastructure for handling game-scoring; media centers; personnel accreditation; hotel information; and various ticketing, stadium, warehouse and back-office operations.

Hewlett-Packard Company is a leading global provider of computing, Internet and intranet solutions, services, communications products and measurement solutions, all of which are recognized for excellence in quality and support. It is the second-largest computer supplier in the world, with computer-related revenue in excess of $35.4 billion in its 1997 fiscal year. HP has 123,300 employees and had revenue of $42.9 billion in its 1997 fiscal year.

Cisco Systems

Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO) is the worldwide leader in networking for the Internet.


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