Fred Briggs: MCI's CTO shifts the company's playing field

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Briggs: Well, part of that is just Bernie's style. This 'generation d' push is a very big shift, and he is trying to telegraph the message that we are a different company. Clearly, we have great telecom capabilities, but we have made a decision to fundamentally shift the types of products we focus on as we go further into this e-commerce space.

InfoWorld: In the unveiling of 'generation d' there were several references to VOIP technology. How does that fit into this broader picture we are talking about?

Briggs: VOIP technology is going to become a significant part of infrastructure in our company as well as in our e-commerce customers. I see it breaking down into two pieces. One is what I would call IP software and VOIP solutions, and the other is multiservice networks using ATM, frame relay, and IP for voice and video.

InfoWorld: What do you foresee in terms of bandwidth growth and demand?

Briggs: I think demand will continue to grow by about 800 percent per year. If you extrapolate that into the broadband environment, by 2003 we will be adding the equivalent of today's entire network every day to keep up with growth. If you look at what will be required to support the $7 trillion e-commerce marketplace, it is staggering and exciting at the same time.

InfoWorld: Central to the 'generation d' announcement was the inclusion of an e-business toolkit. Would you explain some of the functionalities contained in that effort and give us some signals as to what services we can expect?

Briggs: With the toolkit, we are going to roll out a pretty comprehensive set of services over the next six to seven months. We will be delivering functionality that will let businesses quickly deploy operations to the Web.

The toolkit will be made up of microservices used in things like transaction processing and building an e-commerce infrastructure. The next step is customized solutions and a broader set of e-commerce tools.

Looking out, I also see the advent of intelligent IP devices built around SIP [Session Initiation Protocol], which will allow us to offer a whole new layer of services for intelligent devices. I'm also expecting a whole new range of solutions for customer service and interactive centers that integrate voice, e-mail, chat, paging, and pushing information to customers.

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