Bell and Cisco to deliver enhanced Managed Services to Canadian business, create a Network of Knowledge Centres

    TORONTO, Ontario, Feb. 19 /CNW Telbec/ - Bell Canada and Cisco Systems
Canada Co. today announced they are partnering to accelerate a number of
strategic initiatives designed to develop and deliver a range of IP-based
Managed Services to Canadian businesses, including unified communications,
voice, wireless, IP contact centre and security.
    The two companies have forged the initiatives in response to a growing
trend by businesses to embrace managed services and the productivity benefits
of these technologies, while reducing capital and infrastructure management
costs. Companies can quickly benefit from the integration of solutions,
applications, simpler provisioning and management of telecommunications
infrastructure, greater self service capabilities and multimedia Internet
IP-based communications.
    These strategic initiatives build on the companies' 2004 commitment to
building out the capacity and resiliency of Bell's core network, in order to
manage the increasing IP-based requirements of Bell enterprise customers. Bell
has made ongoing investments in network infrastructure, including the Cisco
Carrier Routing System (CRS-1), and now has the largest team of Cisco
certified experts in the country. Today, Bell and Cisco are recommitting to
providing the solutions, resources and programs needed to address the growing
market requirements for IP managed service-based solutions.
    "As the transition to IP continues to escalate, businesses are finding it
challenging to keep pace with increasingly complex infrastructure management
demands," said Stéphane Boisvert, President, Enterprise Group, Bell Canada.
"Businesses are looking to drive the most effective ROI from their IP network
investments and Bell's suite of Managed and Outsourced Services can help
optimize ICT capital investment while reducing risk and capital cost."
    "Today's announcement marks an important next step in Bell and Cisco's
shared vision to provide Canadian businesses with the significant benefits of
IP-based network services," said Terry Walsh, president, Cisco Canada. "Bell
has demonstrated its commitment to delivering leading-edge managed services
through the expansion of its national core network, its achievement of Cisco
Unified Communications and Master Security Certifications, and its unique
approach to training the IT staff of tomorrow."

    Knowledge centres to address the ICT talent gap

    The initiatives also include the creation of two Knowledge Centres in the
cities of Montréal and Toronto. These centres are scheduled to open in the
second and third quarters of 2008, enabling both companies to collaborate more
effectively in training and specialist certification and provide an
environment to encourage recruitment.
    The Knowledge Centres will have the latest technology to accelerate
knowledge transfer, promote the learning of new solutions, and provide
certification information and applied training programs. Bell currently has
more than 750 Cisco certified specialists. This critical mass of certified
professionals provides significant advantages for Bell customers relating to
installation, support and after-sale service.
    Moreover, the Knowledge Centres will be used jointly by Bell and Cisco to
stimulate recruitment, offering internships to university and college
students. This initiative is mission critical, given the shortage of qualified
resources that currently prevails in the ICT sector.
    "This project is perfectly in line with our joint intention of offering
the best talent to our customers," said Boisvert. "The creation of the
Knowledge Centres with an industry leader like Cisco is a fine example of the
synergy that can be developed by two market leaders. In the end, it is our
customers who will gain the greatest benefit, as well as the employees, who
will have a training facility that is the most advanced in Canada."

    About Bell

    Bell is Canada's largest communications company, providing consumers with
solutions to all their communications needs, including telephone services,
wireless communications, high-speed Internet, digital television and voice
over IP. Bell also offers integrated information and communications technology
(ICT) services to businesses and governments, and is the Virtual Chief
Information Officer (VCIO) to small and medium businesses (SMBs). Bell is
proud to be a Premier National Partner and the exclusive Telecommunications
Partner to the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. Bell is
wholly owned by BCE Inc. For information on Bell's products and services,
please visit For corporate information on BCE, please visit

    About Cisco

    Cisco, (NASDAQ:   CSCO), is the worldwide leader in networking that
transforms how people connect, communicate and collaborate. Information about
Cisco can be found at For ongoing news, please go to


    Certain statements made in this press release by Bell Canada are
forward-looking and are subject to important risks, uncertainties and
assumptions. The results or events predicted in these statements may differ
materially from actual results or events. Factors which could cause results or
events to differ materially from current expectations include, among other
things: the ability to anticipate, and respond to, changes in technology and
industry standards and migrate to and deploy new technologies and rapidly
offer new products and services (such as an integrated suite of IP data, voice
and video services) and achieve market acceptance thereof; the level of demand
by the business sector, and prices, for products and services; general
economic and market conditions; the impact of rapid technological and market
changes; the uncertainties of the Internet; the availability and cost of
capital required to fund capital expenditures; the impact of adverse changes
in laws or regulations or of adverse regulatory initiatives or proceedings,
including further decisions by the CRTC affecting our ability to compete
effectively with current and new competitors; the intensity of competitive
activity from both traditional and new competitors, including cross-platform
competition, which is anticipated to intensify following the introduction of
new technologies such as Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), and its
resulting impact on the ability to retain existing, and attract new,
customers, and on pricing strategies and financial results; and the ability of
our plans and strategies to produce the expected benefits and growth
prospects. For additional information with respect to certain of these and
other factors, refer to the Safe Harbor Notice Concerning Forward-Looking
Statements dated December 17, 2003 filed by BCE Inc., the parent company of
Bell Canada, with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, under
Form 6-K, and with the Canadian securities regulatory authorities. Bell Canada
disclaims any intention and assumes no obligation to update or revise any
forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future
events or otherwise.

For further information:

For further information: media inquiries: Pierre Leclerc, Bell Media
Relations, (514) 391-2007, 1-877-391-2007,; Karin
Scott, Cisco Canada, (416) 961 5595 x408,

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