Friday, September 4, 2009

AT&T Outlines New "Domain Supplier" Program

AT&T outlined a new "Domain Supplier" program aimed at transforming the way it purchases network equipment. As a key part of the program, the company has established a number of "domains" -- areas of the future network bounded by a particular technology set, such as wireline access. Within each of these domains are target technologies. For example, the wireline access domain includes technologies such as IP/DSLAM and FTTx.

Each domain will have two suppliers selected and pre-qualified by AT&T.

AT&T said it will work closely with selected suppliers over a multi-year period in order to define solutions that meet current and future needs. This includes sharing timelines, project roadmaps and other information, enabling suppliers to more quickly realize revenue due to expedited deployment of their hardware or software. In addition, regardless of the size of the initial business award from AT&T, each supplier within a domain will have an opportunity to expand the award beyond its initial scope. Suppliers selected for each domain will be responsible for the integration, testing, support and delivery of the complete end-to-end solution for the equipment or software in the domain that they have been awarded. If a selected domain supplier chooses to work with a third party to deliver the technology within their domain, they will be expected to completely integrate, test and support the third party provider's technology into the end-to-end solution.

AT&T said it expects its Domain Supplier program to:

  • Accelerate spend on future-oriented equipment categories, while reducing expenditures on legacy systems.

  • Achieve competitive cost and highest performance by increasing supplier competition within a domain.

  • Take advantage of the latest technologies and R&D efforts.

  • Focus development on collaboration around system capabilities versus component purchasing.

  • Stay in tune with innovations and the evolving market place.

  • Expand its best-in-class sustainability and supplier diversity programs.

"Customer expectations for network reliability have increased, and they are demanding speed to market for new technologies to satisfy today's ever-changing landscape," said Tim Harden, president, Supply Chain and Fleet Operations, AT&T. "We must continually challenge and collaborate with our equipment and software suppliers to improve their quality and step up to a higher level of performance. Our goal is to ensure that each investment in network infrastructure accelerates our move towards a network that enables the full promise of the Internet and other game-changing technologies."

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