MCI rolls out enterprise content delivery service

MCI has rolled out a managed content management system aimed at enterprises that want to spice up their Web-based presentations to stockholders or employees with video or other multimedia offerings, but don't want to spend money to buy or maintain extra servers.

MCI, still legally known as WorldCom, announced its Managed Enterprise Content Delivery Service (ECDS) Monday. The hosting service for companies engaging in content-heavy communications, including remote employee training and multimedia investor presentations, is available immediately. Pricing starts at US$7,500 a month for a master controller server, and US$525 a month for each edge server that MCI maintains for an enterprise. MCI also charges a one-time installation fee of US$1,000 per server.

MCI is touting ECDS as an "end-to-end" enterprise product, with built-in security, load balancing and always-available tech support. With the managed ECDS, enterprise customers no longer have to manage and monitor customer premise equipment (CPE) devices, such as routers, at remote locations, said Jim DeMerlis, vice president of product management at MCI. The service will allow businesses to manage corporate data transfers and the delivery of real-time or on-demand multimedia applications over an enterprise frame relay, IP (Internet protocol), ATM (asynchronous transfer mode), private IP or private-line network, according to MCI.

Customers will have access to a Web-based portal, where they can measure and monitor service performance of their ECDS solution and use Web-based tools to manage users down to the desktop level.

"What we're seeing is growth of the size of content being distributed," DeMerlis said. "The average size of a file has been increasing exponentially as the need arises for more streaming content."

MCI has been pitching the service to a handful of customers for several weeks, DeMerlis said. Several have indicated interest, but none has signed up yet. "We have seen interest across a wide variety of industries," DeMerlis added.

MCI is aiming the service at its largest enterprise customers, but some other businesses may find the service saves them money as well, he added.

"We're looking at the top of our customer list," said Ethan Fox, a product manager at MCI.

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