Bell Atlantic opens system to programmers

March 09, 1994|By Michael Dresser | Michael Dresser,Sun Staff Writer

Borrowing from the model that made the IBM PC the leading standard in the computer industry, Bell Atlantic Corp. opened its telephone network to outside software writers yesterday to encourage the development of new programs to take advantage of its technology.

Speaking at a trade show in Dallas, Bell Atlantic officials announced that it was launching a Third Party Developers Program to work with companies that want to produce customized software that would make use of the Philadelphia-based phone company's Advanced Intelligent Network (AIN).

The company said that opening the network to other developers could expand applications and speed up its product development cycle.

Bell Atlantic also announced the first company to take part in the program: Teloquent Communications Corp., a Billerica, Mass.-based telecommunications software company that has been active in creating programs to let customer service employees work from home.

The regional phone company also said it had reached an agreement in principle to team up with Novell Inc., one of the nation's largest software developers, to seek ways to let other software companies customize Bell Atlantic service features using Novell's AppWare development tools.

"We intend for Bell Atlantic to set the standard and serve as the telecommunications system all developers can write to," said John Prisco, Bell Atlantic's vice president for marketing-large business services.

The Bell Atlantic move, its first major initiative since the collapse last month of its proposed merger with Tele-Communications Inc., is in line with a philosophy outlined last year by Bell Atlantic Chairman Raymond Smith that "the information networks of the future will be open, not closed systems."

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