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Equant sees up to 20 percent reduction in total cost of ownership through hosted Microsoft Exchange Server 2003-based solutions



Combination of Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 and Equants communications services leads to server consolidation, and improvements on security and quality

Equant and Microsoft today announced the availability of Microsoft Exchange Server 2003-based solutions to global enterprises through Equants portfolio of fully managed messaging services. The two companies will join their expertise to deliver a range of secured messaging solutions to corporate customers seeking to consolidate existing messaging provision and reduce total cost of ownership by up to 20 percent.

Migrating to Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 from previous versions of Exchange or other messaging platforms provides customers with the opportunity to consolidate both server locations and number, owing to smarter caching and communication management.

Combining Microsoft Exchange Server 2003s key benefits with Equants fully managed Messaging Services will offer multinational businesses consolidated best-in-class messaging services including the integration of the application, the underlying network and single proactive management and maintenance sources, with top services and security levels, on a worldwide basis.

For these reasons, enterprises are increasingly looking at outsourcing to communications services experts, such as Equant, for their messaging systems when considering migrating to Exchange 2003. Maxine Holt, senior analyst, Butler Group, confirms this trend towards outsourced managed services commenting: We predict growth in the hosted solution and messaging market. Microsofts pay-as-you grow approach to license management will fuel the adoption of outsourced solutions.

Microsoft facilitates risk and reward sharing with partners resulting in cost savings that can be passed onto customers. Through its Service Provider License Agreement (SPLA), partners deliver outsourced services as the demand occurs. This removes the need to invest up front and provides both small and large outsourced companies the flexibility to pay for licenses in arrears enabling them to scale (both ways) dependent on business rhythm.

Gilles Pradere, vice president of Managed Services, Equant, commented: Were convinced of the large potential for the emerging market for hosted messaging solutions and have witnessed tremendous interest from customers for our out-tasked hosted Exchange and migration solutions. We are able to offer a truly global outsourced messaging solution including the related security and network services that we feel is unrivalled in the industry.

Equant is already serving over 800,000 corporate users with messaging services on a global basis and across all industries. Equant is also beginning to supply customer solutions that take advantage of the enhanced mobile capabilities available within Microsoft Exchange Server 2003. Supporting Microsoft Exchange Server 2003-based solutions is part of Equants evolution towards providing integrated communications services to its customers.

Equant is uniquely placed to provide a one stop managed service solution on a global scale. Customers are delighted with total cost of ownership reductions of up to 20 percent. Its rewarding to work with world class partners to deliver these kind of tangible customer benefits, comments Micheline Germanos, EMEA Web Services and Hosting director, Microsoft Communications Sector EMEA.

About Equant

Equant (NYSE: ENT) (Euronext Paris: EQU) is a recognised industry leader in global communications services for multinational businesses. Equant combines its network expertise including unmatched seamless network reach in 220 countries and territories and local support in more than 165 countries with its expanded services capabilities to provide global, integrated and customised communication services to enable its customers key business processes. Equant serves thousands of the worlds top companies, with the industrys most extensive portfolio of communications services and network solutions, including the market-leading IP VPN used by 1,000 global businesses today. Equant, a subsidiary of France Telecom, was named Best Global Carrier 2003 and Best Managed Service 2003 at the World Communication Awards and consistently leads industry surveys in corporate user satisfaction.

About Microsoft Communications Sector

Microsoft Communications Sector works with a variety of companies worldwide to help them develop and deploy rich, end-to-end network solutions based on Microsoft platforms, designed to enable the delivery of any service, over any network, to any client device, any place, at any time.
Communications Sector focuses on key network service industries including telecommunications and wireless companies and hosters. Working closely with these industries, providing partnership, software and services, the group facilitates the delivery of innovative and profitable service offerings for service provider customers, while maximising current investments and technologies to achieve operational efficiencies.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq MSFT) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software -- any time, any place and on any device.

This release may contain projections or other forward-looking statements related to Equant that involve risks and uncertainties. Readers are cautioned that these statements are only predictions and may differ materially from actual future results or events. Readers are referred to the documents filed by Equant with the SEC, specifically the most recent filing on Form 20-F, which identify important risk factors that could cause actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements, including, among other things, risks relating to Equants history of operating losses, the unpredictability of growth in Equants markets, changing technology, uncertain and changing regulatory restrictions, Equants international operations, dependence on suppliers, network security issues, competition, and volatility of Equants stock price and risks relating to the combination with Global One. All forward-looking statements are based on information available to Equant on the date hereof, and Equant assumes no obligation to update such statements.