AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) announced today that First Banks, Inc. has awarded AT&T an $8 million contract to upgrade its network to handle the increasing demands that come with rapid growth.
The three-year contract extends and expands an existing agreement between the two companies.
First Bank, a leading privately held bank in California, Illinois, Missouri and Texas, offers large-bank resources and small-bank responsiveness to small- and middle-market companies. Over the past year, First Bank has established a strong presence in high-growth areas such as Chicago, Dallas and San Diego.
The contract calls for AT&T to provide an Internet Protocol Virtual Private Network (IP VPN) solution using Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS). The IP VPN's any-to-any network architecture provides increased network reliability, security and scalability while improving network efficiency. The MPLS-based network also adds network redundancy while decreasing network costs.
The network upgrade will play an important role in helping First Bank implement its impressive acquisition integration process. So far in 2006, First Bank has acquired First National Bank of Sachse (Sachse, Texas), 1st Independent National Bank (Plano, Texas), Community Bank of Pittsfield (Pittsfield, Ill.) and San Diego Community Bank, as well as made a branch purchase from Dallas National Bank.
By efficiently and cost-effectively linking more than 180 locations, AT&T's solution will ensure that voice and data flow reliably and securely on an integrated platform.
"AT&T's network upgrade will help us ensure that we continue to offer the personal touch our customers expect," said Paul Berry, vice president of information technology for First Bank. "It will be instrumental in supporting our new nationwide telephone customer service center and ensuring reliable and secure service to our new state-of-the-art backup data center."
"One of AT&T's priorities is to help ensure that First Bank's technology initiatives are aligned with the core strategies and priorities of the bank," said Judi Hand, president of AT&T Enterprise Sales. "To that end, these enhanced networking technologies can play a critical role in helping First Bank to better understand its relationships with customers and how to anticipate constantly changing needs."
AT&T also provides First Bank with Managed Internet Services, as well as toll-free, local and long distance voice services. Additionally, through the award-winning, secure AT&T BusinessDirect portal, First Bank will have full access to network account information and time-saving online tools to monitor network performance, manage the network, and review and pay bills.