3Com Corporation and Hitachi Telecom (USA), Inc. to Form a Strategic Relationship to Combine Best-of

SANTA CLARA, Calif. and NORCROSS, Ga., 3Com Corporation and Hitachi Telecom have signed a Letter-of-Intent to form strategic relationship for the purpose of addressing the need for hotels to offer their guests advanced voice and broadband services. The two organizations will seek to integrate 3Com(R)‘s Visitor and Community Network (VCN) System and Hitachi’s HCX5000 Private Branch Exchange (PBX) solution into one compact device ? offering competitive broadband access and telephony services in a single advanced, integrated platform. The new alliance will help the hospitality industry retain guest loyalty, attract new corporate clients and enhance returns on investment by better reflecting the work and residential communication environments their guests have come to expect.
Hitachi Telecom already holds a leadership position in hotel communication - shipping over 41 percent of the hotel (PBX) lines. Hitachi Telecom will seek to expand their offerings with new revenue generating services ranging from instant access to web-based content, consumer and business video services and creating in-house, business-class local area networks via the VCN System.
“We are very pleased with our new 3Com strategic alliance. As leaders in our respective industries, our relationship will provide our customers with the most technologically advanced hotel system,” said Gene Pelletier, Hitachi Telecom’s director of PBX Business.
Alliance and Products:
1. VCN System - provided by 3Com Corporation, the VCN System is an advanced solution for providing broadband-based Internet access, web-based content and applications to multi-unit buildings - such as hotels, apartments, condos, office-buildings and public spaces. 3Com’s VCN System also offers hotel guests true plug-and-go Internet connectivity, web-based printing, easy access to local information via a tailored portal managed by the hotel, and Virtual Private Networking, which allows guests to easily set up secure work groups within the hotel
2. HCX5000 and HCX5000i PBX Solution - provided by Hitachi Telecom (USA), Inc., the HCX5000 PBX is a lodging telephony communication system with an integrated front desk management system. The HCX5000 is specifically designed for the lodging market and incorporates integrated call accounting as well as the broadest range of guest and administrative features. The HCX5000i, Hitachi Telecom’s newest system offering, has been announced for availability beginning April, 2001.
New Integrated Voice and Broadband Solutions:
available today, the VCN System has been equipped with additional integration software that allows the system to communicate seamlessly with Hitachi Telecom’s current HCX5000 installations as well as the future HCX5000i solutions. The new software integration allows the VCN System to convey all guest transactions to Hitachi Telecom’s PBX solution for the purpose of billing and tracking user Internet access.
Future Enhanced Hospitality Communications:
future enhancements intend to yield a new generation of space-saving PBX solutions via the seamless integration of the key 3Com VCN System components (switch and concentrator) into Hitachi Telecom’s current PBX products, as well as the HCX5000i solution. The joint development is expected to create board - level VCN Switch and Concentrators - or modules - for insertion into Hitachi Telecom’s PBX solutions. The anticipated integration will provide the hospitality industry with a complete system for the deployment of compact, analog telephone connectivity, property management systems and content-rich broadband access services. Hitachi Telecom intends make the new integrated VCN System available as an evolutionary upgrade to existing owners of the Hitachi HCX5000 system - even those systems as old as 10 years.
Customers purchasing the HCX5000 today will have the ability to reuse up to 75 percent of the original components and utilize them with the new HCX5000i solution. The upgrading method preserves the customer’s original investment in HCX5000 components, offers considerable cost savings as well as a clear migratory path towards the HCX5000i solution.
“3Com’s VCN System offers Hitachi Telecom’s hotel customers a clear method to easily introduce new value-added broadband services and applications for the purpose of maintaining repeat business and attracting and retaining new corporate clients,” said Amir Eldad, vice president and general manager, VBN Division, 3Com. “Superior Internet-based and value-added LAN-based services for guests and conference rooms will become as commonplace as phones and cable TV are in today’s lodging industry. More and more guests expect hotels to offer broadband service as a true extension of the broadband they experience at home or work.”