IBM to Promote Internet Phone Services

IBM Corp. has signed an agreement with IDT Corp. (Hackensack, N.J., to promote IDT's Net2Phone Internet phone services.

Although neither company would discuss the details of the agreement, IDT confirmed that, through IBM's standard Internet access kit, IBM will refer its enterprise and Internet access customers to the IDT Web site, where they can subscribe to the Net2Phone service.

Net2Phone enables any Internet user with a sound-equipped PC to initiate calls from a computer and transmit them over the Internet to Net2Phone's telephone switches. The switch relays the call to any telephone. IDT claims that Net2Phone can reduce telephone bills by up to 95 percent off the cost of traditional long-distance calls.

According to published reports, the two companies will share revenue generated by the agreement. Neither companies would comment on this matter, though.

IBM also announced it is adding to its computer telephony packaged offerings with the announcement of the Small Business Computer Telephony Solution, a bundle that includes a PC Server adapter card with telephony-switching capabilities and call control and voice mail software. IBM already offers consulting, systems integration, call center automation, middleware, computer telephony integration, interactive voice response and unified messaging for medium- and large-sized computer telephony customers.