SOURCE: Aberdeen Group, a Harte-Hanks Company

February 14, 2007 17:38 ET

Cost Remains #1 Challenge in the Face of Bandwidth Demands

94% Expect Bandwidth Needs to Grow Over Next 12 Months

BOSTON, MA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- February 14, 2007 -- According to a new report, "Wide Area Network (WAN) Benchmark Report -- Latency Matters," the cost of WAN products and services is the number one challenge for 55% of organizations, especially in the face of the enormous demand for more bandwidth. The new report, based on the responses of 126 networking executives from around the world and published by Aberdeen, a Harte-Hanks Company (NYSE: HHS), defines a class of users who have broken the traditional rule of networking -- more costs more.

"The best-in-class actually get more bandwidth without the cost. These organizations, representing the top 20% of Aberdeen survey respondents, had no expectation for bandwidth cost increases and less bandwidth growth than the market average or laggards," said Peter Brockmann, Vice President and Research Director, Communications, Aberdeen. "They also knew more about their WAN than any other class of users. These organizations measured more attributes of their WAN, more often and on a more detailed basis, than any other class of users and had fewer service defects to show for it."

The report goes on to highlight that the best-in-class expect 63% less bandwidth growth with no spending growth compared to an average 7% growth for the others. This class of users also had a complex environment -- using legacy network services such as frame relay, Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM), and IP Virtual Private Networks. They also leveraged new services such as Multi-Protocol Label Switching (MPLS) and Ethernet WAN services.

"Eighty-eight percent of the best-in-class organizations have made convergence of voice and data the highest priority compared to only 65% of the others," said Brockmann, who added, "Having the technologies to control and manage the WAN equipment as well as the operational tools, processes and disciplines to measure and manage voice services are key to best-in-class business performance."

The report also presents service purchase intent, factors in service provider consideration, factors in equipment consideration, challenges, responses, and recommendations.

The WAN Benchmark Report is underwritten by Orange Business Services and Yipes Enterprise Services. A complimentary copy of the report is available at http://www.aberdeen.com/link/sponsor.asp?cid=3854

About Aberdeen Group, a Harte-Hanks Company

Aberdeen is a leading provider of fact-based research and market intelligence that delivers demonstrable results. Having benchmarked more than 30,000 companies in the past two years, Aberdeen is uniquely positioned to educate users to action: driving market awareness, creating demand, enabling sales, and delivering meaningful return-on-investment analysis. As the trusted advisor to the global technology markets, corporations turn to Aberdeen™ for insights that drive decisions.

As a Harte-Hanks Company, Aberdeen plays a key role of putting content in context for the global direct and targeted marketing company. Aberdeen's analytical and independent view of the "customer optimization" process of Harte-Hanks (Information - Opportunity - Insight - Engagement - Interaction) extends the client value and accentuates the strategic role Harte-Hanks brings to the market. For additional information, visit Aberdeen http://www.aberdeen.com or call (617) 723-7890, or to learn more about Harte-Hanks, call (800) 456-9748 or go to http://www.harte-hanks.com.

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