ICS Advent Signs Multi-Year Deal to Provide Enterprise Communications Solutions for Sphere Communications

Companies Will Partner to Deliver Network-Based PBX Systems

SAN DIEGO, Calif., Feb. 26, 2001 - ICS Advent, the premier provider of stable computing platforms and platform integration services for next generation network solutions, today announced that it has signed a multi-year agreement to provide high availability computers to Sphere Communications, the leader in distributed communications systems over broadband networks. ICS Advent will provide Sphere Communications with an integrated solution combining ICS Advent´s OmnixTM family of high availability rack mount servers as the computing platform for Sphere´s SphericallTM, a soft switch driven IP PBX that combines voice, video and data on broadband networks.

ICS Advent is focused on helping customers to meet the demands of developing and deploying open communications systems (OCS) and next-generation converged networks. Through the strength of its business-critical applied computing experience, its communications market focus and its support of key technologies, ICS Advent will provide Sphere Communications with the platform integration resources it needs to bundle and deliver Sphericall solutions. Additionally, the company will provide configuration management, custom packaging and labeling and component management, along with its superior 24 x 7 web and telephone support services.

"With our new Omnix family, ICS Advent is able to provide Sphere Communications with a cost-effective, integrated solution that combines a stable computing platform with world-class platform integration and OEM program management services," said Chris Rezendes, vice president and general manager, ICS Advent. "Our contributions will allow Sphere´s team to focus on their core competencies of open and IP-PBX software and system development, training and support, rather than on the lower and middle levels of platform integration, which is our expertise. This partnership demonstrates our commitment to providing solutions for the leading companies developing and deploying the next generation of network infrastructure."

ICS Advent will be responsible for sourcing, integrating and testing the Sphericall hosting platform, the Spherical manager. Sphericall systems are based on Sphere´s unique signal management algorithms and hosted by ICS Advent´s Omnix platform. ICS Advent will also provide a host of OEM program management services for Sphere, including: logistics support, global drop shipping, and 24 x 7 technical support for the Omnix computing platforms.

"We sought out ICS Advent for their ability to provide flexible, scalable and customized systems," said Dan Smith, director of operations, Sphere Communications. "We look forward to developing a solid, growing relationship with ICS Advent."

About Sphere Communications
Sphere is the leader in enterprise communications system technology, providing customers with voice, video and data communications solutions on broadband networks. Shipping products to satisfied customers for five years, Sphere Communications was the first company ever to install network-based PBX systems, and today has many customer sites supporting thousands of users. Sphere Communications is committed to developing and marketing open, standards-based communications software enabling customers to make technology investments today that will grow with their needs and provide long-term returns. Strategic technical and marketing partners include Marconi, IBM, Microsoft Corporation, Extreme Networks and other hardware and software companies. Sphere Communications sells and supports Sphericall through qualified resellers and distribution relationships and is on GSA schedules. Founded in June 1994 and privately held, Sphere Communications is headquartered in Lake Bluff, Ill., a Chicago suburb, with a subsidiary office in London. Visit Sphere Communications´ homepage at or by calling an ICS Advent sales representative at (800) 523-2320. The company has ISO-certified facilities in San Diego, Calif. and Chichester, UK.

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