Sprint and Cisco systems announced a new integrated solutions platform, called Sprint Dealer Solutions. Sprint also signed a three-year extension to provide its voice virtual private network to Dana Corporation. This new integrated solutions platform provides auto dealers, automakers and auto groups with a reliable communication infrastructure and the availability of sharing real-time information efficiently and securely. By providing the communications infrastructure, dealer-automaker interactions with parts and inventory, customer exchange, built-to-order processes and Web-based services are easily facilitated. The Internet Protocol Virtual Private Network (IP VPN) offers a network to maintain information in real time and increases high-speed conductivity for dealers, allowing them to easily communicate information such as credit card applications and inventory, while providing high security and management options. Sprint Dealer Solutions also provide support to Web-based services, like customer relationship management and on-line video training. “This intelligence will enable dealers to dynamically target customers, dealers, and manufacturers,” says Greg Founatin, consulting principal in Cisco’s Internet Business Solutions Automotive Practice. The Dana Corporation recently renewed their partnership with Sprint, signing a 3-year extension of their ongoing agreement. Their agreement has Sprint providing a voice virtual private network that helps relay collaborative services to Dana Corporation locations around the world. “Sprint has provided us with quality service for seven years so it was an easy decision to continue working with them,” says Harry Malpass, manager of network security systems at Dana Corporation. Part of the agreement has Sprint providing SprintLink Frame Relay to link 12 Dana offices in Australia, Japan, Korea, New Zealand and Taiwan. SprintLink Frame Relay is a service, which allows frame relay packets to ride securely over the SprintLink nave IP core. SprintLink Relay is based on Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol Version 3 (L2TPv3) an emerging standard, of Cisco IOS software. “By working with Sprint, we have reduced the number of service providers from seven to three which has simplified vendor management and helped us achieve our goal of substantially reducing overall telecommunication costs,” says Malpass. Sprint works closely with Dana Corporation to identify ways to streamline systems and consolidate networks for increased responsiveness and efficiency. Sprint’s Online Presenter, a web-based data-conferring tool allows up to 2,500 participants to exchange ideas and attend virtual conferences in real time. Dana has increased productivity from a number of regions in real time therefore reducing travel time and expenses. The Sprint Dealer Solutions provide multiple access options, which range from DSL to traditional access and are backed by comprehensive service level agreements. Existing network infrastructure can be used since the Sprint Dealer Solutions can work with cable modems, dial-ups, broadband DSL and Internet Protocol (IP). This platform is available internationally and allows dealers to focus on their business rather than technological issues.