Bell Nexxia and INTRIA-HP band together

Bell Nexxia has signed onto a multi-year, $75 million dollar agreement with INTRIA-HP Corp. to design and implement a single corporate IP network for the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC).

A national flat-rate price-per-port IP service will be established, and the companies will bring Internet access to 18,000 CIBC employees, as well as 100Mbps access to each desktop.

The network will “consolidate all of the communications infrastructure,” said Michael Somerville, the vice-president of technology planning and technology services at INTRIA-HP, a joint venture between the CIBC and Hewlett-Packard Co.

INTRIA-HP, which is a subsidiary of the CIBC, provides electronic processing services, such as e-business, to companies.

INTRIA-HP and CIBC will combine “all of the (bank’s) disparate networks into a single corporate network,” Somerville explained. This will allow the CIBC to centralize everything into the computing environment, “even the file, print and LAN servers, so that the only devices you have out there are client devices” backed by a network, he said.

Bell Nexxia is providing INTRIA-HP with a managed service, according to Fab Corazzola, account vice-president at Bell Nexxia.

Specifically, Bell Nexxia is providing a “managed network utility service, which provides hardware, software, maintenance and overall transition consulting,” Corazzola explained.

INTRIA-HP’s role in the agreement is as a manager and integrator, Somerville said.

“Service delivery is being done by Bell Nexxia, in terms of build out and data problem management and recovery problems, but the single point of contact for all of the services on that network will be INTRIA-HP for CIBC,” Somerville explained.

Somerville said that while 100Mbps to each desktop may seem like a lot, it is an amount that makes sense.

“You can say that a hundred is an awful lot, but when you look at what the technology’s capable of doing, they’re not even in the gigabit space anymore, they’re now in the terabit space,” said Somerville. “It is a lot in terms of what’s conventionally in place in enterprise, but it is not a lot in terms of what’s technologically possible today.”

While Corazzola said 100Mbps is more than is necessary for the applications that are currently being used by CIBC, “the premise that we worked on was that we didn’t want the network to be the limiting factor. So we basically opened that up as much as technically possible, and 100Mbps right now is the standard on that.”

The amount of bandwidth is also appropriate for the plans the companies have in regards to the maintenance of the network.

“We’re basically deploying a network that we think we won’t have to do anything to, from an infrastructure point of view, for the next two to three years, and that (it) will have headroom,” Somerville said.

In order to compete, said Somerville, it’s important that the infrastructure is taken care of in advance, so that it is not something that needs to be worried about later on. It should be done really well the first time, and done with thought of the future so the need to change something doesn’t come up too often.

Voice, data and video will all be carried on the new network.

“We view voice and video as an application,” said Somerville. “So it’s moving from looking at separate infrastructures to support these things to looking at a common infrastructure that supports multiple data and voice and video applications.”

The network is already being built out. The core is expected to be completed by April of this year, when a migration of clients from the old network to the new network will begin, Somerville said. The completion date for the entire network is April 2001.

INTRIA-HP also has the right to re-sell network services to other companies in the marketplace, said Corazzola, which is something he said Bell Nexxia will be helping it with.

“As part of the agreement, there is a co-marketing, co-branding, where we will essentially provide them marketing information, provide them assistance,” explained Corazzola. “Not direct, per se, like we wouldn’t go out there and actually sell INTRIA-HP services — it’s not that type of agreement.”

Companies that will be targeted by INTRIA-HP include large enterprises and medium-sized businesses, according to Somerville, who added that the companies are working on the going-to-market strategy right now.

For more information, see INTRIA-HP at, or Bell Nexxia at