AT&T's Sophisticated Networking Capabilities Help O'Neal Steel Deploy New Application Systems for the Metals Distribution Market

Bedminster, New Jersey, February 13, 2007

Leveraging the power of its new Internet Protocol Virtual Private Network (IP VPN) from AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), Birmingham-based O'Neal Steel, Inc. has delivered on two of its most critical business objectives: streamlining network operations and accelerating the implementation of its Enterprise Resource Planning solution. O'Neal, the largest family-owned metals service center in the U.S. with 4,500 employees in more than 70 global offices and service centers, has established itself as a leader in the $115 billion North American metals distribution industry, largely as a result of smart, well-timed acquisitions and buoyed by a healthy global construction market.

The metals processing market remains extremely competitive given the increasing costs of raw materials combined with spiraling consumption by the U.S., China and India. While O'Neal's strategic acquisitions of competing distributors steadily advanced its leadership position in this growing market, it also significantly increased the amount of bandwidth required to bring more sophisticated order processing, procurement, distribution and supply chain management applications online. Moreover, improving the performance of business planning software for the company's geographically dispersed employees became a top priority as the percentage of O'Neal's mobile workforce continued to rise.

AT&T upgraded O'Neal's network to an IP VPN and consolidated all of its legacy technologies onto a converged network capable of carrying voice, video and data traffic. And AT&T's advanced network redundancy features ensure that business critical applications like VoIP always remain up and running.

The results of the AT&T network integration project have been dramatic. Highlights include:

  • Rapid roll out of new business applications and increased network capacity.
  • Successful deployment of a pilot AT&T-powered VoIP solution that provides advanced features such as unified messaging and four-digit dialing, which bolster employee productivity while trimming telecom expenses.
  • Significant network redundancy that protects O'Neal from single points of network failure and disaster scenarios.

"As a global business in a competitive market we've long understood the role technology plays in reducing costs and facilitating business expansion and revenue growth," said Kenny McCrary, technology manager, O'Neal Steel. "In AT&T we have found a solution provider committed to helping us leverage advanced networking technology that has resulted in consistently higher levels of customer satisfaction."

"Helping our customers meet their business objectives is our highest priority," said Bill Archer. "Our proven networking and communications experience, combined with a deep understanding of the unique business and technology challenges faced by companies in the manufacturing space, position AT&T as a logical and long-term service provider for O'Neal."

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About O'Neal Steel
After more than 80 years in business, O'Neal Steel is now the United States' largest family-owned metals service center. That's an important distinction because it means the family who started the company, and has guided its growth, continues to be instrumental in its operation today. In the fourth quarter of 2005, O'Neal further extended its product line with the acquisition of TW Metals, a service center specializing in pipe, tube, bar and rod in stainless, aluminum, alloy and carbon, as well as a variety of high alloys such as nickel and titanium. In early 2006, O'Neal acquired Timberline Steel, expanding O'Neal's full-line capability to service customers in the Rocky Mountain Region. Late in 2006, the company acquired Ferguson Metals, a processor and distributor of stainless steel products, primarily used in the aerospace industry. You can learn more about O'Neal Steel at www.onealsteel.com.

About AT&T
AT&T Inc. is a premier communications holding company in the United States and around the world, with operating subsidiaries providing services under the AT&T brand. AT&T is the recognized world leader in providing IP-based communications services to businesses and the U.S. leader in providing wireless, high speed Internet access, local and long distance voice, and directory publishing and advertising through its Yellow Pages and YELLOWPAGES.COM organizations. As part of its three-screen integration strategy, AT&T is expanding video entertainment offerings to include such next-generation television services as AT&T U-verseSM TV. Additional information about AT&T Inc. and the products and services provided by AT&T subsidiaries and affiliates is available at www.att.com.

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