Novell Inc has announced four of the five international PTTs it said would be supporting its NetWare Connect Services initiative (CI No 2,761). Deutsche Telekom AG, Nippon Telegraph & Telephone Corp, Telstra AB and Unisource NV will work with the company on its NetWare Connect Services, which is designed to enable the provision of secure, managed networks for inter-enterprise business applications, as an alternative to private networks. Applications hosted on the network will enable users to conduct secure business transactions, communicate worldwide via a variety of multimedia applications and access the World Wide Web and the Internet. Graeme Allen, Novell’s marketing director, said the name of the fifth company would be announced shortly and observers’ best guess is that it will prove to be France Telecom. The four thus far announced are all planning business networking services that incorporate the Novell networking and directory technology. In addition, and in conjunction with AT&T Corp and Lotus Development Corp, the companies will form a Multimedia Services Affiliate Forum through which they will work to interconnect their networks. As previously reported, AT&T plans to launch services by the end of the year, while the others will do so by the end of 1996. Allen claimed there was no need for Novell to gain support from PTTs in all geographical regions, as the PTTs it has signed so far would form alliances with local telecommunications providers such as cable companies, or would provide gateways. The primary purpose is to offer closed group wide area networking in business-to-business environments, but there will be information providers looking to add value and also gateways to the Internet, said Allen. NetWare Connect Services networks would also enable business users to access applications and services that are hosted inside the network, so that they could make use of technologies and services, such as groupware or network management, without having to implement and support additional technologies within their local networks. Cisco Systems Inc and Folio Corp are also working on NetWare Connect Services. Cisco is working with Novell on technology to enhance local network inter-networking over public wide area connections, while Folio will provide electronic publishing tools aimed at publishers, independent software vendors and telecommunications companies. Compuserve Inc and legal information provider Lexis-Nexis have said they will make their offerings available over NetWare Connect Services.