Alltel Information Services Inc. has assembled the management team for its Enterprise Network Services unit.

The division was formed six months ago to help Little Rock, Ark.-based Alltel capitalize on the growing demand for PC network support services from banks and other companies.

The five-member management team announced earlier this month by division president Cynthia H. Comparin has experience from a variety of companies, including MCI, Booz-Allen & Hamilton, and Electronic Data Systems. The unit also has hired 300 marketing, sales, and consulting personnel.

Ms. Comparin said the Dallas-based division is an integral part of the parent company's business.

"You can't be in the technology field anymore and not be involved in networks," she said. "Until now, there has never been a focused effort."

Ms. Comparin has 12 years of business development experience in the technology industry - first at EDS and more recently at Northern Telecom.

Her management team includes former Nortel colleague Thomas E. Chandler, who as vice president of business planning will drive the division's strategic direction. Mr. Chandler has 25 years of network computing experience and holds a doctorate in telecommunications from Southern Methodist University.

Dennis S. Holland is vice president of marketing, with oversight of public relations, communications, and strategic development. He has spent 14 years in technology with an expertise in call center management, most recently at EDS.

John C. Poulos, a 19-year telecommunications consultant from Booz-Allen, is vice president of consulting, charged with managing network design and integration services.

Joseph M. Murphy, a former MCI product developer, is vice president of sales, overseeing a 10-person staff. And Ronald J. VanderBaan is vice president of network delivery, responsible for operations management projects. Previously, he was a senior vice president of network services for Alltel's mortgage division.

Ms. Comparin said the group will blend the two strengths of the parent organization to help existing Alltel customers. "Historically, Alltel has been a telecommunications company and a computer company. We hope to leverage both sides of that."

Enterprise Networks' three-pronged mission is to provide consulting services for computer network design, assist in network integration, and to oversee operations management for clients.

Input, a Teaneck, N.J.-based organization which conducted market research for Alltel, says demand for network services is growing at a 19% annual rate. The firm estimates the market for network support services at $19.1 billion this year - $3 billion of it at banks.

"It makes sense for Alltel to go into this area," said John McGann, principal consultant at Input. "All of the important areas of information technology are network-driven."

Ms. Comparin said banks are becoming increasingly attracted to the use of computer networks as they try to reach customers in new ways. "It's the ease of transport of information," she said.

She also sees opportunities in the waves of mergers that have hit the banking industry over the last two years. "Many times banks wind up with multiple systems that can't communicate with each other. They need help with the integration."

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