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National Semiconductor Extends Mission-Critical Internet, Extranet and Intranet Services to Customers, Distributors and Employees Worldwide Through Private Overnet

Oct 9, 1997

October 9, 1997 -- National Semiconductor Corporation® today announced the implementation of a worldwide private network to deliver Internet and extranet services to their customers with rapid, reliable performance internationally. These services will be delivered through a relationship with Digital Island (www.digisle.net), a global private network provider. A series of robust virtual servers will enable faster, more reliable and more cost-effective delivery of information to National's customers, distributors and employees throughout the world. National Semiconductor will leverage this "overnet'' to improve customer service, channel and sales support,and accelerate internal decision making, thus making it easier to do business with National from anywhere on the globe.

"National believes that the reliability of a single-hop Internet architecture is required to eliminate the uncertain response times that users currently experience for international access to the Web. This mirror site infrastructure extends the robust performance already offered in the Americas to Web users outside the U.S. and provides us with several unique advantages over our competition,''said Phil Gibson, director of interactive marketing at National Semiconductor. "Our customers, distributors and employees benefit by having easy and reliable access to information, and their decision-making and purchasing experiences are much more positive as a result of using these virtual servers.''

The Single Hop Advantage: Global Reliability
National Semiconductor's Internet site is virtually mirrored in 16 countries using Digital Island's overnet services. This minimizes the number of point-to-point connections between a visitor and National's site. As a result, data travels much faster and more reliably than is possible using the increasingly crowded public Internet exchanges.

"Our distributed star architecture is a uniquely compelling solution that provides National with a powerful, competitive weapon in the global high-tech marketplace,'' said Ron Higgins, founder and CEO of Digital Island. "Digital Island enables National's customers, distributors and employees worldwide to make faster decisions based on reliable, up-to-the-minute information.''

Reliable and fast access worldwide enables National's site visitors to perform transactions such as downloading software and technical manuals, requesting samples (delivered worldwide within 5 business days) or placing small quantity orders reliably. The use of virtual servers reduces the usual access and reliability problems people encounter when connecting to an Internet site that is not physically located in their country or continent.

"Our preliminary measurements show that the response time to National's site from user locations abroad is now much more reliable and significantly faster than before their use of this infrastructure,'' said Jim Barrick, CEO and chief technical officer of Keynote Systems, a company providing an advanced tool for performance measurement. Keynote Systems' flagship service, Perspective, measures Website response every 60 seconds from 50 U.S.and international locations for corporations such as National Semiconductor.

Transparent Integration: Extranet in Action
To further enhance the company's Internet quality of service, National is embedding its Internet site into the intranet of its customers (this is referred to as National's public extranet).

The transparent integration of National's products and services into our intranet is saving design engineers here the time it used to take them to find the same information by calling their sales representatives or looking for it by going to the public Internet site,'' said Don Hardy, senior engineer at Bay Networks. "National was the first to extend this level of service; we are now asking the same level of service from our other suppliers.''

The simple and reliable integration National offers to its customers streamlines their decision-making and buying processes which saves critical time. National's public extranet is being integrated by OEMs such as Bay Networks and Tektronix.

Private Extranet: Critical Product Information at Their Fingertips
Alternatively, National is able to offer its distributors and sales force domestically and internationally the ability to use its private extranet to access customized technical information and sales materials, up-to-date pricing and incentives. They are also able to register their design opportunities for any customer and product

"We now have an efficient way to offer our distributors superior support and commission incentives on an international basis. The distributor provides the knowledge, National provides the service incentive, and our customers enjoy higher quality support and faster response to their product requirements and production ramps than was possible before,'' said Gibson.

This new service is part of a growing list of Web investments by National targeted at improving its customers' ability to make faster decisions about their applications.

Push Technology: Enables Private Information Channel at theDesktop
National is using the Internet to collect data on worldwide customer interest and demand for its products and to deliver that knowledge to the desktop of every person in the company. Employees are able to receive external Website usage information (gathered through site analysis tools like Accrue Insight), forecasts from National's sales force and distribution network, and revenue information right at their desktops. This new tool, known as the National "Advisor,'' is based on Lotus Notes Domino. Broadcast technology and is delivered on National's private intranet over the PointCast Business Network. Crucial product and corporate information is now made readily available through screensavers to employees in every part of the world. This quick and simple communication tool strengthens the company's ability to respond to its customers' needs and demand as well as predict and react to projected fluctuations in business volumes.

"National Semiconductor clearly understands how to leverage intranet broadcast solutions such as PointCast's,'' said Roxanne Ivory, corporate marketing manager for PointCast. "Their use of our intranet broadcast tools is a perfect example of creating a competitive advantage by empowering employees with up-to-the-minute news and information.''

National Semiconductor Corporation, a Fortune 500 company, produces system on a chip silicon solutions for the information highway, based on its leadership in analog and mixed signal technologies. National is headquartered in Santa Clara, Calif., and focuses on the communications, personal systems and consumer markets. National has annual sales of approximately $2.5 billion and 12,700 employees worldwide. Additional company and product information is available on the World Wide Web at www.national.com.