Alcatel-Lucent's Enterprise Forum in Paris was all about how the company can help potential customers adopt a more dynamic framework and move towards the ideal of enterprise 2.0.
Alcatel-Lucent's Enterpirse Forum 2008 was all about transformation. At the two day event which was held in Paris recently, the firm's top executives discussed how companies can become dynamic enterprises (DE) and how the vendor can help in the process.
Pat Russo, CEO of the firm, during her keynote address, defined the dynamic enterprise as one which is able to use and change its networks, people, processes and knowledge to its advantage, and stated that Alcatel-Lucent can provide them with the tools necessary to do just that.
"Transformation advantage is the overarching umbrella under which we are driving everything in this space. There are four key areas where we are placing our bets including content, applications and software, broadband, IP networks and service platforms. Alcatel-Lucent is working to enable the actualisation of enterprise 2.0," stated Russo.
"The drivers for the DE are a new mandate for CIOs, which not only includes increasing return and reducing costs, but also to know when to give users what, anytime, anyplace through any device.
Others include an increasingly mobile workforce and new work practices that are largely Web 2.0 service related. Enterprises are faced with the challenges of increasing expectations, increasing complexity and improving performance demands.
The DE framework benefits include strengthening relationships, simplifying communications and increasing productivity," said Tom Burns, CEO of the enterprise business group at Alcatel-Lucent.
While last year's Enterprise Forum was all about the merger and plans for the future, this year's event focused on the growth the firm had achieved in the enterprise business - 9% year-on-year according to Russo - and the products it was bringing to market in order to grow its revenues and relative market share.
"Our solutions are customised for enterprises and drive them in the actualisation of enterprise 2.0 by providing a dynamic framework. With our tested capabilities in products, solutions and services enterprises can banish complexity and risk in their organisations," promised Russo.
In keeping with that, simplification of products and processes within an organisational network and enabling communication with new technologies that will help enterprises tap more into its people and knowledge base was the underlying basis of all of the products and solutions the firm discussed or displayed during the forum.
According to Patrick Thorel, offer management director for large enterprises at Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise, innovation around simplification involves wired and wireless networks.
"Our key direction of evolution with IP networks is to make data networks flexible and simple. Alcatel-Lucent is also concentrating on providing the best performance from wiring closets to server farms and one of our strong points here is the ability to provide true green performance.
Our switches and core equipment consume only around 25% of the power that traditional equipment will consume," he added.
Alcatel-Lucent has also spent last year strengthening its offerings in wireless networks and branch office connectivity, to become an end-to-end provider in the enterprise space.
The company has invested in improving its security strategy and believes its products, including the OmniAccess 700 entry-level router and the OmniAccess 8550 web services gateway, will help enterprises move to IP networks in a more secure and reliable fashion.
In the communication arena the company's unified solutions offers a consistent user interface, SIP phones and ability to work with Windows Mobile-based smartphones and Nokia devices. Mobility is also enabled with the Non-stop Laptop Guardian security solution.
The company also has a strong management platform to enable easy use and control of networking and communication elements for enterprises across sectors.
"What we want is to enable the transformation to the dynamic enterprise. We do it through a really scalable and reliable IP network with effective, assured green performance. On top of that we simplify management, make it more user-centric and build in a layered security approach.
Finally we ensure smart and easy migration by leveraging SIP for the move to IP telephony and unified communications which is the next wave," said Thorel.
The way forward
Alcatel-Lucent is certainly serious about its enterprise business and is bringing its formidable strength and established brand as a telecom-provider to bear on the way it approaches enterprises and the products and solutions it offers them. It is also entering into key partnerships, such as its recent one with HP for the OmniAccess 8550 web services gateway, which will help it make a mark among global enterprises.
However, the going will remain tough for the company, which is entering a battlefield that has long-established players who have already carved out niches for themselves in the market.
"The first point in facing competition is really about local presence and support for business partners. One of the key points to our advantage is the high level of support that we ensure for our business partners.
The second and third are co-marketing activities, which we are doing, and commercial programmes for easy customer migration, which we are providing. The other important thing is the business angle with which we are approaching potential customers.
A combination of all these elements and the close understanding of the market and customer needs that we enjoy, will help us in ensuring easy and faster migrations to solutions provided by Alcatel-Lucent," said a confident Thorel.
Alcatel-Lucent is transforming itself into an enterprise-focused company, as it advocates enterprise transformation to a dynamic framework. While the firm has come a long way since last year and has been enjoying reasonable success so far, as it enters new markets this year and sets forth new solution sets, it is likely that it will really face serious competition in the coming year.
The real metric of success will eventually be the number of customers it convinces to move, and to decide that, we will just have to wait another year.For all the latest tech news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
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