The newest major UC vendor is ALUE – a brand new company previously known as a division of Alcatel-Lucent. ALUE offers UC and networking solutions world-wide. Now, free from its beleaguered parent, ALUE is ready to change the world – and it just might do it.
It is no secret that UC is in flux, so staying competitive means lots of innovation and development. ALUE was a powerhouse of innovation, but has not kept up. The management team and is signaling significant investments in R&D and acquisitions are coming.
ALUE is part of a major trend, where Chinese firms are revamping western companies. They are bringing the needed cash to the firms, and then reaping rewards by bringing that western technology to the east. There is a common mis-perception that Chinese firms can’t innovate. That reputation is perpetuated by lots of cheap knock-offs. And yes, there are plenty of those from China. However, knock-offs are just low hanging fruit. There’s a lot more to the story. ALUE, Volvo, and Lenovo are examples of Western know-how that intend to remain highly innovative under Chinese ownership.
There’s an even bigger opportunity for Chinese technology companies because China intends to replace most foreign technology in its banks, military, government agencies, and state-owned enterprises by 2020. It’s not something we can really cry foul over since we effectively kicked Huawei out of similar opportunities in the US. Bloomberg reports this is bad news for companies like Microsoft, Cisco, IBM, and Intel. And, presumably very good news for Huaxin/ALUE (and Huawei). By the way, Huawei is doing fine in North America – in Canada. The company has done well with 3G and 4G equipment to Canadian cellular companies and is now doubling down on smartphones for Canadian consumers.
The ALUE story is complex. They have a diverse portfolio, a global customer base, and an aggressive road map. The company intends to double in the next four years, and I believe they will do it.