Next week – ALU

by Dave Michels

Alcatel-Lucent sometimes disappears from top of mind – they are not as well known in N. American enterprises as they are around the world. But the powerhouse of intellectual property is hosting its analyst event next week to discuss its UC and enterprise focus. ALU knows how to put on a good event, and the timing is right as the firm has lots going on. Here’s a recap of recent news:

  • Partially addressing the hole that selling off Genesys left, ALU announced at EC13 a new customer service solution for OpenTouch. OpenTouch Customer Services (OTCS) expands customer care to include ‘eReputation’ and brand management. It offers multimedia interactions through APIs and workflow management.
  • Last week was the first week for the new ALU CEO Michel Combes. He comes with a carrier background (Vodafone), which makes sense as most of ALU’s revenue comes from carriers. It will be interesting to see his enterprise strategy reveal over the year. I don’t expect he will be at the briefing.
  • Last December, ALU got a $2.1 billion loan to reorganize. It wasn’t like a national bailout either – the loan was underwritten from Credit Suisse Group AG and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. That presumably came with some pretty strong due diligence signalling some significant opportunities ahead. It immediately caused the stock to jump 8.5 percent.
  • Alcatel-Lucent does networking as well as UC. The firm both replaced and disgraced Cisco with the California State University network, and now Nuage, an ALU venture focused on software defined networks, is targeting healthcare, banking, and utilities to facilitate scalabilty of enterprise private clouds.
  • ALU is expanding its mobility play with its new Idol smartphone coming to the US and launching with an appearance in Iron Man 3. (Actually, this is a Philips phone that is using the Alcatel brand for a limited time.)
  • Like everyone else and their frère, ALU began targeting service providers with its UC platforms to run hosted services. The difference is that ALU actually has a ton of carriers and SPs as current customers and a surprisingly comprehensive UC solution portfolio.
  • I do think the MyIC endpoints are among the slickest in the industry. I like that they don’t come with a curly cord, and that they can integrate to other devices like light switches.

So it should be an interesting few days hearing what else we can expect from ALU and their vision that ties it all together.