Alcatel Eyes Voice/Data Convergence Market

BANGKOK (05/31/2000) - Alcatel (Thailand) Co., Ltd., recently announced a comprehensive package of end-to-end solutions to help usher in the age of convergence between voice and data, and expects to assist its customers in making the most of business applications over the next decade.

Ian Margeson, regional director of services & distribution division at Alcatel Asia-Pacific said: "Our solution is based on the evolution of voice and data convergence. Back in the 1980s it was all about automated processes, whereas in the 1990s we saw the merging of business processes, such as the solutions from SAP. We expect that over the next decade business applications of information will come to the fore."

"The business applications that we refer to are - 1) business generating applications; 2) customer relationship management (CRM) enters the front office; 3) flexibility in the workplace -- people working from home, on the road or at the office; 4) generation of new workplace performance-enhancing tools; and, 5) mobile e-commerce," he added.

This decade should see the convergence of telecommunications infrastructure and applications that are able to generate new business leads. The convergence of voice and data will help companies become more cost-effective in what they do, while realizing the benefits of the combination is the primary key.

Most of the problems facing convergence today center on the reliability issue and the loss of voice quality. Alcatel, so Margeson believes, has the skill set and expertise to make this convergence a reality.

Alcatel unveiled its new product range, "OmniSolutions for the Enterprise", at the recent Asia-Pacific Alcatel Forum 2000 Roadshow held in Bangkok. Placing priority on "comprehensive and tightly integrated solutions", the company drew comparisons to other companies and their products operating in the same field.

Over the past 18 months, Alcatel has acquired several smaller companies, spending close to US$5 billion and fully integrating their products and applications into the Alcatel OnmiPCX and OmniOffice platforms. The companies include Packet Engines, Assured Access, Xylan Internet Device and Genesys.

An integral part of Alcatel's OmniSolutions for Enterprise suite, is the OmniPCX 4400, an advanced IP (Internet protocol)-based voice communications platform that offers voice enabled PC integrated business tools, mobile access to all voice and data service application and Web based management of voice and data infrastructure. Customers are also presented with the ability to access all network services using IP and integrated server/directory applications.

The OmniPCX platform includes 1) OmniTouch: integrated call center; 2) OmniDesktop: CTI applications; reflexes digital and IP phones; 3) OmniMessage: voice messaging applications; 4) OmniMobility: applications and systems for on-and-off site mobility; and, 5) OmniVista: integrated voice and data network management.

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