Alcatel-Lucent launches SME IP communications suite

Product to hit Australia in 2008

Alcatel-Lucent has launched a unified IP communications package for mid-size enterprises, due to hit Australia in 2008.

The server suite, called the Business Integrated Communication Solution (BiCS), contains a legacy TDM and IP phone connectivity solution and its embedded contact centre package, a third-party application integration product, a Java-based management tool and RAID disk mirroring.

It has been launched in France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Spain and the Nordic countries, with a global release set for next year.

Alcatel-Lucent enterprise solutions president Tom Burns said the product is targeted at companies with 100 to 500 employees who do not want to spend on additional hardware.

"Employees at mid-sized enterprises need instant access to information and people, however the tools need to be affordable and scalable," Burns said.

"The mid-size enterprise segment is one of NextiraOne's big targets as it represents a high growth potential over the next five years.

"Their needs are similar to the large enterprises and include collaboration, mobility solutions and serving multi-sites, though they often lack dedicated experienced resources."

Users can evaluate component modules under a demonstration licence to allow the integration tools and server virtualisation component to be tested prior to purchase.

New product releases and portfolio refreshes is exactly what Alcatel-Lucent needs to recover from the impact of repeated profit warnings from the company over the last two quarters, according to Steven Hartley, Ovum's senior telecoms analyst.

He said it is still too early to assess whether the merger has failed but financial instability is not what customers look for in a supplier.

"It won't be a surprise to see changes at Alcatel-Lucent over the coming months in several areas. An injection of fresh ideas, energy and morale is needed in the management team at all levels," Hartley said.

"Alcatel-Lucent will hope that the senior management shuffle in August will help, but it may not be enough. Also, asset disposals may also be an [albeit short-term] option to boost cash. Finally, refreshing the product portfolio offers longer-term hope, but will not be a quick fix."

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