An enterprise where IT and telecommunications become one was the theme at the preview of a new research and development facility in Sydney.
Ross Fowler, CEO, Alcatel Australia, said the company's centre – due to officially open in two weeks – has developed technologies that are helping to break down the walls between communications and data services.
“Our technology is all about convergence,” Fowler said. “The main theme of this R&D centre is to develop a borderless enterprise since there is no single company that can provide all these services.”
According to Fowler, technology is moving towards an inevitable merger of IT and telecommunications and the two are beginning to share a common infrastructure.
“An example of this common infrastructure is our OmniPCX which combines legacy PABX and IP data services,” he said.
One of the core technologies showcased at the centre is Intelligent Networks, or IN, which is an application which applies data-like management capabilities to services such as free-call 1800 numbers, pre-paid mobiles, and virtual private networks.
“We are seeing this [convergence] very much with our IN applications,” Fowler said. “For example, we are now able to integrate IN with call centre operations with our acquisition of Genesis Software. The call centre backend can be interfaced with Web applications such that help enquiries can be tracked to Web surfing, [thereby] reducing response times.” In addition to the IN technology, Alcatel has also developed a network management system called Cross Domain Manager which provides provisioning for Telstra’s ADSL network.
“Cross Domain Manager has dramatically reduced the time taken to provision a DSL service – from a few hours to a few minutes,” Fowler said. “We see a point where DSL can be managed on the fly and the system is SDSL capable.”
Other technologies being developed at the centre include VoiceXML, Clipsal Homespeak for Web-based home control systems, and Nextenso, a development platform for mobile applications.