Alcatel Update

Rich Tehrani : Communications and Technology Blog -
Rich Tehrani
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Alcatel Update

I had a chance recently to catch up with Alcatel to see how they are doing in general and to ask about their eDial acquisition. If you are familiar with the company's unified communications product line consisting of MySoftPhone, My Messaging, MyAssistant, the eDial product fits into this family as MyTeamwork, allowing conferencing and collaboration.

Alcatel is proud to tell me that they have decoupled this product from the PBX meaning they can use it to sell into non-Alcatel environments. One key advantage to this product is that it doesn't require a software install so rolling it out in a huge enterprise is fairly painless.

Interestingly the French telecom giant is still making TDM phones and investing in this technology as customers are still buying it. While developing TDM products is almost heretical in a legacy sort of way, Alcatel is also on the leading edge. They have been an innovator in the PBX business from the standpoint of believing in XML early on and integrating this technology into their product line.

I asked what interesting applications they have now and they told me that they used XML to design an emergency notification service in a school and won a bid over another large PBX company that couldn't do the same. Another application they wrote quickly was one to do a reverse lookup on telephone numbers via an online directory service. Yet another application allows the phone system to hook into the building management system so they can control the building via the telephones. Finally you can use the phones to track FedEx packages.

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