The term "convergence" has become perhaps the single most used word in communications, and though different definitions abound, it's really about the coming together of previously disparate business groups and communications media.
More specifically, it refers to the transport and delivery of voice and data (and even video) communications across a single IP network; and it refers to the collaboration within businesses between telecom managers and IT and networking groups in order to make it all happen.
With that in mind, it becomes increasingly apparent there is also room for such convergence among solution vendors, which is what Alcatel-Lucent and HP have now announced as they look to provide a single source for service providers looking to leverage the latest networking technologies.
Alcatel-Lucent is already well positioned as a key provider of next generation communications architectures, including 3G, LTE, and WiMAX
solutions in the wireless space, and FTTx, optical, and carrier Ethernet solutions on the wireline side
. Regardless of a carriers access or backhaul network technologies, Alcatel-Lucent has positioned itself as a candidate for nearly any contract.
Now, it is looking to leverage HP's expertise to reduce the complexity of the migration process for both service providers and enterprises, as they seek to create and deliver more efficient and truly integrated communications environments.
For it's part, HP brings experience in not only the business networking hardware market, including its line of networking, server, and storage products, but it also provides a partner well versed in infrastructure consolidation, information management, application transformation, and managed services. HP's expertise is precisely what Alcatel-Lucent had in mind when it announced back in December
plans to combine its own technology strengths with those of a strategic partner in a "co-sourcing" arrangement.
"We are now delivering," said CEO Ben Verwaayen in a letter to Alcatel-Lucent employees. "Together, we bring to the market the world's broadest set of capabilities covering managed services, IP transformation, and enterprise solutions, as well as the expertise to develop and deliver real end-to-end solutions."
The ability to now incorporate HP's IT and telecom technologies and its supply chain efficiencies is the first step in bringing that promise to fruition. Alcatel-Lucent can now offer solutions based on common technologies for carrier-grade and IT applications, allowing them to leverage benefits of standards-based server, processor, and operating system technologies.
Verwaayen expects this relationship to deliver a wealth of new business opportunities in both the service provider and enterprise markets, to the tune of billions in additional net revenues for both businesses over the next decade.
Importantly, Alcatel-Lucent itself will benefit from the alliance as well, as HP will help transform and manage Alcatel-Lucent's own IT infrastructure to create a more efficient operation internally that will lead to increased standards of performance and service quality.
HP will manage much of Alcatel-Lucent's IT operations, using its own technologies and transformation expertise, to help Alcatel-Lucent more efficiently migrate to an advanced IT infrastructure that will allow it to create a more effective business while reducing operating costs in the process.
"We are building an agile company, ready to take the opportunities where they are. With this partnership, we are delivering on our strategy," said Verwaayen. "This is what our customers, our shareholders, our employees are expecting from us."