Next Generation Communications Blog

April 2010

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Outsourced Network Management Helps to Secure a Responsive Network

By Susan J. Campbell

With the growing technological demands in the global marketplace, a number of companies are implementing such initiatives as globalization, branch automation, workforce virtualization and post merger integration. To make such transitions successful, many are turning to outsourced network management to drive a secure, responsive network.

Partnering with a network management partner like Alcatel-Lucent enables the organization to realize reductions in CAPEX/OPEX, deliver operational and financial efficiencies, reduce network overlays and lower IT costs, transform networks and processes for long-term growth and develop and grow new streams of revenue from new sources.

The proper management of the evolution of enterprise networks is essential for enhanced functionality and lower cost. This is true of the network itself, as well as the applications, content and databases they support.

Mobile Advertising Product Helps Mobile Operators Find Growth Opportunities

Alcatel-Lucent this month unveiled its mobile advertising solution, which company officials said will allow mobile operators to create more available ad space and provide advertisers with access to highly targeted audiences.

In an interview with TMCnet, Alcatel-Lucent officials explained that the Paris-based company's new product, Optism, helps mobile operators develop new business models and offer more personalized experiences to their subscribers. In turn, it helps advertisers reach wider, more targeted audiences through permission and preference-based mobile marketing that is aggregated across multiple mobile operators, helping them expose "tangible and intangible assets."

Thomas Labarthe, vice president of mobile advertising at Alcatel-Lucent, explained how Optism helps mobile operators offer more personalized experiences to their subscribers and what led to building an intuitive interface that bridges operators and advertisers.

"When we started this project 18 months ago, we spent quite some time with advertisers and agencies, and one clear message that we heard from them is that they needed someone in the market to make it easy to buy mobile and that in such circumstances, there is no doubt they will invest more in mobile [advertising]," Labarthe explained, noting that scale and simplicity ranked high on their list, and Alcatel-Lucent saw a "clear acceptance" of this kind of mobile ad solution.

LifeSize Joins Alcatel-Lucent Alliance and Application Partner Program

LifeSize Communications, a division of Logitech, and Alcatel-Lucent have partnered and the firm is now a member of the Alcatel-Lucent Alliance and Application Partner Program, or AAPP, to integrate LifeSize HD video solutions with the Alcatel-Lucent communications platforms.

AAPP supports companies that develop communications applications for Alcatel-Lucent enterprise solutions and today offers more than 100 certified applications and 300 registered companies in the AAPP, according to Alcatel-Lucent.

The partnership between the two companies enables high quality, immersive video communications with telephone-like features and ease of use for businesses of all sizes, company officials said.

In the beginning the companies will develop a solution that supports LifeSize HD audio and/or HD video calls within the Alcatel-Lucent telephony communications environment, extending features such as four-digit dialing and call handling, according to company sources.

The teaming also enables HD video collaboration between room-based LifeSize users and desktop-based Alcatel-Lucent OmniTouch 8660 My Teamwork Unified Conferencing and Collaboration users, they added

Multimedia Consumption Increasing, Drives IP Network Change

By David Sims

Increasing consumption for multimedia is driving the need for fully transformed, IP networks. Operators need to keep pace with consumer demand for fully transformed IP networks.

Of course the telecom value chain has changed significantly in the last 10 years, as an explosion of third-party application developers and content providers are delivering applications, video and other high-demand Web capabilities.

To differentiate, then, according to a recent blog post from Alcatel-Lucent, it is time to use high-value network capabilities to "foster open innovation with an ecosystem of application developers and content providers."

What this means, the post explains, is that service providers are positioned to "play a broader role in today's new value chain." The post notes that recent Alcatel-Lucent research shows application developers and content providers will, in fact, pay for access to high-value network capabilities because "it gives them better contextual information for more effective targeting of their applications and content."

Technical Challenges and Business Opportunities in Mobile Data

By Susan J. Campbell   Anywhere, anytime video is in high demand and that demand is not expected to wane anytime soon. The challenge for network providers in this climate is to identify opportunities and expand upon them, while also identifying inherent risks and mitigating appropriately to remain competitive.

With the growing demand in video, there is a change happening among the business, social and personal consumers - their behaviors are harder and harder to distinguish. This is a challenge for network providers who are trying to appeal to specific market sects. Lines are blurring between these different market segments, but they are not completely disappearing.

While differences still remain, it is important for network providers to understand how best to appeal to each customer.

Open API Opens Doors, Drives Innovation

By Susan Campbell

As technology in the telecommunications world has evolved over time, one of the key benefits of this movement is the ability of companies to work together, delivering rich services integration that improves overall network performance and extends a better experience for the end user.
  Alcatel-Lucent can open a number of doors through Open API services as this platform is supported by a mediation environment that plays to the benefit of all those involved in the application value chain as they gain unique network assets, including location, presence and network address books.

Through Open API services, ACPs can deliver rich, mash-up services such as Agent511. This application is designed to enable public safety agencies to acquire real-time text, multimedia and location data from the mobile phone.

Cross-carrier location is immediately acquired so that first responders can be dispatched quickly to the scene.

IT and Telecom Convergence with Alcatel-Lucent and HP

By David Sims

Alcatel-Lucent officials recently addressed the need for converged ICT in light of their signed agreement with HP. "On Oct. 20, 2009, HP and Alcatel-Lucent signed the final agreement for a global alliance that addresses this reality" of convergence, ALU officials said. "The alliance will bring to market integrated telecommunications and IT products that address service providers' and enterprises' needs for converged information and communication technologies." Jouni Forsman, research vice president at Gartner, recently addressed the issue, saying: "Tomorrow's communications needs will lead to more and more interconnection of the telecommunications and IT industries. A truly converged approach would offer more and better services for businesses and consumers but is extremely difficult to deliver." The answer, Forsman said, was for "major IT and telecom players to get closer to one another to offer integrated products that can improve the business case for network transformation and help speed-up the pace of innovation on end-user services." As ALU officials pointed out, "the primary focus of transformation tends to be on the bottom line. Converging two networks into one, two devices into one, or two databases into one predictably results in a lower total cost of ownership." Alcatel-Lucent officials explain convergence as "part of the solution to removing barriers between networks, people, processes and knowledge. This speeds business processes and decision making, both of which save time and money." A converged product, then, "provides single-point visibility of IT and telecoms operations and thus the ability to manage them more effectively," ALU officials said, "from a purely practical standpoint, dealing with a single supplier for a converged solution rather than two separate providers reduces costs through simplified interaction." In practical terms, faster flows of information in a converged system mean that a customer issue can be dealt with more quickly, or that a supply chain problem can be solved before it hits service level agreement.

New Multimedia Solutions Released by Alcatel-Lucent

The latest Alcatel-Lucent multimedia solutions will unify the delivery of video, TV and multimedia content to any connected device such as TV, PC or mobile phone. A set of solutions has been released to help service providers introduce a wide array of new service offerings. This, in turn, will help service providers deepen their connections with their subscribers by making it easier for people to access content wherever they are, on any screen. Company officials said that a multimedia strategy focused on the delivery of a wide array of services to subscribers in any location, is supported by these solutions. The multimedia strategy allows service providers to dramatically reduce the time, complexity and cost inherent in creating services for the various screens it supports. This helps service providers to stimulate video consumption and revenue from increased digital content transactions. Alcatel-Lucent is introducing: 1.       The Multi-screen Video Solution, which ties together existing networks, allowing service providers extend their fixed IPTV or CableTV service to smartphones, PCs, tablets and a host of connected devices; 2.      The Multi-screen Foundation, which helps service providers consolidate media operations to create an open foundation for a broad set of targeted multimedia solutions, such as Multi-Screen Video;  and 3.      The Velocix Digital Media Delivery Platform, which consists of a series of appliances that service providers can deploy to support their own dedicated advanced digital media delivery capability, as an alternative to relying on shared content delivering networks, helping improve quality and reduce cost.

Alcatel-Lucent Brings Genesys and Enterprise Together Through Dynamic Enterprise Vision

Alcatel-Lucent has married two of its solution portfolios, Genesys and the Enterprise, as part of an expansion plan for its Dynamic Enterprise vision and increase its market reach. According to company officials, Alcatel-Lucent's Dynamic Enterprise vision helps enterprises to build sustained strategic differentiation by interconnecting their networks, people, and processes and harnessing the connected knowledge of their customers, employees and partners. This Dynamic Enterprises approach brings cross-channel  "conversation" enhancing employee and customer conversation management, in a more Web 2.0 approach. This improves employee interactions amongst themselves and between companies and their customers. This new approach also focuses on the enterprise communications platform, taking it to a more software-based architecture, and making it open to third party developers to create new mashed up services and applications.  Also, Alcatel-Lucent unveiled at VoiceCon a new Smart DeskPhone, a telephony platform, which features an open API developer platform, multimedia communications capabilities, and Web applications for personalized mashups or industry-tailored applications.

Alcatel-Lucent's ng Connect Program Names New Members

The ng Connect Program, co-founded by Alcatel-Lucent and a multi-industry organization committed to the development and rapid deployment of the next generation of broadband services based on Long Term Evolution and other ultra high bandwidth technologies, announced that 10 new members have joined the program. The 10 new members who have joined the ng Connect Program are: CoolSign, a provider of enterprise-class digital signage software solutions; Desktone, a provider of virtual desktop hosting platform to facilitate desktops to be delivered as an outsourced subscription service; EON Reality, a provider of interactive 3D visual content management; K12 Inc., a provider of online education programs; LiveCast, a provider of streaming live video; Mobideo, a provider of wireless application software; Movial , a company enabling rich user experiences; NCR Corp., a provider of assisted- and self-service solutions; Optical Crime Prevention, Inc. , a provider of Video Security as a Service solutions; and Vidyo, a provider of videoconferencing solutions.

The Impact of Instant Access on Go-to-Market Strategies

In today's consumer-driven data consumption, quality in delivery is no longer enough to drive customer loyalty. Users now want instant access, full security and privacy all while demanding the ability to continually access services on any display at any time. Before network operators can bring anything to market, they must be able to meet all of these demands.

Massive content demands are only expected to increase and network operators must be able to deliver all services to mobile devices over a network that can handle the demand. To maintain quality and security, network providers must also be able to merge content and networks - a challenging task when the desire is to keep this change seamless for the user.

Next Generations Conference to be Held This Month

By Alice Straight 

The International Next Generations Network and Basestations conference is set to be held in April in Bath, England.

Prominent speakers from leading operators Vodafone, Telenor Telefonica, O2, BT (British Telecom), Orange, SFR, Virgin Media, 3UK, Vimplecom, Digicel, Mobilkom Austria, Elisa, Globul, will share a platform with industry analysts from Ovum, ABI Research, Analysis Mason, Heavy Reading, Arete, and senior management from GSMA and Ofcom.

"Whilst there are many conferences (on wireless networks), the International Basestation Conference is exceptional both for its clear focus and the high-quality of attendees," said Rupert Baines, vice president of marketing at picoChip, who will be addressing architectures for next generation networks at the conference.

One of the topics slated for discussion is the deployment of home basestations/femtocells with growing numbers of operators around the world introducing products into service. Kenny Graham, head of new technology for Vodafone, which is marketing the Sure Signal femtocell in the U.K.

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