To be more fair, at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Cisco, Avaya Nortel and Siemens voice systems will all be replaced by Alcatel in a $300 million deal that seems more like a service provider network than one needed for your typical medical needs. The deal is France-based Alcatel’s largest enterprise transaction in North America, and will involve the retirement of thousands of Cisco switches and routers, hundreds of PBX systems, and thousands of digital phones from Avaya, Nortel, Siemens and other vendors. In doing this, the medical center will consolidate more than 150 standalone PBX phone systems into two redundant data centers, while boosting its core bandwidth by a factor of 10.
"It’s pretty big," says Bill Hanna, vice president of IT infrastructure at UPMC. "The long and short of it is that the Cisco infrastructure will be replaced with an Alcatel infrastructure."
Analysts quoted in this article think this could be a defining moment for Alcatel who can now become a serious player in the enterprise space. Ironically, recent announcements at Alcatel have been focusing on their service provider business and now this massive deal comes along. The company could indeed become a major threat to Cisco in the future as they have a breadth of product in the service provider space unmatched by Cisco and in the enterprise they have great products that to date just didn’t gain much traction in the US. Perhaps things will be different with their Lucent purchase. They now have significant real estate in the US. Can they use this to gain more share is the important question however.
One successful deployment no matter how large does not a trend make. Still this is a very big deal that should be considered a major shot at Cisco’s lead in the space.