Next Generation Communications Blog

April 2009

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Alcatel-Lucent Tops IPTV Market Report for Access, Middleware

Multimedia Research Group (MRG) recently released the most recent edition of its bi-yearly IPTV Market Leaders Report, and has ranked Alcatel-Lucent as the global number one in the domains of IPTV access and IPTV middleware.   This is the second straight such distinction for Alcatel-Lucent.   MRG's report identifies leaders across the following IPTV segments:   ·         Access ·         Video Headend ·         Video-on-Demand ·         Middleware ·         Set-top Box, and ·         Content Protection/Digital Rights Management.   MRG measured the market position of over 100 vendors tracking the actual numbers of active IPTV subscribers that use (or are supported by) their respective products.   "We are delighted to be recognized -- once again -- as the global IPTV access leader by one of the most influential analyst firms in the industry," says Dave Geary, President of Alcatel-Lucent's wireline networks activities.

Alcatel-Lucent Subsidiary Earns JITC Certification

LGS, a subsidiary of Alcatel-Lucent dedicated to serving the U.S. government community, announced today that two products, the Alcatel-Lucent 7750 and 7710 Service Routers, were certified by the Joint Interoperability Test Command and will be added to the IPv6 Approved Products List.   LGS designs and delivers Transformed Communications and R&D-based technology solutions to the U.S. government community. Leveraging Alcatel-Lucent Bell Labs research and development, LGS challenges itself to "solve the unsolvable" and deliver secure, reliable, standards-based solutions to its customers   The Alcatel-Lucent 7750 and 7710 Service Routers deliver carrier-grade MPLS and Ethernet services:   ·         The 7750 service router family offer up to a terabit of capacity and is characterized with the capability to deliver highly available, simultaneous Layer 2 and Layer 3 service. ·         The 7710 delivers the same multi service functionality of the 7750 in a smaller form factor. The 7710 SR is built for those areas in the network with lesser bandwidth demands, where high availability and flexibility of interface aggregation is required.   For more information about LGS visit

Citizen Media Project Results

Alcatel-Lucent is part of a group of companies that presented the findings of a Europe-wide research project that evaluated ways in which average citizens could become engaged in the creation and development of innovative online applications. Addressing the boom in new user-generated digital content and the new digital formats with which they are shared, the partners investigated in particular the role that the Internet and television play in creating social networks and how these media can influence people's daily lives and foster social change.   The Citizen Media study spanned almost three years and tracked how thousands of non-professionals (those with no prior ICT experience or Internet usage) invented and developed socially-beneficial applications.   In the end, participants from Germany, The Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, and Norway created a diverse series of applications that were deemed to deliver some social benefit.   The sociologists and engineers who made up the Citizen Media research team were led by Michiel Pelt of Alcatel-Lucent's Bell Labs in Antwerp who noted, "This is technology upside down. The advantage of working with living labs is that by observing and working with end-users who are designing, developing and deploying their ideas we can quickly turn these inventions into socially relevant innovations that have value to them. Innovations that are built with customers have a higher probability of sustainable market adoption so this type of Open Innovation really pays off."   To view videos, content, etc., feel free to visit the Citizen Media Web site.

Alcatel-Lucent Joins RSA Secured Partner Program

Alcatel-Lucent has joined the RSA Secured Partner Program, which means that moving forward, the company's mobile security solution for enterprises can offer even more security for the mobile workforce by leveraging the industry-leading RSA SecurID two-factor authentication system designed for secure and remote network access.   On a technical level, the news validates technical interoperability between Alcatel-Lucent's OmniAccess 3500 Nonstop Laptop Guardian (NLG) and the RSA SecurID system. There are currently over 40 million users of RSA SecurID, spanning across 30,000 organizations worldwide.   The OmniAccess 3500 Nonstop Laptop Guardian mobile security platform leverages 3G networks, a self-powered computing system and an automatic Virtual Private Network (VPN). The solution is designed to enable enterprises to securely manage and track laptops, ensuring that corporate data is not compromised by a lost or stolen laptop. A technical integration between the two solutions further tightens security for enterprise networks.   Back in October, Alcatel-Lucent had announced global availability of a high-speed packet access (HSPA) version of its OmniAccess 3500 Nonstop Laptop Guardian.   Enterprise IT managers have long faced a challenge when it comes to protecting laptops, and securing the sensitive data they contain whenever laptops leave the confines of the enterprise.   A recent article entitled Eliminating the Mobile Blind Spot - Extending Enterprise Security Coverage and IT Reach with the Alcatel-Lucent OmniAccess 3500 Nonstop Laptop Guardian labels this as the "mobile blind spot", which falls outside the reach of IT's protective measures. The article offers an in-depth view at the OmniAccess 3500 NLG and a look at some of the benefits of its deployment.  

Genesys Announces Customer Innovation Award Winners

Genesys Telecommunications Laboratories, an Alcatel-Lucent company announced the winners of the fourth annual Customer Innovation Awards program this week.   According to the company, the program is an annual competition that recognizes outstanding companies for their use of technology to deliver innovative customer service in highly dynamic environments.   Over 200 companies were in the running this year, and a diverse group of 28 industry analysts selected eight winners over a period of several months that spanned the Genesys Analyst Conference held in San Francisco in January 2009 and the Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise Forum held in Paris in March 2009.   The list of eight winning companies includes: ·         Presbyterian Health and Personal Nucleo from the Americas; ·         DenizBank, Etisalat, FedEx Express, and MultiChoice from EMEA; and ·         Global Speech Networks and Tokio Marine from the Asia Pacific region.   According to an official release, winners were selected based in part on a presentation in front of the industry analysts demonstrating how and why its customer engagement strategies make them among the elite customer service organizations in the world. The judging process held the finalists to the highest standards in customer care, evaluating each candidate against 20 individual categories. Three criteria determined their overall scores: innovation, optimization and improving the customer experience. The common element each of the winners shared was their ability to improve the overall customer experience while linking business issues to customer service resulting in a more strategic approach to customer interactions.   This year the winners scored either a "Four-Star" or a "Three-Star" ranking. Four stars indicate the highest honor possible; achieving three stars is regarded as an exceptional achievement.   From the official release, here are some details on the Four-Star winners:   ·         Etisalat Egypt, the Egyptian 3G service provider was selected because it has created one of the world's most advanced multimedia contact centers, combining video, voice, and SMS, with voice recognition, avatars, and other advanced self service choices.

Genesys on Datamonitor's Shortlist

TMCnet Senior Reporter Patrick Barnard recently wrote:   Due to the weak economy, companies are shifting their focus from customer acquisition to customer retention. As a result, most organizations - especially those that operate contact centers - are putting a stronger emphasis on customer service.   Barnard reports that in order to leverage advanced features and functionality not found in older, TDM-based systems customers are increasingly investing in new IP-based contact center systems.   In order to assist companies in selecting an IP contact center vendor, Datamonitor has published Decision Matrix -- Selecting an IP Contact Center Vendor. The report provides a three-pronged framework for evaluating IP contact center vendors. It includes a summary of IP contact center vendors' capabilities based on a quantitative assessment of their market impact and end-user sentiment, as well as an extensive review of the technology features that they offer, and uses these criteria to serve as the basis for the positioning of the vendors as "shortlist," "consider," or "explore."   Genesys Telecommunications Laboratories - an Alcatel-Lucent company - was one of only two vendors to make it into the "shortlist" category.     In addition to saluting Genesys in their IP Contact Center report, Datamonitor also found Genesys and its Genesys Voice Portal (GVP) to be at the head of the class in its recent report, Decision Matrix - Selecting an IVR Vendor in the Enterprise.   The IVR Decision Matrix provides guidance for enterprises looking to deploy IVR solutions.   According to the report, in evaluating the competitive dynamics in the IVR sphere, each vendor, including Genesys, was assessed in three categories:   ·         Technology Assessment: the acquisition of VoiceGenie, its support for SIP and H.323 standards, as well as additional monitoring and reporting capabilities, cemented high scores for Genesys in the technology assessment; ·         Market Impact: the large number of IVR customers and consistent double digit growth over the past five years in the GVP business resulted in high market impact scores; ·         End-user Sentiment: Genesys received the highest score in end-user sentiment by demonstrating it is a well known and trusted provider of IVR platforms.   According to Aphrodite Brinsmead, analyst for customer interaction technologies at Datamonitor and lead author of the report, "We were impressed with the next-generation applications Genesys is emphasizing. The release of its intelligent Customer Front Door (iCFD) framework is indicative of the vendor's forward thinking philosophy and commitment to extending IVR functionality."

On Earth Day, Alcatel-Lucent Highlights Eco-Awareness Campaign

Happy Earth Day!   TMCnet's Susan Campbell covered the news earlier this week regarding Alcatel-Lucent's plans to spotlight efforts toward the reduction in the company's carbon footprint.   Among the various activities, Alcatel-Lucent is planning a company-wide eco-sustainability awareness campaign, "Let's Be Eco-Friendly" whereby Alcatel-Lucent employees are being encouraged to avoid printing documents, in addition to doing things like separating trash for recycling, saving water, turn down thermostats, using teleconferencing to avoid travel, and reducing commuting by car whenever possible.   According to Campbell:   This eco-sustainability program established by Alcatel-Lucent focuses on three key areas: the company's products and solutions; applications for other businesses; and its own operations.   The company ensures that all of its products are thoroughly evaluated for energy efficiency to ensure they support service providers' efforts to reduce the carbon emissions of existing and new networks.  

Alcatel-Lucent: Some Thoughts on Rich Communications Manager

Alcatel-Lucent recently launched its 5155 Rich Communications Manager -- a solution that essentially provides a Web framework to bring together messaging, network address book, and other services with seamless interoperation.   Its WebDesk interoperates with other Alcatel-Lucent offerings, such as the 5100 Converged Messaging System, the 5410 XDMS Network Address Book, and the 5110 SMSC, company officials say. Importantly, especially in this slower economy, the solution's standards-based interfaces can be integrated with other network elements to provide converged and unified messaging.   The solution was chosen "Most Innovative Mobile Application" at the Andrew Seybold Choice Awards.   Alcatel-Lucent officials say the solution is designed to allow mobile and wireline end users to retrieve, view, respond, and forward video, photos and text from a Web portal that also integrates address books between user devices.   TMCnet had a chance to put some questions about the new product to Ray Colbert, Alcatel-Lucent's director of Rich Communication marketing strategy.
Alcatel-Lucent has put a lot of thought into streamlining communications and saving costs for businesses, and in addition, has paid attention to end users' habits and the rising popularity of social networking tools such as Facebook and Twitter.   Colbert's comments bear that out, as he told TMCnet in the interview that Alcatel-Lucent understands that the Web is where innovation is happening now.

Alcatel-Lucent Checks In With Next-Generation Hospitality Deployment

As most business travelers, I travel quite a bit during the course of an average month, and this month, I've spent an inordinate amount of time living out of a suitcase in hotels from coast to coast, so I've garnered a good perspective on technology at use in the hospitality industry. I often read about how this discount chain or that luxury hotel is deploying technology to improve the guest experience, but to be honest, I have not seen much of this technology deployed in practice.   You know there's still a ways to go, when the most exciting innovation that I've come across is the ability to arrange a wake-up call without having to interact with a hotel operator.   Still, as IP-based technology proliferates through the hospitality industry, the potential to leverage next-generation communications solutions such as VoIP or unified communications to revolutionize the guest experience is greater than ever.   And at some properties, forward-thinking CIOs are making the move to adopt and deploy next-gen communications technologies to better serve their constituents -- staff and guests alike.   In a recent case study, Riyaz Akhtar, Executive Vice President of Development, Hampshire Hotels & Resorts discusses the steps he and his team took to deploy communications and information technologies in order to:   ·         Enhance the guest experience ·         Achieve competitive differentiation ·         Raise repeat visit ratio ·         Increase operational efficiency   In the end Akhtar and his team selected Alcatel-Lucent as their technology vendor of choice.
  Writes Akhtar:   "With Alcatel-Lucent, we had an opportunity to review a number of technologies, including networking, telephony, management, security and Unified Communications -- and began exploring which technologies could positively affect key operations of all properties. We looked at how WiFi phones could optimize operations. We looked at optical gear that could connect hotels and centralize operations. And we explored how applications like MobiCall could resolve guest issues by integrating automated concierge services, contact center technology and other relevant operations."   By leveraging a variety of technological solutions from Alcatel-Lucent, Hampshire Hotels was able to enhance the guest experience, better equip the staff and facilities management to be more efficient and effective in their daily tasks, and save a huge amount of money.

ng Connect Expansion Nets Four New Members

The recently announced ng Connect Program has been enjoying strong growth as industry interest in next generation communications grows apace. Launched in February 2009, the ng Connect Program added four new members last week, bringing the total number of companies in the program to 18.   According to a recent article chronicling the expansion of the program, ng Connect is a multi-industry initiative formed to create a "rich and diverse ecosystem of infrastructure, devices, content and applications for both mobile and fixed broadband networks" including 4G, Long Term Evolution (LTE), GPON and other ultra high bandwidth technologies.   The new members include:   Atlantic Records -- Currently a top label in the music industry, Atlantic has a rich history as the home to such musical icons as Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, John Coltrane, and Led Zeppelin. Kyocera Communications Inc. (KCI) -- A new venture addressing the sales, marketing and service needs for Kyocera and Sanyo-branded wireless devices in the Americas, the company's devices are driving the convergence of telecommunications, broadband and multimedia. LearningMate -- A provider of end-to-end e-Learning education solutions by developing engaging, instructionally sound, interactive learning experiences on a variety of technology platforms and devices. MediaTile -- A supplier of all-in-one cellular digital signage and kiosk solutions designed to help customers manage and monitor their advertising, informational or interactive communications network.   According to Derek Kuhn, vice president of Emerging Technology and Media, Alcatel-Lucent, "The ng Connect program is making great progress signing up new members who are actively working together to build an open ecosystem that we know can bring whole new classes of services to market; services that can leverage the growing capabilities of service-aware IP networks, IMS and more."  

touchatag: Changing The Way We Consume, Share Media

Consumers are driving a major shift in the way media services are consumed and shared, and savvy application developers are poised to leverage the latest tools and advances in technology to present these consumers with an ever-growing array of choices in how they will interact with next-generation media.   One recent innovation comes in the form of touchatag, the online Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) service that enables developers and Web-savvy consumers to create innovative one-touch applications, which connect everyday objects with online applications.   One such application would allow users to take the age-old paradigm of sharing a mix tape and updating that practice to the 21st century.   The application in question lets users control their iTunes account via a music player cube made up of six tags, all applied to the sides of a cube. Users can assign controls (like play, stop, next track), music files (that you can stream over the internet) and Web radio stations to the touchatags. Since a cube has 6 sides there are 6 things your cube can tell iTunes to do by just touching the touchatag reader. The idea is that you stick the 6 tags on the sides of a cube (like an old Rubik's cube, a photo frame cube or a foam toy die).   Or perhaps, more simply, users can leverage the touchatag solution to create custom playlists to personalize media selection and facilitate content sharing.   The point here is that application developers and creative end users can design a wide variety of touchatag-enabled applications, limited only by their imagination.   For developers, touchatag has launched an online community where interested parties can access a full API suite enabling them to easily build and extend contactless applications.   For more information, read the article entitled touchatag Presses Play in Entertainment, Smart Toys Segments or visit the touchatag Web site.    

Alcatel-Lucent Blends CDMA, LTE in Same Base Station

Alcatel-Lucent has introduced the latest in its portfolio of next-generation wireless communications technologies, the Alcatel-Lucent 9238 Base Station Macro.   The new platform utilizes Alcatel-Lucent's software defined radio (SDR) technology, which is designed to enable wireless service providers currently using CDMA technology to upgrade smoothly to a more advanced standard, such as LTE (Long Term Evolution), in the future, or even deploy both technologies in the same base station at the same time.   The architecture of the 9238 allows service providers to mix and match CDMA and/or LTE baseband units in the same cabinet to support a variety of technology combinations. Furthermore, multiple frequencies and frequency combinations will be supported in a single footprint, making the solution extremely flexible for service providers looking to refresh and/or renovate their networks.   According to the announcement, Alcatel-Lucent's Converged RAN (radio access network) offerings build upon the company's commitment to support multiple technology standards in a common base station platform, helping ensure that investments made today will be protected in the future as networks evolve.   The 9238 Base Station Macro is also being touted for its ability to "dramatically reduce operational expenses" through a combination of improved reliability, reduced power consumption of up to 75 percent over earlier generations of equipment, and use of common components to minimize the need for spares.   For more information on Alcatel-Lucent's next generation wireless solutions, visit
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