Alcatel-Lucent's stock drops despite positive news

Telecom firm inks major deal with NTT, launches cloud-based enterprise UC product

Despite a number of positive announcements, including a major contract win with NTT Communications and the launch of a new enterprise cloud product, Alcatel-Lucent saw its stock price on Wall Street decline from a high of $1.50 on Wednesday to close at $1.40 on Friday, around a 7 percent drop.

On Thursday, Alcatel-Lucent announced that it received a contract from Japanese carrier NTT Communications to use its edge router systems for NTT's virtual private network (VPN) enterprise services in Japan and worldwide.

Alcatel-Lucent's 7750 service router supports platform capacities ranging from 40Gbps to 2Tbps. It has a processing structure adapted to NTT's service, quality-of-service provisioning, and a range of protocols and interfaces, such as Ethernet.

Meanwhile, at EnterpriseConnect 2013 held last week in Orlando, Fla., Alcatel-Lucent unveiled a new cloud-based unified communications (UC) product as well as a new contact center offering.

Alcatel-Lucent said its OpenTouch Enterprise Cloud product enables service providers, system integrators and channels "to build a UC as a service [UCaaS] offering for their enterprise customers," according to Lizardo Espinosa, director of product marketing for communications solutions at Alcatel-Lucent. Enterprise Cloud combines the OpenTouch UC architecture with OmniPCX Enterprise telephony, video, instant messaging, presence, videoconferencing and Web collaboration.

Enterprise Cloud is a software suite, hardware agnostic and virtualized. It can be deployed in the cloud or as an overlay to an existing premise-based telephony infrastructure.

"This is the same platform we sell for on-premise UC deployments, but this is the virtualized version, which enables it to fit better in the data center," Espinosa told FierceEnterpriseCommunications.

Alcatel-Lucent's first three strategic partners for Enterprise Cloud are Icon Voice Networks in the United States, Switch Communications in the U.K. and UXC Connect in Australia. "We are also working with another 15 partners around the world" to offer Enterprise Cloud, he related.

Based on a new right-to-use software license, Alcatel-Lucent enterprise business partners can offer the Enterprise Cloud product in a software-as-a-service cloud model.

"Along with this technology, we are putting in place a new licensing model. What we are selling is the software that can be hosted in any server, in any infrastructure. It is hardware agnostic," Espinosa said.

"So our partners do not need to do upfront investments. They have a customer, they activate X number of licenses, and we bill them based on the number of licenses activated. This includes flexible, elastic licensing. The customer can decide to increase or decrease the number of licenses at any time… There is no penalty," Espinosa said.

In addition, Alcatel-Lucent launched a new contact center product that is also based on its OpenTouch UC platform. The OpenTouch Customer Service product provides contact center personnel with unified interaction management, routing and desktop functionality; a single Web-based management portal; a unified dialer; integration with other business tools, such as customer relationship management and enterprise resource planning applications; and the ability to add new features on top of the existing infrastructure, including social media applications.

"If you look at the contact center market today, the way vendors cover the market is a bit fragmented," explained Stanislas Corporeau, product marketing director for Alcatel-Lucent's Enterprise Group. "What we are trying to do with OpenTouch Customer Service is to offer a solution that can evolve in terms of functionality, feature sets and scalability," Corporeau told FierceEnterpriseCommunications.

Alcatel-Lucent is partnering with Altitude Software to develop the OpenTouch Customer Service product. "We will be leveraging their solution, but we will add additional elements on top of that to make sure their solution fully integrates with our OpenTouch UC architecture," he said.

For more:
- check out Alcatel-Lucent's NTT release
- see Alcatel-Lucent's Enterprise Cloud and contact center announcements

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