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Alcatel-Lucent Forum: A Dynamic Time in Paris

As Humphrey Bogart famously said, "We'll always have Paris." Thanks to Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise Forum, I'll always have fond memories of Paris. In addition to the requisite fine food and wine, Forum also provided an opportunity to meet with ALU executives and to hear about how the company plans to build on its Dynamic Enterprise vision.Forum's theme was about enabling the Dynamic Enterprise to make money and save money. The Dynamic Enterprise definition states that the performance of a company is linked to its ability to bring together network, people, process and knowledge with real-time communications to turn every single interaction into a business opportunity. The goal of the Dynamic Enterprise vision is to release the knowledge and expertise trapped in certain key employees and processes through the effective implementation of networking tools such as collaboration and unified communications.

One of the ALU people I met with was Gianvero Durly, who discussed some of the enhancements ALU made in the unified communication and collaboration area, including enhanced multi-media support, integrated unified communications applications, and integrated mobility and UC. Durly explained that ALU's approach starts with creating a strong UC foundation, creating a better user experience, and then mobilizing UC, integrating UC into the desktop user applications, and integrating UC with vertical processes and applications.

ALU's unified communications and collaboration offering has been rebranded as the all-in-one OmniTouch 8400 Instant Communications Suite (ICS). The ICS is moving toward being switch agnostic, with new features including integration of high-definition video for presentations and videoconferencing and advanced voice messaging services. The ICS brings together telephony, PBX-agnostic messaging and one-number services, fax services, collaboration/conferencing services, mobility services and extensible markup language (XML) web services. ICS's key value proposition is an enhanced user experience, increased employee mobility, and enhancing UC's presence in the enterprise (no presence pun intended).

The My Instant Communicator client lets individuals communicate in their choice of media and device, while providing IT with only one environment to support. It provides a multimedia communications interface to offer visual control in a single window or balloon over multiple multimedia sessions via a single interface, enabling users to have multiple multimedia sessions in a single window from the same single interface.

Focusing on what it calls the "young digital natives" who use SMS, Facebook, Twitter, and other social networking tools to communicate and are accustomed to doing multiple things at once on different devices, ALU is targeting My Instant Communicator to provide them with an intuitive, non-intrusive single interface to manage their communications.

Mobility was a big focus, and ALU's UC is now "going mobile" (and they appropriately played the Who "Going Mobile" song during the keynote session). Noting that it provides the user their choice of communication device at that particular time, the latest version of OmniTouch Unified Communication Solution and the 8600 My Instant Communicator will support new mobile clients, including the BlackBerry, Windows Mobile 6 and 6.1, as well as some Nokia devices. ALU announced that it is also extending its UC capabilities to the Apple iPhone, and Google Android--all with the same user interface.

The theme of becoming a Dynamic Enterprise was consistent in all of the presentations I attended at Forum. As enterprises struggle to survive and thrive in this challenging economy, those that can actually become Dynamic Enterprises by aligning networks, people, process and knowledge have a better chance at being able to save money and make money--which all companies need to do today.