Highlights of The Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise Analyst Conference Event in Chicago
Last month I had the opportunity to attend the Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise Analyst Conference in the beautiful city of Chicago. Many analysts from different world regions focusing on the enterprise communications market were brought together to meet with the ALU Enterprise executive team and hear about the company’s strategic direction, product development, and customer wins. The event was very productive and the audience received clear guidance on where the company stands today and where it is headed with its enterprise communications strategies. The following are some of the key highlights of the event:
Genesys Spinoff Completed with Successful Technology Transfer
At the event kick-off Mr. Michel Emelianoff, the president of the ALU-Enterprise business unit, explained how the company successfully imported the source code, object code, and tools from the Genesys organization. The results were described as very satisfactory and receiving validation and acceptance from the company´s customers. The main outcome of this technology transfer is Alcatel-Lucent’s advanced OpenTouch architecture, which now comes in various flavors, including the OpenTouch Business Edition and the OpenTouch Multi Media Services.
Alignment of Core Focus Areas
Taking into account the different market trends impacting the enterprise communications space, Alcatel-Lucent identified key focus areas based on specific business opportunities. Some of the company´s main goals included delivering on the IP/SIP transformation, enabling new consumer-led usages of applications and devices, delivering on the pod/mesh architecture, and turning on dynamic application fluency on optimized access.
In pursuit of these core goals, the company has set up concrete plans for growth. First, Mr. Emelianoff explained that Alcatel-Lucent will focus on key target markets, placing special emphasis on the small and mid-market segments. A recent Frost & Sullivan study revealed that 70 percent of the world SMB businesses are still using legacy communications infrastructure. The same study revealed that around 50 percent of these users consider implementing advanced IP communications within the coming two to three years. As a result, there is a clear business opportunity in the SMB space that Alcatel-Lucent could leverage. Furthermore, due to the consumerization of IT, the company wants to capitalize on its installed base by leveraging various UC-related communications applications and consumer-led models. Its strategies revolve around the notions of multi-party, multi-device, and multi-media conversations. For this, the company will specifically aim at creating a leading position with OpenTouch and introducing new attractive applications and cloud-based models. Finally, Alcatel-lucent wants to continue to bet on an accelerating infrastructure transformation by helping enterprises to implement an application-fluent network and invest in data center transformation. The goal is to achieve double-digit growth in data.
Alignment of Online Marketing Strategy
In order to increase brand awareness and adapt to the continually changing landscape of enterprise communications, Alcatel-Lucent has decided to align its online marketing approach with the customer buying cycle. Based on the notion of educating the prospective customer (creating reputation), providing a potential solution (generating demand), and helping in the selection process (enabling sales), the company is investing in different marketing resources, such as virtual events, webinars, marketing automation (ELOQUA), a reference store, and an SMB microsite. The final goals are to engage, influence, and enable customers to acquire new communications technologies.
Shifts in World Regional Emphasis
One of the most tweeted phrases in Mr. Jan Zuubier´s presentation, Alcatel-Lucent´s Vice President of Sales, was "Southern Europe (e.g., Greece, Italy) is keeping me awake at night". The very challenging economic climate resulted in a weak company performance in the enterprise communications market. As a result, substantial resources were released and allocated to other world regions, such as Latin America and the Middle East. Aside from this region, Alcatel-Lucent has done pretty well in all the rest of the regions, including Central and Northern Europe (healthy growth in Germany, Poland, Turkey, and UK), Middle East and Africa (including South Africa, UAE, Quatar, Morocco, Saudi, Algeria, Kuwait, and Senegal), South America, and North America. Mr. Zuubier revealed that the order intake in enterprise communications increased around 17 percent in North America, with strong growth in education, healthcare, and the hospitality sector. Finally, the Asia Pacific region was described as a very fruitful region with double-digit growths in both the enterprise communications and networks markets. Healthy growth figures are seen in South-East Asia, Singapore, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, and China.
Expansion of the OpenTouch Solutions & Technologies
Alcatel-Lucent also shared insight on the evolution of the OpenTouch portfolio and the transformation of the user experience, the technology, and the consumption models. New products have been added to the broad range of communications solutions and technologies related to OpenTouch. On one hand, the OpenTouch Conversation is the new face of this OpenTouch architecture and provides a single, intuitive interface to access a complete range of UC features on the iPads today, and other mobile devices in the future. On the other hand, and on the visual front, the company introduced OpenTouch Video Store, a “YouTube-like” experience that allows companies to own a private portal to record and share visual content. As Lizardo Espinosa and Craig Walker simply explained, the OpenTouch Video Store allows you to own the content of videos, instead of having YouTube owning the information. While there have been many other new and interesting technologies announced to the analyst communities, those were under strict NDA requirements.
My Takeaways From the Event
Overall, the company made a very good impression to the analyst community in terms of its understanding of the latest market trends and how it is planning to address them. In the vision and strategy presentation Mr. Emelianoff described the emergence of a new era: the personal cloud era, brought by the tablet, one of the major disrupters in the enterprise space. The personal cloud era is founded on the user’s ability to use the technology the way he or she likes it. How will Alcatel-Lucent help in this paradigm shift? By evolving the infrastructure to user-centric application-fluent networks and, thus, enabling organizations to move to the personal cloud era at their own pace.