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Alcatel-Lucent will be launching a number of training and marketing programs specific for its roughly 350 enterprise partners around the world, as well as customers.
"I think the market is still predominantly confused around SDN," Alcatel-Lucent's Grossner said. "This is a practical approach to SDN and more specific than any one whiz-bang technology. We'll be doing internal webinars and lots of outreach to help everybody get more familiar around how we're automating the network."
The various capabilities Grossner described, along with other updates, will be included on refreshes of Alcatel-Lucent's OmniSwitch 10K and 6900 platforms in the new year. The company will support OpenFlow, it said, but not until 2014.
Among other recent moves, Alcatel-Lucent this week launched a new version of its UC platform for small businesses, OpenTouch Suite for SMB, including a number of enhancements specific to social media interaction.
Social media is so pervasive at this point that its use -- and the demands it places on business networks -- has to be taken in account when solution providers are pitching customers, Katerina Cerny, SMB solutions director, Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise, told CRN.
"More than 80 percent of SMB communications are made toward external contacts," she said. "We also have an obvious tight border between consumer and professional tools with an evolution of user behavior. Social media is being used more and more in the business landscape."
The updated OpenTouch Suite for SMB includes the latest version, 9.0, of Alcatel-Lucent's OmniPCX Office Rich Communication Edition, as well as new tools such as My IC Social Networks, which synchs social media feeds like Skype, Facebook and MSN with Outlook directories and presence.
In addition, Alcatel-Lucent is also adding a new IP DECT Access Point that includes features such as universal directory access from iPhone and Android devices and video options, including through the My IC Video client or using a LifeSize Unit 50 unit Alcatel-Lucent offers via a resale agreement from LifeSize Communications.
Other new features include additional SIP capacity of up to 120 SIP phones on the OmniPCX, smart call routing and browser-based UC and call-setting services via a client called My IC Web for Office.
According to Cerny, Alcatel-Lucent has more than 660,000 SMBs in its installed base of OpenTouch technologies with more than 17 million total users.
Alcatel-Lucent in the past year has continued to build up its enterprise group channel focus, especially in North America, even as rumors persist that the parent company will look to unload the enterprise unit as part of its restructuring effort. The global enterprise business represents between 10 and 12 percent of Alcatel-Lucent's overall revenue, according to analyst estimates.