Alcatel Discounts Branch Office Bundles

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Alcatel Monday unveiled three new discounted convergence bundles for its channel partners to target branch office deployments.

The bundles, which include products for both data networking and IP telephony, are list-priced at 30 percent to 50 percent less than if the products were purchased separately, said Jeanne Bayerl, director of marketing program management for Alcatel. The special pricing runs until April 30, she said.

The Alcatel branch office convergence solutions combine LAN switching, WAN routing and both PSTN and IP telephony, with most of the telephony features available at the headquarters office, Bayerl said. Many branch telephony solutions offer far fewer features than their headquarters counterparts, she added. All three bundles can be remotely managed and offer backup and survivability options if the WAN connection to the headquarters office is lost, Bayerl said.

Robert Palmer, vice president of sales for Los Angeles-based solution provider Compel, said the discounted Alcatel bundles provide a cost-effective way for his clients to test IP telephony in their branches. "I have customers who are interested but feel it's too expensive right now," Palmer said. "With discounts averaging about 30 percent, it's now affordable to test the technology."

Because the Alcatel solutions interconnect with existing PBXes and support both analog and IP phones, they also provide a smooth migration path for customers that eventually decide to convert to all IP, Palmer added.

For the small branch office with fewer than 10 employees, the Alcatel OmniBranch 10 supports both IP phones and traditional analog or digital PBX services through its integrated VoIP gateway. The bundle is priced at $6,950.

Priced at $11,170, the Alcatel OmniBranch 50, which supports up to 50 users, adds the ability to host applications at both the branch and at headquarters.

With the same abilities as the 50-user model, the OmniBranch 100 handles branch offices with up to 100 employees and is priced at $34,025.

Alcatel partner discounts remain unchanged on the bundles and average from 30 percent to 45 percent.

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