Alcatel-Lucent has announced a range of new voice and data switching and routing products and enhancements, all designed to convince people the company is a serious competitor to Cisco.
"Cisco is the big elephant and our main competition," said Hema Ganapathy, spokeswoman for the enterprise solutions group at Paris-based Alcatel-Lucent. The distinguishing characteristic of Alcatel-Lucent, which was created by the combining of two networking product makers two years ago, is a "really strong voice and data integration," she added.
The list of 30 hardware and software products includes a Version 9 release of the OmniPCX Enterprise voice switch, which can serve 100,000 users and includes features that rely on Session Initiation Protocol standards. Release 5 of the OmniVista 4760 voice switch provides simplified management tools in networks using SIP as well.
An update of the 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. IBM Lotus Sametime is also integrated. An update of the OmniSwitch 6400 brings Gigabit Ethernet to the desktop.
Ganapathy said the combined companies have added 5,000 customers in the past two years. Revenues exceeded $12 billion (£7.9 billion) at the end of 2007.
While Alcatel was often criticised as being Europe-centric, the combined companies have been earning more than 20 percent of revenues from North America and more than 10 percent from the Asia-Pacific region, she said. Sales of LAN, wireless LAN and contact centre products have exceeded the average for sales by the entire market for those categories, she added.