Security is another area of focus. The switchesï¿¼ security functions include user authentication, quarantine VLANs, access control lists, encryption, and denial of service protection. The productsï¿¼ network management functions can be integrated with other Alcatel switches. Alcatel is also touting the network equipmentï¿¼s price points (pricing starting at $2,000 per switch), claiming it comes in 25% to 30% less than competitive products, based on configuration. How much of an impact the new products will have on the small and medium market is unclear. Traditionally, Alcatel-Lucent has focused its energies on large enterprises and carrier. Recently, it has been taking more interest in small and medium businesses. However, with the LAN switching market settled in a mature phase, the company may find it difficult to wedge itself into the crowded SMB sector.
What do you think of Alcatel-Lucent as a supplier? How much interest do you have in its new switches? What would the company need to do to attract you as a buyer?