Alcatel-Lucent (ALU), probably better known outside the United States and in the telephony space, has partnered with InfoExpress to provide NAC to ALU's customers. The shrink-wrap deal will roll-out InfoExpress to ALU's top-tier channel.
InfoExpress is one of those companies that baffle me. I have been following them for about 12 years now and they come up with some pretty innovative products like one of the first, if not the first, managed client VPN products, one of the first centrally managed desktop suites, one of the first to tie in a network appliance with their security products, and the most recent technology, DNAC (distributed NAC), that uses hosts to enforce access control. But the company has largely toiled unnoticed by enterprises, at least in the United States.
Not one for mincing words, I asked Michel Emelianoff, VP, and Sarvesh Rao, product manager for Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise Security Solutions, the blunt question (meaning no insult to Stacy Lum and crew) "Why InfoExpress?" They were mainly interested in the host integrity module and ALU needed a product that fit both wired and wireless networks and was simple to deploy. However, if the partnership works well, ALU also is looking to deepen the integration between parts of InfoExpress's product line and ALU and that is really where InfoExpress adds value to Alcatel-Lucent, with its creativity and innovation.
At a time when everyone is talking about NAC, partnering with an existing vendor makes sense for ALU and certainly gives InfoExpress a leg up with enterprise customers and an existing set of customers.