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Alcatel-Lucent Unveils Enhancements For Small Business

Alcatel-Lucent on Tuesday unveiled a brace of enhancements to its small- and midsize-business flagship product, Office Communication Solutions 2008.

Relying heavily on open source offerings, OCS has been designed from the ground up for the SMB market and has already been adopted by more than 500,000 companies worldwide.

The latest soup-to-nuts enhancements include services covering IP infrastructure, communication, mobility, collaboration, and knowledge sharing.

"Alcatel-Lucent's commitment to open standards gives our small and medium customers real flexibility in terms of which operating system, carrier, and applications they utilize as they move to the dynamic communications model that we believe is key to their success," said Tom Burns, COO of Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise activities, in a statement.

The company has divided the new enhancements into four areas:

  • Network improvements are based on the company's OmniSwitch 6400 Stackable LAN Switch, SIP trunking, and Alcatel-Lucent 8-series Extended Edition phones.
  • People enhancements are delivered by the company's Extended Communications Server Release 4.1, which features a new push mail function for use with smartphones. A one-number voice application is available, along with a Web audio conferencing service.
  • Process improvements are based partially on a relationship with open source pioneer Red Hat and allow integration of real-time voice into basic businesses processes. XML integration is another feature provided.
  • Knowledge enhancements are described by Alcatel-Lucent as improved unified communications and enterprise 2.0 applications.

A1 Lofts, which uses Alcatel-Lucent's OCS largely for its CRM features and resource-sharing tools, said in the past it had been deterred by license fees of non-open source products.

In a statement, Steve Mills, managing director of A1 Lofts, said of Alcatel-Lucent business partner The Comms Co., "The company examined each of our daily business processes and was able to identify Alcatel-Lucent's open source approach as the most successful and cost-effective way of improving each of these processes."