September 17, 2010
Alcatel-Lucent Signs On as Platinum Sponsor of StartupCamp, Communications Edition
By Beecher Tuttle, TMCnet Web Editor
In early October, TMC will be hosting its annual ITEXPO West 2010 event, a face-to-face gathering point for the communications and technology community. During the three-day conference, patrons will have the opportunity to attend several industry-specific collocated events, such as the cloud communications summit and the smart product ecosystem conference.
One of the most anticipated events at this year’s show is sure to be StartupCamp, Communications Edition, which provides an opportunity for industry leaders, investors and technology professionals to validate and network with executives from several thriving startups in the communications space.
The event is being sponsored by a number of established industry leaders, including Alcatel-Lucent (News - Alert), Skype and Twilio. To gain a better understanding of the importance of supporting startup companies – especially in this economy – TMCnet recently conducted an interview with Redg Snodgrass, who heads up Alcatel Lucent’s (News - Alert) Open API Service. The full conversation can be found below.
Why did Alcatel-Lucent decide to participate in StartupCamp, Communications Edition?
After looking at its premise and the group's core values, how could we not participate? If you don't innovate on your technology, it will eventually become obsolete. Neither Alcatel-Lucent nor our customers think that all innovation belongs to large service providers. We are always looking to see and hear about the next big thing coming along.
What do you hope to gain from the event?
I personally came from a startup company, so it is gratifying for me to see and give feedback to some of the same people I struggled and fought alongside of not that long ago. It is also nice to be in a position to help so many people. Being an entrepreneur is a unique club that comes with bumps and bruises.
Alcatel-Lucent seeks to show itself as supporting the startup community, especially in the communications area. Alcatel-Lucent's Open API Platform team is primarily from the Silicon Valley. It wouldn't be right for us to pretend that the culture of the team doesn't have startup in its DNA. Alcatel-Lucent also wants to listen. By learning from entrepreneurs, we can build solutions that help solve some of the biggest issues that plague our customers. We take events like this seriously and come with an open mind. Most innovation comes from the small guys in the garage or the brilliant technologist with a dream -- not necessarily someone with a billion dollar R&D budget.
Can you speak to the importance of entrepreneurism in the communications space?
I think people tend to forget that Alcatel-Lucent's Bell Labs (News - Alert) started as a venture formed by people who put it all on the line in order to make things easier for humanity. When you walk down the halls of Bell Labs, you see Noble Prizes, patents and a bust of Alexander Graham Bell. None of this would be possible if he hadn't been a tremendous entrepreneur.
Entrepreneurs create the initial pricks that rupture some of the tantamount problems that face the communications industry. At Alcatel Lucent, it is our responsibility to continue to enable entrepreneurs to fundamentally change the world by solving the issues the communications industry faces today. To do anything less is not who we are as a company and does not represent where we've come from.
How is A-L planning on pushing the communications world in the coming years, especially with its two recent acquisitions?
Alcatel-Lucent's Open API Platform is the lynch pin in allowing our customers to compete in this chaotic and disruptive application space. Our solution helps our customers compete in the application war and make key connections with their end users. The platform is the single easiest and most thoughtful way for entrepreneurs to manage their four pillars of quality, monetization, discoverability and distribution. It gives our customers the ability to not just remain relevant, but to compete and win against platforms like Apple and Google (News - Alert).
Alcatel-Lucent is becoming the one-stop shop to take an application to market. The acquisition of Open-Plug and ProgramableWeb demonstrate our seriousness and our well-thought-out strategy around helping everyone in the ecosystem make money and drive benefit to the end consumer.
Beecher Tuttle is a Web Editor for TMCnet. He has extensive experience writing and editing for print publications and online news websites. He has specialized in a variety of industries, including health care technology, politics and education. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.
Edited by Beecher Tuttle