Editor's Note: This is the ninth in a series of short articles from
Rich Tehrani based on recent visits with a number of VoIP vendors. The
previous article is available here.
Alcatel, being a French company, kept a low profile
as tension between the
mounted. I met with company executives recently and they assured me that
keeping a low profile doesn�t mean they aren�t innovating, making new
products and selling them around the world. In other words, they are still
committed solidly to the global communications market.
In order to check on them, I did a search
on TMCnet.com and found that they have really been making
announcements at a rapid clip. Especially lately.
But it isn't just the announcements and market share
increases that are impressive about this company. Alcatel has also
impressed me lately with their approach to telecom as they preach the open
systems mantra more than most other companies in the space and they are
looking for new ways to change telephony to make it more effective and
In recent talks with company executives for example,
I heard them say things like, "A person should have one voice mail
regardless of where it resides," and "We need common services
across wireless and wireline networks."
Also on the wish list, common interfaces on voice
mail so we don�t have to remember different codes for home vs. work vs.
cell voice mail systems.
They have a name for technology that will allow much
of this to take place, multiservice packet delivery. This is interesting
to me as it is similar to Nortel�s multimedia over IP concept that they
have been preaching as of late. Just when you thought the word VoIP was
the new industry standard, get ready for MSPD or MMoIP. Remember, you read
it here first.
Getting back to the Alcatel vision (or at least the
vision of a variety of their corporate executives I had a chance to meet
with recently), we should be able to have instant conferences via video if
we like. The industry needs to focus on users instead of devices or access
medium (I concur).
Personalization is a powerful theme for Alcatel and
they tell me they have an example of a Taiwanese service provider that
allowed customized ringback tone, meaning that your callers will hear an
audio file of your choosing instead of the standard ringing we are all
used to. There are some interesting concepts worth thinking about such as
customizable tones based on caller. The carrier in this example had a 4.5
month payback on the system by the way and this may be why Alcatel is
thinking of themselves as the company that allows for mass market
customization in commutations. You hear me harp about the need for new and
exciting services allowing service providers to differentiate themselves.
This vision is exactly the direction tomorrow�s communications companies
need to be going. Good Job Alcatel.
Please talk back to
me in our forums
Rich Tehrani is TMC's president. He welcomes your comments.
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