Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise Discusses OpenTouch Conversations and Organizational Changes

8 Apr 2012
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At Enterprise Connect 2012 in Orlando, Eric Penisson, General Manager, Enterprise Communications, Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise, discusses ALU's new OpenTouch Conversation client, and some of the recent changes at ALU.

Blair Pleasant: Hi this is Blair Pleasant from UCStrategies, and with me is Eric Pennison from Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise. Eric, you have been sharing some exciting news with us and we just heard about OpenTouch Conversation. What can you tell us about it?

Eric Penisson: Yes Blair, you are right. It is a very special moment and we are very excited. We launched the OpenTouch Conversation a couple of days ago and we have already received a lot of great feedback from the press, analysts, and our customers and partners. It is very exciting for us for several reasons. First, we are addressing a trend which is very relevant for the industry today, this is "bring your own device." And two, we are addressing that trend with a very strong architecture, that's the OpenTouch architecture which relies, I would say, on a very different structural differentiation in terms of enablement. There are like three "multis" which power this architecture. It is the multi-user or the ability to add any participants to any conversation on the fly, without limits; it's the multimedia capability of this architecture which handles all media, seamlessly at the core which means instant messaging, voice or video. We have a software MCU embedded with switching and mixing capabilities, escalation, and so on and so forth. And it is the multi-device ability, which gives the user the power of running multiple devices and have the capability to switch from one to the other completely seamlessly.

Now what we do is we are bringing the face to OpenTouch, with OpenTouch Conversation. And the third point, which is very exciting, is the user experience. We have invested quite a bit and we've done it with a new partner and the new partner is Frog Design who has a lot of expertise in terms of visuals, in terms of economics, in terms of interaction design.

Blair Pleasant: And they did a lot with Apple, too, right?

Eric Penisson: Yes, with Apple as well. And I think with this we are really coming up on the market with something that is raising the bar in terms of user experience.

Blair Pleasant: And what's next for OpenTouch?

Eric Penisson: As for OpenTouch, there are plenty of things that we have coming up, the roadmap is really exciting. Of course, we are going to continue and build up on the user experience and OpenTouch Conversation is going to continue, we're going to to bring it to new systems, new endpoints, so Android as an example. As I said, the second big direction that we want to focus on is simplicity. Simplicity is always something that people talk about. It is a bit difficult to demonstrate, but it is very important and we want to excel in the mid-market and that is our objective in 2012, so we are going to have very strong focus to simplify the solutions in terms of installation, maintenance, provisioning and all of those matters.

The third important direction is virtualization and cloud. So we are going to have full virtualization of our current solutions, so we have OmniPCX Enterprise coming up at mid of the year. Open Touch Multimedia Services will be virtualized at the end the year. Our journey will continue with cloud-based solutions.

Blair Pleasant: Okay. And there have been some changes in the past few months regarding Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise business. So can you talk a little bit about how that impacts you and what changes have been taking place?

Eric Penisson: Yes. There is virtually no real impact. With the Genesys merge, we had one goal. The goal was to create technology synergy and build a next generation platform that really leverages the best of Genesys and Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise technology assets. And this we have done. With OpenTouch, and with the separation from Genesys, we've clearly put the two companies in the position to continue to thrive. So Genesys has all the IP from Alcatel-Lucent, all the source code, and reversely we have all the IPRs and all the source code, production tools, test suites, and everything that we need to continue to thrive with OpenTouch. In particular we have SIP Server and GDP, and Alcatel has now completely leverage our OpenTouch roadmap with complete and full autonomy. At the people level, here no disruption either, because we never had cuts in terms of managers or people in charge. We had a situation where people from the Genesys origin continued to focus on what they do best, which is contact center opportunities. People from the voice origin continue to be in charge of the operations. So now, with a number of people going away, voice people continue to be in charge and have been moved to positions where they weren't before, but with the same level of responsibility. So those people were used before the merge, they were in charge during the merge, and they continue to be in charge, so therefore there is no disruption. Everything is going very well.

Blair Pleasant: And lastly, what are you most excited about for 2012?

Eric Penisson: So for 2012, what is really exciting is to see that we have an organization with people that are very happy to be there, that are all aligned towards a common goal, and the passion for business. Our second thing is not technology what we just talked about. I think now we are really in the position where we have a wealth of assets and technology bricks that we own completely with full autonomy and that we are going to be able to assemble to build new packages, new innovative solutions, and what I see we are going to drive a very powerful roadmap in 2012-13 and that is really exciting.

Blair Pleasant: Well, thank you very much, Eric.

Eric Penisson: Thank you.

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