Telcos launch enterprise solutions as survey says operators must move fast

HP and Alcatel Lucent have launched an enterprise play that they claim will provide businesses with operator-level service at a much lower cost.

The technology behind the two vendors’ new Data Centre Network Connect architecture will, according to a statement, offer large enterprises and governments the same levels of reliability, speed and capacity that are currently available to operators.

The vendors say trends such as server virtualisation, scale-out applications, network convergence and the cloud are placing demands on data centres and networks that require increased bandwidth and low latency.

The DCNC is their response, which brings together HP’s data centre and IT expertise with A-L’s network portfolio. Specifically, it will leverage A-L’s recently launched CloudBand solution.

“Clients are creating vast amounts of information that needs to be resourced, distributed and shared without compromising the quality of the data or the speed at which it’s delivered,” said Arthur Filip, HP’s technology consulting VP.

The launch is the latest product of HP and A-L’s 10-year partnership in which they are betting on the continued convergence of IT and telecoms.

Canada-based Research in Motion has also made an enterprise play this week. The maker of BlackBerry has launched Mobile Fusion – the company’s mobility solution for businesses.

It also marks the vendor’s entry into the multi-platform mobile device management market.

Interestingly, RiM’s product allows businesses to manage devices running iOs and Android, as well as BlackBerry, from its web-based console management system. Depending on how you see RiM’s future, this is a move that could be viewed as either pragmatic or desperate.

Mobile Fusion, which amongst a myriad of other functions allows a single device to be used for both work and personal purposes, is expected to be available next March.

RiM said the launch was partly in response to the growing popularity of the bring-your-own-device culture, which is creating challenges for companies looking to control wireless access to confidential information.

A new survey of IT managers in the US and UK, Mobile Enterprise of the Future, released this week by VoIP vendor Broadsoft backed this up. It found that a quarter of respondents have devices in their businesses that are employee-owned.

More generally, the survey found that enterprises are going mobile quicker than previously thought. Over a quarter, 26 percent, of respondents expect mobile phones to replace desk phones within two years.

Companies are also expanding their unified communications solutions with video conferencing proving to be the most popular; 46 percent plan to deploy VC on mobile devices in the next three years.

Of particular interest to operators is who respondents view as being best placed to provide a unified communications service. Mobile operators are favoured more than their fixed counterparts although both trail Microsoft and Google.

“Mobile network operators have a compelling, but closing window of opportunity to be the preferred provider of choice when it comes to delivering unified communications services,” said Broadsoft’s Leslie Ferry. “[They] need to act now, before competitors erode their customer base.”

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