Alcatel-Lucent Technology Symposium: Motive Is Becoming a Bigger Part of Alcatel-Lucent’s Future, but Telling a Cohesive Story Needs to Be Part of the Plan

Jason Marcheck
Jason Marcheck

Summary Bullets:

  • Alcatel-Lucent’s Motive product line encompasses a slew of important capabilities, including analytics, CEM, IoT and OSS.
  • To date, the vendor’s marketing in support of Motive has been sparse and, arguably, scattershot.
  • A clearly defined and articulated marketing story is a key tenet of any strategy aimed at taking market share from incumbents.

At Alcatel-Lucent’s recently concluded Technology Symposium, held in New Jersey on November 11-13, the company devoted some of the program to talking about what it is doing with its Motive line of products. Google defines motive as “a reason for doing something, especially one that is hidden or not obvious.” That kind of sums up the marketing in support of the Motive product line. “Certainly not hidden, but not obvious” would be fair. Continue reading “Alcatel-Lucent Technology Symposium: Motive Is Becoming a Bigger Part of Alcatel-Lucent’s Future, but Telling a Cohesive Story Needs to Be Part of the Plan”

Alcatel-Lucent Technology Symposium: Revenue Diversification Not a Shift Plan Pillar, but a Fourth Leg of the Stool?

Jason Marcheck
Jason Marcheck

Summary Bullets:

  • Alcatel-Lucent, like most network equipment suppliers, realizes that it needs to look beyond telecom network operators for long-term growth and viability.
  • Alcatel-Lucent’s work with partners such as Accenture helps the vendor overcome a lack of name recognition outside telecom.
  • The obvious downside of a partnership strategy is that partners can be, and often are, promiscuous.

“We want to be promiscuous.” (The name of the speaker, along with their company affiliation, has been removed to protect their reputation.)

That’s a quote from Alcatel-Lucent’s recently concluded Technology Symposium, held in New Jersey on November 11-13. Aside from giving the artist drawing a storyboard summary of the session (seen below) an awkward moment when pondering how to fit that into the picture, it gave the audience a clear view of how big companies view partnerships: there are many possibilities out there, and many of them want to get in bed with each other, metaphorically speaking.

Continue reading “Alcatel-Lucent Technology Symposium: Revenue Diversification Not a Shift Plan Pillar, but a Fourth Leg of the Stool?”

AT&T Analyst Conference – The Three Networking Things Vendors and Carriers Need to Know

Jason Marcheck
Jason Marcheck

Summary Bullets:

  • AT&T’s Consumer Industry Analyst Conference was held in Atlanta on November 2 and 3, offering network analysts a peek into the strategies of one of telecom’s most influential market makers.
  • AT&T, rightly in our opinion, views virtualization as the key to maintaining cost parity with OTTs and other, more nimble SPs.

I had two personal epiphanies at AT&T’s 2014 Consumer Industry Analyst Conference (CIAC) earlier this week in Atlanta. First, Atlanta is a great city for a quick business trip. It has a temperate late fall climate. Getting to/from the city is fairly easy. It has a preponderance of cheap, nice hotels and features a deep-rooted mastery at frying up extremely tasty southern cuisine. Second, carrier conferences are an infrastructure analysts’ equivalent of finding money in the pocket of one’s jeans. Continue reading “AT&T Analyst Conference – The Three Networking Things Vendors and Carriers Need to Know”

SDN and NFV Product Assessments – How to Boil the Ocean Using Small Pots?

Jason Marcheck
Jason Marcheck

Summary Bullets:

  • Current Analysis is known for side-by-side product comparisons; this can be problematic when comparisons need to be made between broadly varying solutions.
  • The first step in making meaningful comparisons is framing broad, yet meaningful dimensions for comparative analysis.

In the large and complex realm of telecom networking, seemingly overwhelming tasks are often related in daunting and, sometimes, gross metaphors. Case in point, “boiling the ocean” seems like a hard, but perhaps not completely distasteful task (especially if armed with some coconut oil, a large-brimmed hat and, ideally, a frozen drink). On the other hand, making the analogy to “how to eat an elephant” just seems nasty. Even hungry lions tend to shy away from that job. Nevertheless, however it gets epitomized, the concept of dealing with a monumental task is common in the telecom world. What’s more, it’s something the telecom world is faced with as we enter the home stretch of 2014. Continue reading “SDN and NFV Product Assessments – How to Boil the Ocean Using Small Pots?”

OSS/BSS Vendor Satisfaction – Are “Product Companies” Missing the Boat on Delivery?

Jason Marcheck
Jason Marcheck

Summary Bullets:

  • Current Analysis collected responses on OSS/BSS purchase drivers and vendor satisfaction from large operators around the globe representing approximately half of the global telecom CapEx spend.
  • The companies that topped the list in questions related to vendor satisfaction seem to be better known as large SI players than as OSS/BSS specialists.

The funny thing about surveys is that while nearly everyone is interested in the results, most also view them with a “take with a grain of salt” attitude. So, as one of the main people at Current Analysis responsible for designing, conducting and reporting on the primary research surveys that we do aimed at telecom networks, I have grown somewhat used to folks being selective about which results resonate vs. which ones get dismissed. Accordingly, I have also grown more comfortable in reading the tea leaves as I see them and retaining my sense of professional self-worth when folks take my analysis with the aforementioned bits of sodium chloride. Continue reading “OSS/BSS Vendor Satisfaction – Are “Product Companies” Missing the Boat on Delivery?”

AT&T Adds Alcatel-Lucent and FNC to the Domain 2.0 Roster, Taking It Upon Itself to Build an SDN/NFV Ecosystem

Jason Marcheck
Jason Marcheck

Summary Bullets:

  • AT&T’s Domain 2.0 vendor roster now stands at eight publicly announced participants; the operator has essentially created its own de facto ecosystem.
  • How AT&T plans to use each vendor has not been announced. Regardless, substantial coordination among the participants will be required.

AT&T spent 25 billion dollars on CapEx last year. Just to put that in perspective, if AT&T was a country, its CapEx alone would be in the top 100 of global GDP. There were several countries smaller than this in the recently concluded World Cup tournament. Continue reading “AT&T Adds Alcatel-Lucent and FNC to the Domain 2.0 Roster, Taking It Upon Itself to Build an SDN/NFV Ecosystem”

Can Operators Invest in Network Quality to Improve Top Line Performance?

Jason Marcheck
Jason Marcheck

Seemingly for years now, we’ve heard telecom network equipment vendors talk about the need for CSPs to counteract the trend of falling revenue per bit metrics. Like modern day ‘Ghosts of Christmas Future,’ these warnings are accompanied by menacing infographics with scary-sounding names like ‘the scissor chart.’ These charts feature jagged lines depicting an (as yet undefined) point in time where delivering data services becomes a resource-draining burden, rather than a twenty-first century business opportunity.

The problem with these prognostications is that rarely have they been accompanied by concrete plans or solutions which will help operators to solve their problems. Sure, there has been the standard acknowledgment of the ‘network as a differentiator’ and some vague notion of partnering with OTTs, but that is a far cry from putting forth actionable plans that detail how to deal with the chart below. Continue reading “Can Operators Invest in Network Quality to Improve Top Line Performance?”