Alcatel-Lucent Launches Visual Collaboration Suite
Turn the way-back machine to 2008. At the time, The VAR Guy was skeptical about the future of Alcatel-Lucent. Yes indeed, the networking giant has hit some bumps. But now, with the unified communications scene picking up speed in the enterprise, Alcatel-Lucent is hoping to capitalize on that momentum. Enter Alcatel-Lucent’s Visual Collaboration Suite, a unique package of video-based tools that can help individuals connect and visually collaborate in real-time.
The Visual Collaboration Suite currently comes packaged with the Interactive Whiteboard Solution, which solidifies the “visual” aspect of the collaboration suite and pushes it beyond video. The solution integrates with the second part of the package, which is the Alcatel-Lucent My Teamwork application. This, in turn, also links up with the new SMART Board 685ix interactive whiteboard, offering real-time writing and drawings. Mobile workers can jump on VCS with new web-based video conferencing clients, too.
In some ways, Alcatel-Lucent’s moves remind us of the InFocus Mondopad, which resembles a massive iPad that businesses can mount in corporate offices and meeting rooms.
Alcatel-Lucent also wants any connected device to become a portal to the UC world. The idea is to bring the cost down by utilizing existing endpoints. To delver that vision, Alcatel-Lucent has worked with “best-of-breed” collaborators, like RADVISION, LifeSize and more to fully develop the Visual Collaboration Suite (VCS), which in turn, is built on the back of the OpenTouch communication
Apparently, Alcatel-Lucent channel partners demanded more collaboration choices at more affordable prices — and Alcatel-Lucent responded with these new solutions. Though currently, no prices have been announced, they are likely to fluctuate depending on the size and needs of a deployment. Partners can jump in here.
No doubt, competition is heating up in the unified communications market. We’ve seen a concerted effort to create a large interconnected UC network with big names like Cisco and its Enterprise Content Delivery System and Polycom with its recent venture launching the Open Visual Communications Consortium.