Major Merger: Alcatel and Lucent Technologies finally formalized their merger plans, announcing a definitive agreement to create a global communications solutions provider with a broad wireless, wireline and services portfolio. The combined company's revenue is estimated to be $25 billion. The merger's goal is to create a "global leader in the transformation of next-generation wireless, wireline and converged networks," but analysts say the companies have their work cut out for them. "So the world is looking for a competitor to Cisco, but Alcatel/Lucent isn't it," said Zeus Karavella, vice president at the Yankee Group. "I think two companies that have little to no enterprise presence are no more appealing when put together."
Voip Management: VoIP management company Viola Networks announced a fully integrated and centrally managed solution for VoIP networks. The product, NetAlly Lifecycle Manager, integrates VoIP assessment, monitoring, management and troubleshooting to eliminate deployment risks, lower costs, and ensure continuous call quality. The product intends to ensure that voice quality is a continuous process and provides initial assessment and periodic active call quality testing combined with passive device monitoring of VoIP traffic.
IP-based Conferencing Boom: According to Interwise Inc., an enterprise conferencing solutions company, customer demand for IP-based conferencing has risen dramatically over the past year and enterprises are increasingly asking for a single, integrated solution for voice, Web, and videoconferencing. In 2005, Interwise customers increased their use of telephone and Web conferencing to a record 140 million VoIP minutes, a 40% increase over 2004. The need for communications tools that can unify global business organizations both internally and externally has underscored the value of Interwise's fixed-price, unlimited-usage business model for voice, Web and videoconferencing, the company said. "The need for more effective and efficient communications between all employees, no matter where they are located, is a primary driver for the IP conferencing market," said Jeffrey Mann, research vice president for Gartner.
Secure Blackberry: Wireless VoIP vendor Meru Networks introduced a solution for on-premise wireless voice and data applications with support for the BlackBerry WLAN (wireless LAN) solution from Research In Motion (RIM). Meru has certified interoperability of the 802.11-enabled BlackBerry 7270 handheld with Meru's WLAN System. The BlackBerry WLAN solution includes the BlackBerry 7270 handheld, which connects to BlackBerry Enterprise Server to enable secure wireless access to email, instant messaging (IM), organizer, Internet and other corporate applications, and to make and receive wireless VoIP calls through enterprise telephony systems such as IP-PBXs, via the industry-standard SIP.