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Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise offers managed UC service

French telecommunications equipment provider Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise jumps into the UCaaS race by offering its own version of a managed UC service, including file share and team chat.

Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise has entered the UCaaS market with a managed UC service that includes features, such as document collaboration, file sharing and team chat.

The France-based telecommunications equipment company, known as ALE, said it would launch later this year a managed UC service, called Rainbow. The service is similar to other collaboration products on the market, including Cisco Spark and Unify Circuit.

Rainbow is a UC collaboration service that provides users with file sharing, IM, and voice and video communications. The product marks the first time ALE has used its cloud, instead of partners, to deliver UCaaS. 

"They're becoming a cloud service provider, and that's going to be a huge change for them," said Lisa Durant, an analyst at Nemertes Research, based in Mokena, Ill.

Managed UC expected to grow

ALE hopes to tap the growing number of businesses that subscribe to cloud-based UC services to reduce capital investment and lessen the workload of IT teams. Managed UC services can also boost employee productivity by reducing the email load, and increasing communication and collaboration among workers.

The benefits of UCaaS are driving a global market that is expected to increase 23% annually to reach $37.85 billion in 2022, according to a 2015 study by Transparency Market Research.

As a result of the expected growth, vendors have flooded the market with UCaaS products. "Every vendor it seems is offering their own version," Durant said.

ALE will face steep competition in the U.S., where Cisco and Microsoft have a strong foothold in managed UC services. A Nemertes survey found that 42% of midsize and large companies want to standardize on one UC platform. About half of that group favored Microsoft, and roughly 35% favored Cisco.

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