Alcatel, HP to team with service providers to boost small business solutions

15 October 2003 ITU Telecom, Geneva Switzerland Lightwave Europe -- Alcatel and HP are to jointly develop a suite of integrated IT and communication solutions for small businesses (SMBs).

- France Telecom joins effort by providing seamless Internet/Intranet networking

15 October 2003 ITU Telecom, Geneva Lightwave Europe -- Alcatel and HPare to jointly develop a suite of integrated IT and communication solutions for small businesses (SMBs).

The pair will launch the "Ready Office" program for SMBs. They are partnering with service providers world-wide to provide a modular, turn-key solutions to address their productivity needs - from PCs and servers, to software, network access, voice, data and multimedia services.

The package will be available in a "pay per use" model to grow with the needs of SMB customers. Alcatel and HP say that through the Ready Office program they will enable service providers to offer a single point of contact for service and support to SMBs.

France Telecom will be the first telecom service provider to join the Alcatel and HP initiative. This is the first example of how service providers can more effectively address the huge SMB market for services.

FT will build on its position in Internet/Intranet networking and communication services, and of direct and indirect distribution channels, to "leverage" the partners'appreciation of the SMB market. Therefore SMBs in France will have a single point of contact for the entire solution based on Alcatel-HP and France Telecom products and services.

Mr Tchuruk, Chairman and CEO of Alcatel, said, "By selecting the Alcatel and HP offering, telecom service providers will broaden their SMB customer base, and improve customer loyalty", he said.

The partners are working with telecommunication service providers around the world to offer managed delivery of voice, data and multi-media applications such as IT and business communications services to SMBs.

Carly Fiorina, HP Chairman and CEO, said, "HP is the leader in the SMB customer segment today generating more than USD 21 billion in revenue annually. We are pleased to work with Alcatel to create integrated solutions designed to remove the complexity SMBs worldwide face when trying to purchase and set up their computing and telecommunications environments.

Camille Mendler, Research Director at Yankee Group, said, "The key challenge in today's market is to provide simplicity and convenience. Alcatel and HP have designed off-the-shelf service and equipment bundles designed to appeal to the SMB, a customer that wants to buy business solutions, rather than technology."

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