The UCStrategies Experts share their expertise in bylined articles, opinion pieces, blogs, and podcasts, to define unified communications, educate you about unified communications technologies, and help you make informed decisions about unified communications solutions.
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Gus Vasilakis, responsible for US and Canada sales and operations at Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise, provides an update on some new deals and the progress ALU is making in North America.
Blair Pleasant: Hi, this is Blair Pleasant. I am with Gus Vasilakis from Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise. Gus is the Senior Vice President of North America. And Gus, you have gotten some interesting new customers recently, are there any you can talk about?
Gus Vasilakis: Sure, we can talk about California State University System, CSU, and we won the data infrastructure projects for them, for the next eight years.
Blair: Any details you can talk about?
Gus: It is the access layer, it is the edge access layer of the infrastructure, and we are talking to them about the future and maybe some data centers and such. We won the project in conjunction with AT&T as our business partner.
Blair Pleasant: Well, as the parent of a college student in California, I know that budgets are very tight so I am assuming that the CSU felt that you were giving them a very price competitive type of offering. Can you talk about that a little bit?
Gus: It was very competitive. There are records about who the competitors were in the space, that we did offer them the best value. We were the lowest competitive bid. And then upon evaluation of the technology, they even made some modifications and we improved the budget. We reduced the budget by actually using different products in the portfolio than they had originally thought; they did not know the access layer product offering, and we showed them additional ways to even save within the budgets.
Blair: Well I know that partnerships and channel partners are very important to Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise. Who are some of your key partners and can you talk about how you are leveraging them?
Gus: Sure, it is very important from a regional basis for us to continue to build an ecosystem of partners that are complementary to carrier partners. So people like AT&T, CenturyLink on a national basis, but then there are very large regional partners that we have built relationships with over the years and we fulfill them and work with them through distributors, and also ICON networks. And the ICON distributors, there are 230 dealers as part of that network and they are now becoming part of the Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise North American Strategy.
Blair: So for resellers and system integrators out there and channel partners, what would you like them to know about Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise?
Gus: We are very competitive, we are extremely channel friendly and our processes, and people, and products are built for their profitability, to fulfill the end user requirements and leave them with the highest customer satisfaction, best experience.
Blair: Well, in North America, you’re not very well known, so I would think that maybe some resellers might be a little nervous about that. How would you help them to feel more comfortable about working with Alcatel-Lucent?
Gus: We have a very stable foundation, the company is very large, and we have a worldwide presence. And we actually bring a lot of synergies and knowledge that we have mastered in channel and distributors by example throughout Europe, where the company is extremely successful, bringing the same programs now to North America.
Blair: Okay, well thanks very much.
Gus: You’re welcome.
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Communications Integrated to Optimize Business Processes.
UC integrates real-time and non-real time communications with business processes and requirements.
Uses presence capabilities for coordination, and presents a consistent unified user interface and experience across multiple devices and media types.
Learn more at What is Unified Communications all about?