Lucent Technologies (www.lucent.com) this week will roll out Secure Virtual Private Network, a broad line of VPN technologies that combines the separate VPN products from Ascend Communications, Lucent and Xedia. Analysts said Lucent's is perhaps the most comprehensive and integrated VPN offering on the market for enterprise and carrier networks. Lucent's move will put additional pressure on independent VPN players, which analysts expect to partner with or be acquired by larger networking companies.
IBM (www.ibm.com) established a $500 million fund dedicated to its Net Generation financing program, intended to help IBM sell products and services to business-to-business Internet companies. The company said IBM Global Financing will work with select venture capital firms to provide financing for IBM hardware, software and services to Net companies that have completed a first round of venture capital financing. IBM, which has a relationship with Garage.com (www.garage.com) to identify promising Net start-ups, said it expects to expand its relationships with Net-oriented venture capital firms.
Vodafone AirTouch (www.vodafone-airtouch-plc.com) announced a deal with Sun Microsystems (www.sun.com) to provide the technology for Vodafone AirTouch's new global wireless Internet platform. Sun said the deal, which will use Java technology to enable mobile applications, could mean a $500 million windfall over the next three years. Also, Vodafone AirTouch will work with Sun to develop mobile devices that use Java 2 Micro Edition.