Red Hat, Alcatel-Lucent join forces on unified comms

Already partners, the two companies have signed a deal to put Red Hat software on Alcatel-Lucent's comms products for SMEs
Written by Matthew Broersma, Contributor

Alcatel-Lucent is teaming up with Red Hat on its products for smaller businesses, the companies said on Thursday.

Red Hat's Enterprise Linux and Realtime technologies will be built into Alcatel-Lucent's communications products for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), the companies said in a joint statement. 

Alcatel-Lucent already uses Red Hat's operating system in some of its high-end enterprise products, such as the VitalQIP Appliance-Manager offering, but the latest deal extends the relationship in a new direction, Red Hat said.

The agreement is broadly part of the "Dynamic Enterprise" initiative announced earlier this week at Alcatel-Lucent's annual enterprise forum in Paris. Under this banner, the communications-equipment giant is focusing on unified communications systems, which it argues are critical for gaining access to the important knowledge locked up in different employees and parts of the enterprise.

One theme of the Dynamic Enterprise initiative is open environments, and Alcatel-Lucent said the use of Red Hat products will bring in more flexibility.

"By relying on the market leader in open-source software and services for our operating system and middleware needs, we can focus our development efforts on delivering innovative ways for fixed and mobile users to communicate and interact with each other," said Tom Burns, chief operating officer of Alcatel-Lucent enterprise activities, in a statement.

Red Hat will be used across the company's portfolio of SME voice, data, mobility and collaboration products, starting in the first half of 2009.

The deal covers Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Red Hat's flagship operating system, as well as Realtime, a Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5-based product intended for time-critical workloads such as systems for financial services.

Realtime is itself part of Red Hat Enterprise MRG (Messaging, Realtime and Grid), a newly introduced set of infrastructure technologies.

The deal will give Alcatel-Lucent access to Red Hat's hardware-certification programme for its next-generation hardware platforms.

Alcatel-Lucent SME products include the OmniPCX Office line of IP PBX systems and the Extended Communication Server line of collaboration and unified-communications servers, all of which are based on Linux distributions.

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