Optical/IP Networks

2008 Top Ten: AlcaLu Drama

Some companies, it seems, simply cannot survive unless they're in the midst of a drama of one sort or another.

Every industry "vertical" has such companies, and the telecom world is no exception: Just take a look at this selection of 2008 headlines featuring our favorite Franco-American equipment firm, Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) -- there's a rip-roaring script to be written from this lot!

And if that script was filmed, who would play the lead roles? Oh my, the casting agent within me is aching to break out and start calling Kevin Spacey and Linda Gray.

But enough! Instead, it's lights, camera, and share price action!

10. Bottom trawling
Not a single story, but the ongoing story that is AlcaLu's share price. Of course, it hasn't exactly been a year for rising stocks, but still... the vendor's share price opened the year at €4.95, having fallen 50 percent during 2007. Today it commands €1.51, down 70 percent this year. The company is currently valued, on the Paris Exchange, at €3.49 billion ($4.87 billion).

And 2009 stretches ahead of us, with AlcaLu predicting a market that will shrink between 8 percent and 12 percent... gulp!

9. Kiss my OSS
Telecom software is hot. Ask anyone. Ask AlcaLu!

8. Video nasty
It is amazing what you can find on the Interweb these days! The latest movies! Your favorite old TV series! Union activists disrupting the 2007 Alcatel-Lucent Annual General Meeting!!! It's such a democratic medium...

7. Let's get optical!
Another year of optical developments at AlcaLu brought us a Tropic-al storm and some heavy, full-on, meaty GPON marketing that involved, in part, bashing WDM-PON on the head with a brick (metaphorically, of course).

6. Thank you, TiMetra
Another year of success for AlcaLu's IP division, which is still (as far as we know) fronted by the uber-friendly Basil Alwan. And according to sources, his team is looking at ways to go green, big time.

We have noticed, though, that Basil is not so friendly toward PBT. Now, why is that? (See AlcaLu's Alwan: PBT Will Lose Its Shine and A Guide to PBT/PBB-TE.)

5. Service ace
AlcaLu's Services division is big business, and, according to the Ben Verwaayen, is set to grow in 2009 while the equipment markets shrink. The Services team struck an important-looking joint venture agreement this year with Reliance Communications Ltd. that will give it a strong starting point for big support and integration deals in India and the Asia/Pacific region, and also won some important and impressive deals in Brazil and the U.K., among others.

4. Money matters
We charted AlcaLu's results, quarter by quarter. Have a stiff drink ready before you link through to these babies.

3. Top seat swap
Yes, this was the year when we saw some of our favorite AlcaLu big guns pack up their desks and leave -- Pat Russo, Serge Tchuruk, Hubert de Pesquidoux... Oh, and Cindy Christy left too.

Filling Pat's boots (we're not sure how literally to use that phrase) was, as we know, Ben Verwaayen. He supports Arsenal. And he banned corporate jets! What a human dichotomy! But you folk out there think he was the right choice.

2. Mass exodus
It wasn't just a change of CEO that kept the name-plate crew at AlcaLu's HQ busy this year -- the swing doors were spinning at 100 mph on a regular basis, especially once Big Ben got into "hire 'em and fire 'em" mode.

1. New blood, new plan
With Verwaayen firmly installed, it was time for the unveiling of a new strategy, which wasn't totally radical but was clearer about some stuff. But just some.

— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading

bollocks187 12/5/2012 | 4:14:58 PM
re: 2008 Top Ten: AlcaLu Drama Lucent on sold to get out of its Employee Pension obligations. The French wanted a piece of America Bell labs and RBOCs

I vote worse merger in 50 years. Two national icons force to get married - American - French what a "recipe" for disaster.

HomerJ 12/5/2012 | 4:14:27 PM
re: 2008 Top Ten: AlcaLu Drama
Time Warner + AOL was worse. I wasn't too happy with the HP + Compaq one either.
tmc1 12/5/2012 | 3:24:27 PM
re: 2008 Top Ten: AlcaLu Drama It is TiMetra... capital T and M. It is the combination of Tigris Networks (former TiMetra startup name) and Metro from my understanding. Not hard to remember.

TiMetra alumnus
DCITDave 12/5/2012 | 3:24:27 PM
re: 2008 Top Ten: AlcaLu Drama FiXt.

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