Lucent Silences SpringTide

Lucent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: LU) confirmed today that it's canceled its SpringTide Service Switch series. "We're discontinuing feature development and ceasing all active marketing," spokesman Steve Loudermilk told Light Reading today.

The news is no surprise. Industry observers had long expected to hear the last of the SpringTide IP service switch, particularly now that the company's aggressively combing its product line with an eye to saleable or ditchable items (see Springtide Ebbing Away? and Lucent Clarifies Product Strategy). Indeed, last week's news that Lucent's stopping support of its TMX 880 multiservice switch served to fuel speculation that the end of the line was in sight for SpringTide (see Lucent Chops TMX 880).

SpringTide was acquired by Lucent for $1.3 billion in 2000, but its wares seemed to founder, and Lucent's been peddling the switch as a wireless router for several months.

It's not clear whether the cancellation will result in layoffs. "We're not commenting on layoffs at this time," the spokesman says. But at least one other source says the news could affect about 150 employees in Lucent's InterNetworking division in Westford, Mass., which was hit by a layoff of about 180 in the wake of the TMX news.

Lucent may be hedging its bets, since it seems the SpringTide technology may be cycled into other products. Loudermilk says Lucent will continue to develop its multiservice line of products using what it learned from SpringTide.

It's unknown just how many engineers from SpringTide might be needed to do that.

At least one analyst thinks Lucent's move is regrettable. "Lucent could be cutting its nose to spite its face," says Ron Westfall, principal analyst at Current Analysis. Broadband aggregation and IP service switching continue to be important market areas, he notes. If Lucent had hung in there, it might have seen a better payoff from the SpringTide series in 2003. Now it's got no equivalent product to meet that need.

Westfall maintains that one reason SpringTide failed to spark sufficient customer interest to keep it going was that Lucent neglected to add some key features to help keep abreast of competitors such as Nortel Networks Corp. (NYSE/Toronto: NT). "Lucent was missing CPE equipment and never fully resolved SpringTide's management software issues," Westfall says. In contrast, Nortel's VPN gear, including its Shasta line, comes with CPE, which helps corporate customers overcome a fear of relying totally on the telecom network for secure links. Further, he notes, one management system is capable of handling Shasta and Nortel's other VPN-oriented products.

— Mary Jander, Senior Editor, Light Reading
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rafaelg 12/4/2012 | 9:23:59 PM
re: Lucent Silences SpringTide As I said many moons ago... Shasta will outlast SpringTide. They had major problems with their security approval. Nortel's Shasta will have full steam ahead now...
With that move, it is obvious that LU has no one left that has a clue how to steer the ship.

toonces_has_the_car 12/4/2012 | 9:23:57 PM
re: Lucent Silences SpringTide Full steam ahead except for Cisco, Juniper and even the battered Redback.

edgehead 12/4/2012 | 9:23:56 PM
re: Lucent Silences SpringTide CoSine may be in a better position than both, as they have footprint with Sprint, Qwest, NTT, KDDI, Equant, Cable & Wireless, Korea Telecom, China Netcom and quite a few more...
Belzebutt 12/4/2012 | 9:23:55 PM
re: Lucent Silences SpringTide Hey, one less competitor for Shasta can't be bad. The product's stability has been improved quite a bit in the last year. The fact that Shasta hasn't been cut and is still talked about as an important product shows that Nortel is serious about investing in it.
yomama 12/4/2012 | 9:23:54 PM
re: Lucent Silences SpringTide Will this help Celox networks sell their SCx-192 IP Services platform. Are these guys even still around?

CanMan 12/4/2012 | 9:23:51 PM
re: Lucent Silences SpringTide I am not sure anything will keep Celox, Quarry or Corona around.
I think this news benefits CoSine the most who easily has the better product between Shasta and CoSine.

CoSine will have a tough time selling though as a single product company.
fleshpeddler 12/4/2012 | 9:23:46 PM
re: Lucent Silences SpringTide
Some "String Of Pearls".
net_kick_puppy 12/4/2012 | 9:23:38 PM
re: Lucent Silences SpringTide *laugh* Everyone knows the answer to that:

The acquisition of the golf course (They made a nice profit when they sold it).
captain_obvious 12/4/2012 | 9:23:37 PM
re: Lucent Silences SpringTide ( insert sarcasm here )

1) They should hire back some more of there washed up execs that still believe they are the "phone company".

2) Maybe they can cancel the full color Lucent magazine or the Lucent Satelite TV Network.

3) Did McGinn ever pay back his 12 million dollar loan he got when he was fired? I wish I was a CEO that got a bonus for failure. What school do you go to for that?
BobbyMax 12/4/2012 | 9:23:35 PM
re: Lucent Silences SpringTide Lucent had its eyes closed when it acquired SpringTide and paid about $1.4 Billion. It should be mentioned that Spring Tide had merely invested about $39 million. The system was not working and nothing revolutionary or evolutionary. But Lucent for reasons unknown to most experts acquired SpringTide.

The only thing that people who participated in the evaluation of the product and the people who approved the acquisition should be dismissed. If possible, a law suite be filed against the the former CEO and President of SpringTide for deceiving Lucent.
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