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AlcaLu Ups Its ID Game

4:30 PM -- Here's a partnership worth noting: Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) is rebadging and reselling a next-generation subscriber management server from Austin, Texas-based UnboundID Corp.

You can read about the capabilities of UnboundID's directory server, which enables the provision of personalized identity-based services, in the AlcaLu press release, and also in this release from UnboundID.

There are two particular things worth noting about this move.

First, it dovetails with the general strategic direction AlcaLu's still relatively new CEO Ben Verwaayen outlined a few months back -- the combination of telco and Web services capabilities. (See AlcaLu's New Vision: More Convergence.)

Second, from a competitive standpoint, it gives Alcatel-Lucent a new weapon in its armory. However... it's some way behind rival Nokia Networks in terms of bringing next-generation subscriber management capabilities on board.

More than a year ago NSN acquired Apertio, which had developed a unified subscriber management database specifically for telecom operators. That looked to be a smart move at the time, and it looks even smarter now. It helped NSN win the "Best Deal Maker" award at the 2008 leading Lights awards. (See Nokia Siemens Snaps Up IMS Vendor and LR Names 2008 Leading Lights Winners.)

The ability to combine subscriber data management and enable identity-based service provisioning from a single platform is going to be key to carriers in the future -- Verwaayen appears to be pushing Alcatel-Lucent in the right direction. (See Webinar Rewind: Customer in the Crosshairs, Vendors Play Catchup on SIM, and Customer Focus Through Identity Management.)

— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading

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