Managed Services

AlcaLu Opens Ops Hub in India

Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) firmed up its commitment to the Indian, and broader Asia/Pacific, market today by officially opening the doors of a new network operations and support center in Bangalore.

The "regional delivery center" (RDC) acts as the main operations hub for the vendor's managed services operations in India and nearby markets, though, like the company's three other RDCs (in Poland, Romania, and the US), it can be used to support any managed services contract around the world.

The Bangalore center, staffed by more than 100 network operations specialists, is already supporting 10 AlcaLu customers, including Bharti Airtel Ltd. (Mumbai: BHARTIARTL) and Reliance Communications Ltd. (See AlcaLu, Reliance Laud JV and AlcaLu, Bharti Form JV.)

Globally, AlcaLu says it has 90 managed services contracts that support more than 220 million end users, and recently filed for patents related to managed services. (See AlcaLu Gets Cheeky With Patent , AlcaLu Manages Orange Austria Network, and AlcaLu CEO Ben Verwaayen, Part III.)

AlcaLu isn't the only major vendor investing in managed services support hubs: Major rivals Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) and Nokia Networks , which generate a significant proportion of their quarterly revenues from their professional services business units, also run regional support centers, with India as a favored location. NSN has two of its three Global Network Operations Centers in the country. (See NSN to Build NOC in Russia, Ericsson Scores German Managed Services Deal, Ericsson Gets a Brazilian, Ericsson's Services Head Eyes More Growth, NSN Sees Managed Services as $277B Market, and Vodafone Hutch Outsources to NSN.)

That trio don't have the managed services market to themselves, though, as recent deals show that Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. and ZTE Corp. (Shenzhen: 000063; Hong Kong: 0763) are also in the mix. (See MTS Splits Services Deal 3 Ways and Huawei Wins Managed Services Deal in Spain.)

The managed services market's growth potential isn't limited to Asia/Pacific, however -- it's a global phenomenon. According to a recent Heavy Reading report, "Turnkey Networks: The Future of Managed & Professional Services," the percentage of mobile subscribers worldwide served under managed services agreements is set to increase from 31 percent in 2009 to 45 percent by 2017. (See Heavy Reading Sees Managed Services Growth.)

The report's author, Jim Hodges, notes that "managed services are a proven opex [operating expenses] saver... There is little argument among vendors and carriers alike that the use of managed services delivers at least a 20 percent reduction in opex." Those cost savings are "the main driver for the growth of this market," which "will become even more important to network equipment providers in the future," adds Hodges.

— Ray Le Maistre, International Managing Editor, Light Reading

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