The cool, new ALU


From France with love, at least for those lucky enough to be in Austin, Texas for the annual SXSW (“South-by-Southwest,” not “es-ex-es-dubya”) festivals. Yes, in a case of Big Telecom diving head first into the latest and hippest Web technologies, Alcatel-Lucent sponsored the ElevenAPI lounge this year where attendees can go to chill and exchange ideas for bridging telecom and Web:

We’re down in Austin for the first time, rocking an unbelievably popular and creative lounge and talking to what seems like a constant barrage of developers and attendees about what it means to bridge the telco and Web 2.0 worlds. Day One saw more than 200 “what app would you build?” ideas posted to our ideation wall, a highly interactive ideation session captured by our graphical facilitator, and 11 entrants in our first ever App Idol contest (where two lucky contestants took home Bose Sounddocks). Day Two saw an even more vibrant contest and a continually packed lounge (and even more discussion).

Now we know Alcatel-Lucent is serious about the U.S. market and more specifically, aiming to entice the Web-savvy generation to develop cool apps using its new API bundles. Smart move, ALU:

South by Southwest Interactive, Austin, TX, March 12, 2010 – Alcatel-Lucent (Euronext Paris and NYSE: ALU) today announced the industry’s first packaged API (Application Programming Interfaces) bundles, and an associated revenue sharing model that radically transforms application development by eliminating upfront costs for developers and opening new revenue opportunities for service providers. The announcement is part of a larger push by Alcatel-Lucent to give developers the ability to use the network as a development platform in the same way they currently build applications for mobile devices and the Web.

The company also announced a powerful new business and application modeling tool that allows developers to get the most out of their applications. This new functionality helps developers and service providers improve the potential for the success of services they are introducing and helps them better manage the overall business of their applications.

Alcatel-Lucent will showcase these and other tools, which are part of its developer platform and program (and core elements of its Application Enablement vision) at the South by Southwest Interactive Conference, (March 11 – 16, 2010 Austin, TX) in the “Eleven API Lounge” of the Hilton Hotel, directly across from the Austin Convention Center.

New Bundled APIs
A bundled API is a unique offering from Alcatel-Lucent that blends service provider and third party application capabilities to support the easy creation of new applications. These API bundles enable a new revenue share model intended to transform service provider networks into an application development platform by unlocking network resources and functionality – similar to what smartphones and apps stores did for the device world.

The company’s first vertical API bundles include three social bundles supporting the creation of new mashups in the rapidly growing social gaming, advertising and virtual goods markets. Collectively, the APIs included are SMS, advertising, location, virtual goods, credit card and billing. The initial delivery of these API bundles targets the 14+ million developers worldwide and the two fastest growing and increasingly profitable applications markets today: mobile advertising and virtual goods. Recent industry research suggests mobile advertising will exceed $3 billion by 2013 and that today’s virtual goods market is between $4-6 billion globally. Alcatel-Lucent is providing developers access to beta versions of the social API bundles within a virtual sandbox for non-commercial use in a laboratory type environment. Developers can access the bundles via Alcatel-Lucent’s external linkOpen API Service.

“We welcome the pioneering social API initiative of Alcatel-Lucent to provide more upside for developers to reach better monetization through added targeting value, such as location,” said Herald Neidhardt, CMO and co-founder of Smaato Inc, a mobile advertising company.

The new revenue share model allows developers to access the API bundles without the burdensome upfront API fees that, until now, have traditionally been a major pain point, while earning a portion of the revenue from applications leveraging the APIs. Service providers, third party API contributors and Alcatel-Lucent can also share a percentage of the applications revenue for making unique APIs available in a way that safeguards the security and privacy of their subscribers’ data. By allowing service providers to make money on the applications that run “over the top” of their network, the business model addresses a sore point of increased costs associated with today’s data explosion.

“The business model benefits everyone across the value chain. Whereas service providers did not share in an application’s revenue before, they now gain new sources of revenue from ad network or virtual goods applications. They can invest that income back into their network, which in turn supports new services innovation,” said Johnson Agogbua, head of Application Enablement solutions for Alcatel-Lucent.

New Dashboard Functionality
To support the bundled API approach, Alcatel-Lucent has also expanded its Dashboard tool to provide developers with a more personalized and detailed view of their applications and end users including: number of downloads, type of transactions, application performance, and revenue generation from campaigns and apps stores. This data is compiled across major apps stores — GetJar, Android and iTunes – to provide a comprehensive picture of how a developer’s application rates with consumers and stacks up against other industry applications. By making these additional tools available on its Dashboard, Alcatel-Lucent will expand its developer community reach to more than 20,000 developers.

Enthusiastically received by the developer community upon its introduction at the Mobile World Congress tradeshow last month, the Dashboard and API bundling model are being expanded with contributions from leading third party vendors: APIgee, Billing Revolution, Motally, SMaato and Zhing.

About Alcatel-Lucent’s Application Enablement strategy
Application enablement is an industry vision and network approach that combines the trusted capabilities of network operators and the speed and innovation of the web to provide end users and enterprises what they demand: a richer and more trusted web experience and beyond. Through a strategic focus on application enablement, Alcatel-Lucent is helping its customers create new value by exposing their network capabilities in a managed and controlled way, facilitating new business models and improving return on investment. For more information, go to http://www.alcatel-lucent.com/application_enablement/

About Alcatel-Lucent
Alcatel-Lucent (Euronext Paris and NYSE: ALU) is the trusted transformation partner of service providers, enterprises, strategic industries such as defense, energy, healthcare, transportation,  and governments worldwide, providing solutions to deliver voice, data and video communication services to end-users. A leader in fixed, mobile and converged broadband networking, IP technologies, applications and services, Alcatel-Lucent leverages the unrivalled technical and scientific expertise of Bell Labs, one of the largest innovation powerhouses in the communications industry. With operations in more than 130 countries and the most experienced global services organization in the industry, Alcatel-Lucent is a local partner with a global reach. Alcatel-Lucent achieved revenues of Euro 15.2 billion in 2009 and is incorporated in France, with executive offices located in Paris. For more information, visit Alcatel-Lucent on the Internet: http://www.alcatel-lucent.com

Contact the Alcatel-Lucent Press Office: press@alcatel-lucent.com

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