LAS VEGAS -- Serge Tchuruk, chairman and CEO of French networking company Alcatel, said in order for businesses to succeed they must turn themselves inside out.
And to do that they must become borderless, connecting the local area network (LAN) to the wide area network(WAN) so employees and customers can access any piece of information they need at any time.
"It's about turning your business inside out, opening the LAN to the WAN. I'm convinced Alcatel is well positioned to successfully deliver this enterprise vision, said Tchuruk.
Tchuruk (pronounced chew-ROOK) made his remarks in the first key note address of the Networld + Interop 2002 conference. The event annual event, which showcases networking products and technologies, has drawn about 40,000 people.
Tchuruk said his own company, which manufactures routers, switches and networking hardware, made the step into borderless business at its Asia Pacific headquarters in Shanghai. He said the project showed how research and development pays off, because Alcatel used its own technology and products to combine the LAN and WAN at the Shanghai facility.
"Someone once said it is better to be lucky than to be smart. It looks like Alcatel was lucky to make some smart choices in technology and we made some rather smart business moves," said Tchuruk.
Tchuruk said before the Shanghai project Alcatel executives based there spent two or three days flying back and forth to attend management meetings.
"Meetings are important, but the travel left many of our key employees with less time to spend with the customers," said Tchuruk.
All the communications in the Asian headquarters are Internet Protocol-based to permit real-time Web conferencing and data sharing across the region. As a result managers can now run regional business without leaving their local countries, said Tchuruk.
"Customers are often taken to our own premises, and can access quickly everywhere in the world," added Tchuruk.
Tchuruk claims the company made gains in customer relations as well as in management productivity with its borderless approach.
"Our customers have gained a lot through better real-time sharing of their data," said Tchuruk.
Analyst not impressedAn analyst who listened to Tchuruk said the borderless enterprise concept was a little stale, and chalked the theme of the speech up to Alcatel trying to expand its enterprise market presence.
"The borderless enterprise is an old concept, it reminded me of the old theme that e-mail was going to be a bearing wall for companies," said John Katsaros, principal analyst with NetsEdge Research Group.
Katsaros said the speech didn't exactly keep him on the edge of his seat.
"It was a yawner, it was nice to hear it in a French accent though," added Katsaros.