Alcatel-Lucent has launched a new software platform designed to cut the cost and complexity of embedding and integrating voice, video, and messaging services into any application. “Rapport” is intended to enable the communications network as a platform that offers “contextual communications” where services such as voice, chat, video conferencing and sharing become functions available to any application, website or connected object. The services are accessible to application developers using open application programming interfaces (APIs) and software development kits (SDKs).
Rapport can be deployed on commercial, off-the-shelf hardware. It is based on a re-architected version of Alcatel-Lucent's IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) software. Separate configurations are available to support both large enterprise and service provider networks.
Enterprise configurations are designed to support the growing need for a decentralized and mobile workforce so that organizations can cap their investments in legacy PBX and Unified Communications systems. By building communications services into enterprise applications, websites and products, Alcatel-Lucent estimates that large enterprises can save up to 50% on their communications infrastructure costs, with the return on investment breaking even in the first year of the transformation.
For service providers, Rapport supports VoLTE/mobile, fixed, and WiFi services on a cloud communications platform. Rapport works with NFV platforms to launch VoLTE and other new services. Rapport underlying architecture is intended to delivers communication services that follow people - rather than devices - based on their presence, location, and availability.
Bhaskar Gorti, President of Alcatel-Lucent's IP Platforms business, said in a statement, "Rapport liberates large enterprises from the communications technology silos and proprietary vendor offerings that IT departments need to contend with. It also removes the barriers for service providers to offer more engaging communications services to their customers, which can be delivered seamlessly using any device and across any network."
Rich Costello, Senior Research Analyst, International Data Corporation added, “Alcatel-Lucent's new communications platform, Rapport, addresses something enterprises have needed – a single, open communications framework in a private cloud. This is a compelling new take on how to address the relationships between communications, applications, and the large enterprise, and this appears to be creating a new category of communications solution."