Lucent faces the music

Besides reporting a revenue drop and continuing losses in the third quarter, Lucent Technologies Inc. announced late last month that it will reduce its head count by an additional 15,000 to 20,000 employees, and that it has sold its fibre-optics unit for US$2.75 billion to Furukawa Electric Co. Ltd. “We’re taking decisive actions to turn Lucent around,” said Henry Schacht, Lucent’s chairman and CEO, in an online conference call. The company also said it had sold its manufacturing plants in Oklahoma City and Columbus, Ohio, to electronics manufacturer Celestica Inc. for up to US$650 million. Jon Cheek, spokesperson for Markham, Ont.-based Lucent Technologies Canada Corp., said the employee reduction will just barely affect Canadian offices. Less than five per cent of the 250-person workforce will be affected, and he expects those cuts to be completed by the end of August.

360networks gains time in British Columbia

Struggling 360networks announced last month that the Supreme Court of British Columbia has extended the order providing the company protection under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA) to December 31, 2001. In a statement, 360networks President and CEO Greg Maffei said he was pleased that the company’s secured lenders and the Canadian court have extended the company’s order. Maffei said the extension would provide the company time to restructure its business plan in North America and sell key assets outside the United States and Canada. The restructuring plan entails constructing and lighting an optical mesh network in North America and continuing to provide broadband services to 360network customers.

HP Canada tries to stay “cool”

Retro mixes with futuristic computing applications were on display last month at Hewlett-Packard’s Canadian headquarters in Mississauga, Ont., where “nomadic pervasive mobile computing” was on display in a customer experience area called Cooltown. Hewlett-Packard Canada Co. plans to use Cooltown to show its Canadian customers the potential of mobility and help them transform businesses to give customers the benefits of intelligent connected devices. The multi-site exhibit features a mock-up of a mechanic’s garage populated with information appliances, embedded URL-broadcasting “beacons” and an always-on Internet infrastructure – alongside an antique gas pump, pop machine, juke box and ’50s-style metal desk. While the Cooltown applications are feasible in laboratory demonstrations and based on existing capabilities, HP officials admitted the features displayed might be five to seven years away from adoption.

Sun, EDS team up for service offerings

Sun Microsystems Inc. and Electronic Data Systems Corp. announced a co-marketing agreement last month that they estimate will generate US$3 billion in sales over the next five years. As part of the “Sun-EDS Continuum of Services” program, Sun will provide hardware, software and architecture while EDS will provide services such as systems implementation, integration, consulting and outsourcing, the companies said. Financial terms of the deal were not released. The initiative will be aimed at large corporate customers, and provides competition to IBM Corp.’s Global Services division.

Juniper assembles router-management software vendors

Juniper Networks Inc. announced last month the IP OSS Alliance, a group of more than 20 third-party operations support system vendors that can manage Juniper routers with their software. These vendors offer service planning, provisioning and activation, and invoicing, billing and mediation from information generated by Juniper routers. The vendors use Juniper’s JUNOScript application programming interface (XML included in the JUNOS operating system software) for this integration. The Alliance is on the Web at