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Alcatel-Lucent Hires Oracle Exec to Oversee NFV Efforts

Bhaskar Gorti will run the company's IP platforms business, which includes NFV, cloud-based networking and OSS work.

Alcatel-Lucent New Hire

Alcatel-Lucent is turning to an ex-Oracle executive to lead the business group that manages network-functions virtualization and the cloud.

The company, on Jan. 12, appointed Bhaskar Gorti, who previously was senior vice president and general manager of Oracle Communications Global Business Unit, as president of IP platforms. He will report directly to CEO Michel Combes.

Among Gorti's responsibilities will be overseeing the business groups that are creating technologies for cloud-based networking, virtualization—including network-functions virtualization (NFV)—operational support system (OSS), cyber-security monitoring and prevention software, and customer experience management.

Those are key parts of Alcatel-Lucent's Shift Plan, a restructuring program initiated in 2013 after Combes took control of the struggling company. Alcatel-Lucent has been in almost constant restructuring mode since the two companies merged in 2006, and the Shift Plan is the latest attempt to create a more financially stable company.

Under the Shift Plan, the company is looking to cut as much as $1.36 billion in expenses and generate another $1.3 billion by selling assets by the end of 2015. Alcatel-Lucent also is moving the company's focus away from being a more general telecommunications equipment vendor toward such high-growth areas as IP networking and ultra-broadband access.

The company is targeting telecommunications operators, large enterprises and other institutions. In a statement, Combes said Gorti is coming to the company "at an exciting point as Alcatel-Lucent redefines itself."

Over the past year, Alcatel-Lucent has made an aggressive push into NFV, in which networking tasks like load balancing and intrusion detection are removed from the underlying hardware and put into software, where they can run atop lower-cost commodity systems. The result will be more agile and flexible networks that will enable service providers and enterprises to more quickly spin out new services for end users.

Most recently, Alcatel-Lucent, in November 2014, unveiled the Virtualized Service Router (VSR) suite of software applications, virtual routers that will play a role in the company's larger NFV efforts.