Alcatel-Lucent CEO Ben Verwaayen delivered his keynote this morning at the Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise Forum in Paris, stressing confidence and certainty in uncertain times.
Verwaayen started out by referencing a survey that found that customers would give up a new sofa before they would give up their access to the Internet. “[The Internet] is no longer a luxury,” he said. “It’s a lifestyle.”
He went on to stress two imminent crises: the global economy and climate change. “We are not going to rebuild what has been in the past,” Verwaayen said, “but build what is sustainable for the future.”
The theme of the forum was “Dynamic,” which referenced the company’s ability to change with the times and look toward the future. Verwaayen stressed that, “it’s not about a point product anymore … or the next gadget … it’s about creating value.”
After Verwaayen left the stage, Peter Sondergaard, senior vice president of Gartner Research, took the stage. “You have all heard the Chinese saying, ‘May you live in interesting times.’ These are interesting times,” Sondergaard said.
He went on to list some important areas of focus on the technology side: Bluetooth 3.0, location, user interface, location-based services, 802.11n, display technology (pico projectors), mobile Web and widgets, cellular based technologies, embedded wireless and near-field wireless.
But perhaps the most sobering truism among the platitudes was Sondergaard’s warning to the audience: “If you are of the mind that by the end of this year, the economy will recover, you will suffocate.”