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Alcatel-Lucent's Big Layoffs: Does It Get Web 2.0?

Alcatel-Lucent on Friday unveiled its latest restructuring plan complete with layoffs and a rip off of Cisco's spiel about Web 2.0 technologies.

The news out of Alcatel-Lucent was boilerplate stuff these daysâ€"it will be news when a company actually hires someone. Alcatel-Lucent sees the market for telecom equipment and deployment services to fall 8 percent to 12 percent in 2009 and the company hopes to break even while keeping its market share in tact.

Meanwhile, Alcatel-Lucent will cut 1,000 managers and 5,000 contractors in an effort that will save about 750 million euro. The company also said it would cut supply chain and procurement costs, be more efficient about research and development and streamline sales efforts.

All of the bad news was at the bottom of Alcatel-Lucent's statement, but the top was spent spinning the Web 2.0 talk.

Get a load of this:

Alcatel-Lucent's plan is to combine the trusted capabilities of the network environment with the creative communications services of the web (Web 2.0, Web 3.0 and beyond). This transformation will allow billions of customers to use millions of websites from any device guaranteeing security, quality, privacy and billing integrity. The overall service experience for end-users - consumers and businesses - will be improved and greater value will be created for every player in the industry.

This strategy requires providing an open environment, which does not exist today, where all these trusted capabilities can be available between the network and "over-the-top" applications typical of Web 2.0.

I did that heavy excerpt for one simple reason. I have no idea what Alcatel-Lucent is talking about. Cisco talks the Web 2.0 talk, but also walks it with acquisitions like WebEx. Cisco is also deploying this Web 2.0 stuff internally (see video of Cisco CIO Rebecca Jacoby's implementation).

As for Alcatel-Lucent the vision is a bit fuzzy. Is Web 2.0 the real deal for the telecom equipment maker or just a throwaway line?

My guess is that it's the latter. After all, Alcatel-Lucent said it will shift to next generation platforms such as IP Optics, CDMA EV-DO, and "open application enablers" while consolidating its maturing product lines. Sounds a lot like the same Alcatel-Lucent to me.

But time will tell. Let's see if Web 2.0 turns up in any future communications from Alcatel-Lucent.

Also see: Cisco's Chambers breaks out economic downturn playbook; Eyes cost cuts as demand dries up

Larry Dignan is Editor in Chief of ZDNet and Editorial Director of ZDNet sister site TechRepublic. See his full profile and disclosure of his industry affiliations. This post first appeared on ZDNet's Between the Lines blog.