Lucent's enterprise services on the block

Lucent's enterprise services on the block

Lucent Technologies is putting its corporate professional services unit up for sale as it streamlines its operations to focus on large service providers.

The struggling network infrastructure provider hopes to find a buyer by the end of this year for the corporate services portion of its Lucent Worldwide Services business, Lucent spokesman Bill Price said Tuesday. Until a sale is completed, the company will continue to work with customers. The corporate services group helps businesses design and implement their networks, recommending the best products for the job regardless of vendor.

Lucent will keep the larger portion of the services group that is geared toward large service providers.

Lucent Worldwide Services has its roots in International Network Services, which Lucent acquired in October 1999. At that time, Lucent touted it as the only vendor-neutral network consulting business affiliated with a major network equipment vendor. The Worldwide Services business as a whole has about 24,000 employees worldwide.

Based in Sunnyvale, California, the unit serving corporations has about 1,400 employees and 600 customers in North America and Europe. It provides services to more than 50 of the companies in the Fortune 100, Price said.

One company that might be interested in buying the business is Avaya Inc., the enterprise network equipment vendor that was spun off from Lucent last year, said Eric Goodness, a professional services analyst at Gartner.

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