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Lucent renames unit, cuts deal with Siebel

The telecommunications equipment maker renames the business networking unit that it plans to spin off later this year and announces a partnership with Siebel.

Telecommunications equipment maker Lucent Technologies today renamed the business networking unit that it plans to spin off later this year.

Lucent today said the company's "Enterprise Networks Group" will be named Avaya, pronounced "uhv-eye-uh."

The new company today also announced a partnership with software maker Siebel Systems, a maker of customer relationship management (CRM) software that helps companies automate their marketing, sales and customer call center needs. The two companies will jointly develop and sell new customer service products.

Lucent in March announced it would spin off its slower-growing businesses that serve large corporations, so it can concentrate on fast-growing markets, such as wireless, optical, microelectronics and high-end Internet equipment.

Lucent plans to complete the Avaya spinoff by its fiscal fourth quarter, which ends Sept. 30.

Avaya executives said the business unit last year had $8.3 billion in revenue and net income of about $300 million. The Basking Ridge, N.J.-based division sells phone systems called PBXs, corporate networking and messaging, and structured cabling products.

As part of the new Siebel partnership, Avaya plans to ship in the fourth quarter new products that combine call center software from Siebel with Avaya's technology, Avaya executives said.

Lucent today announced Avaya's senior executive team, which includes former Lucent, Nortel and Bell Labs executives. Donald Peterson, former executive vice president and chief financial officer of Lucent, is chief executive.