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News and analysis of developments in the enterprise communication industry and market with primary focus on Europe.

The author aims to tap into ideas, insights and thoughts of the readers to get varied perspectives.

Views expressed in this blog are solely the author's opinion and in no way reflect those of his employer.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Cisco IP telephony grows in Q1, 2007

Cisco Unified Communication Group reported growth in Q1, 2007. Phone shipments that form their primary barometer grew sequentially by 3.2% and 66.9% y-o-y in EMEA. In the enterprise market, Cisco had a small growth sequentially and approximately 32% y-o-y. The large chunk of growth is in the SMB (25% decline sequentially and over 100% growth y-o-y).

Cisco launched Unified Communication 500 series for the sub-16 segment to cater to the new market demand. This product overlaps with the target segment of Linksys LVP 9000. In addition to the 500 series, Cisco launched Unified Communication Manager Business Edition for the 150-500 users. This software runs on a single rack unit server.

Over the past few quarters, Cisco is reaping the benefits of early wins. A large number of customers that have had deployed Cisco Call Manager are growing their footprint of Cisco IP telephony. Some of the large wins such as the Abbey National, Bank of America and State Bank of India require branch office connectivity; fuelling traction for Cisco Unified Communication Manager Express.

Cisco has seen a rise in the average selling price (ASP) of IP phones this quarter. I believe that this to be a one-off variation. Overall, Cisco faces a downward price pressure for hardphones. Also, there is a strong traction for SIP phones. R5.0 and R6.0 supports third party SIP phones that users can connect after buying a 'right to use license'. Growth in softphones have been comparitively lower than IP phone growth- softphone adoption is concentrated in larger deployments often complementing hard phones.

Cisco has invested in developing markets in Eastern Europe and Africa (both sub-saharan and North). Cisco continues to beat the average market growth rate. In the coming quarters, Cisco is expected to see increased competition from Nortel and Mitel in the enterprise segment. In the SMB market Avaya has been very active. They have launched a number of new products like Cisco.

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