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June 11, 2009

Cisco News - Cisco to Weather Down Economy, Emerge with UC Leaders: Report

By Anamika Singh, TMCnet Contributor

Officials Synergy (News - Alert) Research Group reportedly are now publishing their “Q1 2009 Collaborative Applications Market Share & Analysis” reports, and chief among their findings is this: The worldwide market for Collaborative Applications in the first quarter of this year reached $913.3 million in sales.

The report also says that this extended pause in enterprise telephony sales continues while prospects and customers await the recovery of the global economy.
“We believe those vendors that are in a strong strategic position, such as Avaya, Alcatel-Lucent, Cisco, Siemens, ShoreTel (News - Alert) and Mitel, are in good shape to weather the present business environment and provide a strong UC migration story,” said Jeremy Duke, CEO at Synergy.
“Those vendors that are more exposed and are displaying challenges with market share progress and in addressing other significant industry issues, include 3Com, Aastra, Nortel, NEC, and Toshiba (News - Alert),” Duke added.
Collaborative Applications are a collection of network-based applications that allow more people to work together, regardless of physical location. Synergy Collaborative Applications market segment include the sub-categories, UC Desktop, Presence Management, Instant Messaging, Desktop Web/Video/Audio Conferencing Unified Messaging, and Mobile 2.0 (News - Alert) applications.
The biggest growth market in Collaborative Applications is UC Desktops. Synergy projects UC Desktop as a user workspace having the minimum requirements of access to voice telephony (PBX/KTS/dial tone) and integrated presence management and instant messaging capabilities. UC Desktops can be stratified into three levels of functionality: Basic, Standard, and Advanced.
Synergy classifies the UC Desktop into the two-market sizing categories of Enterprise and Small Medium Business.
“In the SMB category, ShoreTel continues to grow its UC offering and carve a leadership position in the market in the face of significantly larger competitors,” commented  Ken Landoline, VP of Research, Synergy.
“Although ShoreTel, compared to its competitors, has challenges with brand name recognition, international presence, and a limited service provider reseller channel, ShoreTel has optimized on current market conditions with Nortel’s (News - Alert) market challenges and the company is moving ahead aggressively with channel build out and international expansion,” Landoline said.
The report also concludes that pressure on SMB credit availability is fostering a growing interest in UC outsourcing, increasing demand for managed service offerings in Q1 2009. Social Networking continues to be a hot topic of discussion as UC vendors look to interface or incorporate Social Networking applications into their UC offerings.
Also, the report says that average selling price in the UC Desktop market, dropped slightly in Q1 2009 indicating the growing competitive nature of the industry.
Conferencing bucked the decreasing trend in collaborative applications by growing revenues 7 percent quarter to quarter. This is on top of a 5 percent growth in revenues in Q4. Conferencing still shows growth as corporations are ready to spend on technologies that have relatively short-term returns on investment and a positive effect on employee efficiencies, the report indicated.

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Anamika Singh is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Anamika's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Michael Dinan

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