The world enterprise telephony platform and endpoint market is estimated to have shipped 37.3 million enterprise telephony lines, 12.6 million units of Internet protocol (IP) desktop phones, and 12 million IP desktop communication clients in 2009. Although 2009 was a very challenging year, it was also characterized by landmark events that will have a long-term effect on both technology evolution and competitive dynamics.
On the negative side, the 2009 economic turmoil caused the sales of almost all major enterprise telephony vendors to decline at double-digit rates. It also speeded the collapse of the former telco giant and one of the world’s premier technology companies – Nortel Networks.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan (conferencing.frost.com), World Enterprise Telephony Platform and Endpoint Markets, finds that the market earned revenues of $7.77 billion in 2009.
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"The fall of Nortel signaled the end of an era and set alarm bells ringing for telephony providers," says Frost & Sullivan Industry Analyst Alaa Saayed. "It was clear that change was imminent, and that new entrants and more dynamic business models would question the viability of established paradigms."
Although the effect of the recession is expected to linger for another 12 to 18 months, 2010 promises to be better than 2009 in terms of world demand for telephony solutions. IT and communications spending will pick up steam in 2010 for North America and in 2011 and 2012 in Europe. Asia Pacific, Central America, and Latin America will probably have smoother transitions, with growth expected in the coming years.
The time division multiplexing (TDM) market will experience a downslide; however, IP shipments will resume their growth trajectory, triggered by the improvement of macro-economic conditions and the need to replace outdated systems. In the future, technological developments, such as softswitch systems, virtualization, and unified communications (UC), will drive equipment upgrades.
Innovation and continued investment in technology development will help circumvent the impediments thrown up by the recession. Important actions that were taken to offset the negative impact of the economic downturn included major acquisitions and reorganizations (such as the mergers of HP and 3Com, and Avaya and Nortel Networks), the introduction of new flexible IP telephony solutions, the implementation of very aggressive customer programs, and an increased focus on channel expansion strategies.
"To ensure business progression in this scenario, participants must gradually shift resources from hardware to software (for both systems and endpoints), target the underserved small and medium business (SMB) market with appealing solutions, tap into new global markets, and strive for interoperability as well as openness," says the analyst.
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