Channel insiders have expressed concerns over the effect a recession could
have on the unified communications (UC) market.
A number of huge vendors have entered the market recently, including Microsoft, which launched its Office Communications Server (OCS) software last year, and BT, which rolled out a range of UC solutions for SMEs last month.
But some are worried that the market might suffer if there is an economic downturn.
Jess Thompson-Hughes, managing director of VoIP distributor React Technologies, said: “Selling UC is tough at the moment. It is a great thing to talk about, but many businesses can survive without it and do not want to part with the cash.
“The recession is a self-fulfilling prophecy. People talk themselves into putting things on hold for a while. It would not surprise me if people in the UC market are feeling the pain.”
David Hamer, director of telecoms reseller Redwood, said vendors need to ensure they give resellers who want to enter the market adequate support and training. He said: “The cost savings are there for the brave, but the benefits of UC can seem intangible and many companies are not prepared to take risks.
“UC projects may get put on hold if there is an official recession. We are still in a very buoyant market, but we might see a tightening of belts for the new financial year.”
The downbeat predictions come as Cisco confirmed it has parted company with its EMEA director of unified communications, Clive Sawkins.
Phil Smith, Cisco’s vice president of technology marketing, said: “Clive is moving on to a new phase in his professional life and we wish him all the best in his new challenge. For the foreseeable future his team will report direct to me.”
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