Cisco sets sights on expanding unified communications market

The market for unified communications is tipped to double in size over the next five years to reach US$50 billion, networking giant Cisco said today.

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By  Michele Howe Published  June 10, 2007

The market for unified communications is tipped to double in size over the next five years to reach US$50 billion, networking giant Cisco said today. Speaking to ITP.net after a presentation on unified communications, Samer Alkharrat, Cisco Gulf managing director, said he expected the market for unified communications to grow from its current US$25 billion to US$50 billion over the next five years. “It is a market that is a moving target in terms of size and growth,” he said. Alkharrat added that the networking giant was targeting US$10 billion from the unified communications market over the next three years, equivalent to a third of its total business. “We as a company are 30 billion, the total size of Cisco, so for this market to be 10 billion, it is a 10 billion dollar bet,” he said. The Middle East is one of the fastest regions in terms of deployment of telephony, according to Alkharrat. This is partly because of the growth of business in the region in general, partly because there are fewer legacy systems, and partly because of the comparatively young age of the population, he said. Unified communications is a form of integrated communication systems - such as voice, video, data, security and mobility - over one platform. “We will over the next five years see seamless integration of devices over the same infrastructure. When that happens, unified communications will be at the heart of it,” Alkharrat said during the presentation. “Traditional systems are disappearing. New enabled, converged systems – are taking over,” he added. Cisco unveiled the sixth release of its unified communications solution during the event. The Unified Communications system 6.0, a communications system for voice, video and data, will include a number of new products or product enhancements, the company said.

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