Thursday, August 23, 2012

UCS Podcast - How Are UC Vendors Doing?

This week's UCStrategies podcast was based on a series of recent earnings reports by vendors in the UC space, with the most recent being ShoreTel. We started there, and moved on to the general state of things given the current struggles many vendors are having with their numbers.

No doubt, ShoreTel continues to post solid growth metrics, and they're certainly holding their own against the competition. It's also great to see that they're adding new customers - no doubt at the expense of others - so, they're doing a lot of things right. Overall, though, they're not making money - it sure beats losing money, but the bottom line performance isn't matching the top line, and that's always tough on a public company. Of course, the M5 acquisition will take some time to bear fruit, so let's hope that's reflected in the next update.

Looking more broadly, most of the discussion on the podcast was on the overall weakness of vendor performance. We know that Cisco was hurt because public sector spending is down, but we also touched on the impact of wider trends that are slowing down adoption of UC. The cloud is probably the biggest, and while ShoreTel has a good growth story to report there, the base is still pretty small. My take is that buyers are still uncertain about putting UC in the cloud, and equally important, channels still don't have the right business model to help them drive adoption with their customers.

There is a lot of uncertainty in this market, both for vendors and buyers, and that's the gist of what we talked about on the podcast, which was moderated very nicely by Blair Pleasant. I think you'll find this a good discussion, and it's available for listening now on the UCStrategies portal.

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