EMEA channel lifts telephony

EMEA channel lifts telephony

Strong market growth due to channle performance, claims analyst

The channel played a key role in EMEA’s enterprise telephony market growth in the fourth quarter of 2005, according to analyst firm Canalys.

The research estimates from the market-watcher found total EMEA enterprise telephony line shipments were up by 6.3 per cent compared with Q4 2004, with 87 per cent of sales going through the channel.

Vendor Alcatel has moved into pole position with 17.1 per cent market share above rival Siemens, which saw its slice cut from 16.4 per cent in 2004 to 15.9 per cent in 2005.

Chasing the leaders were Nortel with a 10.6 per cent share, Aastra with 10.2 per cent and Avaya with an 8.7 per cent market share.

Matthew Ball, research analyst at Canalys, said the first half of 2005 started slowly with shipments rising by only 1.9 per cent year-on-year, but the second half finished strongly.

“Q4 is always the strongest quarter, because people have budgets to spend,” he said. “Getting 87 per cent of sales is very positive for the channel. Resellers should look to capitalise on convergence around voice, data and security. Developing the channel is now a top priority for vendors in EMEA.”

He said that Alcatel topped the market because Q4 saw the vendor close its fiscal year, which normally results in an additional sales push. Rival vendor Siemens closes its fiscal year in Q3.

Bell said Alcatel and Siemens have traditionally been the leaders in the EMEA enterprise telephony market, but rivals such as Nortel and Aastra are closing the gap.

“Vendors are aiming to increase volume and value through the channel in 2006, with new incentive schemes, marketing, recruitment and training initiatives,” Ball added.

Keith Rapp, UK channel manager at Alcatel, said: “We were slow out of the blocks in January and February, but things picked up in March. IP is up, applications are up and our direct-touch team is seeing its work come to fruition.”

Andrew Saunders, Nortel divisional managing director at distributor Crane, said: “Nortel has a very strong product range and vision for its business. We have been growing with Nortel quarter over quarter.”