4 August 2003 San Jose CA Lightwave Europe -- Cisco Systems says it has reached a major milestone by shipping its 2 millionth Internet Protocol telephone. The phone was delivered to SouthTrust Corp., one of America's top-20 bank holding companies.
"This achievement signifies that IP telephony is becoming a mainstream technology throughout business organisations worldwide and solidifies Cisco's position as the leader in this fast growing market," said Zeus Kerravala, vice president of enterprise infrastructure at the Yankee Group.
Charlie Giancarlo, Cisco senior vice president and general manager of Product Development, said, "Since we introduced our first IP phone in 1999, there have been thousands of TDM PBX replacements and our customers have enjoyed significant benefits from their adoption of IP telephony. Cisco has shipped more IP phones than all of our competitors combined and we are the clear market leader."
In August of 2002, Cisco announced that it reached the 1 million mark for shipped IP phones, an accomplishment that took the company three and a half years to achieve. Since then, Cisco has shipped an additional 1 million IP phones to customers.
Today, the company says its next generation IP Communications systems are helping more than 8,500 organisations worldwide realise the strengths of IP Communications, offering the potential to increase productivity and business flexibility. Customers represent such industries as: financial services, insurance, healthcare, real estate, manufacturing, retail/entertainment, transportation, education and the government/public sector.
Europe, Middle East and Africa accounts for approximately 30% of Cisco's IP telephony customer base and of the 2 million IP phones shipped. Highest demand for IP telephony in Europe for Cisco currently comes the enterprise and mid-market with the finance and government sectors holding the strongest adoption rate SouthTrust benefits from significant productivity applications and cost savings
"We realised that our business model would not flourish in the closed environment of a hardware-based PBX solution," said Stan Adams, group vice president of Network Services for SouthTrust.
"We knew that prolonging the life of our PBXs would limit our future applications options and extend our equipment depreciation period. The Cisco IP Communications system is allowing us to improve organisational efficiency and better serve customers with a host of new productivity enhancing applications. These benefits help us achieve our mission of being known as the financial services company of choice by our clients and our shareholders."
SouthTrust replaced over 10,000 traditional phones on its legacy circuit-based PBX network in favour of a new virtual Enterprise IP PBX. The new system, with more than10,000 Cisco IP Phones, allows SouthTrust to centrally manage and maintain robust voice and data communications on one converged network for its 700 offices throughout the southeast.
Employees now share a common dial plan, integrated directory services, and consistent telephony features including conferencing and voicemail in all of its locations. By replacing the 700 TDM PBXs with the Cisco IP Communications system, SouthTrust saved millions of dollars in telephony costs this year while gaining more features and functionality with the new system.
The Cisco IP Phone can link to business critical content such as sales reports, purchasing data, corporate calendars and travel services. These IP phones can also be used as a tool for inventory management, point-and-click dialling and Web content delivery. By providing display-based access to services and applications, Cisco IP phones enable customisation, integration and Web access, and can connect business processes and people to critical information.
For example, SouthTrust's converged IP Communications network was designed to provide support for a number of applications, including rich media for e-learning that is stored locally, but centrally managed; multi-site videoconferencing; unified messaging for branch personnel; and increased bandwidth in order to deliver rich media through ATM machines for advertising and promotions.