According to the recent Canalys report on IP telephony, investment in enterprise telephony remained restricted in EMEA in Q3 2009, with call control line shipments down 17.5% compared with the same period in 2008.

The research shows volume declined 21.5% in Q1, while Q2 was down 18.6%. In total, 4.8 million lines were shipped in the quarter, a 4.4% sequential increase. IP line penetration increased to 40%, up from 35% one year earlier, as businesses continued to replace aging TDM infrastructure and expand trial projects.

Canalys claims aggressive cash-back, fixed price, minimum spend and competitor trade-in promotions, as well as 0% financing offers have helped prevent greater reductions in shipments during 2009.

Alcatel-Lucent, Siemens and Aastra continue to lead in EMEA, with Cisco gaining ground.

Alcatel-Lucent has been a stable performer in the region over the last eight quarters, overtaking Siemens as the market leader in 2008,’ said Alex Smith, a Research Analyst at Canalys.

‘During the recession, it has managed to maintain its market share, though its Q3 shipments were hit by the holiday season in its core markets, particularly France, Spain and Italy,’ Smith added.

Siemens remained the second largest vendor with a market share of 13.5%, though this has steadily eroded over the last two years. Overall, Siemens is continuing to invest in growing its indirect business, but shifting direct accounts to the channel will take time, according to Canalys.

In September, it announced plans to accelerate this process by selling its direct sales organisations in 27 non-core countries to Netlink, a deal worth €204 million ($308 million), more than the original €175 million ($275 million) the Gores Group paid Siemens AG for its 51% stake in the overall business.

Aastra was the third largest vendor in the region, with a market share of 13.0%. During the quarter, Aastra benefited from competitor cash-back trade-in promotions in France, while investment in direct-touch activities helped it improve its German business, finds the report.

Cisco continued to grow its market share during the recession, primarily driven by gains in Western Europe, particularly in Germany where it has invested heavily in marketing and sales resources. It accounted for 11.6% of total shipments, compared with 11.2% in Q2 and 10.3% in Q3 2008.

Avaya, which grew its shipments by 4.2% over Q2 with strong sales in the UK, catalysed by the release of IP Office R5, won the auction for the Nortel Enterprise business. Canalys says new entity has the potential to emerge as the leading vendor in EMEA.

‘Shipments for the final quarter of 2009, typically the largest in EMEA, are expected to grow sequentially but will still be down annually as many businesses set budgets earlier in the year when economic conditions were worse. Year-on-year growth is expected to resume in 2010, though volumes will still be lower than in 2008 as economic recovery is expected to be slow after the worst recession for decades,’ said Matthew Ball, a Senior Analyst at Canalys.

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