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May 22, 2014

Why Cisco won’t take the videoconferencing market by storm

The firm's new DX70 and DX80 desk phones run on the Android 4.1.1 operating system and come with 1.5GHz processors.

By Amy-Jo Crowley

Cisco’s latest video conferencing desk phones may struggle to compete in the videoconferencing enterprise market despites its numerous features aimed at workers, according to a leading analyst.

The networking firm demonstrated its DX70 and DX80 devices at its annual conference, Cisco Live, claiming it would simplify work life by replacing phones, webcams and other communication tools.

However, Richard Costello, a senior research analyst at IDC who specialises in unified communications, told CBR he does not see mass appeal for the device.

"There’s a lot of competition already out there. You’ve got desktop video that you can use on your PC or laptop and that’s competing," he said.

"You’ve also got global video on your tablet and that’s competition. And you’ve got end users’ own smartphone devices and iPads that they’re bringing to work and organisations rolling out Microsoft Lync."

"There are all these options for customers today for the phone device, so there’s a real challenge there."

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He added: "I still like the idea of the phones but a lot of times I’m talking to vendors and even some organisations that are thinking about moving away from phones."

"In IDC, we track phones and see a pretty good amount of phones being sold by the vendors, and we make that clear. But there’s seems to be a downward trend in enterprise phones."

The devices, which run on the Android 4.1.1 operating system, put the company into competition with Logitech, PolyCom, Avaya and other up and coming video conferencing vendors.

Cisco currently dominates the video conferencing market, with a 44.3% worldwide share, according to figures released by IDC in February.

Costello said: "They’ve got this large, loyal customer base, which they can sell into so I think they are still well positioned to be able to meet the challenge in video and collaboration."

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