Canalys sees bright spots in slowing enterprise infrastructure market

The recession is doing its bit to kill off large-scale traditional communications investments, but there are some growth areas out there, according to Canalys’ latest figures on the EMEA enterprise infrastructure market.

The recession is doing its bit to kill off large-scale traditional communications investments, but there are some growth areas out there, according to Canalys’ latest figures on the EMEA enterprise infrastructure market.

The clearest evidence for the slow death of the PBX came in the call control system market, where shipments in Q4 ’08 fell 11% year-on-year across the region to 5.8 million.

“Enterprise telephony sales are primarily driven by replacement and these are typically large CAPEX-based deals,” explained Canalys senior analyst Matthew Ball.

“With pressure to cut costs immediately, many sales that were expected to close in Q4 were delayed. Some telephony projects will be cancelled altogether as needs are re-evaluated and a greater emphasis is placed on ROI in the future,” he continued.

In contrast, the security and networking markets are in rude health, with investment remaining resilient, albeit helped along by dollar to euro exchange rates. Hardware and software security revenue was up 12% to €793, enterprises looked to consolidate their infrastructure and adopt a single appliance for all security functions.

Networking – by which Canalys means enterprise and service provider routers, switches and wireless access points – also put in a strong finish at the tail-end of 2008, with end-user revenues climbing to €2.5bn. Investment here was driven by service providers replacing networks to cope with growing demand for mobile broadband, video-on-demand, IPTV and other unified comms solutions.

Looking ahead, Ball predicted a tough year for all enterprise infrastructure segments: “Budgets will be under pressure, but Canalys expects investment in enterprise security to remain strong due to compliance requirements and the continued threat of attacks.”

Ball added that client security software spending would drop, however, as the PC market continues its downward spiral, and telephony investment will also drop off the list of priorities.

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