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There's a New King of the Hill in Session Border Controllers, Says Infonetics

October 31, 2012

Recently, Infonetics (News - Alert) Research released a few bits from its newest report, Enterprise Session Border Controllers, which examined both the current market for session border controllers and the likely future market of same to come. While there were several interesting conclusions released from the report, perhaps the most interesting is just who's top of the heap when it comes to the enterprise session border controller market.

The Infonetics Research (News - Alert) report made it clear: Cisco (News - Alert) is the new leader in the enterprise session border controller market, having taken fully 26 percent market share for the first half of 2012.

As revealed by Infonetics Research's principal analyst for VoIP, UC and IMS Diane Myers, this was made possible primarily by Cisco taking advantage of its position as a market leader in three critical fields – IP-PBX (News - Alert), data networking equipment, and VoIP gateways.

With those three markets in hand, Cisco could then turn its attention to up-selling enterprise SBCs, especially as many of the firms involved in those markets were looking to get into services like SIP trunking, which commonly require a little in the way of SBC backup.

Cisco's newfound status as the head of the market is big news, but there was plenty more waiting in the Infonetics Research report. Cisco may be top, for instance, but Cisco will also have to watch out for Acme Packet (News - Alert), currently the second on the list based on the results of the first half of 2012. Additionally, both Cisco and Acme Packet alike managed to achieve its tremendous results in the midst of downward pressures; average revenue per session during the first half of the year was down, and the largest share of sales in the SBC market is made up of systems with less than 800 sessions.

However, worldwide revenue figures for enterprise SBCs reached $82.5 million for the first half, and the market is expected to clear $430 million by 2016.

With smaller sessions leading the way in sales, and the average revenue per session down, it would seem that in order to make up the differences and achieve profit, the weapon of choice is a volume strategy. Cisco's move to cross-sell to its current customer base is a smart one, and shows the value in attempted up-selling. 

But the market is clearly heavily competitive, and as such will mean a lot of firms gunning for the same sales.

The enterprise SBC market will likely continue to be marked by continued volatility for some time to come, and only time will tell if Cisco will be able to hold the top slot with any kind of effectiveness.

Edited by Braden Becker

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