Our UCStrategies.com team has been discussing the acquisition of Siemens Enterprise Networks (SEN) into a joint venture with The Gores Group, who also owns Enterasys and SER.
As we pondered the situation, it became clear that this is an ideal time for some dramatic action. SEN has arguably the best software stack for UC solutions in the entire industry in their OpenScape Communications Suite. (Yes, we mean just the OpenScape Suite, not all the updated telephony-centric products such as the HiPath 8000, et al.).
Our modest proposal is that the new SEN look past the traditional converged voice and PBX market, in which they are in a money-losing fourth place position (this according to their own slides from yesterday’s announcement) and look instead to the future via Unified Communications.
What if they told all of their installed base customers that the new SEN is different? The new SEN will not declare end-of-support on all that good Siemens technology that still works. Instead, the new SEN recommends that the customers don’t waste their time replacing PBXs with IP PBXs and buying new phones, but rather spend their time and money installing OpenScape, connected to any PBX they own (old or new, of any brand). Since OpenScape provides the complete set of communications tools that integrate seamlessly with both Microsoft and IBM (SEN has alliances for this with both companies) and with the enterprise back-office or hosted solutions (think SAP, Salesforce.com and more), SEN has the best chance of any company to come out as the market leader in Unified Communications.
Hmmm. So the choice is to continue to sell PBXs, where SEN lost 602 million Euros on revenues of 3,200 million Euros in FY2007 and try to hold on to fourth place with declining market share, or to use this opportunity to truncate the loses in PBX selling (but continue the more profitable servicing business) and shoot for the leadership position in UC. Losses/share laggard or smaller but profitable leader? Oh, yeah, let’s be the leader!
So, there’s our modest proposal. What do you think? Please post away on our blog here.