BT Group and Cisco Systems have signed a letter of intent to jointly market and sell converged IP-based network services in Europe over the next few months. The two companies will develop and deploy IP services such as IP VPNs, IP telephony, and broadband teleworking solutions, and will initially focus on the UK, German, Spanish, Dutch, and Irish markets.
Although IP VPNs are relatively commonplace, the two companies will face the challenge of educating the market to the benefits of moving voice networks to an IP system. Over the past two years, many analysts and users have stated that IP-based voice communications systems only bring quantifiable cost savings if the existing system has come to the end of its lifespan.
However, the strength of the joint venture comes from Cisco’s large market share of the IP switching market, and BT’s contacts with large range of public and private sector clients.